Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Top Ten Favorite Christmas Movies

'Tis the season to be jolly and to watch Christmas movies while decorating the tree or baking cookies or sitting in front of a wood fire (except in Arizona where we sit in front of faux wood fires). Over the next week or so, I will be sharing my top ten favorites of the season. Coming in at #9 and #10 are:

New In Town (Widescreen Edition)New in Town with Renee Zellwegger and Harry Connick, Jr. Synopsis (from A high-powered consultant in love with her upscale Miami lifestyle is sent to a middle of nowhere town in Minnesota to oversee the restructuring of a blue-collar manufacturing plant. After enduring a frosty reception from the locals, icy roads and freezing weather, she warms up to the small town's charm, and eventually finds herself being accepted by the community. When she is ordered to close down the plant and put the entire community out of work, she is forced to reconsider her goals and priorities and finds a way to save the town.

The story is predictable. You know exactly what is going to happen as soon as Renee's character arrives in town: The hard-nosed city girl will be charmed by the locals, especially Harry Connick. But it doesn't matter. Connick and Zellwegger light up the screen, and the supporting cast, especially J. K. Simmons and Siobhan Fallon, are wonderful. The movie was filmed in the winter in a sub-zero Winnepeg, and because of the conditions the cast and crew had to face, the backstory is as interesting as the movie. 4 out of 5 Stars

Love Actually (Widescreen Edition)Love Actually with a cast that includes Hugh Grant, Emma Thompson, Alan Rickman, Liam Neeson, and Bill Nighy. Snyopsis (from The characters are falling in love, falling out of love, some are with right people, some are with the wrong people, some are looking to have an affair, some are in the period of mourning; a capsule summary of reality. Love begins and love ends. At all ages and social levels, love is the theme. Romantic love and brotherly love is the hotchpotch through out the movie. Most of the movie is filmed in London during Christmas and the characters all end up at Heathrow airport on a very uplifting note.

The quality of the stories vary greatly, and some didn't work for me at all (but I fast forward through those). However, watching Hugh Grant (as Britain's PM) dance and alcoholic Bill Nighy trying to record a Christmas song are standouts. My favorite couple: Bill Nighy and his overworked and undervalued Guy Friday, Gregor Fisher. 3.5 out of 5 Stars

Please feel free to share your own favorites. :)


  1. I haven't seen New in Town, but I like predictable romances during the Christmas holidays, so I intend to see it. I really enjoyed Love Actually. It's not outstanding, but very enjoyable and Hugh Grant as the prime minister was priceless.:) I like Colin Firth's story in this. It was bit far-fetched, but sweet and Mr Firth speaking Portuguese is yummy.;)

    I'm looking orward to learning more about your fave X-mas movies!

    P.S. I finally reviewed Angel of Mercy.:)

  2. I haven't seen New in Town yet, but Love Actually is one of my favorites...
    The Holiday is another

  3. Hi Lorena, I also liked Colin's story and Emma Thompson's as well.

    Hi CaRiiToO, (Had to concentrate while typing that.) The Holiday is one of my favorites as well and is included in Friday's post. Thank you for commenting.

  4. I haven't seen New in Town yet, but since you recommend it, I'm going to add it to the list for this season. I own Love Actually on Bluray, and it's now a staple at our house too. I agree that Billy Nighy and Gregor Fisher are the two standouts.

    Can't wait for your next installment. What a good idea.


  5. I loved New In Town! Great choice!! Even though we all knew what was going to happen, I loved Renee Zellwegger and Harry Connick, Jr.! That one scene when his kid walks in when Harry and Renee were starting to make out -- hilarious!

  6. Don't like Love Actually that much. I think too cheesy. I prefer A Christmas Carol.

    Fire and Cross

  7. Hi Enid, There are stories in Love Actually that are "cheesy," esp. the ones about the porn stars and the guy who goes to Wisconsin and picks up three girls. He made my skin crawl.

  8. I haven't seen New in Town also but I enjoyed watching and that was some years ago.

    The best Christmas themed movies for me are Home Alone and Home Alone 2 and I try to watch either one during Christmas season. Made me lol when I watch it everytime.

  9. Hi Luthien, I enjoyed Home Alone also. I took my daughters to see it when they were young, and everyone was rolling in the aisles at the theater.

  10. I bought New in Town at your suggestion, and I really enjoyed it. It will be a new holiday staple. And now I'm in the mood for some old school Harry Connick Jr. music!