Thursday, 11 December 2008

For those who hate Christmas

Okay, maybe hate is a strong word, as a friend cautioned me yesterday. But I'm really not that into Christmas. I know, I know; I'm a horrible person and unchristian and a douche-bag who wants to rain on people's joy. Whatever! I like the Christmas season here in the tropics when the temperatures are cooler, the sky is breathtaking, the rainy season is tailing off and the earth is no longer soggy, when the breeze... Well, you get the picture.

I enjoy some of the music, the classics that bring back memories of magical childhood Christmases. I even like some of the pop tracks, and the local parang/soca parang that hearkens to the old Spanish influences on our culture. I enjoy the warmth of friends and family getting in touch. I love the food! But I hate abhor the fuss, the frenzy, the crowds, the traffic, the insane lines at the bank, the false cheer all over the media that screams BUY BUY BUY... And I hate abhor the soppy movies that proliferate around this time.

So, in response to akalol's call over on This Beach Called Life to nominate the best Christmas movie ever, I'm going to list the antidote to all this saccharine sop: the top 10 Christmas movies for cynics, lifted from
  1. Bad Santa."Billy Bob Thornton falls down drunk a lot in this hilarious and sublimely offensive tale of a pair of Yuletime robbers."
  2. Gremlins. "For mad holiday mayhem, Joe Dante's 1984 invasion of anarchic critters can't be beat."
  3. Brazil. Fascist troopers come busting through the roof in Terry Gilliam's hallucinatory dystopia, and all Mrs. Buttle gets for Christmas is a receipt for her kidnapped husband.
  4. La Buche. A film about bickering sisters, Christmas and infidelity. Doesn't get much better than that.
  5. The Umbrellas of Cherbourg. "At the end of Jacques Demy's impossibly romantic love story, Catherine Deneuve and Nino Castelnuovo meet again on a snowy Christmas Eve. Too bad it's for the last time..."
  6. Life of Brian. Slip in this classic Monty Python comedy if the holidays are getting a bit much, and celebrate the birth of Brian instead.
  7. The Nightmare Before Christmas. "Tim Burton brings Halloween and his own twisted vision to the holidays in this 1993 animated musical."
  8. Die Hard. When terrorists take over a skyscraper during a Christmas party, Bruce Willis gets a chance to kick some butt. "Now I have a machine gun. Ho ho ho." I'm not an action film fanatic but this was a good 'un.
  9. Eyes Wide Shut. After a Christmas party, a wife admits she has sexual fantasies about other men. Her husband prescribes for himself a harrowing and dangerous night-long odyssey of sexual and moral discovery. Just what the doctor ordered.
  10. Go! A story of a bunch of young Californians trying to get some cash, do and deal some drugs, score money and sex in Las Vegas, and generally experience the rush of life. Doesn't quite go as planned, though...
Grab a few of these if you feel the need to dispense with all this fake holiday cheer!


Kaz Augustin said...

Well said, from a fellow humbug-er! LOL It's cooler in these here parts too ... mornings are 25 degrees Celsius. Heaven.

Being foreigners, we're expected to be "Christian", and there's subtle pressure to do the proper Christmas thing, so it's trees + lights for us. The rest of the locals seem pretty happy that we've done our duty!

Ah, Bruce Willis. Thanks for the reminder. Will go hunt up Die Hard for the season. :)

Debs said...

Brilliant, and a great antidote for all this build up.

I loved Die Hard especially, and could watch it again and again.

Stephe said...

I love Christmastime because of the music, holiday programs from my childhood, good food, and being with family (as we've all remained very close and loving toward each other). I sure as heck don't like it for the commercialism.

You have the right to humbug it if you so desire. So humbug away! :)

BAD SANTA had me laughing for days.

Fiona said...

Now you see I find your Father Christmas strangely attractive and your film list- I aim to watch every one.

Debi said...

I don't hate it as such - just do my best to ignore it. Bah! Humbug!

wordtryst said...

Kaz, anytime! I've been a fan of Bruce since I first saw him in the Moonlighting series. I'm going to try to get a few of the ones I haven't seen to get me through the surfeit of Jingle Bells and White Christmas.

Debs, I'm about due for a re-watch of Die Hard myself!

Stephe, I hope I can find Bad Santa somewhere here. Sounds like just what I need.

wordtryst said...

Fiona, I find him strangely attractive myself! And what on earth is he smoking? :)

Debi, I'd love to ignore it but I have certain obligations... I dream of running away every year at this time. Must be my natural born contrariness.

KAREN said...

Ooh, what a scary Santa picture :oO

I love Christmas day, having family together, eating lots etc. but don't enjoy the build-up/buying madness beforehand...I like it less every year in fact.

Loved Bad Santa - it was on TV the other evening so I watched it again :o)

PBW said...

Greeting from a fellow Grinch.

I have a December bday and anniversary, so by the time Xmas rolls around I'm beat.

My holiday movie favorites are The Long Kiss Goodnight and Reindeer Games. Both full of ass-kicking action!

wordtryst said...

Karen, another Bad Santa recommendation...? I'm definitely getting it! And yes, every year the Christmas fuss gets harder to take.

PBW, hey Grinchie! I was wondering where you'd got to! I'll be sure to look for those two movies. Were the birthday and anniversary yours? If so, happy everything!

Chumplet - Sandra Cormier said...

You absolutely have to check out The Ref -- a story about a house robber who gets mixed up with a disfunctional family on Christmas Eve.

Starring Dennis Leary. Can I say more?

Anonymous said...

Sometimes I feel bad movies can be like bad food and bad women - addictive? :))

Christmas time is too good a time of the year to not have bad come out of trying to do good and the movies you listed are good examples of that bad.

For some reason I always forget that Eyes Wide Shut is Tom Cruise's best Christmas movie effort and that Bad Santa is every woman's dream. When Bruce Willis says "ho ho ho" the magic of Christmas goes up in smoke. I admit I never heard of La Buche but it might have been so forgettable I did not remember.

I have to agree with you that there are many, even too many, "saccharine sop" Christmas Movies. Sop is nice but the best things in life may not be too sweet.

Anonymous said...

I loved Eyes Wide Shut! Yes, I understand what you mean about Christmas. My fav day is New Years. Thats when I rip the tree down, throw away the cards and pull the tinsel off walls and pictures. (Like a maniac I'd like to add!)

wordtryst said...

Sandra, thanks for the recommendation. I am stocking up for the holidays and I'll add it to my list.

akalol, I don't know about bad food and bad women... but bad food and bad men - now that I can relate to! As for Bruce Willis sending the magic packing: that's the freakin' idea! Luv it!

motherx, nice to see you across here! Now your Christmas spirit I can identify with!

PJ said...

For a very bad Christmas, I must recommend a movie that I saw last XMas with my folks: P-2. It was basically a horror movie about a woman who was trapped in a car park by a deranged man at Christmastime. It was appalling, but also quite funny at times.

PJ said...

Was about to leave a comment on your Part 2 post, and it disappeared! I loved that video, especially when Father Christmas kept on trying to eat the dolls.

wordtryst said...

PJ, that sounds like the perfect movie for my anti-Christmas collection. I'll add it to my list. :)

Oh, I removed Part 2 because I thought some might find it offensive. I, on the other hand, thought it was very, very funny - especially the part that you mentioned!

And I haven't forgotten you with D of V. It's all packaged and ready to go, but sitting on my procrastinating bedhead (it's the bedhead, not me) waiting to make the trip to the post office. Once the rush is over I'll send it off. Please bear with me!

Zinnia Cyclamen said...

I am so with you on this, I especially hate the commercialisation and the pressure on people to buy more than they can afford. Thanks for being the voice of reason!