‘Tis the season to watch movies

merry christmas eve!

i hope this post finds you well, surrounded by friends, family, alcohol and chocolate.

i have a confession to make… one of my goals this year was to publish 52 blogs, the equivalent of one a week. so far i’m on 49, this post is number 50. i have a week to do 2 more after this one. for that reason this is a bit of a cop-out – i am playing catch up so it isn’t the most inspiring of posts but it does involve two of my favourite things – christmas and movies.

the debate has been raging this year over whether or not die hard is a christmas movie, i get that it isn’t a typical christmas movie but then neither are some of my favourites that i always seem to watch at this time of the year. in fact, one of my top ten christmas movies is not actually  a xmas movie at all. which brings us nicely to the countdown.

meet me in st louis

not a christmas movie. the xmas scene is definitely the stand out scene and is the origin of the best christmas song of all time – have yourself a merry little christmas.

miracle on 34th street

richard attenborough is definitely the BEST father christmas out there. it isn’t a movie i watch a ridiculous amount at christmas but i always watch it at least once. the ‘in God we trust’ court room scene is one of the best.

the grinch

i mean, of course this was in my top ten. i know the story was written before i was born but it’s almost like dr seuss wrote it based on me (because it’s all about me). the 2000 film is christmas gold.

elf

“the best way to spread christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear”

“you sit on a throne of lies”

saaaaaaaantaaaaa, i know him!”

“son of a nutcracker!”

“hi i’m buddy the elf, what’s your favourite colour?”‘

“you have such a pretty face. you should be on a christmas card”

definitely the most quotable christmas movie, you cannot watch that movie and not laugh. you cannot watch that movie and feel sad when the credits roll.

the family stone. 

this is SO underrated, most of you probably haven’t even heard of it even though it has a stellar cast…diane keaton, rachel mcadams, SJP, claire danes, luke wilson, dermot mulroney (dreamboat), craig t nelson…

this is about the kids all coming home for the holidays, the eldest brother brings his slightly uptight girlfriend to meet this family for the first time, and plans to propose. the scenes that unfold over the next couple of days are hilarious and awkward in equal measure.

this is the movie that reminds me that families are not perfect, even at christmas. they are the ones that are the most honest with you, normally at the times when you don’t want to hear it but need to.

home alone

whilst ‘elf’ may be the most quotable, this one has THE christmas quote “merry christmas, ya filthy animal” i mean, technically that is from home alone 2 but the first one sets it up. you all know the movie, you all know the story, you all know it’s one of the best.

the holiday

oh, the old guy is my favourite: arthur is a dream. i know the story isn’t particularly original but i just love it. when meredith realises what a tool jaspar is and sticks it to him, when amanda finally cries, when arthur walks up to the stage… all ‘yassss’ moments.

“i really like it”

the santa clause

i couldn’t tell you why i love this so much, i just do. if you haven’t watched it, shame on you.

p.s. it has to be the tim allen version.

p.p.s i really want to try judy’s (who’s seeing someone in wrapping) cocoa.

the muppets christmas carol

the muppets. michael caine. feel good singalong songs. what is not to love???

i know most of the dialogue to this movie. i know all the words to the songs and at 28, the angel of the future still scares the bejesus out of me.

so far, so good? hopefully you think i’ve made pretty good selections, if you don’t, well, tough, it’s my list not yours. the number one spot though, the number one spot goes to the only movie that would be acceptable to be number one. are you dreaming of it? 

white christmas

of course it’s white christmas!!!

danny kaye and bing crosby are the hilarious. rosemary clooney sings like a dream. vera ellen’s dancing is mesmerising. the soundtrack (hello, white christmas, one the best christmas songs ever written although there are some other bangers in there too), the final scenes when the old gang turn up for the general, it makes me cry everytime. it is just perfection on a screen.

also, this scene… this scene alone is enough to give it the number one spot

now i am aware that i have missed of the classic that is ‘it’s a wonderful life’ and whilst i acknowledge it’s ‘classic’ movie status i have not seen it enough to give it space in my top ten. what i do remember from it is two things 1. “everytime a bell rings an angel gets his wings” and 2. it makes me cry. no, actually, not cry, sob. maybe this year i will be brave enough to give it another go… i wouldn’t bet on it though. ha.

anyway, i leave you with good tidings for you and your kin on this fine christmas eve. i hope that you are on the nice list and santa brings you some lovely goodies. i hope that, no matter how you spend tomorrow, you have a day filled with love, laughter and happy times.

make some great memories.

xoxo micks

merry christmas.

Eat. Pray. Love

Eat. Pray. Love.
If you work with me, chances are you’ve heard me raving about this book. It was a complete fluke that I bought it; I was at Naples airport on my way home (by myself) and I’d already finished my only book I hadn’t read on my iPad ( The Elegant Art of Falling Apart by Jessica Jones – AWESOME read) and I was bored waiting alone. So I wondered into the newsagents and bought the only 2 books that looked half decent that were written in English. One was ‘The a Day before Happiness’ by Erri de Luca, the second ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ by Elizabeth Gilbert.

I knew there was a movie adaptation with the original pretty woman, one Ms. Julia Roberts. I’d seen bits and bobs of the movie, I knew it was about a woman who went travelling. But that was it. Now, I’m not gonna sit here and write a blurb on the book, that’d be a bit boring. I am however, gonna talk about how rad the book is.

I believe that Liz and I (that’s right, I call her Liz. We’re pals in my head) are kindred spirits. She goes off travelling in search of answers, in search of some kind of equilibrium. And, Lord knows, that is what I am always doing. She meets some weird and wonderful people along the way – travelling is awesome for that – and she learns some pretty cool tings too.

I love a book that makes me think, and EPL does just that. I felt like I was going on her journey with her and as she learnt lessons, so did I (I realise that sounds a bit cray cray but you know, I felt involved) There are some passages in there that really rang true with me. The first one is this…

“People think a soulmate is your perfect fit, and that’s what everyone wants. But a true soulmate is a mirror, the person who shows you everything that is holding you back, the person who brings you to your own attention so you can change your life. A true soulmate is probably the most important person you’ll ever meet, because they tears your walls down and smack you awake. But to live with a soulmate forever? Nah, too painful. Soul mates, they come into your life to reveal another layer of yourself to you and then they leave. And thank God for it”

As a girl, you are fed the “happily ever after” dream from when you are small. All the Disney movies have a ‘love story’ at the centre and it always seems to be a man who saves the poor, helpless woman. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie sums it up “ because I am female, I am expected to aspire to marriage, I am expected to make my life decisions always keeping in mind that marriage is the most important thing…” (Watch her whole speech on feminism here: http://youtu.be/hg3umXU_qWc – credit to Beyonce for bringing it to my attention).
We are sold this idea that every girl has her ‘one true love’ and that we won’t be complete until we find them. So, reading this view on ‘soul mates’ (which actually came from a dude) challenged everything that I’d been fed, but, for me, it actually makes better sense. You learn and you grow from every relationship (romantic or otherwise) and sometimes people are really crap, but them being crap to you teaches you about yourself and what you will or won’t accept from people, it reveals another layer of yourself. It also teaches you how to deal with assholes but that’s another story for another day.

The second passage is this…

“Only the young and stupid are confident about sex and romance. Do you think any of us know what we’re doing? Do you think humans can love each other without complication?… (Western men) think this pretty little girl will make them happy, make their lives easy. But whenever I see it happen, I always want to say the same thing ‘good luck’. Because you still have a woman in front of you, my friend. And you’re still a man. It’s still two human beings trying to get along, so it’s going to be complicated. And love is always complicated. But humans must still try to love each other, darling. We must get out hearts broken sometimes. This is a good sign, having a broken heart. It means we have tried for something”.

Falling down in life and love, well, it sucks balls to be quite honest. But it does mean you’ve tried, you’re living. It would be so easy to not out ourselves out there for fear of getting hurt, or fear of not succeeding but, that would be boring. Like the fabulous Brazilian man said to Liz ‘it means we have tried for something’. And I’ll take a few failures, and a well lived life over a safe, unlived life any day. The only thing I disagree with is that love is ‘always complicated’, I think we MAKE it complicated. We play hard-to-get and a whole lot of other games, we don’t want to reply to a msg too soon for fear of seeming ‘keen’. I’m not being funny, but if I’ve given you my number in the first place then you can pretty much assume I’m interested or ‘keen’. I’m not gonna wait an extra 5 minutes to msg you back. If someone is put off because you reply to a msg quickly then I think it’s them that has the problem, I’m just sayin!

The final one (because I really this is going on for ages) is this…

“In the end, though, maybe we must all give up trying to pay back the people in this world who sustain our lives. In the end, maybe it’s wiser to surrender before the miraculous scope of human generosity and just to keep saying thank you, forever and sincerely, for as long as we have voices”

This is the very last paragraph in the book.
I love this.
We can find help and support in places that you would never expect, from people you would never expect and we can then feel an overwhelming urge to make a big gesture to repay their help, to express our gratitude, when most of the time a genuine thank you is all that is needed.

I could go on. But I won’t.

Eat. Pray. Love.

Xoxo Micks

this blog originally appeared on micksmusings.tumblr.com