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Laugh and cry, baby.

Some awesome Christmas movies with dark themes we love

Laugh and cry baby. Laugh and cry. Some awesome Holiday movies with dark themes we love. Laugh and cry, baby.

Vicky: As an adoptee this movie resonates. He feels like such an outsider. And his birth father’s rejection - even though it was resolved too quickly, it felt honest.

Barb: I’ve never seen this movie. Know of it, seen bits and pieces. Didn’t know he was adopted. And he had emotional issues too. Okay, I’ll watch it now.

Barb: We both love this classic. Natalie Woods as the precocious child who doesn’t believe, Maurine O’Hara as her mother. I remember becoming so angry when Edmund Gwenn is prosecuted, and loving how the judge is persuaded to acquit him.

Vicky: I love the villain, rolling his eyebrow hair and trying to play psychologist. Brilliantly played by Porter Hall, my favorite scene is when Edmund Gwenn analyzes him. The bubble gum scene made my dad laugh, I can still hear his throaty chuckle. And finally, the ending that allows magic. So important in a Christmas movie.

Barb: Funny movie, I enjoyed it. Not one of my favorites, but I love any movie where the kid outsmarts the bad guys, but I don’t think of it as a Christmas movie. Is that odd?

Vicky: No more odd than Die Hard is a Christmas movie…I’m not a big fan of the campy violence, but I know this is a beloved film for many. I may be in the minority on this one, but Catherine O’Hara’s performance is the unsung hero of this film.

Barb: I love this fantasy of a returning soldier who gets evicted at Christmas by a wealthy developer. He and other homeless people secretly move into the developers mansion in his absence.The themes of class distinction and corruption endure. Of course there’s a Hollywood ending: the characters are transformed by each other in a Christmas miracle.

Vicky: I will see if I can find a copy. Thanks!

Barb: Seen it a million times, and it makes me so sad. Very sweet moments: JImmy Stewart’s kindness toward his brother, the courtship with Donna Reed, their precious children, but hard to watch. Yes it ends up happily ever after, and who can resist Frank Kapra, but the cruelty of the banker and Jimmy Stewart’s despair destroy me.

Vicky: My all time favorite. Scratches my darkest parts. Always inspired by the wisdom of Clarence the wingless angel, “Strange, isn't it? Each man's life touches so many other lives. When he isn't around he leaves an awful hole, doesn't he?”

A Christmas Carol

Vicky: With so many versions out there, I have two favorites; both named for the title character, Ebeneezer Scrooge.

Barb: Good selection: I don’t like all the ghosts or how hateful Scrooge is to his family. But it’s a classic!

Vicky: The 1951 UK film starred Alastair Sim and was released in the United States as A Christmas Carol. The clip above has my favorite line from Dickens novella, “There’s more of gravy than of grave in you.” And when his door knocker comes to life: scary then, scary now.

Barb: Yes. Now I remember. This is the first one I saw. No wonder I don’t like the Scrooge story. I was only six when it came out. Way too dark for a child.

Vicky: Scrooged starred Bill Murray, somehow likeable even while suggesting stapling antlers to an animal. I enjoyed this update, it was satirical and even darker than the original.

Barb: Nope. Not my cup of tea.

Vicky: Fair enough.

Barb: I love how darkly funny this starts: “I’d finally die: fat and alone, found three weeks later, partially eaten by wild dogs.” Then, Reneé’s lip sync performance in her pajamas, singing Harry Nilsson’s Without You with Jamie O’Neal.

Vicky: I agree. A fantastic adaptation of Helen Fielding’s wicked novel.

Barb: Bridgette’s pathetic yet courageous - a real human being determined to take her life in hand. And we like her, “just the way she is.”

Vicky: I must know: Team Grant or Team Firth?

Barb: How can you ask, knowing what a Jane Austin fan I am! Of course Colin Firth, who’s also my favorite Mr. Darcy! That casting coup made Fielding's co-op of Pride and Prejudice even more campy. And Hugh Grant is deliciously slimy and evil as the George Wickham equivalent.

Vicky: Hey - I never assume…and I agree, they were both great - my favorite part is their street fight. Delicious.

Barb: That’s a brilliant scene - hilarious! My favorite is the ending, when Bridget runs after Darcy, into the winter street in her underwear. Snow falls over the London scene (and the holiday shoppers), Darcy wraps his coat around her, and they finally kiss.

Image by Rebecca Campbell on UnSplash

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