It’s finally time to answer the holiday season’s most important question: what is and what isn’t a Christmas movie?
As Christmas rapidly approaches, Popcorn Talk’s The Film Scene with Illeana Douglas was honored to feature guest Alonso Duhalde, an LA-Based Film Critic who is especially known as “The Christmas Critic.”
On the show, Douglas, Duhalde, and I discussed some of America’s best and most important Christmas movies, such as Home Alone and It’s a Wonderful Life, but made sure to include some of the holiday’s most obscure entries like 2015’s Tangerine and 1972’s Santa and The Ice Cream Bunny. With such a wide oeuvre of films based around Christmas, we asked the expert himself what the criteria for a good Christmas film are.
“Oh you know, I leave that up to folks, cause I get asked all the time like this year, people were like, ‘Oh well is, is Hustlers a Christmas movie?’ cause there’s one big scene that’s set at Christmas,” said Duhalde. “Somebody asked if The Irishman was, like well if you think it is, sure.”
Duralde was careful to distinguish between a Christmas movie, and a movie that has Christmas elements.
“I think, sometimes you get movies where Christmas happens but only because they want to show the passage of time and that’s just an easy way to say December,” noted Duhalde. “If for you, you think of that moment as being Christmasy, then absolutely. I mean, there are people who think of The Sound of Music as a Christmas movie just because they would always watch it with their family at Christmas time right even though there’s not a second of Christmas in it.”
But what about the most controversial Christmas movie, Die Hard?
“I’ve always defended Die Hard as a Christmas movie because, the fact that the party’s happening on Christmas Eve is part of the plan,” said Duhalde. ”The building’s gonna be empty, there’s not gonna be people on the streets, um, you know, and on another level it’s a movie about a husband and wife who reconcile on Christmas Eve, and her name is Holly, come on!”
No matter what your take on what makes a Christmas movie, I think we can all agree it’s the perfect time of year to curl up on the couch and watch any film.
What do you think makes a great Christmas film? Let us know in the comments below?