This holiday season has a lot to offer in theaters – except for a Christmas movie. As movie goers have noticed, there is no Christmas-themed content out there this year, which is a relatively rare feat. Although people have been bombarded with Christmas and holiday promotions everywhere else, movie theaters have actually been an escape from that. Yet for those who actually want something to get them in the Christmas spirit – other than the latest Wonderful Life and Charlie Brown rerun – they might have to get more creative.
There may not be any new movies with a Christmas theme out now, but audiences can find other means to take in the message of the season. There might be no greater message than family, which could make The Fighter and Little Fockers a best bet.
Many holiday films reinforce the theme that no matter how aggravating, testy and obnoxious a family is, they are still your family. This fall, there aren’t any greater examples of crazy but loving families like the Wards and the Fockers. At the least, if one is being driven up the wall by their own family, The Fighter and Little Fockers can show them that it’s not that bad. If someone is lucky, they don’t have a crackhead brother, or Robert De Niro as an in-law, to deal with.
Although these films might prove the value – and difficulty – of family during the holidays, they aren’t exactly films to take the whole family to. Little Fockers stands to be too gross and cringe worthy, while The Fighter has too many drugs and bad words. For those looking to go to a holiday film with their whole family, the pickings might be a little slimmer.
At the moment, the most kid-friendly film out there is Yogi Bear – which is said to be even greater torture than a holiday family gathering. To avoid that, parents may want to take them to Tangled again, or even Harry Potter if they’re not total Muggles. But the most holiday friendly family film is probably The Chronicles of Narnia 3, even if it didn’t have a convincing box office win last week.
The franchise is often best known as a Jesus allegory, due to the mighty Aslan. Therefore, it could be even more fitting to see this movie during the holidays – or rather, Christmas time. That formula worked to make the original a hit, while the sequel struggled during the summer. Of course, Voyage of the Dawn Treader hasn’t done the business of the original, but in this Christmas-free movie schedule, it is the closest thing to a holiday romp.
Still, watching movies during the holidays isn’t just about getting reminders of the season. In fact, many could be going to movies to tune it out, and get a break from all of the preparations and stress. Therefore, this may be the best possible slate of films, for viewers to give Christmas a rest for two hours.
For those who literally want to be taken to another world, Tron Legacy returns audiences to the Grid. This is the ultimate holiday treat for long waiting Tron fanatics – or it could be a lump of coal, as critics hint. Nevertheless, it is the best bet for action, although one may need to dip into the presents budget to afford the 3D ticket prices.
If they aren’t versed in Tron’s digital language, however, they could go for a return trip on the Unstoppable train. Some old fashioned audiences could show True Grit and see Jeff Bridges take on one of John Wayne’s most famed characters. Yet this True Grit stands to be more quirky than they remember, given that the Coens are behind this one.
But this time of year is an ideal one for romantics, as they want to be swept along as much as anyone. Therefore, the romantic comedy genre is giving them How Do You Know, and Love and Other Drugs, to be charmed by. In the case of Love and Other Drugs, the sex scenes might be a good way to warm up during cold days, in more ways than one. But if the sentimental kind of romance isn’t ideal, The Tourist sets out to add spy thrills with the thrill of love – and the thrill of Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie showing off their looks.
In extreme cases, however, viewers may actually relate best to Black Swan. The “psychosexual thriller” concerns a perfectionist ballerina who’s lost her mind trying to live up to everyone’s expectations. Those who prepare holiday gatherings and dinner might be able to relate, by the time the food is ready. The hope is that they don’t dress up like a black swan and make out with their rivals, but during this time of year, any kind of breakdown is possible. Yet it probably wouldn’t pay off for others the way it is paying off for Natalie Portman so far.
The Christmas season is a busy one for moviegoers, even if they don’t find many reminders of the holidays this time. They will have to find the universal messages of the season in many other films instead. But for those who need reminders about family, religion, love and living under pressure, they won’t need to look far in theaters. And for those who just want to escape the Christmas stress for a few hours, there’s more than a few options for that as well.
Monsters and Critics- “Art, action, but no Christmas in holiday movies”