Back in the days of VHS, I purchased three or four films that I watched over and over again. Lethal Weapon (LW) was one of them. Years later, I met my boyfriend, now husband, who also loved the Lethal Weapon franchise and we bought the films on DVD. We watched them, mostly LW, LW 3, and LW 4, at least yearly when we needed some action and wanted to feel like we belonged to a normal family like the Murtaugh's, which meant we usually watched them during the holidays. (By the way, the Bourne films give us some of that same feeling. But clearly there's less of a family/holiday theme in Bourne, which is partly what we need to get us from November to the other side of January 1st.)
When a friend told me that he and his wife watch Die Hard every year on Christmas Eve (I think), I thought that was really cool. My husband and I added it to our holiday list. And now it's our favorite stand-alone holiday film. It has action, suspense, comedy, drama, unforgettable dialogue, serious acting and directing, a relatable holiday feel, and family themes that we identify with.
And here are six more reasons why I think Die Hard is the best holiday film out there:
1. Bruce Willis is at his best playing a beleaguered man who just wants to spend Christmas with his family and is willing to kick everyone's ass to do it.
2. Alan Rickman convinces me every year that his character, although ruthless, cares about Christmas in his own way.
3. Reginald VelJohnson, who plays a good cop, a good man, and a soon-to-be-good father, is my idea of Santa Claus. (Really, he is the hero of the film.)
4. Paul Gleason is a hilarious Scrooge--Deputy Police Chief Dwayne T. Robinson!
5. All supporting cast members have a moment to shine and show their holiday spirit.
6. The film manages at once to be violent and heartwarming. What more can you ask for?
Shout out to Steve in San Francisco, who turned us onto the Die-Hard-for-the-holidays tradition.
Happy holidays everyone! Watch and enjoy!