What your view of sports and life would be if you had too many concussions
Every damn year we have to live through this non-sense. I blame those turd-brains who started that whole “Die Hard is a Christmas movie” bullshit. Yeah, because that’s what I think when it comes to the spirit of the season…a terrorist attack rampant with automatic weapons fire and multiple homicides.
Up until now, I’ve simply replied to this idiotic claim with the demand that if Die Hard is a Christmas movie, then so is Stalag 17. After all, both films take place at Christmas, both have people getting machine-gunned to death, and they both feature a German “head bad guy.”
To that end, I have decided it’s’ time for another of our patented Dubsism public services. This time, we are finally putting the cap on that silly “Is (insert title here) a Christmas movie?” debate.
First of all, if you even need to ask that question, it probably isn’t. But if you want to be sure your movie in question is in fact truly a Christmas flick, ask yourself if it meets the following criteria?
1) Is the film set during the holiday season?
This is a crucial component, but does not by itself qualify a film to be a true “Christmas movie.” Again, Die Hard and Stalag 17 are set at Christmas time, but other than that, neither film has anything to do with the holiday. Conversely, there are many movies which are considered “Christmas movies” which only have a few scenes set during the season.
2) Does the “mythology” of Christmas play a role in the storyline?
When you say “mythology,” most people picture guys in togas chucking lightning bolts off a mountain in Greece. Don’t think for a minute that what we call “Christmas” isn’t chock full of fables all it’s own. As adults, we’ve all come to take them for granted, but two of the best films in this category are all about children and their belief in the “main character” of Christmas…the big guy with the beard.
“Miracle on 34th Street” is all about the difference between children and adults when it comes to Santa Claus. But most importantly, this is what qualifies the de facto American culturally-engrained Christmas movie as such. There’s huge parts of A Christmas Story which have nothing to do with the holiday. Ostensibly, the entire movie is a series of vignettes regarding the rigors of being an eight-year-old in 1940s Indiana, but they are all tied together with that kid’s wish for a BB gun for Christmas, and that Santa will be the one who brings it.
Also, don’t make the mistake of thinking there’s no mythology for adults; A Christmas Carol fulfills that need rather nicely. Not to mention, as I’m writing this, Mrs J-Dub is streaming The Life and Times of Santa Claus.
3) Is the “Christmas Season” essential to the plot of the film?
This is where a boatload of movies considered to be “holiday classics” get peeled off the list. There would be only minor cosmetic changes to both Die Hard and Stalag 17 by moving their setting away from Christmas. The same can be said for every movie in Column B and scores more that people love to watch this time of year. On the other hand, every single example in Column A would be absolutely gutted without Christmas.
A) Christmas Movies
Now, don’t get the idea that I’m in any way dictating your holiday viewing choices. Despite the fact I’d love to play Colonel von Scherbach in a remake of Stalag 17, I’m not the “Movie Nazi.” As far as I’m concerned, watch whatever you want whenever you want. Just don’t try to tell me that the addition of of a couple of Santa hats makes your favorite porno a “Christmas movie.”
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