The 19 Days of Christmas Recommendations-Day #19-Underrated Recent Christmas Movies

December 7, 2010 at 6:06 pm (Weapons of Mass Enjoyment)

Okay, I’ll admit I forgot about a Christmas countdown this year. A couple of years back I did a countdown of the Top 10 Christmas films, one year I counted down the top Christmas songs, and now, although quite frankly I’m a little dry on ideas, I’m doing another countdown, simply giving 19 Christmas-themed recommendations to hopefully make your Christmas a little bit better. Obviously I’ll be starting today and running through Christmas Day. Hopefully I’ll be able to still post a recommendation on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, but don’t hold me to it. Today for my first recommendation I’m recommending two underrated Christmas comedies. Last night my university had a screening of the Will Ferrel Christmas classic “Elf”, and while it is by no means underrated (it’s one of my favorites to this day, and it’s one of the few movies I can watch over and over again), it reminded me of two other films that don’t quite get the respect they deserve in my book. The first is Fred Claus, a 2007 comedy starring Paul Giamatti and Vince Vaughn. The movie did pretty well financially, but was lauded by critics, who said the movie was “A slew of talent is wasted in this contrived and overly sentimental Christmas film…” according to Rotten Tomatoes. I, on the other hand, love the movie, even though I haven’t gotten to watch it in a while. It is by no means a perfect movie (it’s not the most well-made film ever and the romance is kinda sloppy), but when it comes to good-natured and well-intentioned comedies, Fred Claus is propelled quite a bit by both Vaughn and Giamatti’s charismatic and fun performances. The other Christmas film I’ll recommend is the 2008 more adult Christmas comedy, Four Christmases. I actually remember vividly when this one came out, and I recall one of my high school teachers saying she hated it. However when I got around to renting it last Christmas, I had a great time with it. I laughed quite a bit, I connected surprisingly enough with the movie’s message (although it was a little on the nose), and I really liked how they executed the idea of the four different Christmases they had to go to. It was neat how they structured the film around it, and they built up some really fun comedy set pieces thanks to it. (Tim McGraw and Jon Favreau wrestling Vaughn is probably my favorite part of the movie.) Once again, the movie’s not perfect, it has its flaws, but like a lot of Christmas movies, people just hold too high of a standard. If your family is having a movie night this Christmas, or you’re looking for a great gift, you could do a lot worse than these two very enjoyable Christmas films. In fact, I’m gonna have to rent these both as soon as I get home for the holidays…

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