What if Die Hard is not only the greatest Christmas film ever made, but also an actual guide to getting through the day and all the crap it brings with it?
As my editor ‘gently’ pointed out, writing an article arguing why Die Hard is the greatest Christmas film of all time is an idea more worn out than… well, much of the Die Hard franchise.
I knew that, but by god did I want to write about Die Hard anyway.
My love for Die Hard, like John McLane’s love for Sgt. Al Powell, knows no bounds and I just had to write about the film. That’s when I had an epiphany – what if Die Hard is not only the greatest Christmas film ever made, but also an actual guide to getting through the Christmas day and all the crap it brings with it? After all, it’s not the easiest period, either financially or emotionally. When you would obviously much rather stay at home in your pants and watch Netflix, instead you have to deal with being impressed by crap presents, gout-inducing food, awful TV, and racist uncles.
This all takes its toll and by the end of dinner you risk the same fate as Bruce Willis’s hairline in the late 80s – disappearing quickly, never to be seen again. You need a guide, a play-by-play to get you through it, and what better than the greatest Christmas film ever made? One man trapped in a building who must survive against all odds – all the inspiration you could ever need.
And lo and behold, I’ve found another excuse to write about Die Hard at Christmas.
Start with humour
If you feel like a hostage at your extended family’s Nakatomi Plaza house do not react to their interrogations, do not answer when they ask in front of your partner, “When will you stop coming home just to dump your laundry on us?” Instead, mutter the name of the city they are from in disbelief and start playing Christmas in Hollis on cassette at full blast.
Initiate contact with outside world
If that isn’t effective, you move on to initiating contact with someone outside, someone who could help you get through this hell. If that involves incapacitating your blond German cousin for his phone, then so be it. Your friend probably won’t believe the hell you are going through – after all it will just look like you’re having fun from the outside – so you’ll have to convince him by throwing cousin Tony’s body through the window.
Inevitable mental break down
If the second step doesn’t work, then you will inevitably have a mental breakdown. You will feel like you’re running barefoot on broken glass and taking shots at everyone around you. To top it all off, someone’s stupid coke snorting drinking husband decides to intervene and calm things down between you and your family. The fool. You try your best to help him, but he’s convinced he’s nailing this. Your grandma shoots him down on the spot.
Poor man. He never stood a chance. But his unwitting sacrifice gives you renewed vigour and hope. You can get through this. You’ve just finished the Christmas dinner main course, only the dessert left and you are free!
Just when you thought the end was in sight, your friend’s mates arrive and nearly screw everything up. But you persevere, quickly dealing with Tony’s blond-haired Soviet defector ballerina friend and then you’re so close to getting out… when your parents discover that you are more serious with your partner than you originally let on. They have your newly discovered ‘live-in beau’ in their grasp. Some quick thinking and Scotch-tape get you through and you’re out!
What are good friends for?
You’re out! You’re in the driveway crawling towards freedom when out of nowhere, danger behind you! Someone is insisting you come back and take home all the leftovers. Thank god for your friend, who has avoided conflict for years but has finally decided to get back on the horse. He takes your family down while you and your partner drive off into the sunset. You’ve made it. You have survived.
However, you should bear in mind this formula will not always work. The first time it will work insanely, surprisingly well, even with your lack of experience. The second time won’t be as good as the first but it will still be successful. On the third attempt you’re just trying to replicate the first one with limited return. Please, please do not try it a fourth, fifth or sixth time.
Merry Christmas and Yippee Ki Yai motherfuckers!
There’s plenty more stupid claptrap on the site, for instance here are the five R-rated films we’ll likely be subjected to in a post-Deadpool world.