We’re about to binge-watch all of our favourite Christmas movies, so it seems only right that we round up some of the festive film sets we wish we could spend some time in…
1. Miracle on 34th Street (1994: pictured above). As a kid, I always wanted to be Mara Wilson, whether she was nerding it up in Matilda or being adorable in Mrs Doubtfire, but especially when she played Susan in the ’90s remake of the Christmas classic Miracle on 34th Street.
Though I’m not sure I’m on board with a six-year-old being gifted a house on Christmas morning – unless it’s of the Polly Pocket variety – that did seem to be the way things we going for a while there during the Celtic Tiger years, and I have to admit that the house in question is pretty spectacular, in a blown-up dollhouse kind of way. From my early Christmas memories, I remember it as a heavenly haze of tartan, chintz furniture and polished hardwood.
2. The Family Stone (2005). The film that officially made me scared of Diane Keaton, The Family Stone is one of my favourite recent Christmas movies and a popular contender for the Christmas Day pick in my house.
I come out in a cold sweat at the idea of spending Christmas in SJP’s character’s footsteps (if you haven’t seen it, think about the awkwardness of the first time you met a significant other’s family and multiply it by a million), but I think it might be worth it for the house, which has an interior as cosy as the family’s welcome is frosty, and outside, my dream of dreams: a wraparound porch.
3. Home Alone (1990). I think every late ’80s/early ’90s child wanted to live in Kevin McCallister’s Chicago pad (but probably without the constant burglary attempts), especially when it’s decked out with all the decorations. Speaking to Entertainment Weekly earlier this year about the 25th anniversary of the film’s release, director Chris Columbus said he chose it as the backdrop because it was “warm and menacing at the same time”.
4. Batman Returns (1992). People often forget that Batman Returns is a Christmas film on account of all the violence, but it is, and Wayne Manor is pretty damn Christmassy. Michael Keaton looks tiny here, so dwarfed is he by the enormous Christmas tree and fireplace the size of a single bedroom in a Smithfield apartment.
5. The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992). I’m beginning to notice a slight bias towards films I watched when I was four here, but The Muppet Christmas Carol is quite simply the best film of all time*. The only downside is it would be hard to actually live on Kermit’s street, on account of it being puppet-sized.
*in my opinion.