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A Late Entrant In The Dumbest Facebook Argument Of 2013: What's A "Real" Christmas Movie?

By / 12.26.13

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Christmas is the season where we set aside political arguments and serious discussions, and come together as a country to have other stupid discussions. True, we do this all year, but the latest one is about whether or not a movie really qualifies as a Christmas movie.

The movie that caused all this debate is the Christmas classic Die Hard. It’s a tiresome joke, according to Buzzfeed:

There’s a certain smugness of sneaking by on a technicality: well, technically the movie takes place on Christmas Eve, so it counts as a Christmas movie. Most prized among people of this opinion is not a lifetime membership to the Alan Rickman fan club, but the transgressive act of selecting a violent action movie over Home Alone or more classic fare.

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I’ve seen this article debated to hell and back across social media over the last few days, and the basic premise comes down to what makes a movie a Christmas movie. Which is ridiculous.

If a movie has Christmas as central to the plot, it probably blows. There’s no reason that It’s A Wonderful Life, Home Alone, or even the suddenly weirdly beloved Love Actually couldn’t take place during National Rectal Cancer Awareness Day; Christmas isn’t central to their plots, it’s mostly just window dressing, and the same is true of Die Hard. A Christmas Story could easily be A Birthday Story with no real material change to the plot.

Some movies manage to dodge this: Miracle on 34th Street was so good, it was a hit despite the studio putting it out in July, and Bad Santa plays heavily off of the schmaltz of the season. Still, most Christmas movies use Christmas not as a setting but as a free pass or a crutch: You can’t tell me, with a straight face, that A Christmas Puppy, or a movie named after a Christmas carol, or one of the dozens of miserable knock-offs of A Christmas Carol farted out by cable networks over the years, are quality cinema.

Really, what makes a Christmas movie is a family coming together to watch it over the holiday. My family’s preferred Christmas movie tends to be a BBC adaptation of The Blue Carbuncle starring Peter Cushing from the ’70s. What makes a movie a Christmas movie is that it’s part of your Christmas tradition. So, do everyone a favor, and make it a movie that doesn’t suck.


TOPICS#Facebook
TAGSCHRISTMAS MOVIESdie hardinternet argument

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