Five alternative and random feel-good holiday movies
By Sarah Lotz
Posted on December 5, 2014 in Film, Hodderscape Advent with tags Sarah Lotz
The festive season tends be family time, and choosing a movie for the whole family to watch after they’ve stuffed their faces can be a nightmare. After all, there’s only so many times anyone can watch Frozen, It’s a Wonderful Life and Love, Actually before longing for an apocalypse to destroy the world. With this in mind, I’ve compiled an alternative list of less saccharine, entertaining and only slightly dodgy films to watch while your cousins finish all your booze and your brother’s kids wreck the house.
Little Shop of Horrors
Pulpy, retro-styled do-wop fun with Rick Moranis as a lovesick flower shop clerk who falls under the spell of Audrey II, a bloodthirsty man-and-woman-eating giant plant. Steve Martin chews the scenery and steals every scene he’s in as a masochistic, gas-sniffing dentist.
Is this John Waters black comedy strictly a feel-good movie? Or even suitable for the whole family? Absolutely not. But Kathleen Turner is pitch perfect as the sympathetically sociopathic suburban mom who slices and dices her way through her non-recycling and po-faced neighbours. Worth it just to see Turner make the words ‘pussy willow’ sound filthy.
Harold and Maude
Close to flawless love story about a death-obsessed couple – he’s in his twenties; she’s 79. Sweet, dark and very funny. Probably not suitable for kids, but I’m yet to meet anyone sane who doesn’t love this one.
The Muppet Christmas Carol
My favourite version of A Christmas Carol. It’s got everything: Michael Caine as Scrooge, Kermit as Bob Cratchit, and a bunch of singing vegetables. I love the lyrics in the opening number: ‘There goes Mr Humbug, there goes Mr Grim, if they gave a prize for being mean, the winner would be him.’
The Man with Two Brains
Nothing screams ‘feel-good family viewing’ more than a ridiculous film about a scientist who falls in love with a brain in a jar. A Steve Martin/Kathleen Turner classic, it contains this timeless piece of dialogue: ‘Were you out on the lake today kissing your brain?’