I love a good Christmas movie, and there's always plenty to choose from. The Christmas movie can either be about Christmas or merely set during Christmas (like Die Hard), but either way, it's an integral and important genre in filmmaking and should be respected.
Making a good Christmas movie is tough, though. There's a balance to be struck between nostalgia and irreverence, camp and tradition. A good Christmas movie isn't necessarily even ABOUT the "Christmas Spirit," but references it in a non-ironic way. It can be fun, or serious. It can be stolid or inappropriate. But it should always be fun.
So why not make it a theme? There's lots of movies to choose from, so I've almost certainly left out your favorite film, both good and bad (naughty or nice). That's okay. That's what the comments are for. Here are the Tottenham Hotspur player ratings for their draw against West Bromwich Albion, to the theme of Christmas movies.
5 Stars: It's A Wonderful Life
We debated a couple of options for the five star ranking, but in the end, not much can top this one. Not only is it a fantastic and heartwarming Christmas movie, but it's objectively just an all around fantastic movie. It's timeless – like Casablanca, Citizen Kane, and Gone with the Wind, and it's a movie you can watch over and over again and never get tired of it. Never did understand why George only warranted the attention of an Angel 2nd Class, though. There are other movies that equal it, but none yet have surpassed Wonderful Life as a holiday classic.
Toby Alderweireld: Another assured defensive performance from Toby, who also looked very good with the ball at his feet. His pass to Dele Alli for Spurs' only goal was placed with pinpoint accuracy, considering he took it from behind the halfway line. Spurs weren't great on Saturday, but Alderweireld was.
4 Stars: A Charlie Brown Christmas
Sure, it was made for television, but its status as one of the first mainstream animated Christmas specials earns it "short film" status as far as I'm concerned. And it's truly a great film. The central message of the over-commercialization of Christmas is as relevant now in the age of Black Friday sales and Christmas store displays in August as it was back in 1965, and Linus' monologue and retelling of the Christmas story is masterful. It's a pitch-perfect holiday film that strikes the right balance between humor and pathos. I watch it every year.
Hugo Lloris: Made an absolutely incredible reaction save to preserve the draw late in the match. You can make the argument that his positioning wasn't the best on Albion's goal, but I don't think there was too much he could do to save that header.
Dele Alli: His volleyed goal was wonderful, and his lofted ball to Kane was also great. It was a good performance, but I found myself a little disappointed with his end product overall. That's probably not fair. He was quite good on Saturday. I guess I just expected more?
3 Stars: Double bill -- The Muppet Christmas Carol / A Christmas Story
This one was a toughie. Nobody had strong feels about The Muppet Christmas Carol but everyone agreed it needed to be on this list somewhere, because what's Christmas without the Muppets? Felt-free, that's what. Though personally, I get my Muppet fix via the John Denver & the Muppets album. Meanwhile, opinions were polarized on A Christmas Story. I pushed for a four or even five star rating; others hate it with a passion normally reserved for Diego Costa. So we compromised, but I kind of want to wash a few mouths out with Lifebuoy and shoot them with a Daisy Red Ryder 200-shot Carbine Action BB Gun... the one with the compass on the stock.
Harry Kane: Didn't get into his usually good positions very often and when he did rarely was able to do anything special with the ball. That said, nobody was really getting him the ball, so. Bottled his best chance of the game when he tried to take a touch on a ball in the box instead of volleying it.
Jan Vertonghen: Looked a half step slow throughout the match, and Rondon gave him fits on the counterattack. Not a shocking match, but he certainly looked off the boil.
Kyle Walker: Lost his man in what would lead to West Brom's equalizing goal, but used his pace to pretty decent effect. I wish he had been a little more assertive going forward, as his speed could've stretched the defense, freeing up space in the center of the pitch.
Danny Rose: A hot and cold day for Danny. Had a couple of excellent tackles in defense, but did not look very good going forward, or at least not consistently so.
Son Heung-Min: It looked like Sonny shook the rust off a little more than in past games, but still hasn't quite regained that spark that he had in his first matches with Spurs.
Mousa Dembele: Was strong with the ball and shrugged off a number of tackle attempts in midfield, but perhaps was brought down by the performance of his teammates around him. He was also lucky not to have his leg broken (thanks, James McClean and Jonathan Moss). He was okay, but not up to what we've come to expect from him.
Erik Lamela: Lamela did well all the things we expect him to do well, especially in the press, but he looked very much on the edge of madness at times and played a tad on the reckless side. Didn't offer much going forward against a bunkered West Brom side.
Christian Eriksen: Spent much of the match trying to find some space on both flanks, any space, to work some creative magic, and couldn't manage to do much. You can probably credit West Brom for that, but Christian was decidedly average on Saturday.
Clinton N'Jie: Should've had a goal but was called back for the phantom offside late in the match. He still looks really raw out there but his directness and pace are going to pay off for Spurs at some point.
2 Stars: Home Alone
There are soooo many mediocre Christmas movies that it was like pulling teeth narrowing it down to one movie. It's easy to see why Home Alone was popular when it was released. McCauley Culkin was totes adorbs in this movie, and it's full of bumbling burglars and mad-cap antics, and it has a top-notch cast with Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern. But as a movie, it's derivative and dumb. Plus every time I see it it makes me think of what happened to Culkin after this movie aired, and it just makes me sad. Don't be sad on Christmas.
Eric Dier: Dier was, well, pretty dire in midfield against West Brom. Poor in possession, cagey in defense, this was the worst we've seen Eric all year. This runs completely counter to everything we've seen from him the rest of the season, so there's no reason to panic. Footballers have bad matches sometimes, and better now than against a really good side like Arsenal, City, or Liverpool. But that wasn't great, Bob.
1 Star: Santa with Muscles
"Fred, I got this great idea for a holiday movie. Hulk Hogan! The wrestler, right? He's a bad guy, yeah? A real piece of work. So he does something bad and has to run from the cops from some reason, changes into a Santa costume to hide, and then hits head and... get this: he gets amnesia and STARTS THINKING HE'S REALLY SANTA CLAUS! It's genius! Buckets of money! The kids will love it."
"Who's the main antagonist, then, Bob?"
"I dunno, we'll throw in an evil scientist, an orphanage, and some magic crystals or some s**t, who cares. HULKAMANIA CHRISTMAS, Fred. It's GOLD."
No Tottenham Hotspur players were as bad as Santa with Muscles and my eyes are bleeding in sympathetic memory of having watched that movie once upon a time.