It’s almost the holidays, which means millions of students and workers will be able to take some personal time and relax with a good movie. Classics like Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer or A Christmas Tale may work for family get-togethers, but if you want something a bit more green to watch with some friends this Christmas, there are a plethora of other options to consider.
Let’s face it: it’s going to be cold and you’ll probably be inside grinding and rolling up some Christmas trees. Instead of just watching Frosty the Snowman hit his corncob pipe, smoke along to this new collection of holiday flicks that help put the green in Christmas.
A Very Harold and Kumar Christmas
In the third and final installment of the Harold and Kumar trilogy, everyone’s favorite stoner duo reunite to search for the perfect Christmas tree after they accidentally burn one down. Seven years after being released from Guantanamo Bay, the life-long friends have grown apart. Harold (John Cho), now living a weed-free lifestyle, is happily married and a successful businessman on Wall Street while Kumar (Kal Penn) is still living in their old apartment, smoking daily, and dealing with a harsh breakup.
An entertaining film that references classic moments from the franchises’ past, A Very Harold and Kumar Christmas does a great job showcasing the holidays’ power to bring people together. Watching Harold and Kumar finally light one up together for old times sake is a joyous moment that reminds audiences what Christmas is all about: smoking out the people you love.
I don’t use the term “instant classic” often, but Elf is one of those rare movies that actually deserves the praise. Directed by Iron Man’s Jon Favreau and starring Will Ferrell as Buddy the Elf, Elf has a unique, sincere charm that makes simple moments like watching Buddy test Jack-in-the-Boxes both wholesome and hilarious. Buddy’s sheer enthusiasm for life and positivity is so palpable it’s hard not to root for him as he departs the North Pole for the first time to find his dad and start a new life in New York City.
There are countless hilarious moments in this film I could mention (one my favorites being when Buddy yells out “son of a nutcracker” after being pelted with a snowball) but what really makes Elf a stoner classic is Buddy’s cooking style and recipes. Don’t worry if you’re tired of ham and yams because Buddy has dinner covered this Christmas—he’s dishing up some pasta covered in M&Ms, chocolate sauce, and graham crackers!
Bad Santa doesn’t have the “ho ho hos” you’d expect in a Christmas movie, but it still meets its “ho” quota. Starring Billy Bob Thornton as a sex-addicted, alcoholic mall Santa who uses his job as a cover to rob the place, Bad Santa is one of the most crass and clever holiday movies to come out this century. Full of hilarious moments that will make even the most straight-laced people guffaw, this is the perfect movie for everyone out there with a secret Santa fetish or someone who just wants to see what would happen if the mall Santa Claus showed up drunk for work.
Heads up though, since the movie deals with extreme addiction, things get a bit heavy in Bad Santa, so if you want to keep things 100 percent light this Christmas, skip this one.
Bad Mom’s Christmas
Hot off the success of 2016’s Bad Moms comes the 2017 film Bad Mom’s Christmas.
While the first film reminds overwhelmed moms to let loose and enjoy themselves every once in a while, the sequel follows what happens when Amy (Mila Kunis), Kiki (Kristen Bell), and Carla’s (Kathryn Hahn) own overbearing mothers all come for inconvenient, surprise holiday visits. The raunchy humor that made the original a hit is back, but this time it’s dripping with tinsel. Carla, who was the comedic standout in the original, has quite the time with an exotic dancer who invites her to be his date to a sexy Santa competition. Shock humor aside, Bad Mom’s Christmas is a heartwarming movie that reminds us to accept our loved ones no matter how annoying they may be.
The Night Before
If you’ve been sitting around waiting for something to feel like a cross-over between Pineapple Express and A Christmas Story, The Night Before just may be the movie for you. Best friends Ethan (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), Issac (Seth Rogen), and Chris (Anthony Mackie) have partied every Christmas eve together since Ethan’s parents died. As they reach a new phase of their life, the group decides to end the tradition. To make sure the group goes out with a bang, Chris, now a famous football player, tries to bring them to the best parties and supply them with the best weed.
Office Christmas Party
Odds are we’ve all been to an office holiday party, but I doubt any of us have been to something like this. Office Christmas Party, an ensemble film starring everyone from Jason Bateman to Jennifer Aniston, has an extremely simple premise: if Clay Vanstone (TJ Miller) can throw a sick enough party and convince a potential client that Zenotek is still in good shape, then everyone can keep their jobs and live happily ever after.
What begins as a tame holiday gathering quickly devolves into a scene straight out of the Playboy Mansion. Cocaine is shoved into snow machines and flung across the party, orgies break out, and office equipment is damaged. After awhile, it’s hard to remember the “plot” because there’s so much ridiculous stuff happening, but if you’re kicking back with a joint and some good friends, I guarantee you’ll get some laughs out of this new Christmas gem. Just make sure you don’t get any ideas for your next holiday party here because I promise Becky in HR will reject them all.
Some of you may be scratching your head and wondering what Grandma’s Boy, a.k.a. one of the best Happy Madison films ever released, has to do with Christmas, and to be honest, I don’t blame you. There’s weed humor throughout the movie, with one especially funny scene depicting three elderly women accidentally getting high on marijuana tea and enjoying some Spanish television, but one moment in particular marks it as a stoner holiday classic.
Tucked inside the 94-minute movie about a video game developer who’s forced to move back in with his grandma and her roommates is a hilarious interaction between Dante (Peter Dante), a daydreaming dealer, and Alex (Allen Covert), the lead character. Angry that Dante didn’t pick up the phone, Alex arrives at Dante’s house to finds his dealer decorating a Christmas tree in the nude. After being confronted about not picking up the phone, Dante has only one thing to say:
“Oh I’m sorry, I was putting up my Christmas tree.”
“Dude, it’s July.”
“Get the fuck outta here, it is?”
“Don’t get any water on it, don’t expose it to bright lights, and never feed them after midnight.”
No, I’m not talking about your stoned friends giggling under the mistletoe; I’m talking about gremlins. This 80s gem follows what happens after Billy (Zach Galligan) receives a Furby-looking creature with a strict set of rules from his father on Christmas. The living plush doll, nicknamed Gizmo, is incredibly sweet and kind, but after he accidentally gets wet a group of evil gremlins spawns from his body and rampages across the lit-up city. It’s up to Billy and Gizmo to save Christmas and stop these crude, green monsters before they kill everyone in town!
Now, Gremlins 2, may not take place during Christmas, but if you’ve already seen the original and want to watch one of the weirdest films ever released by a major studio, I recommend checking out this “everything but the kitchen sink” sequel right away. Don’t worry if your lighter is missing; the gremlin made of pure electricity (yes really) will spark up your movie blunt, so just kick back and relax.
Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang
Like Die Hard, Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang is an action movie that takes place around Christmas time. What separates Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang from every other December-set action movie is just how witty and funny the whole thing is.
Written and directed by Shane Black, the writer behind buddy cop classic Lethal Weapon and the quasi-Christmas movie Iron Man 3, the movie parodies film noir and hard-boiled detective stories. While fleeing the police, Harry Lockhart (Robert Downey Jr) enters a random building and finds himself smack-dab in the middle of auditions for a new film. Due to his frantic energy, he’s sent Hollywood for a screen test and quickly engrosses himself in the city. To prepare for his role as a detective, he’s paired with Gay Perry (Val Kilmer), a no-nonsense PI who shows Harry the ropes of the job. What’s meant to be a fun time quickly becomes dangerous as they stumble upon a real crime and an old fling from Harry’s past (Michelle Monaghan) complicates things in a way only a woman in a noir film could.
Coming home for the holidays isn’t always easy, and it can be even harder if you see exes or crushes from the past. Way before he broke the fourth wall as Deadpool, Ryan Reynolds co-starred in Just Friends with Amy Smart, a romantic comedy set against Christmas. A sentimental look at returning home after transforming your life, Just Friends is one of those rare 2005 comedy films (think The 40-Year-Old Virgin) that still holds up today.
Back in high school, Chris Brander (Reynolds) was a nerd, and despite how close he was with Jamie Palamino (Smart) he could never escape the “friend zone”. After being embarrassed at a party his senior year, Brander vows to move and completely reboot his life, ultimately getting in shape, getting a high-paying job in entertainment, and becoming a womanizer. The movie follows Brander’s renewed pursuit of his old friend after being routed home on a work trip, but some of the most memorable moments come from watching Chris bicker and fight with his younger brother Mike (Chris Marquette) like they were still children arguing over the remote. No matter how old you get, some things, like fighting with your younger siblings, really never get old—especially at Christmas.