During the holiday season certain films are standard viewing like A Christmas Story, Scrooged, and The Sound of Music. I enjoy these films very much but find myself drawn to two others in particular. Auntie Mame and Goodfellas are my holiday favorites not for festive reasons exactly, especially the latter, but for the satisfying repeat viewing factor. These two films could not be more dissimilar; one is the kooky tale of an eccentric, single woman who is unexpectedly left to care for her nephew and the other is one of the best gangster films ever made. Both of these films contain scenes during the Christmas season but neither are about the holiday. It is difficult to parse out why I like these films so much during this time of year, as they are not in the holiday genre as such, but that is why personal preference is so hard to explain. As my favorite film professor used to say, “No one cares what you like, that is subjective; what is your criteria for assessing a work?” In this case it really does come down to the comfort of watching something I know will be quality viewing, over and over again. The holidays are about warmth, happiness and rituals; these films are part of my tradition. May the winter holidays bring you good cheer, as these films do for me.
Auntie Mame (1958)