Home Media Magazine offers the following list of the ten best-selling Christmas DVDs of all time. Dysfunctional families take the lead in seven out of 10 of the releases (ranked since 2000).
-published in USA TODAY, Nov 14, 2008
(includes DVD sales revenue, in millions):
1-National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (1989) $51.37
2-A Christmas Story (1983) $43.71
3-It's a Wonderful Life (1946) $34.84
4-Bad Santa (2003) $27.90
5-The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993) $27.70
6-The Santa Clause (1994) $23.18
7-The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause (2006) $21.44
8-Christmas With the Kranks (2004) $20.35
9-White Christmas (1954) $20.08
10-Home Alone (1990) $19.86
HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS? - Ugh
Family dysfunction and Christmas go together like egg, and nog, at least at the movies. USA Today's Susan Wloszczyna looks at five of the more memorable yuletide film clans through the years and rates their holiday misery (with a 10 rating being in the most need of group couseling).
• HOME ALONE (1990)
Dysfunction level: 5 out of 10
-When a family is so self-involved that it's youngest member gets left behind when the brood takes off for Paris, that's terrible. When they are so clueless that they tell Joe Pesci's crook in cop's clothing how long they are going to be away, that's stupid. Still, wee Macaulay Culkin's Kevin manages to summon the Christmas spirit while he mans the fort--in between sadistically torturing Pesci and his numbskull accomplice Daniel Stern
• A CHRISTMAS STORY (1983)
Dysfunction level: 7 out of 10
-The eldest son (Peter Billingsley) wants to play with guns ("I want an air rifle!"). The younger brother barely speaks. The mother thinks a kisser full of Lifebuoy (soap) is the solution to all discipline problems. And Dad is hopelessly unhandy, swears like a sailor and is way too fond of a lamp that looks like a hooker's leg. Yes, the Parkers are all too human. But the parents at least are smart enough to know that a glass of wine on Christmas morning can bring a little joy to the world.
• MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET (1947)
Dysfunction level: 6 out of 10
-Beware, working single moms. Don't be like Maureen O'Hara's humorless divorcee and tell your precocious daughter the guy in the Santa Claus suit is only a nice man with a white beard. Practicality has its place. But if you crush all the magic out of Christmas, you might end up with a mouthy mite like 8-year-old Natalie Wood and land Kris Kringle in the looney bin.
• IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE (1946)
Dysfunction level: 8 out of 10
-At first glance, this post-World War II heart warmer seems to be about how Jimmy Stewart's selfless George Bailey is the glue that holds his family and the quaint town of Bedford Falls together. But it also can be taken as a cautionary tale as put-upon George's dreams are regularly dashed by mounting demands. The capper, of course, is when incompetent Uncle Billy misplaces a bank deposit and pushes his nephew to the brink of suicidal despair.
• SURVIVING CHRISTMAS (2004)
Dysfunction level: 9 out of 10
-Crass, callous and calculated to make anyone's family look like angels by comparison. Ben Affleck's obnoxious millionaire rents the family who has moved into his childhood home so he doesn't have to be alone for the holidays. The likes of Catherine O'Hara and James Gandolfini allow the jerk to call them Mom and Dad and are forced to play-act scenes from his past. Of course, their late-arriving daughter, Christina Applegate, falls for the lout.
Suggested further reading...
We Like Our Christmas Films Wrapped In Dysfunction » By Susan Wloszczyna, USA TODAY (Nov 16, 2008), followed by viewer comments (usatoday.com)