Christmas classics such as “Home Alone”, “Elf”, “The Santa Clause”, “Miracle on 34th Street”, “Dr. Seuss’s The Grinch Who Stole Christmas”, “Its A Wonderful Life”, “The Nativity Story”, “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation”, “Meet Me In St. Louis” and “A Christmas Story” are always a joy to re-watch come December, however, my two favorite Christmas movies remain “White Christmas” and “While You Were Sleeping”.
Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye star as Bob Wallace and Phil Davis in Irving Berlin’s 1954 musical “White Christmas”. After serving together in WWII Wallace and Davis partner as a song and dance duo quickly becoming the most sought after act in show business. Along the way they team up with a sister act, Betty and Judy Haynes, played by Rosemary Clooney and Vera-Ellen. In an effort to save a financially troubled General they served under during the war Bob and Phil eventually move their entire show from New York City to Pinetree, Vermont for the Christmas season. True to its time, “White Christmas” remains profanity free and the only sexual content are a few tasteful kisses here and there. The songs are fun and infectious and the dancing often leaves me awestruck but invigorated. If for no other reason then to experience from where one of the most famous Christmas songs originated, “White Christmas” should be viewed by all at least once in their life time, if not every Christmas season.
Set during a bitter cold Chicago winter in 1995 “While You Were Sleeping” captures the heart from the beginning. Sandra Bullock stars as Lucy Eleanor Moderatz, a ticket collector for the “L” train who looks forward to her daily sighting of Peter Callaghan (Peter Gallagher). When Peter ends up in a coma Lucy is mistaken as his fiance thus causing strife in the family. Eventually she is welcomed with opened arms by everyone but Peter’s brother Jack (Bill Pullman). Jack is less accepting of Peter and Lucy’s engagement, but finds it is not because he doesn’t like her, it is because he does. The everyday life of the Callaghan family is portrayed with love, joy and humor, but Lucy’s neighbor Joe Fusco, Jr. (Michael Rispoli) often steals the scene. Profanity is slipped in every once in awhile and there are a few sexual references, but overall “While You Were Sleeping” offers fun for those in the family of junior high age and older…. Stephanie Spurgetis