[Letters] Getting into the holiday spirit with some unorthodox movies
Not every Christmas movie is as spirited as “Scrooge,” or as family oriented as “Little Women.” But there are movies that are “snowy” enough, that is to say, appropriate DVDs to pop in on a snowy evening for the viewing of you and your friends in your small, one-room apartment (might even work for some families). So here are my recommendations for all you young adults over the age of 18 and under the age of, well, I guess it depends on your definition of a “young adult.”
13. “Love Actually” (2003). You should see it if you haven’t already. It’s a rare, mature kind of romantic comedy that, despite its buttery scenes here and there, “works actually.” From what I know there are two versions, edited and unedited. I recommend the edited if you got kids.
12. “Die Hard” (1988). Who says you can’t have action during winter? The first in the series has the kind of humor that the sequels seem to lack. Willis is in his prime.
11. “Batman Returns” (1992). I guess you have to have snow with the Penguin. And Michelle Pfeiffer is a great Catwoman. One of Burton’s best.
10. “While You Were Sleeping” (1995). I’m surprised that a lot of people haven’t seen this one; this made me a Sandra Bullock fan. I don’t blame you if you live in Seoul though (they don’t have any video stores around here).
9. “The Lake House” (2006). Speaking of Sandra Bullock, check this one out if you haven’t. Nice quiet movie, and very human. It’s also a remake of the Korean film “Il Mare” (2000) with a different ending.
8. “The Godfather” (1972). I would recommend the movie (in fact, the series) to those who haven’t seen it in the past few years or so. I think I’ve seen it too many times.
7. “Elf” (2003). One of Will Ferrell’s best movies (well, at least among the ones he’s starred in). My favorite line: “Oh, you did it!!!”
6. “Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang” (2005). It’s a surprisingly refreshing black comedy. But, this is one of those movies that people can also be too old for .?.?. I’ll let you be the judge of that. Robert Downey Jr. and Val Kilmer are hilarious.
5. “Citizen Kane” (1941). It sure is a long, black and white film, but it doesn’t feel very long at all. It will keep you pensive throughout this Christmas season ? a great film.
4. “The Bourne Identity” (2002). It’s certainly less noisy than the sequels, but in a subtle way more entertaining. It’s by a different director from the sequels, and surely my favorite one in the series.
3. “Merry Christmas, Mr. Bean” (1992). Highly recommended for those of you who are poor and live in a small one-room like me.
2. “Groundhog Day” (1993). Bill Murray is funny. Enough said.
1. “Home Alone” (1990), “Home Alone 2: Lost in New York” (1992). Yes, watch them in one sitting (with a five minute intermission). Watch it with your enemy and become friends. Watch it with your friends and become best friends.
Yes, “It’s A Wonderful Life” is not on the list. It’s because the purpose of this letter is to recommend ones you haven’t seen and the rare ones I want to recommend (and if you haven’t seen It’s A Wonderful Life, well, I guess there’s hope for everyone).
Some others that might have made the list are “Fargo,” “Silence of the Lambs” (I avoided the scary ones), “Serendipity” (Cusack’s always cool), “Jingle All the Way” (if you miss Arnie), “Just Friends” (Ryan Reynolds’ funniest), and if I had to pick one Disney movie for Christmas, it would be “Beauty and the Beast.”
Now that we have these suggestions, anybody know where I can legally rent some DVDs around here? John Kim, English instructor in Seoul