The Hebrew Hammer (2003)
Christmas movies tend to grab the attention of almost every media outlet during the holiday season, so it’s always nice to see some diversity on the regular cable channels. If you haven’t seen this 2003 holiday classic on Comedy Central already, it’s bound to be on eventually. Starring Adam Goldberg, Judy Greer and Andy Dick, the film follows a former Israel Defense Forces captain as he becomes a pimped out Orthodox Jewish badass on a mission to save Hannukah. With frequent mentions of circumcision and character names like Esther Bloomenbergensteinenthal, stereotypes obviously run rampant.
Justin T. Ho
A Christmas Story (1983)
My all-time favorite holiday movie is A Christmas Story. The leg lamp, bunny suit, the BB gun – it starts to make you feel better about the weirdness of your family.
– Julia McCandless
Love Actually (2003)
I’ll admit, Love Actually is one of my guilty pleasure movies, but hear me out. This is the kind of romantic comedy that everyone enjoys.
It’s the perfect holiday concoction. The film gives you your full daily dose of the warm fuzzies with a pinch or two of bitter dashed hopes to counter the saccharine sweetness.
The stories range widely. In one, the schism between a middle-aged married couple grows unexpectedly. In another, a socially awkward man-child convinces himself that he would be worshipped as a sex god in America. My personal favorite is Hugh Grant’s courteous bachelor prime minister who unexpectedly stumbles upon love. Take my word for it, Billy Bob Thornton’s cameo as the American president is not to be missed.
In telling eight intertwining stories, the movie emphasizes the fact that love is messy but it can also be unlikely and fantastical. Even when transient, love has a purpose.
“The Strike,” Seinfeld (Season 9)
I assume you’re reading this list looking for holiday movies to watch over Christmas break. But seriously, you’re looking for movies? Anyone with a modicum of education knows movies are irrationally long, boringly artsy and expensive to rent. Instead do what all the smart people do – watch TV. While you’re at it, watch the greatest television show ever created reinvent Christmas as the once-a-year secular holiday Festivus.
The episode has even inspired fans to celebrate Festivus in their own homes. Surely the best part of the holiday is the “Airing of Grievances,” when celebrators gather to point fingers at each other and complain about how disappointing other people have been. There’s little doubt as to why this made-up holiday is so popular: Festivus is keen to the corruption of Christmas. It reminds us that holiday presents are, in truth, little more than lazy attempts to buy love with material objects.
Now you understand: Smart people don’t give gifts, we give the finger. Thanks, Festivus.
– Zack Frederick