DI Arts staff's top holiday movie picks

BY DI STAFF | DECEMBER 01, 2011 7:20 AM

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

The DI Arts staff reminisces about holiday film highlights of the past and describes how the flicks put them in the mood for the holiday season as December unfolds, snow begins to fall, and everyone prepares for a full schedule of festivities.

Home Alone

Imagine yourself as an 8-year-old, your entire family is nowhere to be found, and you learn from a news broadcast that two burglars are loose and have been spotted in your neighborhood.

Normal children would likely soil themselves.

But not Kevin McCallister, who exhibits superhuman ingenuity and the resourcefulness of an Eagle Scout (I'm an Eagle Scout) to combat the efforts of wet bandits Harry and Marv.

The holiday classic is full of slapstick comedy including swinging paint cans, red-hot door knobs, and a tarantula. The film is also notable for its great holiday song soundtrack, and one of my favorite childhood movie quotations, "Buzz, your girlfriend, WOOF."

And just when you think the movie couldn't get any better, John Candy cameos as Gus Polinski, the clarinet-playing "Polka King of the Midwest," and takes Mrs. McCallister home to her son.

— by Jordan Montgomery

The Santa Clause

When I'm looking for the perfect movie to get in the holiday spirit, The Santa Clause, with Tim Allen, is on the top of my list.

There is nothing like snuggling under a blanket with some hot chocolate and watching a movie about a dad who is in fact Santa Claus.

As a kid, I never really thought about the fact that it was the dad who was Santa; I just thought it was really cool. But now that I'm older and know that spoiler alert — Santa's not real — I wonder if the directors meant to do that on purpose.

Either way, it made me wish that my dad could be Santa and still to this day it makes me want to believe.

This movie has by far the best Santa's workshop, and you can't forget the quirky elf Bernard, Santa's right-hand man.

The Santa Clause makes people feel as if they're kids again, when they believed in the magic of Christmas. It's a classic movie that you should be sure not to miss this holiday season.

— by Samantha Gentry


Golden spandex pants, a long green coat, and a pointy elf hat all over Will Ferrell's big, manly body. What's not to love?

Great Christmas movies stand the test of time, and I can safely say that Elf will play on my TV for all of eternity.

Watching Buddy eat perfume or "fruit spray," make a rocking horse out of a TV stand, and eat gum off of the sidewalk railings in New York City never fails to amuse me.

Elf is my favorite Christmas movie because Buddy has more spirit than any Grinch or Scrooge; he also has a great sense of humor and a wonderful singing voice.

This movie has all of the glitz and glamour of the holidays with lights and decorations galore.

Buddy is a human elf who ventures from the North Pole to New York in search of his father, Walter Hobbs, encountering some very foreign experiences along the way.

I recommend enjoying a bowl of spaghetti covered in sugar and syrup, lots of syrup in honor of Buddy as you watch this classic, hilarious Christmas tale.

— by Carly Hurwitz

The Holiday

The Holiday, starring Kate Winslet, Cameron Diaz, Jude Law, and Jack Black is one of my favorite holiday movies.

It has incredible charm, sweetness, and wonderful chemistry among all of the actors. Yes, it's kind of a rompy, romantic comedy, but it still has those moments that will touch your heart. Unless you're a cold, heartless, human being who hates happiness.

One particular story line in the film gets to me every time. Winslet's character, Iris, and Eli Wallach's character, Arthur, make a great pair in the flick. They spend time helping each other rediscover their gumption and find joy. It's hard not to fall in love with the cantankerous old screenwriter and his words of wisdom.

Surprisingly, I even like Diaz in this movie. I usually don't because something about her bugs me, but in The Holiday, she manages to be likable and engaging as she plays Amanda traveling to London from Los Angeles to switch houses with Iris.

This film is a tradition for my mother and I every winter approaching the holidays. We watch it together, and it never fails to get me ready for the season.

— by Julia Jessen

White Christmas

The 1954 classic musical film White Christmas has been loved by audiences for generations. Starring such legends as Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, and Rosemary Clooney, the movie has magical and romantic elements.

The film details the lives of two World War II U.S. Army cronies who use their talent as former entertainers to bring the holiday spirit, and business, to the Columbia Inn in Vermont, which is facing closure because of a snow drought.

With the help of two lovely ladies who serve as the love interests for the soldiers in the film, the group pulls off a performance that draws in a large crowd and saves the inn.

Although the film is admittedly corny, it captures the best elements of this era of Hollywood.

The cheeky puns, dolled up characters, and post-war hopefulness make White Christmas a film that still resonates with viewers, who continue watching year after year.

— by Hannah Kramer

In today's issue:

comments powered by Disqus

Privacy Policy (8/15/07) | Terms of Use (4/28/08) | Content Submission Agreement (8/23/07) | Copyright Compliance Policy (8/25/07) | RSS Terms of Use

Copyright © The Daily Iowan, All Rights Reserved.