Everybody’s got a Christmas Movie

Instead of skeletons in their closets, celebrities have Christmas movies.

I recently came across a real piece of work art called The 2nd Day of Christmas that I can only imagine keeps Mark Ruffalo up at night. It stars Mary Stuart Masterson as the aunt of an orphaned 7-year-old girl who she trains up as a pick-pocket. Theirhqdefault Oliver Twist act is pretty fruitful too, until they get caught by a department store security guard (Ruffalo) at Christmas. Holiday Movie Law applying, the owner fails to call the cops, or child services, and opts instead for his onthe2nddayofchristmas-02‘prisoners’ to be guarded by Ruffalo in his own home over the holidays. And guys – you totally won’t believe this, but they fall in love. I know! How can that happen? In 24 hours? While being forcibly imprisoned against your will? Hard to believe, and yet this is what Christmas schmaltz is all about.

The seconhappy-christmas-movie-poster2d movie I watched, called Happy Christmas, is apparently titled ironically. Also, it’s an indie movie, in every sense of the term: it looks bad, it sounds bad, and it costars Lena Dunham. It’s about the fuck up family member that everybody has – this time, Kevin’s little sister Jenny (Anna Kendrick) is moving into his basement and no one really knows why. Job? Breakup? Drinking problem? Kevin’s wife Kelly (Melanie Lynskey) is a stay-at-home mom who is both exasperated and enchanted by her irresponsible sister-in-law. Happy-Christmas-02Christmas only exists on the absolute periphery of this movie, and as long as you like your holiday classics with a fair bit of pot smoking and erotica, and almost a total absence of cheer or hope or merriment, this one’s for you.

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22 thoughts on “Everybody’s got a Christmas Movie

  1. fatmilton

    First one sounds “interesting” enough to find somewhere… I guess movies are like family in a way… I have an uncle that nobody wants to admit is part of our family. Yet he taught me all the good shit! You know..drinking, fishing, smoking, playing chess, even a bit about sex cos he lived in a room behind our house for a while and had many ladies over for…chats…but I guess the timing was wrong cos I was about 10 then. (lol)
    back to the movies, thx for the reviews! no 2 is a no-no

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  2. Carrie Rubin

    I actually saw “The 2nd Day of Christmas,” believe it or not. It was on TV while I was baking Christmas cookies a couple of years back. I like Mark Ruffalo so I thought I’d give it a go. I remember NOTHING about it. Shows how good it was…

    Thank you again for my contest swag. So absolutely awesome!

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  3. Karl Restoule

    The Ref is a great Christmas movie. It needs to be released on Bluray, but when it comes to Christmas viewing, I’ll always go for the stop action Rudolph specials. Am I breaking a rule here? Either way, that’s how I see it.

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  4. Cathy Kennedy

    Thank you for the Christmas movie review, Jay. Based on the description of these two flicks neither one grabs my attention enough to watch. Well…the first one may have a teeny tiny possibility of catching me off guard, if I’m bored and want to see something that’s new-to-me, but don’t go holding your breath just yet. Have a very Merry Christmas and it was nice of you for popping in on me today for my edition of Skywatch Friday featuring Christmas Lights in Gatlinburg, TN. May you and yours have a joyful Christmas and a blessed new year!

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  5. In My Cluttered Attic

    I like Mark Ruffalo, but apparently so did Mary Stuart Masterson. Even while under house arrest! Still, I doubt either of these films will get me in the holiday spirit. So I’m going to ignore both of them like I would a Christmas pudding.

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  6. reocochran

    My favorite “bad” Christmas movie is “Bad Santa.” Depressing and rated “R” for a reason. Billy Bob Thornton is hilarious despite knowing it is crazy, racy and raunchy. 🙂
    My favorite good Christmas is “Love Actually.” Fantastic cast, unexpected solutions and lots of great music. 🙂

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  7. Chris

    Not seen those two films you reviewed. Christmas movie I’ve gone back since childhood is Santa Claus – The Movie (1985) with Dudley Moiore as an elf. The critics hated it, but has gained a cult following due to repeat showings on TV in the UK.

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  8. calensariel

    We’re so prone to make excuses for Christmas movies these days, aren’t we? There are no greats like It’s A Wonderful Life. But still we keep watching. I watched Nothing Like the Holidays twice before I got over the language (mostly ma-mee this and ma-mee that) and fell in love with it. Last year I also discovered Borrowed Hearts and Noel, which seems so sad since we’ve lost Robin Williams. His own “end” story in the movie seemed so similar to his actual death to me. Sigh… I think they’re there to keep our hearts soft.

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