The holidays are a time when families come together. But when your own fam gets too annoying, boring and/or materialistic, it’s natural to escape into your favorite movies and dream of what it would be like to join in on their fun instead. With that in mind, and the holiday season under way, the MTV Movies team has compiled this list of fantasies featuring some of our favorite cinematic clans:
The Griswolds (from the “Vacation” films)
If spending December with Clark and Ellen as your parents wouldn’t make things exciting enough, there’s always the inevitable visit from Cousin Eddie. As a family, we’d take a ride to Wally World, hang a half-million Christmas lights on the house and leave berets for each other under the tree. Something would get set on fire; a relative would die in comedic fashion; and Clark would eventually move us all with a heartfelt, dimwitted speech. The downside is you have to dress in dorky ’80s clothes and ride around in a wood-paneled station wagon — but at least you’d get a peek at Christie Brinkley in her pinup prime. And the best part is, since the kids change in every movie, you’d fit right in!
The Whitfields (from “This Christmas”)
This is a family that likes to eat a lot, and who doesn’t want to feast at this time of year? We’d love to be among the kids Loretta Devine wants home for the holidays, even if there are a lot of scandalous secrets to be uncovered. We’d tinkle the piano keys with Idris Elba, give Columbus Short a hug, help Regina King at the family dry cleaners, and after the holiday feast, sneak out to a nightclub with Chris Brown. Sure, we’d be facing a lot of drama — but the free Baby concerts every night would more than make up for it.
The Burnhams (from “American Beauty”)
Look, not every holiday season can be filled with jolly elves and gingerbread men. Collectively, Lester, Carolyn and Jane have more issues than you’d find in the “Sports Illustrated” archive, and having that creepy Ricky Fitts hanging around wouldn’t make Christmas any merrier. But the holidays are a time for getting to know each other better, and that was ultimately all these three really needed — well that, and maybe a little spiked egg nog to loosen up Carolyn. In a perfect world, we’d travel back in time to a holiday season before Dad meets his unfortunate demise, and we’d lock Mena Suvari and the “King of Real Estate” out of our house. The best part of this celebration? Rather than a gift, all you’d have to stick in Ricky’s stocking is a Target plastic bag.
The Parkers (from “A Christmas Story”)
Every December, who doesn’t spend the 24 hours leading up to Christmas watching TBS and wishing they were Ralphie and Randy’s sibling? It’s not that we don’t love our real-life families — but we’ve never gotten our tongues stuck to lampposts, beaten the tar out of Scut Farkus or received firearms for Christmas. And not once has any of our mothers encouraged us to demonstrate how the little piggies eat! Sure, it’d be a bummer to be stuck in 1940 with nothing but “Little Orphan Annie” on the radio, but it would be worth it just to see the Old Man’s face when you save up your allowance and buy him a new leg lamp.
The Parrs (from “The Incredibles”)
Three words: Saving the planet! What better way to bond with the family? As part of the crime-fighting clan, you’d get your own superpower (X-ray vision, to peek at wrapped presents?); your Christmas jammies would be replaced by red tights (no cape, natch); and you’d get to chill with Uncle Frozone! Having him around, a white Christmas is guaranteed.
The Smalls (from “The Sandlot”)
Sometimes families break up; sometimes they move to new towns. It’s not easy for a kid, but who better to help you through it than Karen Allen and Denis Leary? We’d love to be dropped in the middle of San Fernando Valley, in December 1962, when Mom was working so hard to make us feel at home and our stepdad Bill was doing his best to teach us how to catch a baseball. Indiana Jones’ main squeeze would cook up a big holiday meal, we’d invite all the Sandlot kids over (except for Ham — that kid would eat everything!), and Leary would regale us with witty anecdotes about raw steak and lung cancer. And since this is California, we’d be able to burn off all that fruitcake with a few rounds of mid-winter batting practice.
The Hoovers (from “Little Miss Sunshine”)
Road trip! The VW van would go festive with twinkling lights and a wreath slapped on its front. To get into the spirit of the season, the clan would sing along to “Jingle Bells” (well, except Dwayne, since he’s dealing with that whole no-talking thing), forgetting life’s challenges for at least a little while. Goal-oriented Richard could help everyone brainstorm New Year’s resolutions, with Grandpa talking crazy in the back seat. Pushing the van would be a pain, but at least we’d be working off the mashed potatoes and stuffing! One thing’s for sure: It will be the family’s best road trip ever — as long as no one attempts suicide, has their dreams crushed by an irreversible medical condition or drops dead.
John and Jane Smith (from “Mr. & Mrs. Smith”)
Picture it: “Honey, I’m home,” yells Jane to John as she comes stumbling in with the groceries to make the big Christmas Eve feast. As she slides the ham into the fridge next to a butter dish with a spare dagger hidden in it (just in case), John kisses his lovely wife and simultaneously pats her down for concealed weapons. True, the sexy duo didn’t have any kids in the movie, but we wouldn’t mind playing Uncle to Shiloh in the sequel. With hopes that this Christmas will be different than the last (no more secrets!), we’d roast chestnuts on an open fire while Brad and Angie eye each other suspiciously. Yeah, the bullet holes in the house’s walls would make for a drafty holiday, but we have no doubt that the hand grenades under the tree would warm things up. With Brangelina in charge, you just know that Clooney, Damon, Cheadle and Julia Roberts would all swing by — and imagine the gifts they’d bring!
Check out everything we’ve got on “This Christmas.”
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