What to watch: six movies with Christmas cheer besides “Real Love”

15.12.2018Daria Radova

There are movies that it’s already a tradition to watch at Christmas. And quite understandable – you want to laugh in the same places again and to shed a tear at the 42nd minute. We’ve even prepared an entire test. But to diversify your moviegoing experience this year, here’s our list. We promise, these ribbons are sure to make you teary too!


One of those Christmas stories that you can watch not only on the eve of the holiday – kind, deep and not contrived. Although this is a debut movie for Chazz Palminteri, it brings together a fine cast including Susan Sarandon, Paul Walker, Penelope Cruz, Alan Arkin, Marcus Thomas and Robin Williams. The plot brings together the stories of five strangers. Sarandon’s character spends all her time in the hospital with her mother, who suffers from Alzheimer’s, and Paul Walker plays a cop who is tormented by the jealousy of his girlfriend, played by Penelope Cruz. Each of the characters has nowhere or no one to celebrate Christmas with. It’s a story about loneliness laid bare in the face of celebration, eternal values, and how recognizing our own vulnerability brings us closer.

“Hello Family!” (The Family Stone)

A light comedy by Thomas Bezucha about a complex family relationship that reaches its climax just in time for Christmas. The problem is not that the characters hate each other, rather the opposite – the family is too strong and friendly. To the point of being completely inept at welcoming new people into his circle. There are five children in the Stone family, and favorite son Everett comes home for Christmas with his fiancée Meredith, played by Sarah Jessica Parker. It would seem that the girl is perfect or very close to it – successful, attractive, attentive to family members. But everyone immediately turns against their union – especially the groom’s sister, played by Rachel McAdams.

“Curly Sue.

A John Hughes movie, which is supposed to speak for itself. It was Hughes who directed the legendary “Home Alone,” “Toddler Walking,” “Beethoven,” “101 Dalmatians” and other beloved children’s films. “Curly Sue” is at least as good as any of them. This is a life-affirming Christmas film about how if you believe in a miracle, you can always get a chance at salvation. At the center of the plot is the story of an itinerant hobo con artist, Bill, and his young orphan assistant, Sue. Together they cheat the wealthy citizens of Chicago, go to other people’s weddings and steal mercilessly. One day Beale throws himself under the wheels of an expensive car to stage an accident – and then a miracle opens up. A separate bonus –  soulful soundtracks by Georges Delrue.

“About a Boy.”

The movie is based on the touching novel by Nick Hornby. The main character Will (played by Hugh Grant) lives a happy and carefree life – his father once composed a Christmas song that became a hit, and Will still lives on the interest from it. It seems to have become a curse for him – money is steadily flowing into the account, and in his 40s, Will doesn’t want to commit to anything and is generally lazy about his life. He was unmarried, had no children and had never had a steady job. To eventually grow up, Will starts going to single parent meetings, where he meets 12-year-old Marcus. This is where the story of an overeducated rich Englishman ends and another story begins – a subtle friendship between a teenager and an adult who has essentially remained a child.

“Meet Me in St. Louis.

The musical, directed in 1944 by Liza Minnelli’s father Vincent Minnelli, is a separate kind of fun. This is the kind of movie that immediately communicates a coziness and sense of calm to the space – like all good movies of the last century. It sounds like an old record in a dusty gramophone – sweet and slightly rattling. The plot develops around the American Smith family living in the small town of St. Louis. Family members are busy searching for answers to eternal themes: about love, friendship, freedom. In his memoirs, Minnelli recalled that he wanted to evoke a “sentimental mood” in the audience after the hardships of wartime. The movie was nominated for an Oscar in four categories, but did not win an award. But in 2006, the American Film Institute named “Meet Me in St. Louis” one of the top ten movie musicals in Hollywood history – and that’s a great reason to watch it nearly 75 years later.

“The Hudsucker Proxy.

An unusual movie by the Coen brothers at the intersection of fantasy, comedy and drama. The main character, a poor kid from the province, suddenly finds himself in the heart of America – he suddenly starts to get lucky, and he moves up the career ladder lightning fast. However, the tighter he grabs the American dream by the tail, the farther it gets from him. The endless race for capital turned out to be very ironic, and the tape, despite the black humor and sharp social satire, has not lost the Christmas spirit.

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