Top 5 Christmas Movies and Specials That Don’t Lecture Their Audience with Social Justice
As conservative entertainment writer and film critic Christian Toto reported, the social justice lecture not so thinly disguised as a Christmas rom-com that was Paul Feig and Emma Thompson’s Last Christmas – a screed against Brexit and blatant tolerance lecture – became a total disaster. It only opened to a modest $11 million, and film studio Universal ended up pulling it from over 1,000 movie theaters.
In light of this embarrassing news, it’s time for my top 5 Christmas themed theatrical and made-for-TV rom-coms that don’t lecture their audience in this vein.
Number 5: Christmas in Evergreen
Let’s start with a movie from the Hallmark Channel – the current king of Christmas movies.
2017’s Christmas in Evergreen, inspired by legendary Hallmark greeting card artist Jeff Greenly, features the talents of Ashley Williams and NFL heiress Holly Robinson Peete (so much for a lack of diversity). Peete in particular is obviously left-wing, but it’s still incredibly fun to watch.
Directed by Alex Zamm (who also did A Christmas Prince for Netflix and the god-awful direct to video live-action Woody Woodpecker movie for Universal), the story focuses on a man who is on a Christmas trip to a small mountain town with her daughter, but when she makes a wish for a winter storm that makes them stay for a few more days, a romance and formulaic plot that you’ve come to expect from a Hallmark movie takes place – romance, celebrations of family and small-town America, and all.
Number 4: How the Grinch Stole Christmas (1968)
Directed by famed Warner Bros. animator Chuck Jones, and based on the classic children’s book of the same name by Dr. Seuss, this 1968 TV special produced for CBS focuses on the title character, the Grinch, trying to ruin Christmas for everyone. Little does he know that Christmas isn’t about materialism, but about families coming together and giving to one another.
The special would eventually get two feature film adaptations produced by Universal. A live-action film was directed by Ron Howard and released in 2000, while a CG animated adaptation from Illumination (the animation studio responsible for the Despicable Me movies) was released last year.
Number 3: Home Alone
This release is definitely a pinnacle of 90’s cinema, although the critics initially weren’t fans of it. Directed by Chris Columbus (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone), produced by John Hughes (Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, The Breakfast Club), and released in 1990 by 20th Century Fox (now owned by Walt Disney Studios), it remains a Christmas favorite.
The story focuses on the McAllister family from Chicago, who are traveling to Paris for the holidays. Before they leave, they realize they have left their 8-year-old son Kevin in the attic alone after his parents punished him the night before. From that point on, hilarity and mayhem ensue as a duo of bad guys trying to rob the McAllister household get pranked on by Kevin.
This movie is best known for putting former child actor Macaulay Culkin on the map during the early 90’s, and a reboot is currently in development for Disney+.
Number 2: Elf
Directed by Jon Favreau (Iron Man) and released in 2003 by New Line Cinema, this Will Farrell vehicle focuses on a human raised by Santa’s elves (but still acts like a child) named Buddy, who has to return to his family to try and remove his father from the naughty list. Throughout the film, Buddy helps his father understand how important his family really is, and that the power of family is the greatest gift of them all.
Number 1 – A Charlie Brown Christmas
You obviously can’t begin Christmas without this holiday classic, based on the popular Peanuts comic strip by Charles Schulz. One reason why the special still withstands the test of time is because, due to the commercialization and secularization of the holiday season over the years, it’s good to know that there’s still a special out there that still shows us that the birth of Jesus is the reason for the season.
Sure, getting that Nintendo console, Star Wars action figure, or pair of Levi’s jeans you always wanted is exciting, but as Linus pointed out to Charlie Brown in a pivotal moment on the special, Christ’s birth is the reason for the season.