So, for all of the followers of the Mayan calendar, they finally need to buy a new one. I suspect the most ardent supporters of that particular system won’t acclimate to Google Calendars or iCal very easily, so there will probably be a rush on Dilbert and funny Cat page-a-day desk calendars.
It’s almost Christmas. I’ve made pretty good work on my list of movies (I think I’m somewhere near 40 holiday movies for the month). I’ve now watched my top two: The Family Stone and Love, Actually. I’m not going to do write-up and reviews of all the Christmas movies that I’ve been watching, I think that holiday movies are very resistant to critical analysis–either they work for you or they don’t. Yes, they could be terrible movies in a structural or filmic sense, but if they deliver on the appropriate uplift of holiday spirit, then they work. They could also be brilliant from a film standpoint, flawless characterizations, excellent cinematography and a tight and well structured screenplay, and still fail horribly at the merry making stage. It seems, as a general rule, that there is a certain amount of sentimentality that is congruent with holiday movies, that by being a holiday movie there is an assumption that if you are watching it you are buying in to the premise to a certain degree and therefore shortcuts are often made in the general service of the overall goal of holiday good feelings.
That being said, Christmas With the Kranks is a terrible movie. There are about two minutes that feel genuine and unforced and the rest is an execrable mess.
As is evident with my previous post, I have a wide assortment of movies that I draw from and the only real qualifier for me to include it as a Christmas movie is that there has to be a whiff of the season somewhere connected to the story/ plot. In many cases, it’s incidental. Or it’s a catalyst for the rest of the action of the movie (think Die Hard, where Christmas is the motivating reason for John McClaine to be where he is, but after that the holiday is more of a backdrop for the central action of the movie).
And then there are some where the entire movie exists because of the holiday–families getting together for Christmas, Santa needs to be saved, etc. etc. etc.
For me, these films are a very easy way for me to remind myself what I love about the season while the stresses associated with the reality of the season wear against me.
Last night, my little brother arrived in the TC.
I met up with him and my folks at Old Chicago after I got down with work, where I split a pizza with my brother and drank a ginormous beer. Then I squeezed them all into my apartment, my folks went to bed and my brother and I chatted for a while until it got to be after 2 and we had to say “Go the fuck to sleep” to each other so that we would be functional for today. Now, they’re on their way north, I’m on to my last shift of the holiday season. Then tonight I’ve got a holiday party at Zack & Erin’s, tomorrow I’m off for holiday shenanigans with Jane (Meghan’s concert at Honey and a holiday party at our friend Billie Jo’s) and then on Sunday I head north myself.
More later …