Ah Christmas, the time for mulled wine, log fires and curling up on the sofa to watch a good old Christmas film. There's just nothing better, is there? Hollywood have produced some wonderful festive movies throughout the years from love stories to comedies and of course that powerful Christmas message – being with loved ones. You've got Elf, Home Alone, Gremlins and A Muppets Christmas Carol, all of which are the epitome of Christmas in some shape or form. One film however, divides opinion. There's two types of people at Christmas, those who think Die Hard is a Christmas film and those who are wrong. Now I'm cleary a firm believer that Die Hard is a Christmas Film and I'm going to tell all you non-believers exactly why!
Now don’t get me wrong, Die Hard's message might not be as obvious as other films but if anything it is actually a stronger desire and message than others. Let's look at the start of the film, John McClane is on a plane (I'm a poet and I know it) travelling from New York to Los Angeles, to be with his wife, albeit separated, and his daughter on Christmas. Is that not the message of Christmas, being with your loved ones, to defy the odds, do whatever it takes. Let's look at Home Alone, there's no argument it's a Christmas film, and after realising she has left her son home alone, she makes sure she makes her way back to him, through wind rain or snow, hitch hiking with John Candy, whatever it takes, so they can be together on Christmas. So what's the difference? A bit of violence, well arguably Home Alone is violent.
Within the first 20 minutes of the film it asks the audience the question 'Should you not be with your family on Christmas?' When John McClane shows up unannounced at his wife's Christmas party and she doesn’t want him there but he is arguing his point that it's the time for forgiveness. This is John McClanes super objective throughout the film, to be with his wife and kid, to be a family again on Christmas!
Now Alan Rickman's Hans Gruber gets in the way of McClane's super objective and is that gonna stop him, NO! McClane is prepared to do what needs to be done to achieve his objective and if that means killing a few terrorists/thieves then so be it. Being with his loved ones on Christmas is far more important. Also the character of Hans Gruber represents those who do not believe in Christmas, the Scrooge, the Grinch, after all Christmas is a time of giving and sharing not stealing and taking for yourself. Hans subsequently gets his comeuppance by being dropped from the 44th floor of the Nakatomi Plaza.
Finally the redemption of Sergeant Al Powell. No Christmas movie is complete without a solid redemption character arc, think the Grinch, the Shovel Murderer in Home Alone finally going to his granddaughters nativity, and Scrooge probably the biggest one of them all. Sergeant Powell has been demoted after a tragic death but by working with McClane to save 80 hostages and make sure they get home safe to their families at this wonderful time of year, he earns his redemption.
Not only does McClane dress up one of the terrorists he's killed as Santa with the message 'Now I have a machine gun, ho ho ho' but the sound track is filled with sleigh bells and Christmas music, never mind the fact it's set at the Nakatomi Christmas party. You just can't deny Die Hard is a Christmas movie, and they facts speak for itself, the proof is in the proverbial Christmas pudding.
So there you have it, that's the long and the short of it! Die Hard is a Christmas film, you can't argue with that logic. It also makes for a great Christmas date night, which I discovered last night. Granted it is a bit violent, people die, but that doesn’t mean it's not a Christmas movie. I rest my case! Yippee Kiyay ************
WORDS BY STUART GRAHAME
Stuart is one of our regular hosts and over the years has become something of an expert in dating. Watch out for his regular posts full of dating tips and advice.