It’s the last stretch of the semester and finals season is in full swing. With it, the stress and anxiety spills over, almost ruining the coming Christmas season. Key word: almost. What better way to get into the Christmas spirit than watching the classic movies of Christmas cheer – from Die Hard to Gremlins, here’s a list of the best not-so-Christmas Christmas movies, recommended by yours truly, someone who has not in fact seen any of the following movies.
A musical drama that I only know by its famous song, “Seasons of Love”, this adaptation of the 1996 musical takes place over one year—or 525,600 minutes for you super fans—from Christmas Eve 1989 to Christmas Eve 1990. It follows the lives of several Bohemians and their struggles with sexuality, drugs, paying their rent, and life under the shadow of AIDS.
#4. Iron Man 3
Set during Christmas, there’s nothing really significant about the movie in relation to Christmas. Tony Stark spends the majority of the movie without his suits, fight scenes in a Tennessee town decked out for the holidays, and Pepper Potts receives an unnecessary giant bear as a present.
What looks like a much creepier version of E.T., Gremlins tells the story of what happens when you neglect taking care a furry pet—one gifted on Christmas from your dad (?). While the Christmasy factor is not as obvious as other contenders on this list, Gremlins did feature the eponymous creature wearing a Santa hat, and of course all of the glowing Christmas decor. Gremlins lives on today as one of Christmas’ few midnight movies.
#2. Batman Returns
Because of this movie, we know that mistletoe is deadly if you eat it. The Christmas-in-Gotham setting isn’t quite memorable, but the emotional scarring via Pfeiffer’s Catwoman bathing herself and DeVito’s Penguin drooling black blood is ever present. At least the big boss features an Ice Princess.
#1. Die Hard
From what I’ve heard, Die Hard is THE not-quite-Christmas movie. From what I’ve actually seen—and it’s not much—it occasionally dips its toe in the holidays, but remains true to its name as apparently one of the all-time best action movies. Oh and of course, “Now I have a machine gun. Ho. Ho. Ho.”