Metatalktail Hour: Christmas (movies) in July July 1, 2023 10:39 PM   Subscribe

Die Hard has hit one of our streaming services this month, which makes me think about Christmas in July. What are some of your favorite Christmas movies? And would you watch them in July?

As always, please feel free to share anything you want, sans politics and bad vibes.
posted by a non mouse, a cow herd to MetaFilter-Related at 10:39 PM (44 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang is the best Christmas movie ever and I will defend my opinion to the death. Fight me.
posted by bendy at 11:31 PM on July 1 [5 favorites]

We had a movie binge on father's day w/e. Le Concert (2009) + Mr Smith Goes to Washington (1939) coz no politics ; Youth (2015) + About Time (2013). Mostly good fun: no car-chases, no guns, no spaceships . . . no Christmas either, though.
posted by BobTheScientist at 3:54 AM on July 2

Is this where I can confess I just took my Christmas tree down last week? I usually have a strict Christmas tree season (mine is artificial, so season is weekend after Thanksgiving - Epiphany), but I had a rough start to the year and then just didn't deal with it for months... Anyway, when I finally got around to it, I definitely considered a holiday movie binge, but was afraid I would use it as an excuse to put the tree dismantling off even further.

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang is indeed the best holiday movie. For Christmas in July viewing though, I would go with Holiday Inn.
posted by the primroses were over at 6:59 AM on July 2 [6 favorites]

Any time is a good time for The Proposition
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:10 AM on July 2

I have two favourite Christmas movie, both of which I've watched on several Christmas Days. One is the Finnish Santa story Rare Exports (YouTube trailer), which was expanded from an original short. The second is the Norwegian movie Trollhunter (YouTube trailer), which I rewatched just last week.

Ironically, I'm starting to make plans for Christmas. Or at least, narrow down my options severely. Twitching to travel somewhere ... not England ... at some point.

But before then, Summer is getting decidedly busy and I find myself with a lot to do between now and Halloween (which is less than 4 months away, or only 17 weeks from this tuesday).

Related to that, and sort-of related to this thread a bit - I will probably not be around tomorrow (Monday) so I won't be making another Free Thread post like last week, on the blue. I'm unsure what the protocol is for who does the Free Three post, but I guess if there isn't a protocol then just go for it if you want to make one?
posted by Wordshore at 9:19 AM on July 2 [6 favorites]

The 1944 'home front' film Since You Went Away starts in January and ends that December so it's kinda like a Christmas movie but is really just an incredible picture, see it if you can.
posted by Rash at 9:54 AM on July 2 [1 favorite]

The Hogfather is and will always be my favorite Christmas movie. It turns the holiday traditions on their ear, yet, satisfyingly fulfills all the feels that go with that particular holiday. I would watch it anytime (on Prime), any day.
posted by Lynsey at 9:56 AM on July 2 [2 favorites]

I always go full cheese and watch Love Actually and White Christmas every year. I wouldn’t watch them in the summer because it’s all part of the ritual along with decorations, music, candy, present shopping, etc. For me, the switch flips December 1st.

For some reason, The Sound of Music feels like a holiday movie to me despite having no holidays included in it and IIRC taking place in the summer. I would watch that in the summer if the circumstances were right!
posted by MadamM at 11:19 AM on July 2 [2 favorites]

Our mandatory Christmas movie is Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas, which can certainly be enjoyed any time of year. We also end up watching Ernest Saves Christmas most years. I don't think we've watched Brazil around Christmas, but it's a Christmas movie we both love.
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 11:54 AM on July 2 [10 favorites]

Mothman Prophecies is my Christmas movie. As an adaptation of John Keel's book, it succeeds remarkably well. The film tones down the weirdness from the book and UFOs are not mentioned. And yet it presents Keel's "ultraterrestrials" in an interesting way, alluding indirectly to their origin as an "electromagnetic lifeform." Plus it's "based on a true story," in the sense that the collapse of the Silver Bridge two weeks before Christmas was a thing that actually happened. Excellent direction and cinematography.
posted by SPrintF at 12:09 PM on July 2 [3 favorites]

I don't really have a favorite Christmas movie, but the original A Charlie Brown Christmas has a very, very special place in my heart.


Have started on the big food projects I was mentioning on the Free Thread; my roommate is out of town most of the week and so I will have all day July 4th to myself, and I plan to go ham on batch cooking; I have a whole lot of beans and a WHOOOOOLE lot of produce, so I'll be cooking up beans to use in pasta recipes and making salads and bean things to store and graze on through the week, tabbouleh and bean-with-radish salad and hummus and such. I also have a simple package of boneless chicken thighs I'll roast up if I want to chop some up and add it to something for a hit of protein.

I also had a huge glut of raspberries - the two baskets I got last week at the CSA, and another two this week - and was planning to spread them among a couple baking things. But after sorting out the not-so-fresh ones, I had less than I thought; so they all went into this raspberry and rosewater loaf cake that is in the oven right now. I didn't have quite as many of the raspberries they called for, but I got close, and it looks just fine. I'm slightly more concerned about having forgotten to add the milk they call for; but I also didn't have enough sour cream and supplemented that with heavy cream anyway (a web site I consulted said that would work). The batter looked just fine, and I think all I'll lose out on is a bit of moisture - which means that it may bake a little faster than the recipe calls for, and that's not such a bad thing, that.

The half-pound of cherries will go into a free-form personal-size rustic cherry tart; I toyed with making the crust from scratch, but hell, I do enough from scratch in the kitchen, and pie crust is one place I am more than willing to cut corners on. I also have a bit too full a fridge for the usual refrigerated premade crust; but hooray, the Betty Crocker boxed mix has a scale on the side for how many cups of the mix you need for a one-crust pie. I'll scale it down based on that and cheat that way. (I mean, I'm the only one who's going to be eating it, and the crust is going to be more of a baked cherry delivery system anyway so it doesn't have to win any prizes, it just has to hold some baked sour cherries long enough for me to put them in my mouth.)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:15 PM on July 2 [1 favorite]

last night I pull up my favorite movie for sleeping which is storm of the century. In previous discussion about cozy horror I think this one fits in sort of perfect well not about Christmas, it still has that Christmas feel for some reason. to pick one movie, I would probably pick Danny Glover's 'Night Train.'
posted by clavdivs at 1:15 PM on July 2

Gremlins, of course.
posted by y2karl at 1:43 PM on July 2 [1 favorite]

The Ref!
posted by Melismata at 3:31 PM on July 2 [8 favorites]

It's odd how watching Ashes tests being played in the English summer bring on that sensation of Australian end-of-year cricket, with the Boxing Day and New Years test matches. Glorious!
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 4:59 PM on July 2 [3 favorites]

Two years ago, I was doing a whole time loop movie project and ... there are actually more Christmas time loop movies than you'd think. I have watched too many and most are bad. But I did do a Christmas in July bit.

12 Dates of Christmas actually became a favorite. It's precious! I think it kind of plays a bit fast and loose with the timeline (she doesn't have a whole day but like 8 hours) but it's really sweet. (Sadly, it's only a rental now, which is too bad.)

The other one I liked was A Chance for Christmas which is the mashup of a time loop movie with Christmas in Connecticut that you never knew you wanted in your life (and I'm talking about the 1945 movie & not the 1992 TV movie version directed by Arnold Schwarzenegger which made me lose my mind).

I'm overall not a huge Christmas fan but I am a big fan of holiday episodes/movies/specials.
posted by edencosmic at 5:25 PM on July 2 [2 favorites]

Well, my friend wanted to show me Violent Night the other day, so it was Christmas in June but that’s close enough. She’s been waiting till it hit home video because she loved how over the top violent it was while still being full of Christmas spirit. She wasn’t wrong!

I can’t not watch It's a Wonderful Life on Christmas Eve. It can’t be Christmas without it. Don’t care about the haters—I’m all about the “merry Christmas, Emporium! Merry Christmas, movie house! Merry Christmas, you old Building and Loan!”
posted by kitten kaboodle at 6:06 PM on July 2 [2 favorites]

I keep meaning to rewatch In Bruges.
posted by Mister Moofoo at 6:18 PM on July 2 [4 favorites]

Mothman Prophecies is my Christmas movie. As an adaptation of John Keel's book, it succeeds remarkably well. The film tones down the weirdness from the book and UFOs are not mentioned

Mm, yeah. I saw it once in its original release and a second time maybe a decade ago when I bought the DVD. I like it, but I don’t want to watch it too often because I want to keep the strange contours of it fresh. When Hollywood does this sort of story, mostly we get jump scares and horror; this one is... eerie, not a tone you often find in such movies.

I see The Ref and In Bruges mentioned above. I liked them both quite a lot but haven’t seen either one in a while, partly through oversight and partly through the problematic stuff around the star of one of them (and it’s not Brendon Gleeson or Colin Farrell or Judi Davis or even Kevin Leary).

And my love for the 1974 Black Christmas exceeds rational bounds.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 8:41 PM on July 2

3 Days of the Condor
posted by tigrrrlily at 9:26 PM on July 2 [2 favorites]

not Brendon Gleeson or Colin Farrell or Judi Davis or even Kevin Leary)

You mean Denis Leary. Kevin is the… problem person.
posted by The Pluto Gangsta at 7:23 AM on July 3

The Long Kiss Goodnight is a fun Xmas actioner suitable for July.
posted by davidmsc at 8:08 AM on July 3 [6 favorites]

posted by supermedusa at 8:24 AM on July 3 [2 favorites]

davidmsc LKG is a fantastic double feature with Die Hard
posted by supermedusa at 8:25 AM on July 3

There's a great old Jimmy Stewart Christmas movie (not that one) that takes place at a department store in Budapest before WWII called The Little Shop Around the Corner. It's about these two store clerks that hate each other while unbeknownst to them, their secret identities are falling in love through anon correspondence in the personals section of the local paper. It's the inspiration for You've Got Mail and the bookstore Meg works at in that remake is called The Little Shop Around the Corner as a homage to its source. I think it's a great movie about retail life, but the big finale at the end happens during a Christmas season rush so as a veteran of many a holiday season working retail, I love this movie.
posted by Stanczyk at 5:25 PM on July 3 [6 favorites]

You mean Denis Leary. Kevin is the… problem person.

You are correct. My error.

(I initially called him Kevin O'Leary -- which is his name -- and I was so pleased at having spotted the surname error in time that my internal proofreading staff took the afternoon off.)
posted by ricochet biscuit at 6:35 PM on July 3 [1 favorite]

Why not simply Preston Sturges' Christmas in July? Not one of his bests but really not bad but I guess it isn't really a Christmas movie though.
posted by Ashwagandha at 10:08 AM on July 4

My favorite actual Christmas movie is Christmas in Connecticut. In terms of Christmas set movies that are not stereotypical Christmas movies, The Apartment is a favorite. One of my other go-tos is Meet Me In St. Louis. It is not just set at Christmas, but has a great Christmas scene and song. (It's also good for Halloween as well.)

In Hallmark/Lifetime movie land (sometimes I'm just in the mood for some cheese), I can recommend The Most Wonderful Time of the Year, and Love at the Christmas Table is flawed but has a number of good bits.
posted by gudrun at 11:50 AM on July 4

there are actually more Christmas time loop movies than you'd think

I don't know if you're including them, but I'd argue that both It's A Wonderful Life and A Christmas Carol are time travel movies. I've often wondered whether there is a thesis to be made out of that.
posted by gauche at 6:28 AM on July 5

"You mean Denis Leary. Kevin is the… problem person".

That high pitched whine you hear is Bill Hicks spinning in his grave.
posted by y2karl at 9:15 AM on July 5 [1 favorite]

And would you watch them in July?

As a high school senior, I organized a few buddies to sing Christmas carols with me in August. At random suburban houses. I think we made it to three houses, tops, but I enjoyed it while it lasted.

I love It's a Wonderful Life, Die Hard, and several others but my favourite Christmas movie is Bad Santa, which I just discovered was based on an uncredited story from Ethan and Joel Coen. No wonder it's my fav. It is a very black humor film that involves an alcoholic rental Santa, jokes about small people, and a leading lady who is Jewish and claims to have a fetish about Santas. It is from 2003 and it made me laugh a lot at the time. Warning: I haven't watched it since then, so it may have aged horribly.

According to Wikipedia, "When the script's final draft was sent to Universal Pictures, the studio rejected it because "[I]t was the foulest, disgusting, misogynistic, anti-Christmas, anti-children thing we could imagine," all of which influenced Bob Weinstein of Miramax to give it the green-light." Bob Weinstein was and is a nightmare. But I was a feminist with a dark sense of humor and I liked it when I saw it years ago. Perhaps I will rewatch soon to see if it still makes me laugh.
posted by Bella Donna at 10:57 AM on July 5 [2 favorites]

Bella Donna, I'll fix you some sandwiches to eat while you watch.
posted by Greg_Ace at 11:20 AM on July 5 [2 favorites]

Oh, and considering whose birthday is being celebrated, the following is a cinematic Christmas cognitive dissonance we all share. Even as children we all thought: What the fuck -- Christmas before Christ?
posted by y2karl at 12:21 PM on July 5 [1 favorite]

Black Christmas (the original one), because it's just not the holidays until the calls start coming from inside the house.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 12:52 PM on July 5 [1 favorite]

posted by dbmcd at 2:53 PM on July 5 [1 favorite]

Is Life of Brian a Christmas movie? I mean, it satirizes the actual life of Christ... including his birth. There is a stable with a star above it, and there are three kings bearing gifts. Can it get more Christmassy than that?
Seems like a fair argument to me.

If it is, then it's the only Christmas movie that I like and yes, I would watch it anytime.
posted by Too-Ticky at 2:20 PM on July 6 [2 favorites]

That high pitched whine you hear is Bill Hicks spinning in his grave.

I mean, I lol’d because I’m old enough to understand, but afaik Denis Leary never raped anyone.
posted by The Pluto Gangsta at 6:09 PM on July 6

I have no idea of who you are talking about. Or what.
posted by y2karl at 9:25 PM on July 6

I have no idea of who you are talking about. Or what.

Two seconds of Googling later....
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 2:09 AM on July 7

Aside from a couple of A Christmas Carol adaptations, I honestly do not care much for christmas movies, with an extra dollop of “meh” for It’s a Wonderful Life.
posted by Thorzdad at 5:33 AM on July 7

Two seconds of Googling later....

Thank you for your condescension but I found those, too. It was The Pluto Gangsta's whole afaik Denis Leary never raped anyone to which I was making the reference. That was a turd in the punchbowl for me yesterday as it made no sense at all. I am not crazy about rape jokes myself -- but then who is? -- but that was how it came across to me when I read it and then responded in the moment. This morning I googled their whole phrase as italicized above and got this. I did not understand the reference yesterday but, unhappily enough, I do today. (No offense to you, The Pluto Gangsta. Just sayin'...) Sometimes remarks are hard to parse and as we have no telepath members here AFAIK, it's just another reason not to respond in ignorant haste. Which I did yesterday unfortunately.
posted by y2karl at 9:49 AM on July 7 [2 favorites]

Sorry, I was trying to be arch and witty, and I failed.

What I meant to say is that Denis Leary, for all his negatives — which include stealing material from Bill Hicks and probably being an abrasive ass to work with — has not (to the best of my knowledge) been accused of sexual assault several times, in contrast with his The Ref co-star Kevin Spacey.
posted by The Pluto Gangsta at 6:10 PM on July 7

Ah, as I suspected: the name Kevin Spacey was just offstage, waiting in the wings.
posted by y2karl at 12:07 AM on July 8

Call Me Mrs. Miracle - it's one of my comfort movies so can be watched at any time.

In short: a heart-warming story wherein saccharine interfering busy-body Doris Roberts charms her way into the lives of perky dress-designer Holly (Jewel Staite), her nephew, and the local lonely department store-owner and his son, and turns everything upside down. Lauren Holly hams it up as a selfish pantomime dame.
posted by urbanwhaleshark at 4:43 AM on July 16

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