Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Holiday movies.

Today's blog challenge at Two Peas:

Blog about your favorite holiday movie.

I have two faves, one classic and one more modern. But they both take place at roughly the same time: the 1940s.

The Bishop's Wife with Cary Grant and Loretta Young is not really well-known, but it's a super-Christmassy movie--way more Christmassy than the better-known Christmas in Connecticut, whose story could really have taken place any time of the year.

The Bishop's Wife was remade as The Preacher's Wife with Whitney Houston in the 1990's, but let's try to forget that ever happened, shall we?

The reason to watch The Bishop's Wife is to see Cary Grant play an angel, which in my mind, isn't too much of a stretch. And he's perfect at it, the kind of angel you secretly hope Heaven is full of. He's come down to teach David Niven a lesson about the important things in life, like his wife and daughter whom he's neglecting in favor of earthly glory.

The movie is so full of the kind of Christmas scenes we picture when we think of how Christmas Used to Be: stopping by the greengrocer's to order your Christmas tree, ice-skating at the pond while the band plays, buying a holiday hat in a hat shop, children singing hymns, tinsel and snow and angels. I highly recommend it.

My other favorite Christmas movie is one that was released when I was a kid, but that I didn't discover till college: A Christmas Story. Most people I knew hadn't heard of it when I first started spreading the news about it, but in the past ten years or so, it's become a holiday staple, and yippee for that!

So many of the scenes in this movie are reminiscent for me and for Todd of scenes from our childhood, although we grew up 30 years later than when this story takes place. The big old house looks like the house Todd grew up dad wrestled with the furnace just like Ralphie's dad did...the school looks just like the old elementary and high schools that were recently torn down in our hometown...and who doesn't remember being ensconced in a snowsuit, or catching a snowball full in the face?

I love the humor of this movie, and the holiday big-band music in many of the scenes, playing on the huge radio. Every actor is note-perfect. And it's so quotable! If you haven't seen it, don't wait for the 24-hour marathon on TBS--rent it now!