Happy Holidays!

Merry Christmas! Happy (belated) Hanukah! Happy Kwanza! Happy Festivus! Did I cover everything? If I did, whatever. Sorry. Watch Elvis singing “Blue Christmas” instead.

This is also my way of telling you that I have not forgotten about The Elvis Files, even though I completely abandoned that project in June. In my defense. I’ve been researching. (That’s a lie. I never did that.) But starting in January, I will resume this project. I swear. In the meantime, enjoy the final days of 2012.

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5 Days of Christmas Movies: Miracle on 34th Street (1947)

4. A Movie About Cynical Jerks Who Try To Ruin Christmas

Like many children, the first holiday movie I remember watching is Miracle on 34th Street. It is one the best ways to introduce classic, black and white films to kids. But it has been years since last saw this movie and aside from Natalie Wood’s adorable precociousness (she’s the 1947 version of Suri’s Burn Book), I couldn’t recall what actually happened. I somehow missed that Miracle on 34th Street is in fact a commentary on how crabby white men ruin everything with their pesky trials.

On that note, here are some other things to take away from Miracle on 34th Street. You know, aside from spreading holiday cheer, why you should be generous and that Santa Claus really does exist.

1. Always trust elderly men with whiskers who tells you they are Santa Claus. Kris Kringle is not crazy. He’s sweet, charming and just wants kids to be kids. What’s wrong with that?

If you listen to Kris Kringle, you'll also get an elementary introduction to the concept of nation-states.

2. If your mother works for a major department store, it may be best to ignore her sometimes. She doesn’t want you to have any curiosity because she once believed in love. And now she’s a bitter divorcee. So good luck hashing those issues out with your therapist in 30 years.

"Listen Susan, I divorced your dad and now I'm bitter. So you also can't enjoy anything."

3. Hey Susan. See that bachelor lawyer in the apartment across the hall? Use your precocious ways to get him to hook up with your mom. He’ll also be useful when the District Attorney decides to crush the dreams of children and tell them there is no Santa Claus.

Now you have a shot at being a normal kid.

4. The government has always wasted the public’s time. Also lawyers and psychologists are jerks.

To think of all the other events that were ignored because of this trial...

5. The U.S. Postal Service saves the day! It’s hilarious that an endless number of letters to Santa Claus save Kris Kringle from being legally declared a crazy person. Nowadays, so many people knock the postal service but they shouldn’t. Because the postal service saved Christmas.

In just a few years, the presence of letters and the post office will confuse the young children watching this movie.

5 Days of Christmas Movies: Love Actually (2003)

1. The Overly Cheery Romantic Comedy

I don’t watch many Christmas movies this time of year but Love Actually happens to be one of my favorite guilty pleasures. It is always the first Christmas movie I watch and it sets the mood for the rest of the holiday season.

Love Actually follows ten intertwining stories and many characters during the weeks leading up to Christmas. The cast is stacked with the likes of Bill Nighy, Emma Thompson, Alan Rickman, Colin Firth and Laura Linney. Compared to the cats of other rom-coms centered around a holiday (ugh, Valentine’s Day), this ensemble is overwhelmingly talented.

But a talented cast doesn’t make Love Actually is the greatest romantic comedy/holiday movie of the aughts. In fact, it is far from that.

Love Actually is overloaded with characters and story lines. Some I really don’t care for, like Keira Knightley as the newlywed or Chiwetel Ejiofor as her husband. (Would you even know it? Ejiofor barely has a line.) And I cannot stand Liam Neeson’s widowed father act.

Writer-director Richard Curtis basically went nuts when he made this film. Can you imagine how sloppy and tedious the director’s cut with 40 additional minutes would be? (Hint: Very painful.) And yet, I still adore Love Actually. I’d rather watch it, flaws and all, than miss out on the wonder that is Billy Mack, Rowan Atkinson’s gift wrapping, or Hugh Grant’s dancing.

And because Valentine’s Day really is so goddamn terrible.

It’s That Time Of Year Again

Like everyone else, I’ve been bombarded by Christmas these past two days. In fact, it has been Christmas in Cranford, New Jersey since about November 15. Now call me crazy, but it’s not even December yet. Eh. But since I’m a follower, I’ll just accept that it is Christmas and enjoy American capitalism.

So…

Enjoy my favorite holiday-related scene from Mean Girls

Christmas! Presents!

I’ll admit it right now that I was a little spoiled this Christmas. Maybe it was the tickets to the Billy Joel concert in February or the printer for my digital camera but my parents went overboard on the gifts for moi this year. Here is what I received related to movies:

I think that my family is getting tired of my movie obsession. My siblings got me a six month subscription to Netflix, which is a great present for a movie nut like myself. I guess my mother complained enough about having to drive me to blockbuster three times every weekend that my siblings got the hint.

And more evidence that I am kind of crazy… In less than 25 minutes of selecting movies, I had over 50 films on my rental queue.

I also received 10 DVDs from my parents.
The Graduate
Citizen Kane
Dirty Dancing
Grease
The Complete James Dean Collection (3 DVDs)
On the Waterfront
March of the Penguins
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Sadly, I still have not received the one gift I have wanted for the past 2 years. The Turner Classic Movies Scene It Board Game. According to my parents, there is no one in my family who could possibly beat me and that is why I will never get it.

Hope your Christmas was as enjoyable as mine!