The last Christmas bank holiday has been and gone, the decorations are just about to be taken down and Christmas 2011 is now over. When I was a kid this time of year used to make me really sad, call it the January blues, call it withdraw from the vast amounts of sugar I consumed over the festive period, whatever the cause of it without fail every year I would get more and more down post Christmas. Not in an “Oh god keep him away from sharp objects” sort of way, just in an it’s not Christmas anymore sort of way.
Each year I would pester my Dad to put the decorations up earlier and earlier, oddly my reasoning of seeing some people’s decorations up in early January was never accepted. I loved my Dad being off from work, we would watch movies together, go to the park or he’d take me out to spend my Christmas money. There’s was slightly better TV on, there’s party food scattered all over the place and a great big blooming tree in the front room.
Naturally as we get older Christmas becomes less and less magical, and more and more stressful. The ideal of a kid’s view of Christmas becomes harder to preserve, so as I watched my last Christmas movie (Love Actually) I got unexpectedly choked up.
My opinions of Richard Curtis movies have been made clear previously, he writes solid dependable movies which whilst not perfect they are entertaining. However, I was not getting choked up over Bill Nighy telling Rab C Nesbitt that he is the love of his life, it was the fact that all the cheer and Christmas spirit was gone. Obviously it’s not possible to sustain that good cheer and kindness, it wouldn’t be special otherwise and we would be living in some form of Charles Dickens novel.
When I explained to Producer Lu, I was not shedding a tear over Hugh Grant getting together with Martine, or even crafty Colin Firth speaking bad Portuguese to confess his love. These were tears for Christmas, a season that every year I fail to get into the swing of and no sooner does it start it ends. So producer Lu casually said “if you like Christmas so much why don’t you watch one film a week until next Christmas” (or as we’re in 2012 now, THIS CHRISTMAS).
I like a movie challenge, granted these range from good ideas such as The Extended Lord of The Rings back to back over one day, average ideas such as the entire James Bond Collection including the unofficial ones. Then there are shockingly awful ideas, my aborted 2004 attempt to watch all the Police Academy films and the TV series, or last years flawed but enjoyable failed Superhero franchise starters and the Carry On marathon which I gave up after the first film.
So I accepted Producer Lu’s challenge, however I asked her to stipulate a few rules.
1. Doesn’t have to be set at Christmas, or a traditional festive film just as long as it gives off the Christmas Vibe.
2 .1 film every 7 Days or the Challenge is lost
3. No duplicates, no film can be watched twice as part of the challenge.
4. Narrative TV Specials can be included, but 2 must be watched.
The more I thought about it the more I liked this challenge, maybe through watching 52 Christmas movies between now and December 25th it will help me be more cheery. Christmas is meant to be the time for good will to all men, even in Narnia people and creatures are nicer to each other so if a Lion a Witch and a magic ruddy wardrobe can all get along a bit better then why can’t we?
Love Actually marked my first movie in this challenge, it had been a couple of years since I watched it and whilst there is just too much going on, it’s a charming, fluffy and a bit silly but it does the job.
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