Thinking pop culture

Thinking pop culture

The Christmas Film Recommendables - Part 9

Festive double entendres and the boot-scootin’ Billy Ray Cyrus: welcome to five more suggestions to help you passively watch the season unfold.

41. Finding Mrs. Claus (2012)

Early in, Mrs. Claus (Mira Sorvino) laments the souring of her relationship with the big fella: “You know, there was a time that he couldn’t stay away from my dumplings. And now he barely touches them.”

Loaded with innuendo – a favourite involving Mrs. Claus asking a room full of single men to “get out your candy canes” - this is a story about Santa and Mrs. Claus trying to rekindle the ol’ flame. (If you’d prefer a less smuttier version, consider Angela Lansbury in Mrs. Santa Claus (1996) which presents a similar story).

Watchable online if you can put up with the frame.

Finding Mrs. Claus (2012) - network promo.

42. Auntie Mame (1958)

The title character (Rosalind Russell) is an eccentric, Left-leaning, often-frivilous socialite who takes in her orphaned nephew and, happily, rubs off on him.

Not as Christmassy as some of the entries on this list, but during lean times, Mame does take a job at the Macy’s department store over Christmas.

A colourful, entertaining albeit sometimes racist romp.

Auntie Mame (1958) - trailer.

43. Nativity! (2009)

After watching a zillion irritating kids in too many hundred Christmas films, this one is an excellent British festive School of Rock (2003). It’s genuinely laugh out loud funny with lots of happy tears. Worth watching for Mr. Poppy (Marc Wootton) alone.

(The sequel Nativity 2: Danger in the Manger (2012) is quite good too. Although Nativity 3: Dude, Where’s My Donkey (2014) is best given the widest of berths).

Nativity! (2009) - trailer.

44. Christmas in Canaan (2009)

On the surface it’s about small town Texas, Billy Ray Cyrus and a very watered-down look at race relations in 1960s Canaan. And yet, there’s an ageing dog and an ageing grandpa, and some very sweet gift exchanges. Surprisingly enjoyable.

(Followed by Christmas Comes Home to Canaan (2011) if you want to catch up with the family again).

Christmas in Canaan (2009) - trailer.

45. The Gathering (1977)

The estranged family patriarch, Adam (Ed Asner), is dying and wants to get the family back together for one last Christmas. It’s a New England family story and while there’s some uncomfortably dated bits (notably the black maid), it’s an enjoyable film about recriminations and reconcilation.

The Gathering (1977) - movie clip.

This post is an instalment from a 15-part series on my favourite Christmas films. The consolidated version - 75 Christmas Films Worth Watching - is now available.