For every A Christmas Story, there are twenty pathetic overwrought holiday movies pumped out by the studios just to suck away any holiday spirit you had left. Think I’m being Scroogey? Turn on Lifetime or the Hallmark Channel and bask in the holiday grossness. Seriously, ask Melissa Joan Hart. She feels me.
Here’s my top 10 suckiest Christmas movie list. I left out the special made-for-TV gems because you have to sort through the bullshit somehow and I’m just trying to get through the holidays.
10. White Christmas (1954)
Is this your mostest favoritist movie in the whole wide world? I’m truly sorry. I think even the actors know how ridiculous this is. They have that “Saved By the Bell” kind of apologetic look in their eyes. The rip-off of Holiday Inn. Does it make you want to wash your hair in snow? Yeah, me too. Anything to make it stop!
9. Ernest Saves Christmas (1988)
I’m sorry Ernest but…wow. Here’s the plot: Santa wants to retire and enlists Ernest’s help in finding his successor. Yup. I’ve seen better skits at open mic night in the NoHo “arts district”.
8. Eight Crazy Nights (2002)
I love Adam Sandler but he should be fined for this one because the world sorely needed a good Hanukkah movie (no, I don’t count that “Rugrats” one) and this just bites the big one. Bad musical numbers paired with even worse toilet-humor jokes; but the real rub is that it’s boring.
7. Jingle All the Way (1996)
It can be tempting to watch this when you catch it on cable. Don’t do it! You’ll just feel bad about yourself in the morning. And just think, we elected this guy Governor of California after he made this movie. Um?
6. The Family Man (2000)
I think the idea here was perhaps a modern version of It’s a Wonderful Life? But, it comes across as elitist, stupid and sappy, if such a combination is possible. Nicholas Cage and Tea Leoni working with a script way beneath their incredible talents. Not even worth pushing that record button on your dvr. Just watch the classic.
5. Christmas With the Kranks (2004)
This is based on a novella by John Grisham, a cheesy but sweet little book that I’ll cop to reading on a flight home from the holidays. (My mom offered it up and I took it out of bookless desperation.) The movie captured nothing of the spirit of the story and any Christmas cred Tim Allen racked up in that fat suit he donned in The Santa Claus melted away like snowflakes with this little gem. It’s silly, painful and trite. Do yourself a favor and just read the book if you must. Or, better yet, take a sleeping pill. A flight attendant will be waking you in no time.
4. Surviving Christmas (2004)
2004 was a particularly suck year for Christmas movies, eh? I saw this one on a plane that year and let me just say that I will gratefully watch anything on a plane. (I hate planes.) This here flick had me wanting to jump out somewhere over freaking Albuquerque. Ben Affleck proves you can go back home again and you should do just that before watching this movie.
3. How The Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)
Somehow, for some reason, someone thought it was a good idea to take twenty-five minutes of animated goodness and stretch it into one hundred and four minutes of live action messiness. I normally love the work of both Ron Howard and Jim Carrey but after sitting through this film, my heart shrunk three sizes that day. Dr. Seuss would not, could not approve.
2. Deck the Halls (2006)
Pretend you’re in a pitch meeting and you hear this: Danny DeVito and Matthew Broderick are neighbors competing over their Christmas lights. Chaos, of course, ensues. Yes, please? I think this would’ve been shot down as an episode of “Two and a Half Men”. And, yet, it exists, folks. In full length feature form! Amazing. Now do you believe in Santa?
1. Polar Express (2004)
Again with the 2004. If I had a time machine, I would use it to go back to 2004 and make all Hollywood executives into Scrooges and Grinches and Christmas haters so that they wouldn’t greenlight any of this crap! My nephews made me watch this abomination and although I excuse them for their bad taste (they are 3 and 4 years old and obsessed with trains, after all), I cannot excuse Tom Hanks for agreeing to this creep-fest of a project. The kids in this make Chucky look sweet. Brings out the, um, polar opposite of Christmas spirit in me.
*Honorable Mention: These two escaped my wrath simply because they were made for TV. A Very Brady Christmas and Smoky Mountain Christmas (starring Dolly Parton). Astoundingly horrible! I might even go so far as to say the Dolly Parton one is so bad it flirts with good. You heard me, DP. Smooches.
Did I list your favorite? Wanna shoot my eye out? Let me know. Leave a comment and have a wonderful holiday!