When You Need Cheering Up Part III: Top 5 Holiday Themed Movies

‘Tis the season to be jolly and merry and full of cheer. But what if you need a “cheer-me-up”? I know I can always use a little more cheer. And sometimes a lot more cheer.

To help with bringing a little more cheer your way, here comes the third installment of our “When You Need Cheering Up” installment. And, because of the season, they’re all holiday themed. Yes. All of them. Yes, including RED, which, if you remember, starts when Bruce Willis’ street is decked in holiday decorations, so of course it counts! And add to that a cast whose average age is above 22… But without any further snide remarks, only with our thanks to An Audience of One for inspiring us to share our list:

(1) LOVE, ACTUALLY

(2) RED

(3) ABOUT A BOY

(4) RUDY

(5) THE HOLIDAY

What movie would you add to round up the holiday cheer to an even 6?

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61 thoughts on “When You Need Cheering Up Part III: Top 5 Holiday Themed Movies

  1. This is so fun! I love the reason you included Red, and the average age of the cast (on all) being above 22. 😆 Those things alone were a cheer-me-up, as they made me laugh. Also, so fun that you included the trailers to catch a sneak peek at each of them. Love the post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You inspired me 🥰 Thank you for both inspiration and your kind words!

      As I watched “older” movies I was struck by how the average age of the actors seems to have seriously declined. Maybe it’s clearer with actresses? It sometimes seems that unless you’re Robert Redford or Ian McKellen, you’re pretty much gone at the first sign of a wrinkle? 🤪

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  2. I can’t remember why – LOL – but I know I loved Kate Winslet in “The Holiday”…now I’ll need to re-watch to remember! It must’ve been something more than general adoration of her acting ability…I’ll need to report back after I’ve figured it out! Thanks, EW! 😘

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    1. I watched it a couple (maybe more) years ago, and she warmed my heart, too with the way her character showed kindness to those who are older.

      Can’t wait to hear what your re-watch yields, and also if you have another recommendation for me!

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      1. Thanks so much! We watched National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation last night — it’s an annual ritual. Hubby’s sister, who passed away a few months ago adored the film, so we watched it thinking of her the whole way through…so many inappropriate and funny bits…hard to not laugh out loud! Thanks for the smiles! 😊😊😊

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  3. I love your intro to this, ” I know I can always use a little more cheer. And sometimes a lot more cheer.” Yep!

    And that you included the trailers. This is awesome. I think I’ve only seen Love Actually and really enjoyed it as a holiday movie. Great cheering up.

    As always when it comes to your list, I realize how under-movied I am these days. I’ve got to work on that!! Thanks for the inspiration and cheer, EW!

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    1. Thank you, Wynne, your words echo in my heart. Yes, we need that beautiful network you described in your response, of intertwining roots and cheer to continue to nourish hope.

      And there’s nothing like the holiday season to curl up with a warm cup of tea and watch a movie that brings cheer to the soul… Though this list might be not of interest to your kiddos 🙃

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    1. Me, too, with Love, Actually. There are poignant storylines intermixed with ones filled with merriment, ones filled with hope … a whole spectrum of, well, love, actually 😁

      What other ones do you recommend to expand the list?

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        1. rofl @ message 🙂 I love how you pointed that out, I might have missed it otherwise. Will go look for it—thank you for the recommendation, I wouldn’t have found it otherwise! Any others? This, after all, is the time for binge watching 😀

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    1. I’m glad we’re in agreement on at least one of 5 😀 Any thoughts about the others?

      And omg, I haven’t seen/heard anyone talk about Seven Brides for Seven Brothers in … well, let’s go with “so long” 😉 All I remember now is that it’s a musical that I’ve seen many many many years ago, I’ll admit I didn’t remember it, time to watch it again. Thank you for the recommendation! Should another one come to mind…

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      1. Of the 5 I have seen Rudy and Love, Actually. I don’t remember much about Love, Actually. 🙂 But I’ll give it another go at some point! I hope you enjoy Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. It was VERY old when I first saw it and now I’ve watched it with my kids and their young kids!

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        1. I remember it fondly, so I’m looking forward to finding where it streams!

          Love, Actually is more of an intertwined anthology: stories of the lives of a few different people, all somehow related to each other, ranging on the spectrum of emotions from sadness to foolishness to happiness, sort of the range of “love, actually”? 🙂

          RED is more of an action comedy. RED is an acronym for “Retired Extremely Dangerous” 🙂 And when something forces this “retired, extremely dangerous” person out of retirement, he pulls other retired, and yet extremely dangerous people out of theirs: Helen Mirren, Morgan Freeman, John Malkovich … You can imagine how that goes 🙂 What I pointed out in my intro is that it’s one of the few action movies you’ll see with a full cast of not-fresh-out-of-kindergarten actors.

          The Holiday is a sweet romcom, about two ladies who reach a crisis moment in their lives and sign up on one of the home-swap sites. Just like with How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, it’s one of those feelgood movies.

          About a Boy is about a grown up boy and a little boy that happen to meet, and despite at least one of them, they become more of “about a family.” The heart will start melting even in the middle of the current cold spell 🙂

          In short, movies that bring cheer to one’s heart 🙂

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          1. It’s been raining cats and dogs and I dare say some bears, too (that’s how much it rained, not actual bears :D), so after a short hiatus I’m back, fortunately, warm and dry, with my stomach full of goodies, ready for a year of happiness of good fortune.

            How’s your new year shaping out?

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  4. I love The Holiday so much; I rewatched it this past year.

    I can’t go through a holiday without watching Elf or Christmas Vacation; they both make me happy!

    Merry Christmas to you and yours.

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    1. You and me, both. It’s poignant and filled with hope all at the same time, and also, filled with compassion…

      I recently read that there’s an Apple TV movie, Spirited that’s a combination of Elf and a Ryan Reynolds Christmas movie that I haven’t seen: have you seen it? Worth it?

      Movies that make you happy are a wonder, so I’m going to add Christmas Vacation to my list, thank you very much for the recommendation, and a warm and wonderous Christmas to you and yours!

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  5. I am ashamed to say that I haven’t seen any of these. Although I might have had half an eye on Love actually if the M.O.T.H. was watching it, which is highly doubtful. I will add them to the watch list but Christmas is usually too busy – perhaps January is the time.

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    1. I’m apologetic for the delayed response (it’s the holiday season and all, I’ve been more away than here…), but I love that we found a fellow About a Boy lover! For years we’ve been baffled by why the movie never got the recognition it so richly deserves. Help us solve that mystery?

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  6. I love Red. And, of course, there’s the great Die Hard debate. Is it a Christmas movie or not?
    I’ve been hankering the last couple of days to watch The Journey of Natty Gan. I don’t know if Christmas is ever mentioned, or if there’s a single Christmas light, BUT it’s a great movie. 🙂

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    1. Me, too! I don’t even remember how many times I watched RED 🙂 And my vote goes for Die Hard being a Christmas movie… Of course, I don’t have very clearly defined criteria. It’s more of a gut feel? 🙂

      I’ve never heard of the Journey of Natty Gan, adding to my watch list. This rainy weather is perfect for a new (for me 🙂 ) movie: thank you!!!

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      1. I watched Natty Gann (I had her last name spelled wrong) yesterday with my kids. It was made in 1985! I did NOT remember all the swearing. Oops. Like 7 or 8 maybe. Groan. But who doesn’t love a movie about a girl befriending a wolf? Sorry for that spoiler, but the wolf is on the cover, so, you know. But yeah, decent flic. Young John Cusack. 🙂

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        1. I remember once recommending The Usual Suspects to my boss at the time, having completely blanked out on the amount of swearing the first few minutes. I think it’s record breaking. You should have seen the looks I got from my then boss. On the bright side he still speaks to me 🙂

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          1. Oh jeez. Isn’t that the worst? When you recommend something and later are like, oh, right… I forgot about that. I had friends over to watch The Hurricane, I think it was with Denzel Washington. I remember it was a great movie, but that was when I didn’t have kids. The friends who came over… they had kids. And the movie was like the start of The Usual Suspects. Face palm!

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          2. I love that you get me (and that you’re not offended by my faux pas in almost (?) recommending a too-scary movie for your son). Yeap: that was EXACTLY what happened. The gentleman in question, my boss at the time, still treats ALL my recommendations with not just a grain of salt, but two sacks of salt 😀

            But at least he still talks to me 🙂

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    1. I know I must have watched it when I was … younger, but I have almost no recollection of it. Ok, I have no recollection of it 🙂

      Has your youngest seen Indiana Jones? Not sure how old he is, but there are ample fights with bad guys 🙂

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      1. He’s 5. Not sure he’s ready for Indiana Jones. My sister reports letting her kids watch that recently and was appalled by how much violence she didn’t remember, like the guy getting run over double, front and back tires, his body flopping. I guess this stuff, like the swearing in the aforementioned movie, just washed over us as kids? I’m pretty sure she at least skipped over the melting skin and dropping eyeballs at the end. EVERYONE remembers that scene. Haha.

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        1. Ooops, definitely a nightmare for 5 year olds. I remember the first scene, with stealing the idol, I thought a 10 year old would get a kick out of that, but it’s been way too long since I’ve seen it to remember what you said about the body flopping… I do remember the melting skin, but … I have no excuse… I should have not suggested that… I’m going to stand in the corner for 5 minutes!

          Maybe Aladdin (Robin Williams edition)? Paddington? Maybe I shouldn’t recommend movies anymore? 🙂

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          1. Haha. You’re fine! I exposed him to a vicious growling wolf. He did say he was scared so I had to tell him, “It’s okay! They’re going to become friends!”

            That, and, you know, the 7 or 8 swear words, so TOTAL mom of the year over here.

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