Today of all days, the TV is important. On the one hand, December 25 is a day that brings families together around the world to celebrate a season of good will. On the other, its generally the television that prevents these renunited clans from one almighty argument once the good will has evaporated just after lunch.
So, in the spirit of the season – remember that peace is also in that good will line-up – you're going to need a plan for the day. The good news is that involves some cinematic greats.
Netflix Gets Festive
You’ll be unsurprised to see that Netflix has been awash with festive feel-good movies all month. But don’t waste your time bogged down in the search, simply line up our top five and enjoy them with the warm glow of GQ’s festive greetings.
Office Christmas Party
US comedies kind of feel a bit samey right now, with identikit cast lists trotted out like some sort of rom-com army, but you can't really argue with the chops of Jennifer Aniston and Patrick Bateman when it comes to pulling in some early festive season lolz. Take a classically flimsy premise (to save the family company from closure it's decided that the last roll of the dice is to show $14 m company-saving contract, Walter Davis, the greatest night of his life at the office Christmas party), as frat-house bad behaviour and Because, that's how things get done in the boardroom.
A Very Murray Christmas
If we close our eyes and think really hard of our perfect festive season scenario, it's hard not to imagine one that doesn't involve hanging out somewhere with Bill Murray. The Sofia Coppola directed AVMC sees Murray (playing himself) holed up at the Carlyle Hotel in New York, with a snow storm having shut down the city and him left facing a live Christmas special with no superstar guests. As it turns out, a whole host of other superstar guests (not playing themselves) are stuck there too, helping Murray contemplate the true message of the season with some great Christmas tunes thrown in for good measure.
You have to be dead inside to not get a kick out of one of Will Ferrell's finest showings as Buddy The Elf. Having discovered that he isn't actually a real elf, Buddy flees to New York City to discover his real story. He angers a dwarf, grapples with a reindeer and attempts to save the city’s dwindling love of Christmas. Side note: we'd be lying if we said we didn't answer almost every phone call with, "Hello, Buddy the Elf, what's your favourite colour?" for a good six weeks following this 2003 movie.
At least one animation should be an essential part of any festive mix, and this 2019 movie is a neat addition to the likes of Arthur Christmas and The Nightmare Before Christmas. Now, we’re not sure how accurate this Christmas-origin story is, but a notoriously bad postman sent to an island above the Arctic Circle to a miserly and miserable village, before delivering toys and making a new tradition sounds pretty much on the money to us. Directed by Despicable Me co-creator, Sergio Pablos, and co-starring JK Simons, Jason Schwartzman and Rashida Jones, it's a festive flex we heartily recommend.
Yeah, we know, it's not a Christmas movie - in fact if truth be told, it’s based slap-bang in summer. But, man, it just has that family adventure festive feeling that you can't argue with (see also: Ratatouille).