Well, it’s Christmastime. Again. The most wonderful time of the year- or so that one holiday tune claims (the guy that wrote that song obviously never had to go to a Walmart in December if he truly believed that, but whatever). People love Christmas for various reasons that I won’t get into (I don’t your life, dude) but for me there is one thing I look forward to this time of year more than anything else…..
The movies! They are the absolute, hands down, best part of the Christmas season as far as I’m concerned. Some of my all time faves are set to the backdrop of this most joyous of seasons, so every year I look forward to settling down to watch them by the light of the ol’ Christmas tree.
Now, I know the point of Christmas movies are that you are supposed to get some deep life lessons, or “true meaning of Christmas” type of stuff from them. They are usually meant to promote giving, and sharing, and rekindling old relationships, and not being a selfish P.O.S. for awhile. In theory. Or maybe you actually do learn those kinds of lessons, if you are watching say, oh, I don’t know, the Hallmark movie channel or It’s a Wonderful Life. (Ya know, the one where Jimmy Stewart yells at Donna Reed a lot- something about dry walls, and ground floors, and ruining his life- so heartwarming). But some of my favorite films of the genre, perhaps unintentionally, give me different messages. I mean, I could be looking at this all wrong, but I don’t think so; I’m a Basic Bitch and we are never wrong. But let’s explore this further, shall we?
Behold, I give you my top ten favorite Christmas movies, and the lessons I learned from them:
Versions of Charles Dickens classic A Christmas Carol abound, but this is by far the best one. Legendary comedic actor Bill Murray plays a 80’s yuppie version of Ebenezer Scrooge named Frank Cross, a ruthless television executive who is the sum of all things you hate in a person. You already know the drill: the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future show up, Frank has to take a good long look at himself to realize what a selfish butthead he has been, and magically changes his whole personality in one night. It culminates with a big old party, complete with Mary Lou Retton and the Solid Gold Dancers (hey, it was the 80’s), and interrupting a live telecast of Scrooge to broadcast to the world how bad he sucks. Which would totally lead to his firing if this were the real world, but doesn’t happen here because Christmas.
“The bitch hit me with a toaster…..”
“I never liked a girl enough to give her twelve sharp knives.”
(Frank) “Check the record books, pal- I did some stuff. I was a baseball player….one time I hit the home run that won us the big game.”
(Cabbie) “That was the kid from the Courtship of Eddie’s Father….”
(Frank) “Ok, well, there was this other time when I was running down a hill, and there was this girl who was, like, fifteen, and she had pigtails-”
(Cabbie) “You LIE! That was Little House on the Prairie!”
(Frank) “….. was it the Homecoming episode of Little House?”
(Cabbie) “Yes, it was the Homecoming episode of Little House.”
(Frank) “Why do you keep calling me Dick?”
(Herman) “I’m sorry, Mr. Burton.”
“Christmas Eve! It’s… it’s the one night of the year when we all act a little nicer, we… we… we smile a little easier, we… w-w-we… we… we cheer a little more. For a couple of hours out of the whole year, we are the people that we always hoped we would be.”
“You were right about everything, ok? Except….the S.S. Minnow, James. What was the ship that took them all to Gilligan’s Island? The S.S. Minnow! No points this round, James….”
Christmas lesson I was supposed to learn: Show a selfish person their crappy childhood, a relationship that ended because they started wanting different things out of life (the basis of every break-up on the planet), present day people talking smack on them at dinner parties, and hypothetical future events that show you will be cremated (as you probably chose ahead of time because that’s a thing people do) and a person will completely change in one night- for the better! Once they see they are selfish and mean it will all disappear and they will be a lovable goofball, adored by all.
What I actually learned: Being a hateful asshole gets you a position high up in a company, which means lots of money- yay for success! Even if people don’t like you much it doesn’t matter because they will still kiss your ass. Looking back at the past sucks and will make you sad. People suck at trivia games- that Gilligan’s Island question was a total gimmie. Be a jerk if you must but don’t pass up true love for the Frisbee the Dog Show- otherwise you’ll still be single in your 40’s. Also, don’t make scary Christmas commercials that give old ladies heart attacks- it’s impolite to kill people on Christmas.
#9 While You Were Sleeping
While not a movie that necessarily revolves around Christmas, it takes place at Christmas, so it gets a spot on the list. Sandra Bullock plays Lucy, a plain Jane orphan who works at a Chicago train station who has an awkward crush on rich boy, Peter, played by Peter Gallagher. And, well, you know how the old story goes: girl loves boy, boy falls to his death on a train track, girl rescues him and then pretends to be his fiancee (even though they have never met) until she hooks up with his brother. It’s not Lucy’s fault his family think she is engaged to Comatose Hot Guy- some busybody nurse gives his family some super “fake news” after overhearing Lucy mumbling obsessive nonsense to herself. Then, some old dude makes her pretend to be his fiancee so that his grandmother (played by the iconic Glynnis Johns) won’t suffer her, like, 17th heart attack. And his brother is the one who pursues her, so we should all really be mad at him for that part. Or no, not really at all, because Peter was never Lucy’s fiancee to begin with. It’s full of hijinks, and nothing says “warm holiday feelings” like some chick lying to a dude’s family so she doesn’t have to spend another Christmas alone.
(Lucy) “I’m not engaged! I’ve never even spoken to the guy.”
(Nurse) “Well, downstairs, you said, you said you were going to marry him!”
(Lucy) “Oh geez, I was talking to myself!”
(Nurse) “Well, next time you talk to yourself, tell yourself you are single and end the conversation.
(Grandma Elsie, in church, shrewdly eyeballing the priest) “How did Joe Kelly get to be a lector? He takes marijuana!”
(Jerry) “Lucy, you are born into a family. You do not join them like you do the marines.”
(Lucy) “So what should I do?”
(Jerry) “Pull the plug.”
(Lucy) “You’re sick.”
(Jerry) “I’m sick? You’re cheating on a vegetable.”
Christmas Lesson I was supposed to learn: True love finds a way! You will meet the love of your life when you least expect it, especially at Christmas, if you are a good person- and only if you come clean at the zero hour about your indiscretion. The family you duped absolutely won’t think you are crazy for lying about being engaged to their loved one, and totally won’t get a restraining order against you! The brother that you fall in love with will be so blinded by love that he won’t give a second thought to the fact that you are a big, fibbing sociopath. Yay for Christmas romance!
What I actually learned: If you want to avoid spending yet another Christmas alone, head to the local hospital, find a comatose person, and tell their family you are engaged to them! They will, for no explainable reason, just believe that you are telling the truth and will invite you to their house for holiday festivities. Beware of the randy sibling, though- they will attempt to seduce you….
#8 Just Friends
Ryan Reynolds is formerly heavyset geek Chris Brander, who always had a big jones for his bestie, Jamie Palomino (played by Amy Smart) back in high school. But, alas, he never escaped the “friend zone”, and thus has carried an unrequited love for her ever since. Fast forward 10 years, and the new and improved (and hot- Ryan Reynolds, grrr…..) Chris rolls back to his hometown for Christmas, and this time he may just get his chance with Jamie- if he can get over the past enough to quit making a damned jackass out of himself at every turn. Add in psychotic rock star/fuck buddy, Anna Faris, and pseudo-sweet-guy-who-is-actually-a-raging-asshole Dusty Dinkelman (Chris Klein), and lots of missed opportunity hilarity ensues.
(Mike to Samantha) “Your poster is so hot- I slapped the ham to it an hour ago.”
(Mom) “What ham did you slap? Not the one I just bought?”
(Mom, dialing phone while Chris is on the phone with Jamie) “Hello? Joyce?”
(Chris) “Mom, I’m on the phone.”
(Mom) “Chris? What are you doing at Joyce’s?”
(Chris) “No, Mom. I’m in the living room 10 feet away from you, and I’m on the phone.”
(Mom) “Oh. Well, while I have you on the phone, what would you like for dinner? We have a choice between Chicken Chow Mein or pot roast?”
(Chris, thinking to himself while in bed with Jamie) “Make a move, you idiot- MAKE A MOVE!!!”
(Jamie) “Chris? What are you thinking about?”
(Chris) “Bush.” (awkward silence) “President Bush, the first family really….”
“So that’s why she went off with Dusty. She wants a sensitive guy…more like the old me. Well, if she wants Mr. Rogers, then I’m going to show her the biggest pussy she’s ever seen.”
“Simply Dusty….is there any other kind?”
Christmas lesson I’m supposed to learn: Just always be yourself; those who truly love you will love you for you, no matter what. (Except for when they don’t until you get hot….) Going home for the holidays to reconnect with your past makes you a happier person, because as the old song says “There’s no place like home for the holidays….” And ice skating is an iconic winter movie staple- it’s just so charming!
What I actually learned: If you are harboring an old obsession about a crush from years before, change yourself completely and then head back to your hometown and be a douche towards them for awhile. Maybe don’t be too bitter about your “friend zone” status, though, or you will be the Dusty of the situation. Don’t be Dusty. Also, if your idea of wooing multiple women is singing songs with their name in it while strumming a guitar, don’t. Seriously, that’s the biggest lesson here: don’t be Dusty.
#7 Bad Santa
Aw, yes, Bad Santa. A movie that answers the age old question “Are mall Santas as creepy as we suspect they are?” And the answer is yes, definitely. (Just kidding, Mall Santas- you people are saints to do what you do, letting screaming, bawling children sit on your lap and physically abuse you….) Billy Bob Thornton plays Willie, a wretched, despicable drunk/all around asshole that poses as Santa Claus, along with his little person/elf friend, for the purpose of robbing shopping malls on Christmas Eve every year. Hilarity ensues when he meets a decidedly odd, but extremely sweet little boy, who appears to believe that Willie is the real Santa Claus. Willie uses this child’s ridiculously gullible nature to invade his home where he resides with his senile grandmother, and Willie decides to just set up shop in this kid’s home. The kid is more than happy with this set-up as he really likes “Santa” despite his surly demeanor, and the nutty granny doesn’t even appear to notice. So, ya know, totally plausible plot.
(Willie) “I beat the shit out of some kids today. But it was for a purpose. It made me feel good about myself. It was like I did something constructive with my life or something. I don’t know. Like I accomplished something.”
(Granny) “I’ll make you some sandwiches!” (Fun fact: this quote is only funny because it’s the only thing the crazy granny ever says, on repeat, the entire movie….)
(Kid) “What are their names?”
(Kid) “The Elves.”
(Willie) “Shit, I can’t remember, I think one of them is Sneezy and there’s a Dopey…”
(Kid) “That’s the seven dwarfs!”
(Willie) “You’re shittin’ me? I thought… I was thinking there was a… I don’t know! Fuck, kid; I just call them you, know Bub, I call them… I say hey Bub, or Chief, or whatever the fuck, I tell them to make the damned toys.”
(Kid) “You are really Santa, right?”
(Willie) “No, I’m an accountant. I wear this fucking thing as a fashion statement, alright?”
(Kid) “Your beard’s not real.”
(Willie) “No Shit! It was real, but I got sick and all the hair fell out.”
(Kid) “How come?”
(Willie) “I loved a woman who wasn’t clean.”
(Kid) “Mrs. Santa?”
(Willie) “No, it was her sister.”
Christmas lesson I’m supposed to learn: Gee, I’m not really sure on this one…. even a surly asshole can learn to like and care about others if they feel sorry for them, I guess? Crime doesn’t pay, perhaps?
What I actually learned from it: Being Santa is a great way to rob a shopping mall- if you are savvy enough pull it off and know how to crack a safe. When people are gullible it’s super easy to take advantage of them. And even if you try to do something nice for someone you still might get shot for it. Also, the Santa at the mall might be drunk and has pissed his pants- don’t sit on his lap.
Will Ferrell as a totes adorable human elf, wandering around New York City looking for his long lost father, and chugging bottles of maple syrup. Is there anything more Christmas than this? Buddy the Elf was accidentally kidnapped from an orphanage by Santa Claus, raised at the North Pole, and is convinced he is an elf although he is way, way more giant than everyone else (Denial- it’s not just a river in Egypt!). He finds out he’s human, has a quarter-life crisis, and decides to head into the real world to search for his family. Unfortunately, his dad is a big jerk who’s on the “Naughty List”, thinks his elf son is insane, and is actually pretty mean to him. Then there are snowball fights, and dates with a girl elf, played by the lovely Zooey Dechanel, and eventually Christmas spirit saves Santa Claus. Because singing.
“Buddy the Elf- what’s your favorite color?”
“I’m sorry I ruined your lives and crammed 11 cookies into the VCR.”
“I just like to smile; smiling’s my favorite.”
“I planned out our whole day: First, we’ll make snow angels for two hours, and then we’ll go ice skating, and then we’ll eat a whole roll of Toll-House cookie dough as fast as we can, and then to finish, we’ll snuggle.”
“You stink. You smell like beef and cheese! You don’t smell like Santa.”
(Santa) “Well, there are some things you should know. First off, you see gum on the street, leave it there. It isn’t free candy.
(Santa) “Second, there are, like, thirty Ray’s Pizzas. They all claim to be the original. But the real one’s on 11th. And if you see a sign that says “Peep Show”, that doesn’t mean that they’re letting you look at your presents before Christmas.”
Christmas lessons I was supposed to learn: The best way to spread Christmas cheer, is singing loud for all to hear! It has the power to turn Grinches into people who believe in Santa Claus, even if they are grown adults who know better.
What I actually learned: If you are weirdo who was brought up to believe you are an elf, maybe shelve that shit before you go to New York to find your real family- especially ditch the elf suit. If you don’t, people will think you are insane and kick you out of department stores (and I am one of those people). Also, if you fall in love with a guy who thinks he is an elf, you are probably pretty odd yourself- you might want to see a therapist. And, maybe don’t date the elf? Double that sentiment for a guy that still believes in Santa; he is not ready to “adult” yet. Singing Christmas carols is actually pretty fun, so do that.
#5 Love Actually
I absolutely love British humor, film, and books, and this movie never disappoints no matter how many times I watch it. It features an all-star cast: Hugh Grant, Emma Thompson, Liam Neeson, Andrew London (looking in tad better shape than on Walking Dead.…), Colin Firth, Keira Knightly, Laura Linney, and Alan Rickman- just to name a few. So right off the bat, you know it’s good. The movie follows several different story lines and characters: a married man who is having an affair with his employee; the wife who totally figures out her husband is having an affair with his employee; a politician who is having an affair with his employee; a stressed woman who is drowning under the responsibility of taking care of her mentally ill sibling; a widower who is struggling with grief while taking care of his deceased wife’s son; a woman who is struggling to figure out why her new husband’s friend hates her so badly (spoiler alert: he doesn’t!); a has-been singer who is desperately trying to revive his career; and a writer who falls for the Spanish caretaker of his vacation cabin, despite the fact that don’t speak the same language. Everything comes to a head on Christmas Eve for each of the characters, as holiday movie scripts are often wont to do; some stories get a happy ending, others do not, and some just seem to have no resolution at all. (Hey, what do you expect? For everything to come out perfectly? It’s why I love this movie so much- for once it’s just Christmas season, not magic season….)
(Natalie) “He says no one’s gonna fancy a girl with thighs the size of big tree trunks. Not a nice guy, actually, in the end.”
(Prime Minister) Ah! You know, um, being Prime Minister, I could just have him murdered.
(Natalie) “Thank you, sir. I’ll think about it.”
(Prime Minister) “Do. The SAS are absolutely charming. Ruthless trained killers are just a phone call away.”
(Billy Mack) “Hiya kids. Here is an important message from your Uncle Bill. Don’t buy drugs. Become a pop star, and they give you them for free!”
(Peter) “No surprises?”
(Mark) “No surprises.”
(Peter) “Not like the stag night?”
(Mark) “Unlike the stag night.”
(Peter) “Do you admit the Brazilian prostitutes were a mistake?”
(Mark) “I do.”
(Peter) “And it would have been much better if they’d not turned out to be men?”
(Mark) “That is true.”
Christmas lesson I’m supposed to learn: I’m actually not sure….. love is crazy, unpredictable, unavoidable, and heart-breaking- especially at Christmas?
What I actually learned: If you are married to a dickhead, he will give his mistress expensive jewelry and you’ll get a CD for Christmas. If you are a politician who is having an affair with your subordinate it will come out eventually- possibly (and embarrassingly) on stage at a children’s Christmas concert. Don’t hire your husband-to-be’s friend to film your wedding video, especially if he appears to hate you; it will turn out that he is actually in love with you, and you’ll get a creepy wedding video that is mostly close-ups of your face (and not much else). Step dads give shitty love advice and might get you arrested at an airport. Old washed up musicians should not perform Christmas re-makes of good songs, because they will suck. And some dudes will absolutely propose to women whose language they can’t speak or understand because it’s Christmas, and some people get weird around the holidays.
#4 The Family Stone
Oh, this movie- I don’t want to love it, because I can’t get through the end without sobbing- especially now. It was one of my mom’s favorites, we saw it together at the theater, and I can’t help but think of her every time I watch it. But, it’s just so funny, so clever, and so good, I just can’t lay off of it.
It’s a classic story of meeting the family that just goes horribly wrong. Sarah Jessica Parker and Dermot Mulrooney play a dating couple, Meredith and Everett. Everett takes Meredith home for the holidays to meet his family- and it does not go well. His family doesn’t exactly fall in love with Meredith (who admittedly is tough to like), especially his mother (Diane Keaton) and his youngest sister (Rachel McAdams). The Stone Family has all your large family dynamics at play: the domineering yet loving matriarch; the docile, peacekeeping father; Everett, the oldest, over-achieving child; Susannah, the sweet natured older sister; Thad, the deaf, gay brother and his lovable husband, Patrick; Ben, the youngest brother with the wacky sense of humor, who has sort of forgotten to grow up; and Amy, the shrew-y and snarky youngest sister. Long story short, the uptight, conservative, stick-up-the-ass Meredith is a total fish out of water in this family, and can do or say nothing that doesn’t manage to raise the hackles of everyone involved. The only exception being Ben, who attempts to befriend her, and help her blend in with this non-traditional clan. Tons of fighting and tears (but with plenty of humor mixed in) ensue, but somehow- as Christmas movies do- it all winds up alright (but a little crazy) in the end. (Well, until the very, very end, at which point you will empty an entire box of tissues- don’t say I didn’t warn you.)
(Ben, to Meredith) “You have a freak flag….you just don’t fly it.”
(Meredith) “I don’t care if you like me or not!
(Amy) “Aww, of course you do.”
(Sybil, to Thad) “Hey! Hey you!” (throws her fork at her deaf son to get his attention) (In sign language) “I love you. And you are more normal than any other asshole at this table. Ok? Ok….. I need a fork.”
(Meredith) “I’m just as good as any of you!”
(Amy) “Maybe better.”
(Meredith) “What’s so great about you guys?”
(Sybil) “Nothing! It’s just that we’re all that we’ve got.”
(Sybil) “Christmas is not ‘clothing optional’ this year- we have a guest.”
(Meredith) “Brad? Brad STEVENSON? Aren’t you the one who popped Amy’s cherry? Ah, this is just too good!”
Christmas lessons I’m supposed to learn: Don’t judge too harshly- not everyone who you think you hate is all that bad. They may say totally offensive stuff, but maybe they just don’t know what they are talking about, and are really nice underneath! Cherish time with your family; you never know when it will be your last Christmas with them. Humor can get you through anything.
Lessons I actually learned: To be honest, I think I did really get some of the above lessons. But, I also learned a few other things. When your family is a pain in the ass, smoke pot to get through it- it works! Torture the seemingly racist and homophobic person at Christmas dinner, they will get butt hurt and leave for a hotel. If you don’t like your sibling’s girlfriend/boyfriend/spouse it’s totally cool to gang up on them until they crack and become more likable. If your boyfriend/girlfriend/spouse’s family hates you, ditch them and hook up with the n’er-do-well sibling; no one expects much from the “black sheep” so you will look way better then you did when you tried to date the “golden child” who know one is good enough for.
#3 National Lampoons Christmas Vacation
The Griswolds….. ’nuff said. This movie is a damned icon and there is no way that you have never seen it. If you haven’t seen it, leave now. Seriously, get out. I don’t need that kind of negativity on my blog. The pure genius of this flick is the script and impeccable comedic timing, so let’s just get right to the quotes….
(Neighbor) “Hey Griswold. Where do you think you’re gonna put a tree that big?”
(Clark) “Bend over and I’ll show you.”
(Neighbor) “You’ve got a lot of nerve talking to me like that Griswold.”
(Clark) “I wasn’t talking to you….”
(Ellen) “What are you looking at?”
(Clark) “Oh, the silent majesty of a winter’s morn… the clean, cool chill of the holiday air… and an asshole in his bathrobe, emptying a chemical toilet into my sewer…”
(Eddie, in the driveway, draining the RV’s toilet) “Shitters full!”
(Clark) “Ah, yeah. You checked our shitters, honey?”
(Clark) “Merry Christmas. Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas, kiss my ass. Kiss his ass. Kiss your ass. Happy Hanukkah.”
(Clark) “Can I refill your eggnog for you? Get you something to eat? Drive you out to the middle of nowhere and leave you for dead?
(Eddie) “Naw, I’m doing just fine, Clark.”
(Bethany) “Don’t throw me down, Clark.”
(Clark) I’ll try not to, Aunt Bethany…”
(Art) “The little lights… they aren’t twinkling.”
(Clark) “I know, Art. And thanks for noticing.”
(Clark Sr.) “SQUIRRRRREEELLLLL!”
(Clark) “Where do you think you’re going? Nobody’s leaving. Nobody’s walking out on this fun, old-fashioned family Christmas. No, no. We’re all in this together. This is a full-blown, four-alarm holiday emergency here. We’re gonna press on, and we’re gonna have the hap, hap, happiest Christmas since Bing Crosby tap-danced with Danny fucking Kaye. And when Santa squeezes his fat white ass down that chimney tonight, he’s gonna find the jolliest bunch of assholes this side of the nuthouse!”
(Clark) “Hey! If any of you are looking for any last-minute gift ideas for me, I have one. I’d like Frank Shirley, my boss, right here tonight. I want him brought from his happy holiday slumber over there on Melody Lane with all the other rich people and I want him brought right here, with a big ribbon on his head, and I want to look him straight in the eye and I want to tell him what a cheap, lying, no-good, rotten, four-flushing, low-life, snake-licking, dirt-eating, inbred, overstuffed, ignorant, blood-sucking, dog-kissing, brainless, dickless, hopeless, heartless, fat-ass, bug-eyed, stiff-legged, spotty-lipped, worm-headed sack of monkey shit he is! Hallelujah! Holy shit! Where’s the Tylenol?”
Christmas lessons I was supposed to learn: Holidays can get a little messy when you get your family under one roof, but, in the end, you realize how much you love each other anyway. Putting too much pressure on a holiday leads to disaster but it’s all ok as long as the 1,000,000 Christmas lights on your house finally light up. Even in the darkest hours miracles can still come true if you just have faith, and believe in the spirit of the season!
What I actually learned: Wow, family holidays straight suck. At best you will wind up locked in an attic; at worst, the biggest idiot in the fam will get you almost arrested by a SWAT team. No good deed goes unpunished. Christmas lights will fail you every time because they are Satan’s Swag- one little bulb stands between you and your sanity shredding. Save your pennies because when your redneck relatives roll into town, you will be forced to buy them all Christmas gifts to avoid feeling like a dick. Never let a woman who lives in an RV cook the holiday turkey. Don’t eat anything your batty aunt brings to a potluck (because cat food). Older relatives are assholes that have to be tolerated- make sure you have booze handy. If your boss skips out on your Christmas bonus, kidnap him; he will definitely change his mind and you totally won’t get fired. Actually, you know what? Christmas isn’t worth it- skip it altogether.
#2 The Ref
My second favorite Christmas movie ever! Dennis Leary plays Gus, a thief who robs a house on Christmas Eve. The heist goes awry, the cops show up, and Gus’s partner in crime takes off, leaving Gus on the run and looking for a place to hide. He kidnaps a woman, Caroline (Judy Davis) and her nigh estranged husband, Lloyd (Kevin Spacey) at a grocery store, and forces them to take him to their home to hide for a couple of hours. He soon regrets this decision when it becomes obvious that Caroline and Lloyd are utter nightmares to deal with. They are on the brink of divorce and they fight. A lot. (And strangely are more concerned about arguing with one another other than worrying about being held hostage at gunpoint). With the police out in full force looking to find him, Gus decides he has no choice but to join the Chaucer family for their family Christmas that night, and poses as the couple’s marriage counselor, Dr. Wong. When the rest of the family arrives, Gus finds that this is the most miserable family he has ever laid eyes on. Lloyd’s mother (another role played by the delightful Glynnis Johns) is the mean and stingy grandmother of the bunch; his poor brother, Gary, is a timid, shy little mouse of a man with a domineering wife, Connie (Christine Baransky), and the Chaucer’s son, Jesse, is a young criminal who is into blackmail. Deep rooted family resentments start to boil over as the night progresses, egged on by a very drunk Caroline, and, by the end of the night, a few of them wind up bound and gagged in the den. (But in the most hilarious fashion- promise. This is the funniest a kidnapping situation could ever be….)
(Gus) “You know what this family needs? A mute.”
(Gus) “You know what, lady? I’d like to tie you to the back of a fucking truck.”
(Grandma Rose) “You don’t have the balls.”
(Gus leaps up from his chair toward Rose and is intercepted by Lloyd)
(Lloyd) “Don’t do it! It’s not worth it!”
(Gus) “I fucking hate her, Lloyd!”
(Lloyd, still holding Gus back) “I know, I know. We all do.”
(Gus to Rose) “What is the matter with you? I thought mothers were sweet and nice a-a-and patient. I know loan sharks who are more forgiving than you. Your husband ain’t dead, lady. He’s hiding.”
(Grandma Rose) “You’re a Wong?”
(Gus) “Well, my mother was Irish.”
(Rose) “And your father?”
(Gus, with a gun to Rose’s head) “All right. Everybody into the den, or I’ll shoot her.”
(Connie) “Go ahead. Shoot her.”
(Lloyd to Rose) “You know what, Mom? You know what I’m going to get you next Christmas? A big, wooden cross. So anytime you feel unappreciated for all your sacrifices, you can climb on up and nail yourself to it.”
(Caroline) “I had this dream…. I’m in this restaurant, and the waiter brings me my entree. It was a salad. It was Lloyd’s head on a plate of spinach with his penis sticking out of his ear. And I said, “I didn’t order this.” And the waiter said, “Oh you must try it, it’s a delicacy. But don’t eat the penis, it’s just a garnish.”
Christmas lesson I’m supposed to learn: Good god, I have no idea….
Lessons I actually learned: Kidnapping can be a riot! If you have a dysfunctional family, try adding the Festivus Airing of Grievances to your next family holiday; it’s great for clearing the air. Tying up and gagging your family members is optional, but recommended; gagging your sharp-tongued grandmother can be quite satisfying and will boost your Christmas cheer. Also, slipper socks are a really shitty gift to give someone as a Christmas gift.
#1 A Christmas Story
This is my absolute favorite Christmas movie. It’s another truly iconic film, so I know you have seen it. It plays for 24 freakin’ hours straight on Christmas Day. So again, if you haven’t seen it- seriously? What rock have you lived under since the early ’80’s? Get outta here- scat! For those of us that have watched it, you don’t need me to break it down for you, but here is a quick rundown, just as a reminder: Red Rider BB Gun. Bullies. The tick about to pop little brother. Little Orphan Annie decoder pin. Ovaltine. Leg lamp. A++++++. Scary Santa (HO HO HO!). You’ll shoot your eye out. Getting mouth washed out with soap (Lifebuoy, yuck). Tongue stuck to a frozen pole. The sons a bitchin’ Bumpasses. You really will shoot your eye out. Chinese duck that smiles at you. Merry Christmas!
“In the heat of battle my father wove a tapestry of obscenity that, as far as we know, is still hanging in space over Lake Michigan.”
“Randy lay there like a slug. It was his only defense.”
(Mom) “Randy, how do the little piggies go? That’s right, oink, oink! Now, show me how the piggies eat- here is your trough. Be a good boy, show mommy how the piggies eat!”
“You’ll shoot your eye out!”
(Randy) “I can’t put my arms down!”
(Mom) “Well, put them down when you get to school.”
(Dad) “Fragile. It must be Italian!”
“Only I didn’t say fudge….I said THE WORD, the big one. The F dash dash dash word…..”
(Dad) “He looks like a deranged Easter Bunny.”
(Mom) “He does not!”
(Dad) “He does too, he looks like a pink nightmare!”
“Only one thing in the world could’ve dragged me away from the soft glow of electric sex gleaming in the window.”
(Flick) “Are you kidding? Stick my tongue to that stupid pole? That’s dumb!”
(Schwartz) “That’s ’cause you know it’ll stick!”
(Flick) “You’re full of it!”
(Schwartz) “Oh yeah?”
(Schwartz) “Well I double-DOG-dare ya!”
(Ralphie) “NOW it was serious. A double-dog-dare. What else was there but a “triple dare you”? And then, the coup de grace of all dares, the sinister triple-dog-dare.”
(Schwartz) “I TRIPLE-dog-dare ya!”
(Ralphie) “Schwartz created a slight breach of etiquette by skipping the triple dare and going right for the throat!”
(Miss Shields) “Oh! The theme I’ve been waiting for all my life. Listen to this sentence: “A Red Ryder BB gun with a compass in the stock, and this thing which tells time”. Poetry. Sheer poetry, Ralph! An A+!”
(Ralphie) “The snap of a few sparks, a quick whiff of ozone, and the lamp blazed forth in unparalleled glory.”
(Dad) “Oh, look at that! Will you look at that? Isn’t that glorious? It’s… it’s… it’s indescribably beautiful! It reminds me of the Fourth of July!”
(Dad) “You used up all the glue on purpose!”
(Dad) “Not a finga’!”
(Chinese Restaurant) “Fa ra ra ra ra ra, ra ra ra ra!”
Christmas lessons I’m supposed to learn: Childhood is tough, but Christmas is magical! Also, Chinese restaurants are open on Christmas- bonus!
What I actually learned: The 40’s are the reason why anti-bullying campaigns are so big now. A good tip: lose your shit and beat the crap out of your bully; if it’s around Christmastime you stand a chance of him being a wimp, even though he is twice your size. (#christmasmiracle). If you get a BB gun, you will shoot your eye out, but if you think up a good enough lie, your mom will let you keep it. Again, mall Santas ain’t nothin’ to fuck with. My tongue will stick to a frozen pole and it will hurt- that’s a good lesson for all of us. The Lone Ranger’s nephew’s horse was named Victor. I need to be sure to drink my Ovaltine.
Merry Christmas (and Happy Festivus)!