5 Festive Films To Fill Your Christmas Cup Full of Cheer

Feeling more like The Grinch than Buddy The Elf this holiday season? It is certainly understandable. Heck, it may even

Holiday movie

Feeling more like The Grinch than Buddy The Elf this holiday season? It is certainly understandable. Heck, it may even feel like we’ve been in ‘holiday mode’ for weeks now. If it wasn’t the unleashing of all things peppermint and gingerbread at your local coffee spot, it may have been the talk of Black Friday Sales for a month now that contributed to your residency in Scrooge-ville.

All of that said, our collective efforts to ignore the jolliest time of year is now without excuse, the holidays are officially here. With that in mind we wanted to give you five festive films that are guaranteed to put you in the spirit.

But, we didn’t want to give you the same list found on every entertainment site right now. For the record, there is absolutely nothing wrong with “Elf,” “Miracle on 34th Street,” or “It’s a Wonderful Life.” We wanted to put some festive films on your list that are less mainstream but just as capable of filling up your cup with Christmas cheer in no time.

Festive Film #1 – “Scrooged”

Has this movie been made and remade, then remade again? Yep, it sure has. But of all the versions of this Charles Dickens classic, “Scrooged,” is the best.

Frank Cross (Bill Murray) is a narcissistic and pessimistic man to the core. It’s those qualities that make him miles beyond perfect for the job of network television executive. He’s got the great aforementioned career and a successful loving brother. But poor Frank is missing love in his heart. That’s nothing a visit from three ghosts can’t take care of.

The story at its foundation is the same as it’s always been, there are no surprises. But, what makes this a Christmas classic is Murray. His sarcasm and lack of any feeling make “Scrooged” a downright delightful film to watch.

“Scrooged” is PG-13 (adult themed tantric sex talk) and runs 1h and 41m. You can find it on streaming on Amazon, Apple and other major streamers.

Festive Film #2 – “Emmet Otter’s Jugband Christmas”

We can thank Mr. Jim Henson for this wonderful holiday film. The muppet maker tells the story of a mother and son otter. Both are loving, kind and cuter than actual otters are. But, they are struggling to make life good on the day to day which leaves little hope for a decent Christmas for Emmet and his Ma.

But wait, a Christmas Eve talent contest is announced with a cash prize. Suddenly helping one another’s Christmas wish come true is possible. However, both otters have to get a little dirty on their path to the perfect song for the talent show. Will it be worth it? It’s Christmas, of course it will be.

“Emmet Otter’s Jugband Christmas” premiered in 1977 as an hour-long special during the holidays. Though the initial inspiration was a book of the same name by Russell and Lillian Hoban, it can now be found streaming on Amazon Prime streaming along with other Christmas classics.

Emmet Otter’s Jugband Christmas” is not rated and runs 48 minutes.

Festive Film #3 – “Love, Actually”

While Hugh Grant dancing onscreen to The Pointer Sisters hit song, “Jump (For My Love)” doesn’t scream Christmas classic in most houses, it  sure as hell does in my house. If the Pointer Sisters don’t do it for you, perhaps Mariah Carey will. It is this film that gave us Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas Is You.”

Songs aside, “Love, Actually” is the story of a group of friends and their dealings with life set in the weeks before Christmas. But take note, the description is so far from what the film actually is – a look at loss, pain and loneliness and how those feelings are all a part of life. Storylines that include marriage, death, career and first loves are all packed into this glorious holiday film.

The movie has more stars than the latest David O. Russell movie and they all work in concert to bring us one of the best Christmas films to ever hit our tear soaked eyeballs.
Emma Thompson, Laura Linney, Liam Neeson, Bill Nighy, Martin Freeman, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Andrew Lincoln and Kiera Knightly star in “Love, Actually.”

“Love, Actually” is rated R and runs 2h 15m.

Festive Film #4 “Last Holiday”

Queen Latifah is Georgia Byrd, a quiet and kind sales associate who was recently told she has a terminal illness. Georgia quickly sells all her possessions and relocates from New Orleans to a five star European resort for her last holiday walking the planet.
What she soon learns is a lesson that is too late to apply – life is for living.
Georgia uses her moxy and makes the most of the holiday before saying a final goodbye.

Alongside Latifah is LL Cool J, Timothy Hutton, Giancarlo Esposito and Gérard Depardieu. “Last Holiday” is rated PG-13 and runs 1hr 52m.

Festive Film #5 – “A Charlie Brown Christmas”

Before you come at me with this final pick, consider the institution of Charlie Brown will ya? If you don’t smile at the first look of the saddest Christmas tree ever to be animated, or, if you don’t shake your head at the theme music even a little, I question your humanity. 

In case you’ve had too many spike eggnogs to remember this Christmas classic, Charlie Brown is put in charge of the school play in an attempt to find the spirit of the holiday. Poor Charlie is upset at how commercial Christmas is (relatable AF) and all his friends want for him is to be happy.  

First hitting the airwaves in 196, “A Charlie Brown Christmas” has allowed Charlie Brown, Linus, Lucy and Snoopy to teach children about the true meaning of Christmas (even if we chose to ignore it). 

“A Charlie Brown Christmas” is rated G and runs 35m.