There are two types of people;
1. Those who are aware that “Die Hard”, while a great American film, is not a Christmas movie, and
2. Little babies who go poo-poo in their diapers. You know who you are.
Why is Die Hard NOT a Christmas movie? After all, it takes place during a Christmas party, there are Christmas decorations, John McClain is apparently filled with the power of the Ghost of Christmas Past…and that’s it.
Here is my criteria; if you can remove Christmas from the movie, would it still work? Could we have the same movie if it took place during a New Years party, or a President’s Day get together? Most assuredly, yes. I can see Bruce Willis walking through Naka-whatever towers wearing a “Kiss Me, I’m Irish” shirt for St. Patty’s Day, and it would still be an amazing movie.
The astute reader may disagree and say, as a good friend of mine did recently, “Every movie with action isn’t an action movie just like every movie with sex isn’t a porn.” Very good. Allow me a rebuttal.
If Christmas is not a central part of the plot line, it’s not a Christmas movie.
Allow me to give some examples.
Could “Die Hard” exist without the action sequences? No, so it’s an action movie. It has romance in it, but it’s an action movie, not a romance.
Could “You’ve Got Mail” be a movie without the romance and comedy? No, so it’s a romantic comedy.
Could “Groundhog Day” be what it is without Groundhog Day? After you figure out that sentence, realize that it couldn’t. There is a slight bit of action involving the kidnapping of Punxutawney Phil, but it’s not an action movie. The holiday is central to the plot.
I can’t take Christmas out of “Miracle on 54th Street,” or “A Christmas Story,” or “White Christmas.” They’re freaking Christmas movies. Die Hard, just like Home Alone or It’s A Wonderful Life, are really good movies with Christmasy crap in them, and that people happen to watch on Christmas.
Why am I so passionate about this? Because I have friends who genuinely believe it is a Christmas movie because it’s shown at Christmas time, and I’m starting to question their salvation. This is a biblical issue, people.