You don’t care what the cynics say, this unashamedly cheesy, multi-stranded snog-athon is your festive fave – and it’s a culture war you’re prepared to tool up for. Sure, you hold your nose during the Kris Marshall bits and you’ve always struggled to justify how a man who two-times his own best mate can possibly be held up as a romantic hero, but deep down you reckon that it’s all nitpicking when there’s 78 other cheery Richard Curtis subplots to pick from. And, no, you don’t want to hear about The Holiday. The Holiday is for the weak.
Here’s the scene: you’ve plonked yourself down on the sofa at the end of a wearying year. You have the remote in your eager hand, an array of Christmas viewing only the touch of a button away. But next to you is grandma, a hardened Bing Crosby devotee who boasts about owning an original copy of ‘White Christmas’ on vinyl, even though she’s only 67 and has never owned a record player.
Across the room is your little brother, a demanding tyke who views Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone in the same reverential light as the Library of Congress sees a reel of Citizen Kane footage. And there’s mum, who is quite keen on something with ‘that nice Bill Nighy’ in it. Dad says Die Hard or he’s going upstairs.
If this ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’-style home entertainment scenario sounds frighteningly familiar, allow us to unwrap what is really driving your choice of festive comfort viewing and prescribe some potential cures.
The 50 best Christmas movies of all time ranked.