Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Best 80's Christmas Movie

It’s been awhile since our last Best 80’s blah blah blah - and I know Pat absolutely adores doing them - and since it is tis’ the season I thought we would tackle Best 80’s Christmas movie. Two of my favorite Christmas movies of all time happen to have come out in the 80’s - “Christmas Vacation” and “A Christmas Story” - so we may already have the answer, but which one?

Typically for these Best 80’s posts I like to make sure that in addition to being a really good 80’s whatever, it also represents the 80’s. This may be why we have to go with “Christmas Vacation”. Granted it did come out in 1989 which is the most non-80’s year you can be while still being in the 80’s. But while “A Christmas Story” did come out in 1983 - which according to these heroes, is one of the best 1980 years there is - it actually takes place in the 1940’s. That’s about as non-80’s as you can get.

So I guess Christmas Vacation it is then. Best 80’s Christmas movie.


Oh, I guess as a formality I should ask for your opinion too, Pat?

Pat: This might be our shortest post yet, as I am in full agreement with you. In fact, I’m tempted to say that this move wins for nothing more than the ingeniously placed Beverly D’Angelo still-life-with-crotch-grab in the photo above.

I wanted to counter your argument by throwing out such gems as “Scrooged” or “A Christmas Carol” with George C. Scott and Edward Woodward or “A Very Brady Christmas” or “Ernest Saves Christmas”, but...I just can’t put my heart into such a disagreement.

Wow, that was easy!

Christian: Wait. You agree with me? Now I’m starting to second guess my choice. Maybe I should have gone with “A Christmas Story”. It does have one of my all time favorite movie lines

“Fra-gee-lay. That must be Italian”

But “Christmas Vacation” has the classic holiday quote

“Shitter’s full”

So I  don’t know. I think I would feel alot better with going with “Christmas Vacation” if you were going with a different movie. No offense.

Pat: None taken. If you’d like, I could go with “Scrooged”, because I just remembered that it had a stellar cast of co-stars supporting Bill Murray (arguably at his prime, as this was well before Wes Anderson even DREAMED of making movies!). Said stars include David Johansen, Carol Kane, Bobcat Goldthwaite, and, my personal favorite...Mary Lou Retton as Tiny Tim!

Not to mention a really good-at-the-time theme song by Al Green and Annie Lennox!

You and I don’t really know how to do anything other than disagree, do we? Too bad.

Christian: Yes I think it would be better if you went with “Scrooged”.

OK, now let’s continue.

“Scrooged”!??!?! That’s your pick? Are you serious?

Yes, I’ll give you that it has the incredibly talented, comic genius Mary Lou Retton in it. And Bill Murray. But isn’t it basically just a lackluster remake of Dickens’ classic Christmas tale Scrooge McDuck? It also has a weak screenplay, poor special effects, and very slow pacing. I probably should also mention that I have never seen it.

It’s not anywhere near the caliber of “Christmas Vacation”.

Pat: You should see it. It’s really good. Though...I’ve never seen it outside of the month of December. Now that I think about it, I’ve never seen ANY Christmas movie, from the 80s or any other decade, outside of the month of December. I wonder if they hold up as well in, say, July.

Christian: I’m guessing not. I’m pretty sure that the appeal of Christmas movies are heavily reliant on it being Christmas season. But that pretty much goes for anything Christmassy; Music, decorations, trees. Although I must say I do enjoy almond roca year round. There’s no single season that can contain that stuff.

But back to the topic at hand, I guess at some point I should watch “Scrooged” but I’m guessing it’s no “Christmas Vacation”. You have any other suggestions?

Pat: Yeah. If you like almond roca, you should really try aplets and cotlets too. I used to get them from my stepmom every Christmas, and I loved eating them. A mouthful of jelly, nuts and powdered sugar! And I don’t think they age, so they’re just as good in August as they are in December!  

Christian: You’re talking about these things right?

Mmmmm.... square.

Yeah. I like them. But they are no almond roca. Picking aplets and cotlets over almond roca would be like deciding to watch “Scrooged” over “Christmas Vacation”. Cray-zee.

Pat: That’s them, alright! Mmm...tasty AND translucent!

And, I figured out a solution to our conundrum! To pick only one favorite candy from either almond roca or aplets & cotlets is like picking your favorite cheese from either swiss or bleu. Can’t be done! They’re BOTH great, and they exist in non-comparable realms of cheese-dom!

Just like the two movies, right?!

Christian: What are you talking about? Bleu cheese is by far the more superior cheese. Swiss is fine for a sandwich or feeding your dog but bleu cheese is like the “Christmas Vacation” of cheeses. It’s heaven on burgers and goes great on salads. My wife makes these amazing ham, bleu cheese, and pear croissant sandwiches that are to die for!

You can’t possibly think swiss cheese is on par with bleu cheese, Pat. I thought you were more sophisticated than that.

Pat:  What if I told you that I once made a grilled cheeses sandwich, where I laid on a layer of swiss, and then filled in the holes with chunks of bleu? Would that redeem me in your esteem?

Christian: Of course it would. Applying multiple cheese types to a food item is like melting silver and gold into a new super element called “golver” and ruling the lands with your mighty stockpile of golver that affords you the most sophisticated of armies.

It’s like watching “Christmas Vacation” twice in a row.

37 comments:

  1. That grilled cheese sandwich sounds really really good. I have to go with Scrooged. It has the dude from the New York Dolls (aka Buster Poindexter)!
    Also, Gremlins, while not a full on Christmas movie, does have my favorite monologue of any movie (Phoebe Cates describes how her father dressed as Santa, tried to go down the chimney, got stuck, died, and they didn't find him until weeks later. That's some Christmas cheer.)

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    1. I had forgotten about Gremlins. If the category had been best 80's Christmas movie with small monsters, Gremlins would have won hands down. Plus who doesn't like Phoebe Cates.

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  2. "I don't KNOW, Margot!". Will be at the beach in July and this line will randomly pop up in my head. Seals the deal for me, as if "Shitter's full" wasn't enough...

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    1. I too am a longtime fan of Todd and Margot. Kinda' hated them, but kinda' wanted to be them.

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  3. I think that might be my favorite post to date. It might not be the funniest (though it is quite funny), it's definitely the most thought provoking.

    For me, this topic really strikes a chord. I love both movies and have often ponder which is better. I'm talking countless night staying up until the wee hours, making charts, drawing diagrams, and having spirited "discussions" with myself. I've learned my life lessons from both movies.

    In Christmas Vacation's favor are the points that you both brought up- crotch grabbing goodness and classy one-liners about shitters. If that doesn't make a movie a classic, I don't know what does.

    Scrooged has so much going on, that it's hard to pick just a couple of its points. It's all good points: Bill Murray doing Richard Burton impressions in homeless shelters, Bobcat Goldthwaite singing AND dancing AND kissing(!)and I believe that all of the Murray brothers are in this film. I guess I could google it, but I don't feel like it.

    I've seen both in summertime and they both hold up to soaring temps. The downside to summer viewing is it leaves you wishing it was Christmas. I don't think you can blame the movies for that though.

    In the end, I'm going to have to go with Scrooged for two reasons. #1- Buster Poindexter. #2- Carol Kane blowing a glittery X onto Bill Murray's face and hitting him with a toaster. Nothing, absolutely nothing, say Christmas more than glitter and toaster punches.

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    1. I should probably see Scrooged at some point. Can you send me some of your charts and diagrams?

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  4. I watch all three - Scrooged, Christmas Story, and Vacation every year. Scrooged is great but unravels at the end. They break so many laws during his "redemption" realistically he would have learned his lesson and then been put away for 20-life. My all time favorite is Story because I deeply identify with Ralphie, especially when he fantasizes about being carried off on the shoulders of his classmates for his theme and then gets a C on it.

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    1. It Was....Soap Poisoning!"

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  5. Carol Kane and the toaster might seal the Scrooged deal for me!

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    1. I love Carol Kane. And toasters! All these random descriptions about things that happen in Scrooged has really got me wanting to see it now.

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  6. 'Kay...I just watched Scrooged again, and while I might have to rescind me support for it holding up as well as Christmas Vacation, I realized the cast of cameo stars is even more damn impressive than I remembered:

    Miles Davis, Paul Schaffer and David Sanborn as street musicians, Jamie Farr, John Houseman and Robert Goulet as, well...themselves, and LEE MAJORS as himself in a movie saving Santa and Mrs. Claus from terrorists. Holy cow!

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    1. I have always thought that Jamie Farr and Lee Majors should do a project together.

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  7. It might just be me, but Chevy Chase gets LESS funny every year. I vote for "A Christmas Story." So many great moments - the brother who can't lower his arms in his winter jacket, tongue getting stuck on the freezing pole, the leg lamp, and the running line: "You'll shoot your eye out." I definitely would not pick "A Very Brady Christmas." That franchise jumped the shark long before "The Brady Brides."

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    1. And let us not forget about the scene where Ralphie uses the F word and blames it on his friend which causes his mom to call the friend's mom and then we get to hear the friend screaming in the background not knowing what he's being blamed for. Classic.

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  8. Strangely, I agree with everything both of you said, especially the part about not having seen Scrooged. Except for the aplets and cotlets thing - I didn't even know they'd decided to name those things, but I feel like I have gelatin stuck in my teeth just from looking at that picture.

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    1. OK cool, I'm glad I'm not the only one that hasn't seen Scrooged around here. Also, you're making it sound like having gelatin stuck in your teeth is a bad thing.

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  9. Based on 80's criteria, I would have to agree, "Christmas Vacation." Based on any criteria, definitely "A Christmas Story." "Scrooged", based on no criteria. :)

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    1. It's like you and I are the same person. Minus the drastic differences.

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  10. Okay, so many yes's to Carol Kane with the toaster- she was one of the funniest chicks around back in the day and that scene is classic. However, even though it's not technically a Christmas movie, Better Off Dead did come out in the 80's and had one of the best family holiday dinner scenes ever. A lady squooshes her French foreign exchange student's face and says CHHRRRIIISSTMAAASSS, then drinks a bottle of kerosene that John Cusack was going to drink in a suicide attempt, lights a cigarette and blows herself up. Best apology in a movie ever? 'Gee Ricky, I'm real sorry your mom blew up''

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    1. Better Off Dead is one of my all time favorites and that is one of the best family dinner scenes ever. I also like the scene where Lane and Charles are skiing and Charles says "This is pure snow! You know what the street value of this mountain is?"

      I also really like the dancing hamburger.

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  11. The thing is, it's like you're comparing apples and oranges or Christmas Vacation and Scrooged. Both get their own category because Scrooged is a Christmas redemption tale and Christmas Vacation is a Christmas family dysfunction tale. Both have themes of 80s excess with the snobby, evian drinking neighbors in C.V. and Bill Murray's character, but, at heart I hold them both up as equally great on separate Christmas playing fields. Carol Kane. Toaster. Watch it.

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    1. OK, I'm now dying to see this Carol Kane toaster scene. I'm putting aside spending time with family and relatives and making watching Scrooged my number one priority this Christmas.

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  12. Translucent is very often an overlooked food group. Thank you for spotlighting it here.

    And Scrooged is the best Christmas movie ever . . . unless Christmas Vacation is on. Ellen

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  13. I can't concentrate on the Christmas movies because I'm too busy trying to pretend I know about rocas, cotlets and aplets. Are the Oregon things? Hippie things? Prep school things?

    I thought I was solid middle class, but if I don't know what those things are then maybe I need to rethink my whole social self actualization thing. Am I a proletariat? Is that a bad thing? I don't want to be a communist.

    Thanks for bumming me out!

    Also? Chirstmas Vacation.

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    1. What? You've never had almond roca? It's not an Oregon thing, it's a people-that-enjoy-happiness thing. You must really hate America.

      Happy holidays!

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  14. I think that Die Hard is my favorite Christmas movie. But I must confess to being ignorant of most 80s Christmas movies.

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    1. Oooh Die Hard is a good selection. Maybe we need to do a Best 80's Non-Traditional Christmas Movie post. Die Hard and Gremlins would be top considerations.

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    2. What about Lethal Weapon? You know, back when Mel was still a little bit more quiet about his hatred toward the Jews.

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  15. I'm sorry, but "Better Off Dead" is much, much 80's-er... it's the perfect 80's movie and it's totally Christmas related!!

    ("I don't know, Margeax!" is my favorite line from xmas vacation.)

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    1. Yeah "Better Off Dead" is indeed a classic. But "Christmas Vacation" has Cousin Eddie. So hard to choose.

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  16. Thank you for taking the time to discuss this, I believe strongly about it and love to learn more about this subject. If possible, as you gain expertise, would you mind updating your blog with more information? It is extremely useful for me.
    Yüz Germe

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    1. This was extremely useful for me also, Yuz. I had completely forgotten about 80's Christmas movies this year because the youngest minion wouldn't give up the TV, and was watching Dora's Christmas Special on repeat.

      Now I want a grilled ham, swiss, & bleu cheese sandwich. But I don't have any cheese. None. I am currently cheese-less and lack the motivation to take a shower before I leave my house.
      I also wish that Safeway would deliver less then $10 worth of food items. I'm lazy, but I also love to buy the nonsense near the checkout, and I don't think they sell the nonsense online, so I don't want to do a full online grocery shop.

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    2. They should bring the nonsense items to your house when they deliver their groceries allowing you to peruse them at home. This seems like a no-brainer Safeway. Get on it.

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  17. I have a confession. I just watched Christmas Vacation for the first time about two weeks ago. I'll go sit in the shame corner, now.

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    1. Oh my. If it wasn't for the fact that I am apparently the only one here that hasn't seen Scrooged, I would totally shame you.

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