Ho-ho-holiday films we love

 

Sure, we love all the classic holiday movies. We still sniffle at the end of It's a Wonderful Life (even if we're unlikely to earn angel wings of our own). We still sing along (badly) when Bing ...

Sure, we love all the classic holiday movies. We still sniffle at the end of It's a Wonderful Life (even if we're unlikely to earn angel wings of our own). We still sing along (badly) when Bing Crosby croons White Christmas. And we definitely still want a Red Ryder BB gun like Ralphie in A Christmas Story (even if we run the terrible risk of shooting our eye out). Here are a few of our other favorites:

`Love Actually': This frothy comedy features pretty much every big British star -- Hugh Grant, Colin Firth, Liam Neeson, Emma Thompson, Alan Rickman, Bill Nighy and Keira Knightley -- plus Laura Linney. It's got everything you need for a perfect Christmas movie: cheesy songs, magical and improbable romance, impossibly cute kids and porn stars in love.

`The Holiday': We like this let's-switch-lives comedy with Cameron Diaz and Jude Law despite the fact that the beautiful Kate Winslet deserves a better romantic partner than Jack Black. Leo wasn't available?

`Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas': Super cool pumpkin king Jack Skellington wants to bring Christmas to Halloweentown. You have to wonder why,

though -- at least in Halloweentown they never have to hear those annoying barking dogs doing Jingle Bells.

`Disney's A Christmas Carol': This sharp-looking animated version starred the vocal stylings of Jim Carrey (and was much more palatable than his dreadful live-action Grinch). The kids will prefer the newer 3D movie, but our favorite is really the 1951 black-and-white classic, starring Alastair Sim.

`Christmas Vacation': No holiday is complete without a visit with the Griswolds. Always best to watch this one on Christmas Day; that way you won't be drawn into a frenzied holiday lights competition.

`Elf': An oversized elf (Will Ferrell) goes in search of his real identity in America. Hope that North Pole passport is valid; TSA gets cranky over the holidays.

`Bad Santa': Surely by now, parents everywhere know not to let the kids anyway near this extremely profane, crude film about a Santa (Billy Bob Thornton) who's way more interested in being naughty than nice. Then again, aren't we all sometimes?

-- CONNIE OGLE

cogle@MiamiHerald.com

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