Welcome one, welcome all, to a new feature to this blog which I have decided to call: Weekend Watching. This will be a hopefully regular post uploaded on Saturdays or Sundays (hence the “weekend watching”) where I talk about a film, TV show, or maybe even YouTube channel/video that I’ve particularly enjoyed recently. I’m hoping to spotlight at least one thing to watch each week and hopefully someone at least will get a kick out of these posts – I will, if no one else does!
This time, since I’m bringing you this post during Blogmas, I thought I would make things suitably festive and showcase a few of my favourite holiday films. These may not all necessarily be about Christmas, or even set during it, but they’re all films that I inevitably reach for around the holiday season. (Warning: I’m extremely basic, you probably won’t find anything too left field here.)
Family friendly films
Miracle on 34th Street
Growing up, I was a huuuuge fan of the film adaptation of Matilda (and, to be fair, I still am) so it’s no surprise that I also love this Christmas film starring Mara Wilson. I adore this film, it has my entire heart, and I still grin like an absolute idiot when the people secretly wear the “I Believe” badges. I’m not hugely into the earlier film but this one is on regular, heavy rotation during the festive period for sure.
Another of my favourite films of all-time, Mary Poppins was a childhood favourite that stayed. I’ve seen it countless times, could quote every single word, and I’m incredibly excited for the new Mary Poppins Returns film (even if just a little bit worried in case they ruin it!). As a child I aspired to be Mary Poppins and Bert had my heart – and both of those things are probably still a little bit true. This always gets watched by me and my mum during the festive period, whether it’s on TV or not.
I debated whether this really belonged in this category but here we are anyway. The Harry Potter film series will always hold a certain amount nostalgic for me – going to see the first couple of films was one of the ‘end of term before Christmas’ treats that they organised when I was at primary school – and the fact that ITV seem to insist on replaying the entire series over the festive season definitely helps keep that nostalgia alive. I love the books, I love the films, I won’t really consider it truly Christmas until I’ve seen Harry excitedly run down the stairs into the Gryffindor Common Room when he realises he’s actually been given some Christmas presents. My heart!
Romances and comedies
Equal parts funny and heartwarming, it’s not really Christmas until I’ve watched this at least once. Despite Jude Law’s charmingness in this film (hello Mr Napkin Head), no relationship in this film is better than the one between Iris and Arthur. I never feel more seen and in the festive spirit than when Iris wails “I hate my horrible life”.
I’m a basic bitch so I love the fact that Love Actually has now become a film that’s always included in Christmas scheduling. I will never not be mad at Alan Rickman’s character, never not roll my eyes at Andrew Lincoln’s, and never not have my heart warmed by Colin Firth’s pathetic attempts at Portuguese and Liam Neeson’s encouragement of his step son’s racing through an airport to catch up to the girl he loves.
Ok, so it’s not really a Christmas film (although there are hideous Christmas jumpers in it!) but I love an excuse to watch Bridget Jones at Christmas. I could probably quote this one word-for-word at this point but I don’t care how sad that makes me. It helps that Colin Firth a la Mark Darcy in this film definitely affected my taste in men in my formative years so this film has a weird sense of nostalgia for me because of it.
Unlike the other films in this rather broad category, this features precisely zero romance but one hundred percent silliness in the form of Kevin McCallister thwarting the efforts of the rather inept ‘Wet Bandits’. Watching a child get one over on dastardly grown ups is always a fun time, right?
Action and adventure films
Listen, we can argue until the cows come home about whether Die Hard is a Christmas film or not, all I know is that I love an excuse to watch this sweary silly film every Christmas season and I adore watching the late great Alan Rickman do his turn as an inexplicably German villain, especially on the line “I’m going to count to three. There will not be a four.”
Indiana Jones films
I’ll watch any of the Indiana Jones films but I prefer to watch the first or third one, and Raiders of the Lost Ark does tend to get a primetime billing on Christmas Day or Boxing Day, at least in the UK TV schedules it does. Indiana Jones being on TV during the Christmas holidays feels like a tradition – you can’t escape it, and you won’t want to, it’s an easy way to while away an afternoon in front of the TV whilst you’re feeling too full from food to do anything strenuous.
Pirates of the Caribbean films
I always see Christmas as an excuse to watch at least Curse of the Black Pearl, especially since my mum enjoys the Pirates films so it’s easy to persuade her on-side if I want to commandeer the living room TV to watch this film. It’s just an all around brilliant adventure film and I’ve easily watched this many, many times and still continue to love it as much as I did on that first viewing. The quality of the sequels is a little bit questionable but this first one is golden. (And the amount of shots which are flat out copied from, funnily enough, the previous film on this list is hilarious.)
James Bond films
Of the same ilk as the ‘Indiana Jones on the BBC at Christmas phenomenon’, there’s the inexplicable ‘ITV plays at least one James Bond film’ tradition. In recent years they’ve taken to buying the rights to play Daniel Craig’s outings as Bond over the Christmas period, usually on successive nights, and I inevitably always end up catching a few scenes from Casino Royale, even if I hadn’t intended to.
So that’s all for this Weekend Watching: Christmas Edition! What are some of your favourite Christmas related films to watch? Or maybe, like me, there are some not at all holiday-related films you like to watch during the festive period? Comment below and let’s chat films!