Okay, Okay, I Give In: Die Hard Can Be A Christmas Movie, I Guess
You guys, when I think of Christmas movies, I have a few specific images in mind.
You probably do, too. Stop motion animation Rudolph. Macaulay Culkin slapping his own face. Cartoon Mr. Grinch. Little Natalie Wood smiling at Santa. Bill Murray screaming at Bobcat Goldthwait. Jimmy Stewart smiling in black and white. The leg lamp being "frag-eee-lee". Otters putting holes in washtubs. I have never been one of those people that thinks Die Hard is a Christmas movie.
HEAR ME OUT. I'll give you the fact that it's a good movie, a classic even. But I don't think it's a Christmas movie so much as an action movie set at Christmas time. My boyfriend, of course, calls me Scrooge and says I can't possibly have any of the holiday spirit in my cold, dark heart because of this. I say he just wants an excuse to watch a good action sequence at Christmas, which.... is sometimes necessary, but not the same. I get that dudes don't always want to watch touching, loving moments in their movies, and sometimes you just want to see stuff get blown up. Valid.
Here's my reasoning - the major point of the plot does not revolve around Christmas. As in, you do not need Christmas to happen in order for this movie to happen. Yes, it starts during a Christmas party, but is Alan Rickman taking over because he wants to put a stop to the party? No. Is he demanding that Kris Kringle show up and grant him a wish? No. Is he somehow traumatized by bad Christmas memories back in Germany? No. He wants bonds from the vault. He could have stolen those bonds at any other time of the year, and it would have been just as good a movie. Sure, John wants to be home for Christmas, but his marriage was on the rocks well before that, and he could have made a huge effort at any other time of the year to save it. The Sherriff of Nottingham could have taken over during the Halloween office party (maybe that's John's daughter's birthday, if we need more motivation?) and it would have been just as relevant as it being the Christmas party. Might have even been Better - there could have been a lot more costumes involved. The point is, there were people there so Snape could take hostages. Why they were there wasn't important.
Meanwhile, in The Grinch, for example, that movie could not happen at any other time than Christmas. The Grinch isn't looking to steal Cindy-Lou's birthday. And the people in Whoville weren't loud enough to annoy him during the rest of the year. In The Christmas Story, the whole plot revolved around Ralphie getting that BB gun for Christmas. You don't write to Santa and be good and wait in horrific lines at a department store to ask for an Easter Basket. Even in Home Alone, the whole thing had to happen at Christmas. The Wet Bandits were working the neighborhood because everyone was gone for Christmas vacation, which is precisely why Kevin's family was also out of the picture.
Then, I saw this. Admittedly, it's from four years ago (I think we've established that I live under a rock), but.... okay. I cave. I give in. You can have Die Hard as a Christmas movie.
Having said that, I'm still not going to put it on the list next to the best Christmas movies of all time. I still think it's more of an action movie set at Christmas time. But, it can have an honorable mention.