The Christmas season is a great time of year, isn't it? Family everywhere, presents, snow falling, people bundled up by the fire and, of course, one of my favorite holiday treats is always readily available. No, not those delicious tiny people called gingerbread men (delicious as they are). I speak of Christmas movies.
We all love them. And they come every year ... well, almost every year. It seems today's multiplex is running a little short on Christmas cheer. In fact, the only major release I can even find coming this season is "Rise of the Guardians," some animated adventure featuring a tatted up Kris Kringle. Other than that, there is an independent film from writer/director Edward Burns of "The Brothers McMullen" fame called "The Fitzgerald Family Christmas" ... what the hell happened?
Christmas movies are almost always a slam dunk (unless they really suck). Now, they're the last thing on Hollywood's to do list. Where's this generation's "A Christmas Story?" And no, the recent straight to DVD sequel doesn't count. Is Hollywood avoiding making these movies?
It's most likely due to the fact that they are simply not interested. Hollywood is full of left wingers who don't want to offend the non-existent crowd they bow down to by uttering something as hateful as, "Merry Christmas."
They certainly are missing out on some scratch, though. Even recent Christmas movies that actually managed to get made end brought in a decent haul. Vince Vaughn, an outspoken Hollywood Republican, took the torch for Christmas movies in Hollywood for awhile and scored a hit with the 2008 comedy "Four Christmases." Even Vaughn's maligned "Fred Claus" the previous year didn't fare badly at the box office - $72 million is a respectable tally.
In fact, Christmas movies only do poorly when they absolutely, positively are terrible. Anyone remember "Deck the Halls" or "Surviving Christmas?" Didn't think so. But a bad Christmas movie is hard to do. Even Tim Allen ruled the day playing the new St. Nick in three "Santa Clause" films.
It's not as though Christmas movies need to play to the families of America or the religious crowd. After all, anyone remember the hilarious awesomeness that was "Bad Santa?" Or even Adam Sandler's "Eight Crazy Nights?"
Alas, don't expect for these films to ever be that abundant. Hollywood is not just a place where liberals rule the day, but it is a place where good business decisions are rare.
For now, sit by the fire with the family and enjoy the classics, be it "Bad Santa" or "It's a Wonderful Life." Merry Christmas, everybody.