There’s NO “L” in Christmas

wreathyMy wife loves to watch holiday-specific movies. Depending on the holiday, of course.

Recently she made me sit down to watch Noel. It’s from 2004 and I’d never heard of it despite it starring Susan Sarandon, Penelope Cruz, Alan Arkin, & Paul Walker (?!). Oh, and Robin Williams makes an appearance, uncredited so you won’t think this is a comedy.

A handful of stories intersect in a New York hospital at Christmastime. But it’s not a hospital film at all.

I can always stand to watch Holiday Inn so I can see Fred Astaire be a major jerk. Then I watch the remake, White Christmas, where Danny Kaye is ever so nice yet manipulative. Aside from that, I’m pretty much burnt out on Christmas movies. That one with Jimmy Stewart, I don’t even want to mention. The one with Robert Wagner’s wife when she was a kid and with Mrs. Jane Tarzan ( it was later remade with Mr. French as Santa and Roddy McDowell as the evil shrink), I can stand on occasion, if only because Fred Mertz is in it, and the man Jack Albertson. The one with the original Kolchak and the gal from Close Encounters , I’ve never actually seen all the way thru. (Don’t tell me if he does actually shoot his eye out. I’m saving it for my later years.) Things start to get cloying or weird after that.

So I was pleasantly surprised by Noel. It fully demonstrates the three things that Christmas is really all about.

But there’s this embarrassing “seductive” dance number that Penelope Cruz does that you have to get thru. It’s not a Christmas kind of dance, unless you include Salome in your version of the Christmas story.

I didn’t think that I would buy a Susan Sarandon character in a Christmas movie. But she really pulls this off. Every move she makes is perfect.

I don’t know why I never heard of this movie before. It’s miraculous in it’s own little way.

About Lyle Verbilion

I'm just wanderin' around lookin' at things. Wow.
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