The presents are opened, the roast beast is but an afterthought, there are only two beers left in the fridge and your grandpa gives you the side-eye when you even start towards the kitchen. Busybody Aunt Pollyanna just brought up politics and it’s about to get ugly. What do you do?
Whip out your laptop, find a network connection (how you do this is your own business, reader.) pull out the video cable you remembered to stick in your purse and soothe the savage family with one of the following classics from our friend and yours, Netflix Instant. Ranging from slapstick comedy to family-bonding tearjerker, these will keep Aunt Pollyanna’s trap shut for at least 100 minutes.
5. Pride of the Yankees – This may not initially seem like the best cinematic offering on the most joyous day of the year, but nothing brings a family together like rooting for old Lou. By the time the end credits role, no one in your family will remember they hate each other because they’ll be too busy sobbing into each others arms.
4. Slapstick Masters – Four separate features, one each on Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, Monty Banks and Laurel & Hardy. Pretty universally appealing, and funny as all get out.
3. Slap Shot – Paul Newman, rowdy incorrigible hockey players, lots of swearing. If your family is like mine, this will be a hit.
2. Benji – if there are kids at your family gathering, this is a classic. It’s engaging and a rare 70’s kids’ film where the dog lives all the way to the end.
1. Whatever Happened to Baby Jane – some families call for a little gas on the fire, just to burn off the extra fuel so everyone can make it until next Christmas. If this sounds like your family, stir up the old family trifecta of guilt, jealousy and decades old unresolved anger and let Bette Davis and Joan Crawford show you how it’s done.