Sorry, Love Actually and The Holiday.
Every December we open up Pandora’s box and relitigate what might be the ultimate question, the only question, a question that a philosopher could waste their entire lives on: What is the best Christmas movie of time?
Like all good debates, you have your different camps. There are the classicists (It’s A Wonderful Life, the original Miracle on 34th Street), the romantics (Love Actually, The Holiday), the family-oriented (Elf, Home Alone) and the Netflix account holders (A Christmas Prince, The Princess Switch).
Everyone has a favourite, and a long list detailing why it’s their favourite. Mine is Bridget Jones’ Diary, a movie that is fundamentally Christmassy from start to finish, even though only its start and only its finish are actually set at Christmas, because it is about the two things that Christmas is really about: Love and loneliness. Cue All By Myself, please.
But there are also those who have stood up for alternative Christmas movies, ones that happen to tick all the boxes of what a Christmas movie should require but aren’t necessarily extra-Christmassy.
Movies like Die Hard.
Yes, Die Hard is a Christmas movie. Of course it is! The 1988 classic is fundamentally about policeman John McClane (Bruce Willis) trying to be there for his estranged family over the holidays. Sure, there’s a whole bunch of other stuff going on in the background, like the nefarious Hans Gruber holding everyone at a Christmas party hostage, leaving cop John as the last - and only! - man who can save them. Happy Christmas, everybody!
Debate around whether or not Die Hard is the best Christmas movie is a debate as old as time. Willis himself has even weighed in, saying that it’s not a festive film “It’s a f**king Bruce Willis movie!”
But despite, or even perhaps because of, Willis’ reservations Die Hard has crept its way into the annals of Christmas pop culture. According to research from Streaming Observer, Die Hard is the most streamed Christmas movie in December in several states across the US. Make of that whatever you will.
Today, Die Hard’s film company 20th Century Fox released a new trailer for the film, recasting it as a Christmas classic for all and sundry.
In this new trailer, which features jaunty music and a tongue-in-cheek voice over (“this Christmas, get ready to jingle some bells!”), Die Hard is styled as less of a man-against-all-odds action flick and more of a hapless Home Alone-esque romp.
Die Hard: The Greatest Christmas Story Ever Told? Maybe.
Images: Die Hard