Review of classic Christmas movies

Bella Lee, Staff Writer

Christmas is easily one of my favorite holidays. Being able to spend time with my family, decorating the tree and receiving presents always gives me a warm feeling in my heart. I have a belief that while Christmas music is okay to play after Halloween, decorating and putting up Christmas trees needs to be saved for after Thanksgiving. Fortunately, my entire family agrees with me on this.

However, one of the biggest rea-sons I love Christmas is for movies. One of my favorite Christmas movies is the 1983 classic “A Christmas Story.” This lighthearted film set in the 1940s tells the story of a young boy named Ralphie and the highs and lows he and his family experience leading up to Christmas.

Nearly 40 years after its release, this remains a favorite of mine and my mom’s, and it is as popular as ever even in 2021.Peter Billingsley, who played Ralphie, made an uncredited cameo as Ming Ming the Elf in the 2003 film “Elf.” Additionally, he played the role of William Ginter Riva in the 2008 film “Iron Man” and the 2019 film “Spider-Man: Far From Home.” He continues to work in the movie business, though he works more as a producer nowadays.

The house that Ralphie’s family lives in is now a museum in Cleveland. While sequels of the movie were made in 1988, 1994 and 2012, as well as a musical in 2012, the original remains a favorite to many, with TNT and TBS both hosting 24-hour marathons of the movie every Christmas day.

My other favorite Christmas movie, which I share with my mom, is the 2003 film “Elf.” Starring Will Ferrell and featuring big names such as James Caan, Ed Asner and Mary Steenburgen, it centers around Buddy, a hu-man raised among elves up in the North Pole at Santa’s workshop. Buddy travels to New York City in search of his birth father. Unsurprisingly, a human with an elf mind in a human world yields chaotic yet hilarious results.

Interestingly enough, Jim Carrey was initially slated to play the role of Buddy when the concept of the film was first made 10 years prior. Although he was eventually replaced with Ferrell, Carrey went on to star in two other Christmas classics: “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” and “A Christmas Carol.”

Alongside a cameo by Peter Billingsley are two cameo appearances: director Jon Favreau as Mr. Narwhal and the doctor that administers the DNA test between Buddy and Walter, his biological father. Like “A Christmas Story,” “Elf ” was ultimately made into a musical as well, running on Broadway for a year and still having national tours take place to this day. “Elf ” is the only movie of its kind, however, as Ferrell turned down a $29 million deal to make a sequel just a few months ago. As they say, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

Whether you are spending it with family or friends, Christmas can be a magical time. And that magical time can be seen in the Christmas movies that have become so popular. It is the perfect time to curl up in some blankets with some hot chocolate and watch your favorite yuletide classics. Keep warm and safe this holiday season, Lakers.