“Ah! I see you’re showing christmas movies now.”
“Yep, what’s your fave?”
“Die Hard for sure.”
“Get it? Because it’s an action movie- but it takes place during Christmas.”
“Haha, yeah, gotcha.”
“A lot of people go for the cheesy obvious ones. But not me.”
“Right, yeah, I can see that!”
“Nope! Not me, I love Die Hard.”
I have had this conversation at least four times in the run up to Christmas. The debate of is or isn’t Die Hard a Christmas movie always crops up this time of year, and has taken place a number of times already while I’ve been behind the bar. Usually, the ‘for’ party, presenting their argument with a kind of smugness, that comes from the idea that they truly believe they are unique in thinking Die Hard is a Christmas film. While the against party sip their drinks and shake their heads, having heard this a hundred times before.
My personal opinion on the matter is that Die hard is a Christmas film. It takes place on Christmas Eve, and the festive season is the sole reason John McClane (Bruce Willis) rocks up in LA in the first place. After being picked up, Run DMC’s ‘A Christmas Hollis’ is plays in our hero’s limousine, and to top it off he’s on his way to a Christmas party. Where, I might add, he is meeting his wife who is conveniently named Holly.
Sadly, said party is then interrupted by a gun-wielding Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman) whose name also bears a christmassy resemblance to ‘Silent Night’ composer Franz Gruber. Whilst I do understand gun wielding is not so christmassy, ‘Silent Night’ definitely is. And really, what is the difference between Gruber demanding 640 million in Bearer Bonds, and the Grinch stealing all of the toys of Whoville? I suppose it might be that Gruber doesn’t return what he stole because his heart grew three sizes too big. He does however, and I’ll avoid spoilers here, get his comeuppance.
In fact, The Grinch and Die Hard share many parallels in both plot and archetypes. Granted, the former is a significantly more obvious Christmas film, but the point still stands. The thing is, Christmas films are just like Christmas music. We all have our favourites, and there will always be one Scrooge in the corner that swears East 17’s ‘Stay Another Day’ isn’t a Christmas song. But the truth is, it just is- in the music video they don white puffa jackets, and bells can be heard in the distance, so it just is.
In the same way that Die Hard just is a Christmas film. Still, that doesn’t excuse all of you who expect an applause for choosing it as your favourite just to be controversial.
So please, join us at The Cat’s Back, as we kick off our month of festive films. It’s time to come together and watch Bruce Willis do what he does best.
Let us not argue over this anymore, after all, it is Christmas.
Thursday the 14th of December at 8PM.
Film Club at The Cat’s Back- 86-88 Point Pleasant, London SW18 1NN.
We hope to see you there!