I have created a bit of a monster. My youngest daughter is as nuts as I am about movies and she has us on a movie a day schedule for the month of December. There is of course a Christmas theme and most of the movies are playing on a variety of channels if you look around hard enough, but she has a particular order and reason that she wants us to watch each film. I like that her mind works that way but I am a little frightened about the meticulous process that we must follow, “Can you say ‘Control’?”
We all have favorite movies that we see at Christmas, I am struck over how many of them are barely Christmas related. We started off our month with Die Hard, the quintessential action movie of all time. It is set at a Christmas party and most people barely remember that. The movie is sprinkled with references to the holiday but it plays so much like a summer movie that you may forget this. Of course the weather outside will do nothing to remind most of the country that it is Christmas, in Southern California we don’t have Winter Season, we have awards season. The closest we get to snow in the original Die Hard is at the end when debris if floating all around the Nakatomi Plaza. Later this month we have Gremlins, which contains the single most depressing Christmas story ever.
I mention the strange Christmas settings because my daughters favorite Christmas movie is not really about Christmas. There is one extended segment set at Christmas and that is what qualifies it for our list. She had a Cinema minor at U.S.C. and took a couple of classes in a series about Hollywood film genres. Her professor in the Musical class she took had this as his favorite musical, and she knows a heck of a lot about the movie, “Meet Me in St. Louis”. We watched this the other night and it is of course pure gold. Set nearly a hundred years ago, we get to know a family from St Louis and their loves and foibles. Judy Garland sings and looks wonderful, and the stories are heartwarming and funny. The Christmas segment has the amazing “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”, followed by one true moment of despair as Tootie, the youngest sister breaks down and frightens her whole family with the anxiety and hopelessness that the rest of them are feeling but can’t quite give voice to. When I hear kids today dismiss movies that are older than they are, this is one of the treasures that I feel bad for them missing.
I am in the afterglow of the Trojan Victory over the Bruins yesterday and I just felt like a little commentary was needed to start the morning off right. This is not a full review and I don’t want to promise an entry a day for the movie project, but everyone who reads this might want to know that I am still going to provide some regular insight on the Movie Day I am having. Maybe this next year the goal will be to comment on all the films we see in theaters. I am going to add a slideshow for the movies we are watching here during the holidays, if you keep your eyes open, you may find a post or two on them.
Here is a link to You Tube and the Movie Clip of Judy Garland singing.