There’s no denying it: Winter is upon us. Snowstorms are looming, icicles are forming, and chilly winds are whipping through the city. There are few greater pleasures at this time of year than staying nice and toasty at home — slippers on, a mug of hot chocolate in hand — and curling up on the sofa beneath a blanket to watch a movie. And residents of the downtown Chicago rentals at NEMA Chicago have the option of enjoying a true movie theater experience in the building’s Media Lounge. Reserve the Media Lounge in the Amenities section of your NEMA Life app!
To make the most of your wintertime movie night, we recommend watching holiday classics and recent releases that are set in the Windy City. Whether it’s because of the spectacular lights along the Magnificent Mile, or the blankets of snow all over town, Chi-Town seems to be the go-to destination for shooting the most picturesque and enduring holiday films. Here are some of our favorites.
In our opinion, every holiday movie list should include the beloved 1990 classic, “Home Alone.” The story follows Kevin McCallister, played by the young phenom Macaulay Culkin, who gets left behind in Chicago during his family’s trip abroad — only to have to single-handedly protect his home from two hapless crooks. No matter how many times you’ve seen this hilarious and heartwarming film, it’s eminently rewatchable (and worth it to revisit Second City legend Catherine O’Hara in action).
For another holiday comedy classic — and for anyone thinking of simply ignoring this year’s holiday rituals — we recommend “Christmas With the Kranks.” This is a tale of a couple of empty-nesters who try to skip out on the pageantry of Christmas, which doesn’t sit too well with their Christmas-obsessed neighbors. It all plays out on an otherwise unassuming Chicago block, and stars comedy heavyweights Tim Allen and Dan Aykroyd, who are at their slapstick best in this one.
The past few years have seen a new crop of holiday classics and blockbusters set in Chicago. In “The Christmas Chronicles,” Kurt Russell stars as Santa Claus, who is spotted by a pair of young siblings as he makes his Christmas rounds. Hijinks ensue. Santa teleports to Chicago, his sleigh breaks down, and much more. But in the end, he makes it back to the North Pole to reunite with Mrs. Claus (adorably played by Russell’s real-life partner Goldie Hawn). For anyone feeling the stress of visiting family for the holidays (even virtually), “A Bad Moms Christmas” may just be the raunchy and ribald catharsis the season calls for. Or, for those who may be missing the formalities of splashy office holiday parties this year, “Office Christmas Party” may offer the perfect reminder of what can go terribly (and comically) wrong. The critically acclaimed dramedy, “Happy Christmas,” stars Anna Kendrick as Jenny, an aimless, young 20-something who makes her way to her brother’s family in Chicago.
The most recent flick to make our Chicago holiday film roundup is 2020’s “The Holidate.” This Netflix sensation follows two jaded singles in Chicago who aren’t looking for love — just a date to tote around for the holidays. What starts as a pact to avoid showing up alone at parties, dinners, and weddings without the pressure of love, attraction, or commitments, ends in a more than satisfying romantic comedy finish — but we won’t spoil the details.
Finally, for those missing the offerings from Chicago’s vibrant theater scene, we recommend checking out these virtual holiday performances, which include productions of “A Christmas Carol” and “The Nutcracker.”
Though everyone has their favorite holiday film, residents of NEMA Chicago can revisit classics or hold a marathon of comedy blockbusters celebrating the city, all from the comfort of their luxurious South Loop apartments.