Ditch the Tropes: These Holiday Movies Won’t Make You Roll Your Eyes

If you’re in search of me this month, likelihood is I’m parked underneath a cable-knit blanket fortunately consuming vacation films at the similar fee as gingerbread cookies and spiked punch from Trader Joe’s.

I relish eye-rolling my approach by saccharine plotlines that so usually hinge on ladies who don’t even know what they’re lacking: that’s, a person (who’s additionally usually, gasp, a prince).

Even past Lifetime and Hallmark, the “good” Christmas films — I’m taking a look at you, “Love Actually” — are sometimes simply as dangerous at representing self-reliant feminine characters with some semblance of company. And in instances like these, when popular culture and #MeToo are inextricable, vacation fare can also be not freed from scrutiny. (“Baby, It’s Cold Outside” was yanked from some radio stations this yr for lyrics that to some “sound like a prelude to date rape,” my colleague not too long ago wrote.)

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So I dared myself to find quality holiday movies that focus on fully realized women who serve a purpose beyond looking for love or being humble wives to eccentric husbands. Here are four. (Warning: spoilers ahead!)

“You see, I can’t have a baby because I have a 12 o’clock meeting.”

Diane Keaton in power suits? Where do I sign up? This has long been one of my favorite 1980s movies, and while it’s not explicitly Christmas-y, it has enough snowy Vermont scenes to qualify.

Ms. Keaton plays J.C. Wiatt, a high-powered businesswoman nicknamed “the tiger lady” whose life is completely upended when she inherits a toddler from a deceased cousin. In classic ’80s form, high jinks ensue, but it’s so much more than that.

Her colleagues, who are all men, expect her to maintain her frenetic pace without a stumble. They snicker and scoff when she has the baby in the office. When she struggles to keep up, she is undermined by her boss and a subordinate, and she leaves her job completely. But don’t worry: She gets the last laugh.

“What happened with Therese — I wanted. And I will not deny it, or say that I do.”

A cerebral story about two women falling in love at Christmastime in 1950s Manhattan is about as on brand for me as a movie gets.

After a chance encounter, Therese Belivet (Rooney Mara), an aspiring photographer, and Carol Aird (Cate Blanchett), a glamorous suburban housewife, bond immediately and fall deeply in love despite myriad obstacles.

The fact that “Carol” — which is beautifully shot and acted — earned six Oscar nominations is proof that stories of complicated lesbian love are worthy of attention outside the indie film circuit. That it is based on a 1952 novel lends a special authenticity.

Did I miss a film that should have made this list? Let me know at dearmaya@nytimes.com.



The number of times the woman in “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” says that she needs to leave.


  • “I have both power and voice, and I am only beginning to just use them.” It was a year of undeniable progress for women in sports, despite the revelations at the Larry Nassar trial. [The New York Times]

  • “I had to hold back tears.” Workplace pregnancy discrimination is so prevalent that even employers like Planned Parenthood are being accused. [The New York Times]

  • “Children absorb stereotypes, including about gender roles, by age 3.” Here are 12 children’s books to help combat them. [The New York Times]

  • “Toxic place for women.” That’s how Amnesty International described Twitter, based on the number of problematic messages women in government and journalism, particularly black women, received. [Bloomberg]

  • “Take me back Cardi.” In the post-#MeToo era, tropes we found romantic before are starting to look icky. [The New York Times]

  • “I have my own way of functioning.” Remembering Penny Marshall, the first woman to direct a feature film that grossed more than $100 million. [The New York Times]


Source link Nytimes.com

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