Finding a Christmas flick to kick back and watch solo or with your bros isn’t the easiest thing in the world to do. I mean, watching Love Actually with your boy can lead to tons of awkward silences (except for any of the stuff involving Bill Nighy’s Jagger-esque rocker and his whipping boy manager). But the product is out there. Allow me to do the legwork for you.
A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas
Does it live up to the trek to White Castle that started it all? Of course not. But it still gives you two guys you can totally relate to, a relationship that resonates, and the holiday season as backdrop. Harold & Kumar didn’t wind up being the Cheech & Chong everyone wanted them to be (cue up their “Santa Clause & His Old Lady” this holiday season, by the way), but they came close enough.
A Christmas Story
Don’t let the fact that Broadway has been desperately trying to turn Ralphie and his Red Ryder BB Gun into Dear Evan Hansen for years deter you from revisiting the ’80s classic time and again with your buddies. From tongues frozen to poles to bullies getting what’s coming to ’em, A Christmas Story will remind you of the neighborhood you came up in one way or another.
If two dudes can’t bond over something starring Vince Vaughn, there’s something inherently wrong (even Four Christmases, starring Vaughn and Reese Witherspoon fits the bill). Fred is Santa’s bro, wouldn’t ya know, and the relationship is strained to say the least. Santa casts a heck of a shadow, after all.
Billy Bob Thornton’s inebriated, degenerate Santa probably didn’t need last year’s sequel, especially so many years later, but that doesn’t mean Thornton didn’t fully inhabit the role again either. His Santa is so wrong, and for so many reasons, it could lead to one of your crew—if not all of you—heading to the mall immediately afterwards to fill out Santa applications.
National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
OK, so Chevy Chase’s endless failed attempts at creating magic moments for his family may not seem like the stuff of pizza and a six-pack with a pal. Enter Cousin Eddie. The misanthropic Randy Quaid’s unannounced visit to the Griswold’s, where he wreaks havoc as Clark struggles with his light display, remains laugh-out-loud funny. And when Eddie kidnaps Clark’s boss and delivers him to his home, well… talk about loyalty.
Office Christmas Party
Last year’s raucous comedy—Jason Bateman’s umpteenth time working with Jennifer Aniston—got a truly bum rap. The execs behind the flick hung their hopes on rising star Kate McKinnon, and SNL fans left bummed that she had such a small role. And the “Aniston is just playing her Horrible Bosses role,” criticism doesn’t fly either; she and goofball brother T.J. Miller make a good team, and the laughs are as plentiful as the blow that accidentally gets put in the snow machine.
A Very Murray Christmas
You mighta missed the mighty Murray on Netflix in 2015, when his outré musical special debuted, but have no fear, as it is still there. At once droll and perplexing, it is also ridiculously cool and loaded with cameos; everyone from Chris Rock to Miley Cyrus stops by, to either play a part in a curious sketch or belt out a number. George Clooney stands out, but it’s Rashida Jones who steals the show. Not from Murray though, who dudes will also appreciate in Scrooged.
A Christmas staple since its summer release in the late ‘80s, Die Hard made John McClane a bona fide Christmas icon. Bruce Willis leapt from the small screen to the big one in style, dropping bad guys and one-liners left and right. No Christmas party could have gone any worse than this one was looking to until a heartbroken badge from the other side of the country saved the (holi)day. Yippee ki-yay indeed.
BoJack Horseman Christmas Special: Sabrina’s Wish
BoJack, an equine former sitcom star (voiced by Will Arnett) wants to spend the holiday any other way than by watching his old series’ Christmas episode—one of those “very special episode” deals. But he gets talked into it, and we’re all the better for it. As always, the writing is obscenely clever, the laughs hard and fast, but this one also manages to be poignant. Only Arnett could pull off this one-of-a-kind character.
Screw Elf—this is the Will Ferrell Christmas flick you wanna watch with your pal. Sure, Elf is a classic, and Ferrell side-splitting, but his reunion with Mark Wahlberg here (after the underappreciated The Other Guys) is about something every guy can relate to—the man who came before him. In Ferrell’s case, it’s the hyper-masculine Wahlberg, whose comedic chops get better and better. Here’s hoping Ted 3 takes place during the holidays.