A Little Healthy Holiday Debate

Washington is abuzz with the prospect of several inches of snow. The entire city braces for...

No, that’s too damn easy. The local radio and television personalities are already decrying this city’s overreaction to a mere touch of snow. I grew up in places like Massachusetts, Nebraska, New York... hell, I lived in North Dakota for a couple of years. Yeah, I know we’re overreacting in D.C. But I think it’s way past time we just realized that fact and moved on. It’s not much of a source of amusement anymore.

MoviesInstead, I think I’ll write about a little argument my wife and I had this past weekend. We were discussing my all-time favorite Christmas movie, the kind that makes me well up with emotion, really feeling the true meaning of the holiday.

Naturally, I’m talking about John McTiernan’s Die Hard.

Bizarrely, my wife’s contention is that Die Hard is not a real Christmas movie.

Now, there are any number of things we can agree on regarding this film. It was certainly the breakthrough role for Bruce Willis, a successful television actor who had, to date, been remarkably unsuccessful in transitioning to the big screen. It was a notable in its excellent casting of supporting actors, including Hart Bochner, Bonnie Bedelia, Reginald VelJohnson, and Alexander Godunov. It solidified the cinematographic style of Jan de Bont, who became a competent (if not particularly remarkable) director in his own right. It established the filmmaking career of John McTiernan, best known previously as the director of just another Schwarzenegger vehicle (the underrated Predator, which also introduced to film the current governor of Minnesota). It reinvigorated the action genre, establishing the everyman hero as opposed to the superhuman one. And it introduced mainstream audiences to one of the most charismatic and versatile actors of our time, Alan Rickman.

Of course, the reason my wife and I can agree on these points is that she doesn’t give a rat’s ass (she’s tolerant of my obesssions, but by no means overindulgent). But at the end of the day, she’s damn sure that Die Hard ain’t a Christmas movie.

Now, I could present a well-thought-out point/counterpoint argument detailing all of the intricacies of the debate. But then I can guarantee you that Inkblots wouldn’t want to run my Die Hard critique, which would probably be largely a rehash of those ramblings (“Hey, Geoff, I got a great idea for another review...”). More importantly, though... I don’t have to.

’Cause my wife ain’t here right now. And until she starts her own ’blog, I stand unopposed. The whole thing seems kind of one-sided, now that I think about it.

Die Hard takes place on Christmas Eve. There’s lots of Christmas music (don’t tell my wife, but I had them play “Ode to Joy” at our wedding largely as a result of this movie). There’s the whole marital reconciliation thing going on. And it’s just a kick-ass feel-good flick.

So its status remains secure as my favorite Christmas movie. Followed shortly thereafter by Lethal Weapon and On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.


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