If you’re like me, then you’re probably more interested in watching the Christmas classics of yesteryear like “A Christmas Story” and “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” instead of what present day cinema has to offer. Although the genre of holiday movies has suffered considerably the last couple of years (think “This Christmas,” “Fred Clause,” and “Deck the Halls), Mr. Clause might just be bringing along some treats for us this year.
Four Christmases – Perhaps the most well known (and possible anticipated) Christmas film coming out this year, “Four Christmases” revolves around Brad (Vince Vaughn) and Kate (Reese Witherspoon) and their disdain for family gatherings for Christmas. Every year, the couple ditches their families to go on a relaxing vacation away from the hustle and bustle of the season, including potential fights and mayhem. After a bad case of fog cancels their flight, and they’re seen on tv by a local news crew at the airport, Brad and Kate are forced to visit their divorced parents and all four of their families. As you can expect with all good Christmas movies, chaos all of kind ensues, however the couple might be on a road to self-discovery that they didn’t expect. Release date: Nov. 26
Un Conte de Noel (A Christmas Tale) – This French film starring classic actress Catherine Deneuve, Jean-Paul Roussillon, Anne Cosigny and Mathieu Amalric about a family with checkered past who is reunited during Christmas in a concocted scheme by the three youngest family members has received favorable reviews. With cancer, mental illness and family estrangement included, this isn’t your typical holiday film, but then again, what did you expect from French cinema? Release date: Nov. 14
Nothing Like the Holidays – Starring John Leguizamo, Debra Messing, Alfred Molina and Jay Hernandez, with a film score by Paul Oakenfold, “Nothing Like the Holidays” is about three Puerto Rican siblings returning to their parents’ home in Humboldt Park for what may be their last Christmas together. Release date: Dec. 12.
Although all three look promising and a world away from holiday films that rely on gags and gimmicks to get laughs, “A Christmas Tale” takes top billing for originality and depth in my book.