So, ma's in her kerchef, and settled in for a long winter's nap. I will be describing the official Juvat approved 10 best Christmas Films (for Guys). Sorry, Ladies, "The Holiday" did not make the cut, despite starring Cameron Diaz. The criteria for ranking these movies, as agreed upon by Ebeneezer, are Historical accuracy, Well Told Story, Death and destruction, and finally Probability of being watched by your wife. A total of 10 points is available per category. Regrettably, "The Holiday" scored a whopping total of 10 points. I'll leave it to your imagination on which category the points were awarded.
From the bottom, then...
#10 "Trading Places" Total points -17, Historic Accuracy - 0, Well Told Story - 8 (would have been 5 but bonus points were awarded for an excellent scene involving Jamie Leigh Curtis, Death and Destruction -2, Probability of being watched by the wife - 7 (provided you arrange for her to be out of the room in one scene involving Jamie Leigh Curtis). A funny film with a well written comeuppance scene filmed back in the day when Eddie Murphy was actually funny.
# 9 Tie "Die Hard" Total points- 20 Historic Accuracy - 0, Well Told Story - 10 (Any screen play that can include the phrase "Yippee Kai, Yo. M@#*@ F@#$@@!" by definition is well told). Death and Destruction -10 (Well...Yeah!), Probability of being watched by the wife -0 (I inquired if she wanted to watch it, she replied "Yippee Kai, Yo. M@#*@ F@#$@@!" which I believe is Swahili for "No, Dear").
#8 Tie "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation" Total Points -20 Historic Accuracy -0, Well Told Story-10 (What guy among us (guy being defined as someone who doesn't wear red and black pajamas in the living room while sipping a Latte) hasn't dreamed of putting enough lights on his house to require a nuclear power plant to drive them). Death and destruction-5 Sleds, Sewer's, Christmas Trees (X 2), Yeah Baby!. Probability of being watched by the wife -5 (I think she sees herself as the Long Suffering Beverly D'Angelo to my Chevy Chase, for some reason, so do I)
#7 "Scrooged" Total Points - 21 Historic Accuracy-2 (it follows the Charles Dickens version well enough to garner 2 points. The margins are slim here.) Well Told Story-8 I mean the guy gets visited by 3 ghosts because he dumped Karen Allen. What was he thinking? Death and Destruction-8. "Some truths are painful" delivered by Carol Kane was probably the best line in the movie and very destructive. Probability of being watched by the wife -3. I think she liked the Carol Kane line also.
#6 " A Christmas Story" Total points -22 Historic Accuracy-1 "Triple Dog Dare Ya" got Sarge to stick his tongue to the flag pole at the Kun , Christmas 1979, the whole Wing fell out to witness. Well Told Story -7 See Above. Death and Destruction -7 A BB Gun and a 10 year old boy, nothing more destructive on earth, ask the red ants in Big Spring. Probability of being watched by the wife-7. Guess who rescued the Sarge? Seeing the re-enactment has to be a Christmas tradition.
#5 "3 Godfathers" Total Points -23 Historic Accuracy-0 The Three Wise Men didn't carry 6 shooters to Bethlehem. Well Told Story-10 John Wayne as a Bank Robber who rescues an infant and carries him on foot across the desert to safety? What's not to like? Death and Destruction -7 A 400 yard Winchester shot by Ward Bond that hits the water bag strapped to the side of a galloping horse, poking a hole in it, but not hitting the rider whose left leg is directly in front of it? That's some shootin' there, Pard! Probability of being watched by the wife-6 John Wayne taking care of an infant? High Comedic value there!
#4 "Lethal Weapon" Total Points -26 Historic Accuracy -0 Well Told Story-10 What's not to like about two buddies from completely different backgrounds who manage to take down a well armed and well manned drug ring by themselves, all the while throwing pithy comments at each other? Death and Destruction -10 Two buddies take down a well armed and well manned drug ring by themselves? It ain't done by sitting down and singing Kumbaya! Probability of being watched by the wife-6 Two words....Mel Gibson.
#3 "Joyeux Noel" Total Points -27. Historic Accuracy -9 Sarge says it's accurate. He was there in 1914. Well Told Story -8 Sarge says it's well told, he was there in 1914. Death and Destruction -8 Are you kidding? WWI trench warfare? Probability of being watched by the wife-2 Are you kidding? WWI trench warfare?
#2 "Home Alone" Total Points - 28 Historic Accuracy -0 History has no record of this story ever happening. Well Told Story-10. 10 year old boy defends home against two middle aged white males, defeating them absolutely. Oh....YEAH! Death and Destruction-8 No Kumbaya here either. Probability of being watched by the wife-10 Two middle aged white males being defeated by a 10 year old kid whilst the mother encounters numerous obstacles while she fights her way back to rescue her lion cub. Yep, gonna be watched!
#1 "White Christmas" Total Points -34 Historic Accuracy -8 -2 points for having an air attack on the US Army in WWII after the Kasserine Pass, didn't happen. Well Told Story -10 Army Buddies stick together after the war, achieve fame and fortune, help another Army Buddy (ok, Generals, even retired, are never "Buddies", but still...) out, meet girls and woo them. Yep, got all the categories checked there. Death and destruction -6 Building almost falls on the hero. The "Theatah!" gets demolished. Yep, good there also. Probability of being watched by the wife -10. Singing? Check! Dancing? Check! Girl dumps guy? Check! Guy sees error of ways and comes back? Check! Girl takes him back? Check? Probability of watching-100%.
So, There you have it folks. A completely unbiased, systematic evaluation and ranking of the 10 best Christmas Flicks for Guys 2016 edition.
In all seriousness (or all that I can muster after writing this), Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah or just plain Happy Holidays and may your New Year be even better than last.