HOLLYWOOD—Can you believe that the holiday season is upon us, which means it’s time to put our differences behind us in the interest of peace on earth and goodwill towards others. Sometimes it’s impossible, however, all we can do is hope. In order to get in the Christmas mood, we either watch Hallmark Channel with their Christmas movies or watch Christmas movies that we all love so much.
So sorry, I’m not into Christmas horror films. So many people are though, however, I won’t mention them. One of the favorite’s romantic comedies is “The Holiday,” which is a follow-up to “Something’s Gotta Give.” Nancy Myers casts Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet in this 2006 movie, respectively, a tightly wound editor of movie trailers and a British newspaper reporter who decide to swap houses shortly before Christmas. This leads Winslet’s character, now in L.A., to befriend an aging screenwriter played by Eli Wallach and eventually fall for a kindhearted composer played by Jack Black.
Meanwhile, Diaz’s character, hooks up with the brother of Winslet’s character, played by Jude Law. It’s charming as four beautiful people overcome the small hurdles keeping them from getting together in two photogenic environments. Eli Wallach is fun to watch.
Another nostalgic and fun movie to watch is the 1990 film “Home Alone.” The John Hughes film stars Macaulay Culkin in which he finds himself unexpectedly left behind when his family mistakenly flies to Paris without him. Culkin is charming, and the sentimental ending works every time.
Another Christmas movie is “Elf,” which stars Will Ferrell as Buddy, a human who’s grown up at the North Pole living under the mistaken impression that he’s an elf, despite developing into a lumbering adult with little skill for elfish endeavors such as toy-making. Eventually he travels to New York in search of his birth father (James Caan). A department store employee played by Zooey Deschanel provides a film contrast to Ferrell’s wild-eyed enthusiasm. The film wins all the time, with gratitude and enthusiasm.
The ultimate classic is “Miracle on 34th Street,” which is one of the greatest Christmas movies of all time, released in 1947. It stars the late Natalie Wood, whose mother Maureen O’Hara’s character hires someone who may be the actual Kris Kringle as a department-store Santa at Macy’s. What follows is part fantasy, part romance. The film is written and directed by George Seaton. Who could forget about “It’s a Wonderful Life,” released in 1946, starring Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed. Two classic Christmas movies. The films were grounded in times that inspired them, the depression, World War II, but its vision of holiday kindness and the sort of country most of us would want to live in and the values of kindness and generosity most of us share, remains timeless.
You can always turn to Netflix, to watch “Best Christmas Ever!”. It’s burning the Netflix chart of most-watched movies about two former college pals whose families are temporarily stranded together by a snowstorm. Charlotte (Heather Graham) lives a rather average life, while Jackie (Brandy Norwood) fills her Christmas letters with brags about her perfect existence. A true holiday comedy. We have “A Biltmore Christmas,” a perfect film to watch about the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina.
It stars Bethany Joy Lenz and Kristoffer Polaha, and it premiered on November 26, 2023. On November 30, on Netflix, the film “Family Switch,” premieres starring Ed Helms and Jennifer Garner as Jess and Bill Walker, a mom and dad who switch identities with their two teenage children on a crucial day in each of their lives. We also see that the walkers baby boy body-swaps with their dog. Sounds like “Freaky Friday.”
On December 1, on Amazon Prime Video, we have “Candy Cane Lane.” Then on December 2, we have “Ladies of the 80’s: A Divas Christmas,” about five reigning soap opera prima donnas from the 1980s which unite to film the last Christmas episode of their longtime show, “Dynasty.”
Last by not least, on December 14, we have “Heaven Down Here,” about four overwhelmed people who find themselves stuck inside a diner by a Christmas Eve blizzard.
Rose’s Scoop: The 91st annual Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting is set for November 29. It will air live on NBC from Center Plaza at Rockefeller Center between 49th and 50th Streets. Yes, of course Cher will be there for our musical entertainment along with many others.