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Christmas Comedies Extended Web Edition

CLASSICS


Miracle on 34th Street
Originally released in 1947, this classic has gotten the remake treatment more times than The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Maybe its staying power has to do with the fact that everyone loves to see Santa committed to a psychiatric facility.

VERDICT:
Though it' not as irreverently funny as the other films on this list, Miracle makes us question our belief in things we can't prove, like God. And isn't that what Christmas comedies are all about?

AUDIT FACT:
The film won three Academy Awards and was ranked ninth on AFI' "100 Years"100 Cheers" list of America' most inspiring movies, barely beating out The Ref.



How the Grinch Stole Christmas!
Yes, we know this isn't a feature film, but this 1966 TV special packs as much of a punch in 22 minutes than any animated short in recent memory. So that' why it' included in this list of movies. If you have a problem with that it means you hate Christmas cheer.

VERDICT:
Remember the part when his tiny dog Max is forced to pull that heavy sleigh? Or when the Grinch steals that Christmas tree in front of the adorable Whoville townie girl? And who can forget singer Thurl Ravenscroft' infectious baritone on "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch"? No one, and it' because this film dominates as much mental real estate as our first sexual experiences. Especially for CRACKED Editor Justin Droms, who, since losing his virginity while watching The Grinch, cannot properly have sex without it being on in the room.

AUDIT FACT:
Thurl Ravenscroft was also the voice of Kellogg' Tony the Tiger until his death in May of 2005. So, you know, don't say you've never learned anything from this website.



The Ref
Check out this bold claim: The Ref is the best film starring Dennis Leary. Trust us, people. It took a lot of brave decision-making to write that with all the other movies eligible for that distinction. And we stand by it.

VERDICT:
Surely, with all the attempted robbery and bondage, it shares the honor of being the darkest Christmas comedy along with The Ice Harvest. Oh yeah, and Kevin Spacey is golden as one half of a staggeringly dysfunctional suburban marriage. If only he would have expanded on that character in a film with a better script, it could have been truly" beautiful.

AUDIT FACT:
Dennis Leary broke into countless Boston apartments to research his role as the thieving Gus.


UNDERRATED



The Best Christmas Pageant Ever
This heartwarming TV special' strongest attribute is that it featured a pre-pubescent Fairuza Balk. This is an oddly wholesome start for Ms. Balk considering that she went on to take such career-making roles as a witch in The Craft and a rock star' cum bucket in Almost Famous.


VERDICT:
TBCPE, as it' known by diehard fans, is yet another X-mas story in which ragamuffin children discover the true meaning of the holiday. Simply by acting in a church play about the birth of Christ, the Herdman kids have a religious epiphany, get all Jesus freaky, and begin a strict regimen of brutal self-flagellation. At least some of that last part is true.

AUDIT FACT:
The Herdman clan reappears in two sequels, The Best Halloween Ever and The Best School Year Ever. The characters also served as the original culture pundits on VH1' Best Week Ever until they were all fired for being too homely and non-Jewish.


The Muppet Christmas Carol
Like many Americans, our first encounter with Charles Dickens' classic novel was narrated by the inimitable Gonzo. Along with Roots, this movie is one of the rare examples when the whole "the book is way better" claim is total horseshit.

VERDICT:
While it' not necessarily the best Muppet movie, The Muppet Christmas Carol is far and away Michael Caine' strongest performance. Of course, the only other films we've seen him in are Jaws: The Revenge and The Swarm, but chances are the rest of his career isn't much more impressive.

AUDIT FACT:
Though Jim Henson supposedly died in 1990, there' strong reason to believe he' been secretly producing a sprawling masterpiece with Elvis, Kurt Cobain, and Tupac manning their Muppet versions.

OVERRATED



The Nightmare Before Christmas
If only the real world had holiday-themed towns like those in The Nightmare Before Christmas. Oh man, we'd pack up shop and move to Mardi Gras-opolis and party all day and all night. And then we'd go fuck shit up in Earth Dayville like it was nobody' business. We're the coolest.


VERDICT:
By far the spookiest and most clay-filled Christmas movie, Nightmare proves that Tim Burton is looking out for the kids. But compared to the rest of his oeuvre, it lands somewhere between Sleepy Hollow and that cool mixtape he made for a girl in high school.

AUDIT FACT:
As proud members of the list-making community, we protest this film' eligibility to be included in Christmas movie lists along with Halloween movie lists. There have to be firm ground rules, or all these lists we toil over become exercises in frivolity. And we can't have that, now can we?


Love Actually
Every British person alive was cast in this movie.

VERDICT:
By the time the 30th love story was introduced and then somehow woven back into the third and fourth love stories by way of the tenth, we lost interest. Needless to say, the film made us want to marry a British chick and name all of our kids Rowan Atkinson.


AUDIT FACT:
CRACKED Editor Jack O'Brien once held Love Actually star Hugh Grant' umbrella for an entire day while he shopped for chocolates and penny loafers in all three of New York City' gay districts.

TOTAL CRAP



Christmas With the Kranks
For some reason, studio execs thought the public would get behind a movie about Tim Allen and Jamie Lee Curtis frantically putting up Christmas decorations for their daughter' surprise homecoming.

VERDICT:
In our turbulent post-9/11 world, movies like this lead the terrorists to believe they've won.

AUDIT FACT:
Ebert and Roeper gave it "Two thumbs, way way down," and even most ballet recital home videos deserve at least one thumb up to them.



Jingle All the Way
Sinbad, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Jim Belushi in one movie. Just thinking about this glorious trifecta makes us cum a little bit.

VERDICT :
Because the movie is about two grown men racing to buy a last-minute Christmas gift, people blasted it for focusing too much on the material nature of the holiday. The studio' response was that it was intended to be a satire and must have gone over the public' head. Our response: Who the fuck gives a shit?


AUDIT FACT:
Sinbad wrote a sequel called Hey, It' Another Jingle All the Way Movie but he couldn't get any studio support. It has the exact same plot as the first one and many similar scenes. Come to think of it, the only major difference is that Arnold' character is to be played by Sinbad and Sinbad' old character was written for Dakota Fanning. Brilliant? Probably.




Nester, the Long-Eared Christmas Donkey
This 1977 TV special is about a donkey with extraordinarily long ears that gets booted from the stable on account of his freakish appearance. It' set ancient Roman times and we think there' some sort of Jesus allegory at play.

VERDICT:
It' one of those movies that you have to watch at least three times if you want to pick up on all the subtle allusions and idiosyncrasies, kind of like The Big Lebowski.

AUDIT FACT:
We've never seen it.
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