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Movies to Watch When You’re Not Celebrating Holidays or Sick

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I’m not a religious or particularly holiday-oriented person.  In fact, I might even be a little hostile to the idea that somehow, because it’s a specific time of the year, you should forgive & forget everything wrong in life, and just “be nice”.  Because, apparently, the other 364 days of the year, who cares?  And hey, what’s more meaningful than forcing people to be disengenuously nice??  Also, I don’t think the birth of Jesus is anything to celebrate.

Anywho, two Christmases ago, I decided that I was just not going to participate in ANY of it, and instead take a “staycation” in the comforts of my very own home.  With no roommate and nothing going on/open, I had the freedom to watch ANYTHING I wanted!  This list of movies also works if you’re home sick:

1. The Godfather I & II

I had actually never seen the entirety of either of these movies until I actually sat down on said Christmas Eve and viewed them back-to-back.  And let me tell you, no amount of stuffing my face with turkey or receiving of gifts could take the place that these movies have in my heart.  To paraphrase the one and only Jim Anchower, no one rides the Italian-American immigrant storm out like these paisans.

2. The Shining

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, this might be THE best movie ever produced in American cinema.  I guess it’s better to watch this on Halloween or whatever, but it’s just so damn good, that there’s no reason to deny yourself the simultaneous horror/awe/admiration of Kubrik mood-building at its best.

3. Mrs. Pettigrew Lives for A Day

If you’re a frou-frou-y kind of person at heart, like I am, who, no matter what, will be consistently delighted by pretty clothes, an Art Deco aesthetic and pre-WWII England, boy have I found the movie for you.  Directly after viewing, I texted Ashley to ask what she thought of it, as I was too embarrased to say I enjoyed it outright.  Ashley, being good ‘ol Ashley replied that she thought it was “rawther delightful!”  And that’s why I love her…and this movie.  Also, that one dude from Pushing Dasies that’s in this is hot.

4. Steel Magnolias

I live with a male roomate who is an enormous film buff/av nerd.  If he even saw Steel Magnolias anywhere near the vicinity of the TV, I think he would set the entire house on fire.  This is why his holiday-related absence was the PERFECT opportunity to indulge in a movie that is unquestionably schmaltzy and pandering to women…and yet….I CANNOT UN-ENJOY IT.  Dolly Parton sets my heart aflame, and that, my friends, is just that.

5. Anne of Green Gables

Is there anything more irresistible than a spirited orphaned redhead?  Well, most people would say yes, yes there are a great plenty of things that are.  But again, if you’re afflicted with an irrational lust for Victorian ruffly clothes and coming-of-age movies featuring hyper-literate girls facing minimal adversity, you’ve found your niche here, my friend.  And now, more than ever, would be the time to feed that Anne fix.

6. Goodfellas

OK, obviously this is in the genre of movies about the Mob post-Godfather, but whatever dude, it’s epic.  And I can never get enough Paisan.  Ever.  Plus, it’s funny to think about Ray Liotta’s career trajectory since this movie.  I don’t even think I have to say Operation Dumbo Drop.

7. DVD collections of TV Shows

I actually hate it that TV shows are generally a half an hour to an hour long.  Whether it be The Simpsons, Mad Men, Arrested Development, or Party Down, for me, there’s nothing more satisfying than being able to watch something as a continuous unit.  And again, you FINALLY have the time!!

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Anna G - Caliburg Contributor

Anna G - Caliburg Contributor

Anna G. is a Southern California native living in the Williamsburg area of Brooklyn since 2005. Anna is constantly trying to unite her love of CA sunshine and the excitement of the New York urban jungle, all the while trying to keep her unwieldy credit card debt under control, and look fabulous at brunch, no matter how un-showered and hungover.


  1. Alexi Lawless
    November 13, 2009 at 8:27 am

    Dude, Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day is one of my favorite movies for all the reasons you listed above. The movie is the reason for my love for that Amy Adams chick. It also helps that she was in the sequel to another of my favorite movies, Night at the Museum. Did you know the NATM movies were written by Thomas Lennon and Ben Garrett from The State? Totally awesome. I suggest those too for solo movie watching if your roomie can’t enjoy children’s movies.

  2. Erica
    November 16, 2009 at 5:32 pm

    “Is there anything more irresistible than a spirited orphaned redhead?” The *only* thing better is when you combine two dames, a Lindsay Lohan wig, and some fine spirits to create this person in Brooklyn.

  3. January 25, 2010 at 2:12 pm

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