A Happy Holidays from the Cinema: Student Opinions and Recommendations

The holidays are here, and many students are taking part in various traditions. One of my personal favorites is a cup of hot chocolate by the fireplace, with a good movie on of course. But you might ask, what good movies are there to watch on the holidays? Well luckily, dear reader, I and your fellow St. Andrews attendees have come to the rescue with a few suggestions. Many students professed their movie traditions with classic comedies like Home Alone, Elf, and the Christmas Story. According to Lia Walton, “We all love comedies and watching them gives us a sense of nostalgia because we watch them every year.” Comedies are a great way to include the whole family, and the well written ones never seem to get old. It perhaps has something to do with the symbolic nature of these films, and how people see themselves reflected on screen. In fact, the most referenced films are older, and instead of new plots contain something new movies don’t, a sense of nostalgia and deeper meaning. One student deemed Home Alone’s Kevin as, “The representation of gen z”, with the message: “Don’t mess with kids and their imagination; let them live their lives”. Jack Solovey remarked that, “No matter how many times you see it [Home Alone], you will always react with a burst of laughter each and every year.” Most of the more popular comedy movies center around the perspective of children. A Christmas Story makes the simple plot of getting a new toy into an intricate plan that takes viewers through the trials and challenges of being a kid at Christmas. Elf on the other hand takes the mental age of a child and puts it in the grown body of Will Farrell. This charming movie shows the ever present love between families. It is best put by this surveyed student, who said, “We just enjoy watching the movie. It is fun to watch, and about families being able to connect over long distances, something my spread-out family appreciates a message about.” On a more serious note, the question of self worth and what it means to live is present in one of my favorites, the film It’s a Wonderful Life. It may start out like any other holiday movie, but by the end you’ll need a box of tissues. Don’t put the box away just yet, because a masterpiece is coming up, A Muppet’s Christmas Carol. While this movie plays to everyone’s love of Kermit, the deeper meaning is not just about Christmas, but the joy in sharing what you have with others. For those of us who are stuck between Halloween and Winter Break in a “Holiday Limbo”, as one student put it, you might look for A Nightmare Before Christmas. It is “is really beautiful regarding its animation and construction as a stop motion film.” If you are really all-out on the slasher movies, try Krampus, but do not expect your family to be able to watch too. Is Krampus not enough? Try Halloween Kills, but try not to wake anyone with your screams. Surprisingly contested is the Polar Express, some said they absolutely loved it, others said it was too suspenseful for a holiday kids movie. Either way, I bet it is worth a watch. A movie that came out recently which got mentioned quite a bit was Love Hard. I haven’t seen it, but according to Cricket Adu, it was “absolutely amazing”. Give it a watch! Actually, why not watch them all?

Henry Freytag ’24