Are you experiencing an overload of sweetness this holiday season? Then you may need some respite in the form of movies featuring people not at their best during the festivities.

A Budapest gift shop is the setting for antagonistic co-workers Alfred Kralik (Jimmy Stewart) and Klara Novak (Margaret Sullavan) who are lonelyheart pen pals but don't realize it in The Shop Around the Corner. Here's a clip of Alfred counseling Klara on her choice of blouses:

Those aren't pillows! In Planes, Trains, and Automobiles, Neal Page (Steve Martin) just wants to get home to his family for the holiday, but is saddled with fellow traveler and shower ring salesman Del Griffith (John Candy). After sharing a double bed in a hotel, they wake to discover they've been spooning all night, resulting in a lot of macho posturing and sports talk:

It's A Wonderful Life stars Jimmy Stewart as George Bailey, a businessman on the brink of collapse who thinks his wife Mary (Donna Reed) and children would be better off if he were dead. An angel is sent to earth to show him how utterly terrible things would've been for everyone if he'd never lived. Here's a clip showing the most devastating moment imaginable for George - when he finds out that Mary would have been a... librarian!

British actor Rowan Atkinson's character Mr. Bean is nearly always behaving badly. In this clip from Merry Christmas, Mr. Bean, his overactive id has once again gotten him into trouble - this time while preparing a turkey dinner for his girlfriend:

More holiday movies:

Written by Lisa on November 23, 2011


Richard Gere Man on November 26, 2011


You forgot three Christmas classics: Bad Santa, Love Actually, and Gremlins. I personally enjoy the Gremlin caroling sequence involving the elderly woman with the chair lift.


Thanks for those suggestions. I've only seen Bad Santa of the three, and there are definitely people behaving badly in that one.

Anonymous on November 26, 2011


Also The Ref with Denis Leary and Scrooged with Bill Murray!

Chris on November 29, 2011


great post, Lisa!

dvance on November 30, 2011


What about Mr. Bean (Thanksgiving movie, I believe) where he plays with the nativity set in the store window. A helicopter air lifts baby Jesus out of the scene!


That's also from Merry Christmas, Mr. Bean. He's at Herrod's and causes a whole blackout in the store while testing some Christmas lights. We don't seem to have that episode at the library, but we could order it through Interlibrary Loan.

cb on November 30, 2011


Fun post!

Other "bad" Christmas movies: Die Hard! and Home Alone.

Aroma on December 1, 2011


Planes, Trains and Automobiles, was an nice christmas movie,
Hillarious and well scripted. John Candy was a great comedic actor, great rapport between him and Steve Martin.
I also Like the movie with Sinbad, "Jingle All the Way" he and Arnold Schwarzenegger had good chemistry in that one as well.

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