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. Their 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 ‘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 second 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. Christmas 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.