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Happy Christmas is that most rare of beasts: the independent Christmas film. Directed by Joe Swanberg of Drinking Buddies and Hannah Takes The Stairs fame, it stars Anna Kendrick as a boozey twentysomething who goes to stay with her brother and his wife at Christmas, much to their annoyance. Further indie points for having Lena Dunham in a supporting role.
It’s A Wonderful Life
Frank Capra’s family fantasy is a classic of the genre so ignore the fact it’s in black and white and get watching this tale of Jimmy Stewart planning to commit suicide on Christmas Eve. Wait, that makes it sound way dark. It’s actually one of the most feel-good festive films around.
In this modern retelling (well, not so much, it was made in 1988) of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, Bill Murray plays a cynical television exec who hates Christmas. Can he be taught about the season of goodwill by three ghosts who come to haunt him? What do you think!
The Santa Clause
If you watched this as a child, you might still have a soft spot for this Tim Allen vehicle. His divorced dad accidentally injures Santa and so Tim must take up the reins (hahaha geddit?) and deliver the presents to all the kids himself. It won’t win any awards (I mean, Christmas films never do) but it’s a family favourite.
Home Alone 1, 2 & 3
The original Home Alone is the best Christmas film ever to be made (Frank Capra, be damned!) so hats off to Netflix. Everyone knows the story: young Macauley Culkin must deter some comedy burglars hell-bent on robbing his house after his parents accidentally go on vacation without him. The only tip you need from me is to avoid the terrible Home Alone 3, which went rogue with some imposter named Alex D. Linz. Keep the change, ya filthy animal.