Celebrity Readers on Their Favorite Christmas Movies
Picks from fashion designer Joseph Altuzarra, the New York Times's Jamelle Bouie, and more.
Ho ho ho! You didn’t think TBP would let you get all the way to Christmas without serving up some fresh-baked recommendations with sprinkles on top, did you? For a holiday treat, we asked five of TBP’s pals to share with us their favorite films for Yuletide viewing. Their recs may surprise you!
New York Times Opinion columnist Jamelle Bouie is in this for the Arnold action:
“Jingle All the Way (1996; Hulu, YouTube, and Disney+) is not the best Christmas movie or even an especially good one, but it has a madcap energy that I find irresistible. Arnold Schwarzenegger is completely unbelievable as some kind of ordinary father but totally believable as a hulking monster who will do whatever it takes to get a ‘Turbo Man’ toy. And Sinbad gets to show off his physical comedy chops, which are legit. It is not hard to find flaws in Jingle All the Way, but I would be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy myself every time I watched it.”
For fashion designer Joseph Altuzarra, Christmas viewing is all about tradition:
“I might be cheating here, but every Christmas my family and I go through the entire Harry Potter series, all eight of them (2001-2011; HBO Max and Peacock). There is nothing inherently Christmasy about Harry Potter, although it is supremely heart-warming, and full of magic. But it is a tradition that I look forward to every Christmas, and that I look forward to continuing with my kids!”
Legendary advice columnist E. Jean Carroll likes a vintage Christmas rom-com with a dash of legal intrigue:
“Stanwyck! MacMurray! In Remember the Night (1940; YouTube), she's a thief, he's a prosecutor. They flee to Indiana. I rest my case! PS: This comedy is not to be confused with the MacMurray-Stanwyck classic Double Indemnity, as there is not an ankle bracelet in the entire film.”
Artist and fashion icon Beatrix Ost prefers her holiday fare with a wistful chill:
“Casablanca (1942; HBO Max) is a story filled with melancholy and longing—often the old year can bring that on with the uncertainty of the New Year knocking on the door. Play it again, Sam, she beckons. Like we all wish moments would come back.”
The Gregory Brothers’ Andrew Gregory has strong opinions about what to watch—and what not to:
"There are only 2.5 perfect Christmas movies, and they are, alphabetically: A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965; AppleTV+), Home Alone (1990; Disney+), and It’s a Wonderful Life (1946; Amazon Prime). And so, frankly, those are the only 2.5 you should be watching over and over again this season. Maybe throw in an Elf (2003; HBO Max) or two. Instead I would prefer to use this space to decry the valorization of the worst Christmas Movie of all time, A Christmas Story. Cynical garbage like this simply shouldn't be consumed during the coziest, warmest season of the year, especially when it is masquerading as a cozy, warm movie. It's not. It's a movie about how the world is a lie, and how the world sucks. Please don't watch it. Oh also: Please do listen to my new podcast, Punch Up the Jam—the first episode is out and it’s Christmas themed! Weird Al, my brother, and I talk about ‘Wonderful Christmastime’ for an hour and then make an improved version.”