By: Nathan Helfferich – Staff Writer
Editor’s note: Flyer News understands how hard UD students work. We also understand how necessary distractions can be during finals week. Since we’re sure you all need a study break, one writer has shared his top five picks of holiday movies to get you in the spirit and numb the pain of finals for a few hours. After all, who doesn’t love a great list?
- “CHRISTMAS VACATION”
Everyone has experienced a dysfunctional family gathering, but none quite like the Griswolds. The best part about watching this movie is following the antics of Clark Griswold. Chances are, you’ll find yourself comparing his actions to those of your own father during the holiday season. Between his intense outdoor Christmas light decorating, burning desire to find the perfect Christmas tree, or destructive “fixing” of things around the house during inopportune times (see: newel posts), Clark embodies every holiday dad to the extreme. “Christmas Vacation” is hands down the funniest holiday comedy, and ranks up there with the top comedies of all time. You’ll be laughing so hard that you just might be asking yourself, “where’s the Tylenol?” by the end of the movie.
- “LOVE ACTUALLY”
“Love Actually” is a romantic comedy that delves into multiple love stories of various kinds. These stories include (but are not limited to) a love shared between a widowed father and son, two people who don’t speak the same language, a middle-aged married couple, and a prime minister and his new assistant. “Walking Dead” fans will be taken aback to see their beloved zombie-obliterator Rick Grimes in a totally different light. Liam Neeson, who plays Daniel in the movie, shows us that he has a very particular set of skills when it comes to being an awesome dad. Bill Nighy, who plays fictional rock and roll legend Billy Mack, provides comic relief and a realization of what really matters when it comes to the holidays. This feel-good romantic comedy ties everything together perfectly in the end. If you consider yourself a hopeless romantic, you won’t find a movie better than “Love Actually” to watch this time of year. “Love Actually” is the perfect holiday movie to remind us all that love truly is all around.
- “HOME ALONE” 1 & 2
It’s every teenager’s dream to be left home alone in a nice, suburban house. As a college student, your mind probably automatically jumps to the legendary party you could throw. In “Home Alone,” eight-year-old Kevin McCallister (Macaulay Culkin) is accidentally left behind when his family goes on a trip to Paris. A couple of dimwit crooks see it as a golden opportunity to rob the house. Kevin catches on and litters the house with booby-traps. Daniel Stern and Joe Pesci portray the burglars, Marv and Harry. The chemistry between these two is what makes “Home Alone” and “Home Alone 2: Lost in New York” must watch comedies for the holidays. In the sequel, Kevin manages to find himself alone in New York with his dad’s credit card after accidentally getting on the wrong airplane. Kevin bumps into Marv and Harry, once again, and finds himself fooling them all over again in his uncle’s abandoned townhouse. Both “Home Alone” and “Home Alone 2: Lost in New York” provide plenty of laughs and a heartwarming appreciation for family.
An explanation for this movie isn’t really necessary. As if you didn’t already know the plot, “Elf” is about Buddy, a human raised as an elf that travels from the North Pole to New York City to find his real dad. This movie is arguably Will Ferrell at his best. Astonishingly, Ferrell proves that he can be funny without using curse words. Phrases such as “son of a nutcracker!” are arguably funnier substitutes than the usual swear words that Ferrell is used to exclaiming. If you don’t watch “Elf” this holiday season, you’re probably a cotton-headed ninny-muggin or a south pole elf.
- “PLANES, TRAINS & AUTOMOBILES”
Even though “Planes, Trains & Automobiles” takes place over Thanksgiving, it’s still a holiday classic. If you have plans to travel by plane, this is the perfect movie for you. In the movie, Neal Page (Steve Martin) and Del Griffith (John Candy) become travel buddies, at the reluctance by Neal, after bad weather causes a sequence of flight cancellations. Their horrendous trip home perfectly follows Murphy’s Law in the sense that anything that can go wrong will go wrong. Writer and director John Hughes (also known for writing movies such as “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” “Home Alone,” “Home Alone 2: Lost in New York,” “National Lampoon’s Vacation,” “Christmas Vacation” and “The Breakfast Club”) adds a heartwarming ending, as would be expected from a Hughes masterpiece. Candy and Martin fit flawlessly into their roles as unforeseen travel partners. “Planes, Trains & Automobiles” puts together two of the best comedy actors of their generation and it couldn’t have been more successful.