Houseboundiness continues here. Every school district in the four counties I traverse to/from work is closed, so my laptop, sofa, and I will soldier on with various tasks. Up to another foot of snow is due on Sunday. It appears that I may not be able to leave the house until spring thaw. Since I'm out of links to share (and cabin fever is starting to set in), I thought I'd share my Top 5 holiday movies. To be fair, most of these are just movies set during December/January---not necessarily a lot to do with Christmas itself...but they are the ones that I like to watch this time of year.
Number Five: Holiday
This is probably the least well-known of the Cary Grant-Katharine Hepburn pairings. Bringing Up Baby and The Philadelphia Story deservedly get more attention, but this is still a little jewel of a film. For once, Hepburn doesn't play strong---she's a bit demure and stubborn in a quiet way. Perhaps even passive aggressive. She tries to resist adoring her sister's fiance (Grant) who has being introduced to the family over the holidays, but we can all see that Grant's and Hepburn's characters belong together. Eventually, they do, too.
Number Four: The Man Who Came to Dinner
Monty Woolley chews up the scenery as Sheridan Whiteside, the man who not only comes to dinner, but won't go away. His larger than life world takes over the home he invades and those he interacts with. Hart and Kaufman's script is full of pre-WWII pop culture references and zingers that truly bite and leave a mark. Bette Davis plays one of her most understated roles while Ann Sheridan (the Oomph Girl herself) vamps it up.
Number Three: The Year Without a Santa Claus
It might not be Rankin-Bass's Magnum Opus, but it has the most cherished place in my grinchlike heart nonetheless. And, for the record, I'm a total Snow Miser groupie (even considering present circumstances).
Number Two: Christmas in Connecticut
I am not a big fan of Barbara Stanwyck, but there's just something about this film that sparkles. It's slapstick without being over the top...character development is strong...and the plot tiptoes along the line to being absurd without completely crossing over. Pure Hollywood. Like other films on this list, it's not so much about Christmas as it is a romcom set in the holiday season. Go watch. Giggle as Babs tries to flip a pancake for the first time, is clueless about changing a diaper, and falls for Dennis Morgan. I dare you to resist the urge to pinch S.Z. Sakall's cheeks through your tv screen. Reginald Gardner (who also starred in #4) makes an appearance as the man we all know Barb shouldn't marry, but who turns out to be a nice guy anyway.
Number One (with a bullet): A Christmas Story
What other choice could there be? Ralphie's passion for an Official Red Ryder Carbine-Action Two-Hundred-Shot Range Model Air Rifle, the ubiquitous Bumpus hounds, Scut Farkus, the pink bunny suit, leg lamp, triple-dog dares, Lifebuoy soap, and all the rest provide much needed perspective and comic relief to the season.
Let's hope that tomorrow brings a break to the ugly weather...or who knows what I'll be posting here. :)