If you’re looking for one of those schmaltzy holiday columns about childhood memories opening gifts, warm-and-fuzzy family gatherings, making snow angels, and enough sentimentality to give you a cavity…
I’m not your guy.
I just need two things for a perfect Christmas… great food and an action movie in which things explode.
On Christmas Eve, the best Italian meal of the year is served, called “The Feast of the Seven Fishes.” (Seven kinds of seafood.) After that wonderful dinner, we sit back and enjoy part two of our holiday tradition.
The annual viewing of the best Christmas movie ever: "Die Hard."
It’s actually my all-time favorite movie. Thank goodness DVDs were invented because I wore out two VHS copies.
Sure, there are other great Christmas classics. I’ll admit I get a lump in my throat at the end of "It’s a Wonderful Life." "Home Alone's" booby traps are hilarious. And Cousin Eddie in "Christmas Vacation" emptying the, uh, tank in his RV, well, that’s tough to top for comedy.
Many will argue "Die Hard" is really not a Christmas movie, but there are too many references to ignore. The soundtrack is loaded with Christmas music. Theo recites part of "The Night Before Christmas." The wife’s name is Holly! But what makes "Die Hard" such a unique film is an incredible script along with the twists, turns and fantastic stunts.
Bruce Willis is the ultimate smart-aleck everyman, the action hero doing everything to save his wife… while running around barefoot. One guy facing incredible odds versus a team of terrorists. Willis combines action with snarky humor like no one else. “Nine million terrorists in the world and I gotta kill one with feet smaller than my sister.” And no one had heard “Yippie-ki-yay” in years. (It’s from a 1930 Bing Crosby song.) Willis made it a trendy catchphrase.
-The late, great Alan Rickman is the best villain of all time, and his unique delivery adds to the character of Hans. “Now I have a machine gun. Ho… ho… ho.” And what a great twist when he drops the British accent to sound American. No one saw that coming.
-Sleazy Ellis trying to make a deal with the terrorists. “Hans… bubby. I’m your white knight.”
-Sergeant Al’s comment about the building needing screen doors after an explosion.
-The clueless big hair TV anchor who tries to look smart by saying Helsinki is in Sweden when it’s in Finland.
-The introduction of the two FBI agents, both named Johnson, one white, one black. “I’m Agent Johnson… this is Special Agent Johnson. No relation.”
-The local cop in charge after the FBI guys crash and burn. “We’re going to need some more FBI guys.”
-Something many have wanted to do: Holly punching the slimy reporter at the end of the movie.
Seriously, you wanna watch "Miracle on 34th Street" instead of this?
So next year, invite your out-of-state guests to visit for a non-traditional holiday. “Come out to Alabama, we’ll get together, have a few laughs.” Open the door and greet them with, “Welcome to the party, pal.” Serve a nice dinner (not a TV variety) and then start a new tradition. When you’re done opening gifts sit back to watch the best Christmas movie ever.
Randy Tatano is the author of more than 20 novels, writing political thrillers under the pen name Nick Harlow, and romantic comedies as Nic Tatano. He spent 30 years working in television news as a local affiliate reporter and network field producer.
The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the policy or position of 1819 News. To comment, please send an email with your name and contact information to Commentary@1819News.com.
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