What makes a proper Crimbo?

An essential guide to the perfect Christmas film - Emma Allsopp talks mulled wine, mince pies, Christmas spirit and what to watch during your post-Christmas dinner doze

14th December 2015

Now that the Christmas season is finally here, it’s time to curl up on the sofa with a mug of mulled wine and a mince pie to watch some festive films.  But this got me thinking, what makes the perfect Christmas film?

Something that goes without saying is that it must be set at Christmas.  Yes, this means that favourites such as Die Hard and In Bruges are totally appropriate to watch as a festive film.  However, for me, they are missing just a little something called Christmas.  While they are both set during the season, there just isn’t any of the fuzziness I associate with the festive season.

"There has to be heart-warming and comic elements, something to make you feel like mulled wine on the inside"

I prefer a film with snow and romance because, after all, it is winter.  A great example of this is Bridget Jones’ Diary as in the final scene when Bridget (Renee Zellweger) runs out into a snowy street after everyone’s (well, mine anyway) favourite, Mr Darcy (Colin Firth). This is when they finally get together and embrace in the street and this is exactly what I want from a festive film. It’s Christmassy, snowy and downright adorable (seriously someone do that for me please).  If you want more Colin Firth, or Hugh Grant for that matter, then take a look at Love Actually.  Even though I haven’t seen it all the way through, I know it’s a good one.

Although there has to be heart-warming and comic elements, something to make you feel like mulled wine on the inside. For this, I find Elf to be a good choice.  What could possibly be more heart-warming than a man raised as an elf going on a big adventure in New York City? Nothing. This is the epitome of aggressive Christmas, the signature quote being “The best way to spread Christmas Cheer, is singing loud for all to hear”, for goodness sake! Plus, even with this put aside, it’s still hilarious and bound to put a smile on anyone’s face.

"Yeah, you can put Die Hard on, or maybe In Bruges, but is your grandma really going to like the swearing?"

But I think most of all it has to be suitable for the whole family. Yeah, you can put Die Hard on, or maybe In Bruges, but is your grandma really going to like the swearing? Sure, she’d love Love Actually and Bridget Jones’ Diary, but would your grandad really like all of the sex? Because of this you need something that is suitable for all, like Home Alone. With this everyone can sit down and laugh along with Kevin’s (Macaulay Culkin) adventures, and then get sad when they think of Macauley’s strange pizza demise.

So, taking all of this into account my perfect film must actually be Christmassy (sorry, Bruce Willis and Colin Farrell) with snow and romance and a big helping of heart-warming comedy. But I don’t think there is a universal ‘perfect’ Christmas film. As I said earlier, my grandma wouldn’t like the swearing in In Bruges and my grandad definitely wouldn’t like the sex in Love Actually and Bridget Jones’ Diary, and to be honest someone in my family would probably find Home Alone and Elf “too daft to laugh at”.  So really, you have to find your own ‘perfect’ festive film, and mine must be sickly sweet, like eating too many mince pies (we’ve all been there).

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