Merry movies to watch this holiday season

Promotional poster for “Elf” (2003).

For some people, no amount of Christmas movies, shows, foods and merchandise are enough. If you’ve found that you just can’t watch the same old Christmas movies anymore, or if you want to start watching them, you may be looking for options. For those who wish to be haunted by the spirit of the holidays, here are some movies for you.

Let’s get started with "The Grinch." Which Grinch? That’s up to you. There’s the classic holiday special from the '60s, featuring a vocal performance by Boris Karloff—he of Frankenstein fame. It’s the story of the Grinch at its purest, with barely any new elements mixed in, as Dr. Seuss adaptations tend to do. If that sounds like it appeals to you, then great. If not, I’d like to point you in the direction of 2000’s "The Grinch." While the turn of the century may not have brought about the predicted Y2K crisis, it did bring us Jim Carey as the Grinch. Among the few live action adaptations of Suess’ material, it has the same feel as those other films. This one, unlike its predecessor, added many new elements to the story. That will be either the appeal or the drawback of this Grinch. If you don’t like your Grinch sassy and somewhat self-aware, then this isn’t the movie for you. Finally, there’s the remake that came out just a few years ago—2018 to be exact. This time around, the Grinch role went to Benedict Cumberbatch who stars in a fairly straightforward retelling of the tale.

If a rom-com is more your style, then look no further than "Just Friends" on Netflix. Starring Ryan Reynolds and Amy Smart, it tells the story of Reynolds as Chris Brander, who has just come home for Christmas. Having become a record executive, he reconnects with his old high school friend and crush during his stay. If you’re into Reynolds' type of humor—think "Deadpool" and "Free Guy"—then you’ll probably enjoy this iteration of him. However, I should probably give a fair warning that the jokes have not all aged well; the movie came out in 2005.

If you want something that has aged a little better, then last year’s "Happiest Season" should have you covered. It stars Kristen Stewart as Abby, and Mackenzie Davis as Harper, as a happy couple. Their relationship takes a rocky turn when they go to visit Harper’s family, whom she has not yet come out to. As expected, hijinks ensue. It can be found on Hulu.

For a straightforward comedy with just a dash of romance, I highly encourage you to watch the instant classic "Elf." I’m sure most of you have already seen it, but if one or two of you haven’t, I’m telling you that you have to see it. Will Ferrell somehow manages to translate his brand of comedy into a PG rated film and does it with style. The naive Buddy, a human who was raised as an elf, travels from the North Pole to New York City to meet his biological father. Even when you take away all of the jokes, you’re still left with a touching tale of why it is important to spread love instead of hate. At the end of the day, isn’t that just a nice message to hear around the holidays?

These are just a few choices to help you get started. If they don’t work for you then that’s okay. Everyone can celebrate, or not, this holiday season in their own way. Whatever works to raise your spirits, especially in these trying times, is priceless in my book.

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