16 December 2007
Bah humbug 3!
One thing that many people really like about this festive solstice-related and often religiously-overtoned Christmas season is the proliferation of culturally valued "holiday movies" that are broadcast on all sorts of TV stations. I have no objection to many of such films, particularly if I haven't seen most of them. [Case in point: Apparently, Charlie Brown's Christmas is famous; I heard of it a few years ago, have yet to see it, and am still wondering if it is devoted to the exploration of the Great Snowball myth.] I like White Christmas as much as the next old movie buff, and my fondness for Meet Me in St. Louis is already well-documented. However, two films that I absolutely cannot stand are It's a Wonderful Life (No, Mr. Capra, it's not a wonderful life if I have to sit through this painful and misdirected movie during yet another year, Jimmy Stewart notwithstanding. How did it get any Oscar nominations, really?) and A Christmas Story (It's not charming or funny. It's just not. What are people smoking when they say they like this movie?). I can't tell if people actually watch these films because they are deluded enough to enjoy them, or if they just go through the motions annually, because they feel obligated due to some sort of participation in an undocumented but universally understood North American social ritual.