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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