Each year, the idea of a movie marathon makes it onto our #BetterThanBlackFriday list. That’s because it’s a relaxing and often mood-setting way to avoid the crowds and, more importantly, not yield to the consumer machine and frenzy that is Black Friday, Cyber Monday and (these days) the weeks surrounding each. But perhaps you’re stumped for ideas for movies to watch? In this age of media, there are so many options. We decided to give you a jumpstart by listing our top ten movie ideas for your #BetterThanBlackFriday marathon.
Number Ten: It’s a Wonderful Life
Not surprisingly, you’ll see a number of movies on this list that are about the spirit of the season other than gifts and consumerism. Of course, the quintessential one is the classic It’s a Wonderful Life. Plus, let’s be honest, there’s just something that feels so right about staying in on your couch and watching an old black and white movie.
Number Nine: The Grinch Who Stole Christmas
This one is on the list for the same reason that It’s a Wonderful Life is – it’s a perfect reminder of why it’s important not to get caught up in the stuff of the holiday and how, at the core, that stuff isn’t needed in order to make you or others enjoy the holiday. We, of course, think you should pick which version you prefer. But we’re partial to the original animated version rather than the updated Jim Carrey version.
Number Eight: The Wolf of Wall Street
This film has gotten mixed reviews from postconsumers in that there are ways in which it actually glorifies the exact type of behavior that we’re advocating against. However, aside from a test showing with actual investment bankers, most of the general public thought the behavior displayed in this film was abhorrent. So you get the best of both worlds – you get to be reminded of what you don’t want to become and you get to see some bang up acting jobs.
Number Seven: The Dr. Who Christmas Special: A Christmas Carol
Given that we’re on the hunt for movies that capture the spirit of the season separate from the obsession for money or stuff, it was obvious we were going to choose at least one version of A Christmas Carol. We’re shaking it up and suggesting the Dr. Who version, which combines giant sharks, a powerful love and magical travels to give new life to the classic story.
Number Six: The Lorax
This is a great one if you have kids at home and you want to discuss consumerism and environmental issues, but be aware that you will absolutely cry! The movie was actually executed with amazing grace and commitment to the original book. But your heart will still hurt a little at the end. On the other hand, adorable animation.
Number Five: Capitalism: A Love Story
If you’re a documentary lover, then this is the first movie on this list that will appeal to you. We love a good documentary, too. That’s why we adore this film by Michael Moore (whom we admit sometimes tackles documentaries with too much of an agenda in hand). In short, the documentary looks at the cost to society of corporations pursing profits with no responsibility to the greater social good. It can be harsh at times, but a lot of the facts speak for themselves.
Number Four: Love, Actually
Ok, we admit it. This movie is just shamelessly on here because we love it so very much. It’s a staple of our holiday watching and it’s good every single time. Is it a “chick flick?” Maybe. Would we have been okay publishing this list without including it? Absolutely not!
Number Three: Fight Club
We live by the Tyler Durden quote, “The things you own end up owning you.” Tired of sappy and moralistic holiday movies and need to shake up your #BetterThanBlackFriday holiday movie marathon? This is a film that does just that while also reminding us that the quest for “stuff” can turn a superficial life into an entirely unfulfilling life very quickly.
Number Two: Dawn of the Dead (the 2004 version)
No movie marathon, no matter how holiday themed, would be complete if it didn’t include a zombie movie – especially in the zombie obsessed year 2014. This movie is particularly Black Friday appropriate because the survivors of the zombie apocalypse are trapped in … a giant mega mall. Pottery Barn never looked so good.
Number One: Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown
Even if you don’t agree with the religious aspect, Linus Van Pelt’s moving speech and the coming to life of the “Charlie Brown Christmas Tree” are all you need to remind you of everything that makes the holiday special. It’s a classic, and hopefully always will be.
Did we miss a movie or film that you think is essential for a #BetterThanBlackFriday marathon? We’d like to hear about it. Tell us on the social media channels below.