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Holiday Movies for Grown Ups

That are a little darker than what they're offering on the Hallmark Channel

Tis the season for Grown Ups 
An outline of a television decorated with holly.

Saturday nights are me and Hubs night to hang out. We kick the kids out and settle down to catch up on our shows, our movies, and our shared interests. It’s date night. 

I am always in the mood to match my viewing with the seasons, but often Christmas movies are either specifically for children or sickly sweet adults. And while there are films to appeal to adults full of dark humor, slapstick, and usually inebriated baffoons, those don’t do anything for me because I am not a large teenager.

So what is there to watch as a grown up, mature individual who is toeing that line between complete regression back to childhood or teenhood days or toppling into the clean-cut, benign, low-stakes world of Hallmark Holidays? 

Last year, Hubs and I made a list of our favorite Holiday Movies for Grown Ups

  1. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang – starring Robert Downey Jr., Val Kilmer, and Michelle Monaghan. It’s a Christmas week noir with all the best noir elements: damsels in distress, amateur detectives, and the seedier side of Hollywood. It’s also full of snappy dialogue, dark humor, and an epic LA car chase. We watch this one every year. 

  2. Die Hard – I feel like everyone knows this one because of all the debates over whether Die Hard qualifies as a Christmas movie. In our house, it does, and Hubs and I watch it while we finish wrapping Team Santa gifts on Christmas Eve. It’s a heist gone wrong movie in an LA skyscraper starring Bruce Willis and the glorious legend that is Alan Rickman. 

  3. Four Christmases – This is a Slone pick. She loves slapstick family drama. Personally, it’s a little too real for me at times. I can totally relate to a couple trying to flee the country as a way to avoid holiday shenanigans, particularly as someone who has had to make the rounds from house to house because some family members cannot be in the same room together. I watch it because Katy Mixon is the funniest person in the movie, and reminds me of basically all of my cousins. I could watch her roll through those Taboo game cards on a loop. 

  4. Scrooged – As Rick James summed up about the 1980s, “Cocaine was a hell of a drug.” This version of A Christmas Carol has all the excess and the grittiness of the 1980s. Carol Kane as the ghost of Christmas present is constantly kicking our Scrooge in the nuts, and feels justified in doing it. And while I want to dismiss it sometimes, Bill Murray’s frantic live speech about loving his fellow man that leads to Annie Lenox’s “Put a Little Love in Your Heart” kicks me right in the feels. I laugh, I cry, I am embarrassed by my undying affection for Bill Murray.

  5. The Family Stone – All the family gathers knowing that the oldest son will be asking for the family engagement ring for the girlfriend that no one in the family likes. I love Diane Keaton in this movie, because I appreciate moms that are complicated. The disapproval this family feels toward the girlfriend – played by Sarah Jessica Parker – is unfair. But families are unfair. 

  6. The Holiday – Nancy Myers is the epitome of romantic comedy magical realism. Everyone is so needlessly attractive that Kate Winslet is the awkward girl that can’t get the roguish guy in her office. Kate Winslet, y’all. I have images of her cottage on my vision board, as well as the play tent Jude Law’s adorable little girls built in their bedroom. 

  7. Metropolitan – this is 100% a Hubs pick. He is obsessed with Whit Stillman, who, let’s be honest, needs someone to throw a glass of water on him, because the humor is so freaking dry. It has wonderful scenes of New York in the winter during what they call The Deb season. It does not have the same glamor of Gossip Girl, but if the rituals of New York society intrigue you, it’s worth viewing.

  8. Bridget Jones Diary – I actually prefer this for New Year’s, because it is a movie about resolutions and repeating old patterns. It starts with Bridget belting out Celine Dion’s “All By Myself”, and ends with her running through the snow in her underwear. Bridget is both cringy and inspiring, much like we all are. 

  9. Sleepless in Seattle – Not specifically what I would qualify as a Christmas movie, but considering how it begins on a late night drive listening to a radio show on Christmas, it counts for me. Even if it ends on Valentine’s Day at the Empire State Building. Meg Ryan’s apartment in that movie informed my design and style choices as an adult. 

  10. The Thin Man – in the oldie but goodie category, this black and white mystery is set  during the Christmas season in the always fun and glamorous home of Nick and Nora Charles. 

I could have added more, but I will leave it here with what I consider are the greats. I am 100% here for any suggestions left in the comments below.

Read Books, Wear Boots,




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