When it comes to the category of Christmas comedy films, there are plenty to choose from but few that live up to the audience expectations. Comedy films about Christmas give us the opportunity to laugh at ourselves and break free of the stress surrounding the holidays.
There are a multitude of funny Christmas movies out there. Like any other genre of film, we have to dig through the sleigh to find the best of the best. This list of top Christmas comedies were based on movies that were A+ on the laughter scale and those that were based on a decent story line foundation.
A Christmas Story
The tale of a young boy who attempts several plans to ensure he receives a Red Ryder BB gun for Christmas. This 50s era story takes us back to simpler times when plugging in a Christmas tree meant changing out fuses first. The beauty of the tale is that it takes the viewer into memories of their own childhood Christmases and what it meant to have a dream of a special toy. Excellent acting takes center stage in this character driven movie. Jean Shepherd, Peter Billingsley, Melinda Dillon, Darren McGavin and Scott Schwartz lead the line up of brilliant actors in this film. A Christmas Story is one of my favorites of the holiday season and is one I have watched several times each year but never seem to tire of the truisms of family life in the 50s. This funny film was designed to fill-in space on a television station during the usual Christmas programming. In the process of airing, it seems it went “viral” and is one of the most popular holiday comedy movies of all time.
The Polar Express
The Polar Express is simply pixilated perfection. The tale of a magical train headed for the North Pole is the foundation of a phenomenally animated film. The Polar Express is a computer generated fantasy comedy film that surpasses all other animated full-length feature films. While the comedy is light, the viewing is pure enjoyment. The characters are so well done; they jump off the screen with realism. Tom Hanks, Josh Hutcherson, Eddie Deezen, Nona Gaye and Michael Jeter head the cast of this holiday film. The 2004 movie is based on a children’s book by the same name, written by author Chris Van Allsburg. The beauty of this movie is that I’ve watched it during the year and it still brought out the child in me and put me in that Christmas spirit that one generally feels once a year during the holidays. The Polar Express was a huge box office hit in the year of its release and is still one of the popular films today for home viewing.
The Nightmare Before Christmas
In 1993, Tim Burton and cast introduced us to a rather unique character in Jack Skellington. The animation is Burton-esque and who wants it any other way? Jack Skellington is the king of Halloweentown. Along his adventures, he discovers Christmas town, although he’s at a complete loss of what the excitement is all about. The film is commonly listed under “musical-fantasy-horror” as a category but I choose fantasy-musical-comedy. The film has a multitude of laughable lines, scenes and characters. The magic of Danny Elfman, Catherine O’Hara, Glenn Shadix, Paul Reubens and Chris Sarandon intertwine with the animated figures and catchy tunes to bring us perfection in a unique funny fantasy that will never be overshadowed. For those who have not seen this film, it is definitely one of a new experience and is well worth the viewing. Those who have seen the film will probably watch it again as a holiday favorite.
Love Actually intertwines eight unique couples and their relationships. This 2003 Christmas film is at the top of my list for romantic comedies. Out of London, we enter the lives of these couples to witness their trials and tribulations in love, in a very comical way. Hugh Grant, Keira Knightley, Colin Firth, Bill Nighy, Emma Thompson and Martine MacCutcheon jingle all the bells in Love Actually in terms of comical genius. The film exudes comical gestures, expressions and lines all portrayed by an amazing cast. From the tale of a young boy and his first love to the Prime Minister who is attracted to an ordinary girl living in London, each relationship explodes with love and Christmas humor. Excellent film for chick flick gatherings, Christmas family fun or single viewing movie night when a simple romantic film isn’t enough. The Christmas theme is seen throughout, to put the viewer in the Christmas spirit.
National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
Christmas Vacation definitely has enough laughs to keep an audience riveted. One of the Chevy Chase Vacation franchise, released in 1989, Christmas Vacation single-handedly proves that you can’t fix stupid. The Griswold family is out to have the time of their life, even with the dysfunctional family coming to visit. The holidays will never be the same with a house lit well enough to land an entire army of planes (if they can get it to work) and the slapstick moves of Chase is enough to keep the film flowing. This funny movie still captures the hearts of Vacation fans even years after the original release and was rated as one of the top seasonal television specials in 1994, moving beyond the brilliance of It’s a Wonderful Life. Chevy Chase, Beverly D’Angelo, Randy Quaid and Diane Ladd toast the season of good will in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation in the true Griswold fashion. Worth seeing at least once and genuine Vacation franchise fans seem to enjoy several viewings. Good film to introduce a young audience to the series of Griswold dysfunctional comedies.