Monday, 4 December 2017

The key to a great Christmas film: misery and mayhem | Jack Bernhardt
From Trading Places to The Santa Clause, classic festive films contain more than their fair share of murder, suicide and doomed relationships

At first glance, it might appear that Christmas films are pretty easy to make. Take a mediocre family film, put everyone in knitted jumpers, have a couple of scenes set at a snowy ice rink where the protagonist delivers some festive dialogue (“brrr, it sure is cold this mid-to-late December”), and just like that, you’ve got a film like Daddy’s Home 2, a film so Christmassy it’s made everyone in the world forget all those things Mel Gibson said about Jews and black people.

But creating a classic Christmas movie is actually quite hard. For one thing, the original story of Christmas is kind of a snoozefest - “I gave birth in a barn and then a bunch of academics gave me some gold” is a killer anecdote to liven up a dinner party, but not a great basis for 2,000 years of storytelling. For a Christmas movie to really pop, it needs some magic ingredients. After extensive research (hey, I’ve read more than 10 plot summaries of Christmas movies on Wikipedia) I can reveal the secret elements for creating the most joyous Christmas movies ever!

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from The Guardian