If you include all theatrically released films, television films, short films and direct-to-video films, the number of films about Christmas that have been made comes to a grand total of 540. That’s more than 530 but alas, less than 550.
But what constitutes a Christmas film? The definition being used here is a film that prominently use Christmas a setting, theme character. This allows for the controversial inclusion of Die hard and Jaws: The Revenge.
However, a Christmas film for many is one that is merely one that is watched at Christmas. These include the Harry potter series, the Lord of the Rings series and The Simpsons Movie. Whatever they may be, these films are a staple of Christmas for their universal messages of goodwill, family and ensuring Dark Lords, both near and far, are defeated.
But it is quite shocking how many there are out there. The case is similar to Christmas songs where unfortunately for every classic like “All I want for Christmas is you” by Mariah Carey there about ten others in the vein of “All I Need Is Love” by CeeLo Green & The Muppets.
These are pumped out by media corporations in the hope that at least one them cements itself in the public collective consciousness. For every “Home Alone” there’s about ten in the style of “Grumpy Cat’s Worst Christmas Ever”.
Yet, there is still such an appeal for these types of bland, by the numbers, seasonal films that it warrants an entire channel in itself. Great! Movies Christmas (formerly Sony Movies Christmas) is one such channel. Operating 24/7 for the months of October, November and December, GMC plays round the clock films that are truly the worst of what Christmas has to offer.
A catalogue of some of the worst drivel that the holiday season has to offer, GMC imports most of its films from the American owned Hallmark channel and fills the rest of its programming of old films that have outlived their copyright status. These titles include “
Why does this channel consistently get just under half a million people tuning into it every day? Being the fearless journalist that I am, I had to discover what the fuss was all about. I had previously undertaken the task of daytime television but this might have been my toughest assignment yet. And so I sat down for a triple bill of these films last Sunday evening, albeit a bit early for Christmas but as this is the last pre-Christmas issue, I thought it best to get it out of the way. Like ripping off an overly sentimental plaster.
First up was Beaus of Holly, a film whose puntastic title was the canary in the coalmine that I ignored. It concerns a woman at Christmastime would you believe. Now this woman has a lover who just won’t commit to her, prompting said woman to go off on a sleigh ride with a charming old man, who teaches her the true meaning of Christmas. The characters are as dull as the excel spreadsheet the film was written on. Filled to the brim with every rom-com cliché you could think of, including the classic will he get off the winter wonderland train?/ won’t he get off the winter wonderland train?
The next film was A Christmas Melody, the directorial debut of Mariah Carey. Moving swiftly on.
The next film was Golden Winter. The plot is simple. A young boy meets a group of stray golden retrievers and together they rob a bank just in in time for Christmas. This was, without a doubt, one of the finest films I’ve ever seen and there will be no criticism whatsoever. It’s only a matter of time before this sits atop the Christmas film podium next to Home alone and The grinch.
It really is hard to criticize these films. No. That’s not true. It’s very easy to criticize these films. Laughably easy. Their overtly twee storylines are punctuated by a budget that is stretched beyond its limits. However, it’s hard to justifiably review these films when its evident before the film even begins that nothing good can come of this act.
It was only in the final act of Golden Winter that I realised what the true reason for these films existence is. They encapsulate what the Christmas season is really all about. Because Christmas for many is really just as unapologetically saccharine and schmaltzy as the films appear to be. At surface level they so relentlessly sappy but deep down they really are just lovely little things. At Christmas, sometimes we just need something as light and as corny as what these films offer, which is why you will find me knee-deep in “Santa’s Summer House” this Christmas.