Whether it's Vanessa Williams as a fictional pop star running away from Kathy Griffin's Ghost of Christmas Past or Scott Wolf and Jay Mohr as lovers trying to make a drug bust on Christmas Eve, we can't promise our 10 holiday movie picks are typical — but we can promise they'll be loaded with gay.
1. Home for the Holidays — Jodie Foster makes her second outing as a director an ensemble dramedy about an out-of-work single mother (Holly Hunter) who heads home for Thanksgiving to see her eccentric family (mom and dad are Anne Bancroft and Charles Durning, while her gay brother, Robert Downey Jr., steals the film). One of the best bickering family films ever made, and proof Foster really should direct more often.
2. The Family Stone — OK, so the idea of New England Democrat Diane Keaton having a gay deaf son and his black partner come home for the holidays and announce they’re trying to adopt doesn’t exactly scream chestnuts roasting on an open fire ... and, for that matter, neither does the surrounding cast of characters, including Sarah Jessica Parker as a stuck-up New Yorker and Rachel McAdams as a razor-tongued would-be hippie. And yet somehow this “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” weepie packs a whole lotta heart.
3. Holiday Heart — Ving Rhames stars as a drag queen who takes in a crack-addicted prostitute (Alfre Woodard) and her daughter and helps them get back on their feet. It’s heavy subject matter and a bit heavy-handed at times, but Rhames is superb, and it’s truly one of the gayest things you’re bound to see all Christmas.
4. The Preacher's Wife — There is nothing about Penny Marshall’s The Preacher’s Wife that is too terribly gay (unless you believe tabloid rumors about Penny and Whitney Houston), but what gay man doesn’t want to spend two hours listening to Whitney, in her prime, go to church?
5. Meet Me in St. Louis — One of the most beloved movie musicals of all time stars Judy Garland and is directed by Vincente Minnelli, and it's the film on which the pair met (and later they created Liza). “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” was written for the film, and the legendary “Trolley Song” is one of the best filmed musical numbers of MGM's musical heyday.
6. Too Cool for Christmas – Beyond the fact that George Hamilton and Donna Mills play Santa and Mrs. Claus (who knew the North Pole gave off such rays), this made-for-TV movie gets kudos because it’s the only Xmas movie out there we could find that offers up a pair of gay dads. Yay for here! TV.
7. The Holiday — Again, nothing screams gay about The Holiday, but Kate Winslet’s unusual bond with the 80-something retired Hollywood screenwriter (Eli Wallach) who lives next door is particularly refreshing in a genre that is usually so paint-by-numbers. Cameron Diaz, Jack Black, and Jude Law lend able support, but this is Winslet’s movie.
8. 200 Cigarettes — Though the film, which chronicles the adventures of several 20-somethings in New York City on New Year’s Eve in 1981, doesn’t have a gay subplot, it’s got plenty of gay or gay-leaning girls in the cast. Martha Plimpton, Angela Featherstone, Janeane Garofalo, and Courtney Love are just a few of the ladies who turn up in this hilarious, if offbeat, holiday season comedy.
9. Go — OK, so a drug deal gone south doesn’t exactly scream Christmas, but this one gets points for originality. Like 200 Cigarettes, Go follows a slew of people and their interlooping stories, this time on Christmas Eve (including rave girl Katie Holmes and closeted gay couple Adam and Zack (Scott Wolf and Jay Mohr), who are helping the cops with a sting operation in order to make their drug charges go away. One of those you watch for a unique Christmas experience.
10. A Diva's Christmas Carol — This VH1 take on A Christmas Carol stars Vanessa Williams in the Scrooge role, here as a pop star who pisses off her entourage. Kathy Griffin appears in the form on the Ghost of Christmas Past, and when Williams looks on at her future funeral, she screams, “That must be a mistake — it’s gotta be Celine Dion or something.” GAY!