The holiday season is upon us… which means you can’t swing a half eaten candy cane without poking a Salvation Army bell jangler (that’s what they’re called, right?). And while there is no shortage of snowflakes, Santas and gingerbread in the streets, there is no better (or worse) place to overdose on the holidays than in front of the old boob tube.
Yes, somehow cable networks feel the need to produce really crappy holiday movies every year – because nothing says “Christmas” like a cheesy made for TV rom-com starring Raven-Symone. But there are good holiday movies out there… “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation,” “Love Actually,” and if you don’t love “A Christmas Story,” you are a Communist.
My personal favorite is “Scrooged” starring a very fluffy Bill Murray. I taught high school for the last 4 years and when it came time to show a Christmas movie, I tried desperately to show it but my students always wanted to watch “Elf.” No thanks.
I realize this is 2 lists in a row (about holidays, no less), but I wanted to share my reasons for why “Scrooged” is the best Christmas movie ever:
1) Bill Murray. Really, the list should end here.
2) Cameos, cameos, cameos. It’s a smorgasbord of 70s and 80s stars: David Johansen, Carol Kane, Robert Goulet, Jaime Farr, John Forsythe, Mary Lou Retton and the motherfucking Solid Gold Dancers. Pop culture heaven.
3) It’s a retelling of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol.” I studied literature in college and took a Victorian Lit class where this was a required text. In my mind it is the quintessential Victorian story. “Scrooged” sets the classic tale in the late 80s at a media empire. For a very long time, this movie was outdated (and in some ways it still is – hello, Solid Gold Dancers). But with today’s economy in the shitter and the assholery (new word?) of the 1%, the greed at the heart of the story is very much alive today.
4) It’s hilarious. AND heartwarming.
5) Bill Murray. Yeah, I know… he’s on the list twice. He’s that good. And he gives the hands-down BEST “Scrooge turnaround” of any other actor who has played the miserly bastard.
So if you absolutely must watch a holiday movie, I highly recommend you “Put a Little Love in Your Heart” and watch “Scrooged.” Yeah, that was lame…but I couldn’t resist.
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