My family is trying to figure out how to honor our diverse, devout holiday needs.
Let me be more specific. We all celebrate Christmas, but additionally, as avid practitioners of pop culture, we have very divergent but compelling entertainment-on-Christmas Day stances.
Some members of my immediate family are Christmas traditionalists who say "no" to holiday screentime. They are happy the options are there for those who celebrate other holidays, but these Who-like family members want us to stay home on December 25th and do North-Pole approved things, like carole, play archaic board games or feast on turduckens and cherpumples and all manner of gingerbread architecture. Short, optional naps are allowed, but the day should be 99.999% Elf-approved.
And in the opposite corner: one family member is a devout Doctor Whovian. If you don't know any fans, you might not know that Christmas Day is a big day for them. The new companion is announced and new epidodes begin, making the Doctor Who Christmas Special a festive tradition and a long-awaited treat. This year's episode 'The Snowmen' will air on BBC Christmas night. My whole family isn't into it, though. In fact my younger son almost faints and runs from the room in search of noise-canceling headphones at any hint of a sound from a Dalek.
At least Doctor Who airs on television, though, so the celebrants might be able to partake without making too much of a tradional gaffe. Two of us are pining for Les Misérables, set to open at theaters across the country on Christmas Day. By pining, I mean during previews of the film (which have been airing for months) instead of simply turning and nodding to my partner using the univeral theater language to say "I want to see this, don't you?" I would use my arms to spontateously flail in excitement, dislodging my 96 ounce Diet Coke from the armrest in order to loudly announce my intentions to SEE THAT, and then promptly hum along. By pining, I mean I made an Anne Hathaway Advent Calendar for December. Every day it tells me to do things like "cut out a clump of hair" or "sing I Dreamed a Dream in the grocery store line, loudly."
So I really want to see it, and it's almost Anne Hathaway Eve. But not everyone in my family feels the same way, so I'd have to leave some family members at home in order to indulge. My older son would rather face a guillotine than endure a movie musical, which would leave him in no shape to enjoy the Daleks.
There are other Christmas Day opening options too. I want to eventually see Django Unchained. Oprah apparently gave it a thumbs up, calling it "provocative" and "twisted," While it's not as money as attending her Favorite Things show, that review is good enough for me when coupled with my long-held appreciation for Tarantino's ability to dramatize reversed power dynamics. But the "twisted" part means I'm not interested in seeing it on Christmas Day, let alone hauling my family away from their candy cane stupor to try to process it all.
Also opening is Parental Guidance featuring Billy Crystal and Bette Midler as grandparents who volunteer to babysit, with all manor of hijinks ensuing. I love me some Bette and Marisa Tomei, and this feels like home in an 80s kind of way, but it wouldn't pull me out of my house on a holiday. It might be a nice compromise piece for a whole family, though, and certainly another great option for the day if Christmas is not a holiday you celebrate.
A similarly toned comedy opened this week, but I think I can wait for the Barbra Streisand/Seth Rogen movie The Guilt Trip. Barbra is everything, but I think she's wasted on a sweet comedy, and he's kind of a whiny guy. I want to take a road trip with Babs and make a different movie, and this time Seth won't be invited. I'm thinking more What's Up Doc meets Thelma and Louise. Plus showtunes.
Credit Image: © Paramount Pictures/Entertainment Pictures/ZUMAPRESS.com
For my household, I think since everyone doesn't agree on a screen choice, I'm going to have to wait until after Christmas to see Les Mis. Maybe I can construct a gingerbread diorama of 19th century Paris (cheerful!) to hold me over. What about you? Do you celebrate Christmas? If not, do you enjoy the many movie choices? Or if you do, are you tempted to keep the turducken on ice while you duck out for popcorn and a flick, or will it be Who at home, or does screen time have to wait?
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