Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (1966)
The original animated version, not the Y2K Jim Carrey abomination. D and I just watched this tonight, and what’s not to love? Directed by Chuck Jones, with Boris Karloff narrating and singing “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch.” Our DVD edition also included “Horton Hears a Who” (1970)–again, the animated classic, and what the hell is wrong with Jim Carrey anyway?–which presents the noble sentiment that “a person’s a person, no matter how small.”
Love Actually (2003)
One of those feel-good intertwined-relationship ensemble pieces that could come apart if not handled with the right touch, but Richard Curtis (Four Weddings and a Funeral) pulls it off. It does get a bit silly toward the end, but what do you expect from a movie in which Hugh Grant plays the British Prime Minister?
Meet John Doe (1941)
Online critic MaryAnn Johanson argues that this Frank Capra film is “at least as deserving of [traditional Christmas movie] status as [It’s a Wonderful] Life — and maybe even more deserving… while It’s a Wonderful Life feels dated, Meet John Doe is still startlingly relevant today.” I’m not convinced, but I admit I may have personal reasons to prefer Life over Doe, and the pair does make for a very thematic double feature.