StyleCaster’s Favorite Holiday Movies That Don’t Suck

Spencer Cain

Oh, the sweet, sweet holiday season. Between the endless family drama, the overeating induced stomachaches, and the constant tears, I really can’t think of a better time of year. Sorry for the dark take, but don’t act like you can’t relate. Sure, getting presents and everything is just lovely, but we all know it’s way more stressful than that.

What’s particularly frustrating to me is that you see tons of cheesy holiday flicks depicting nothing but merriment and joy. Well, that just ain’t the truth. (Editor’s note: Preach brother!)

Considering you will probably be bored and hunkering down in your hometown this weekend (and if not now, then definitely in the weeks to come), the StyleCaster team has assembled a list of holiday movies that don’t suck. This way, you can get into the spirit, but not want to drown yourself via a vat of egg nog in the process. These films are in no particular order, and certainly span a variety of genres —

  • Love Actually (2003) — OK, so it’s a little silly, but it’s full of British babes, and what’s better than a cynical rom-com?
  • Bad Santa (2003) — A badass black comedy with Billy Bob Thornton as a pervy mall Santa is exactly what the doctor ordered to get you out of your holiday funk.
  • Edward Scissorhands (1990) — One of the darker Christmas movies, this is also one of the most wonderful love stories ever. Oh, and it has Johnny Depp at his finest (BTW, we saw a guy dressed up like Edward Scissorhands taking pictures with tourists last night in Times Square, so don’t tell me this isn’t a seasonal winner.)
  • Planes, Trains & Automobiles (1987) — Ah, a man struggling to get home for Thanksgiving, dealing with the massive stupidity of holiday travelers. Now this hits home.
  • National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989) — The Griswold family is probably the only family more dysfunctional than yours. So, pop it in and enjoy.
  • Scrooged (1988) — This is every cynical d-bag’s fear: getting haunted by three spirits who try to teach you lessons about your behavior. Bill Murray shines in what is arguably the best take on A Christmas Carol…besides of course, VH1’s A Diva’s Christmas Carol.
  • Black Christmas (1974) — In this gem, a sorority house is terrorized by frightening phone calls and everyone is eventually slaughtered by a mysterious murderer. If you have a sorority/frat star in your life who you want to get revenge on (ugh, and we ALL do), this is the holiday flick for you!
  • The Holiday (2006) — Sappy? Yes, but whatever. Jude Law, Cameron Diaz, Kate Winslet, and a whole load of kickass cameos make this one of the best Christmas flicks ever.
  • The Ref (1994) — Denis Leary is totally at his bitter finest in this comedy about a cat burgler forced to take a bickering family hostage on Christmas Eve. Driven to the point of insanity (we’ve all been there, right?), the dude has no choice but to referee their differences (since gagging them apparently wouldn’t make for a good story).
  • Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992) — Now, this was a hot-button argument in the office and my dark horse choice for the list, but I much prefer this to the original. Not that I don’t love both, but as a New York native I can safely say that there’s nothin’ like Christmas in the Big Apple!