My post arguing that Die Hard isn’t a Christmas movie generated a lot of discussion. Much of the criticism boiled down to, “but I like it and I watch it at Christmas.” However, one reader named Bryan Pick posted an especially creative Facebook comment that I think is worth referencing:
“Matt Lewis is wrong that it could have just as easily been set on Thanksgiving or spring break: the movie may not be overtly focused on ‘the spirit of Christmas,’ but Christmas in L.A. – with its lack of snow, Run-DMC in place of classic Christmas music, and soulless corporate parties – isn’t just ambiance; that liberal deviation from tradition is the only appropriate setting to reflect Holly being estranged from her husband. I mean, Gruber’s last act is holding onto Holly by her nice watch (a symbol of consumerism), which John unclasps, letting the greedy secular European and the watch fall to their destruction. That accomplished, John can finally reconcile with his wife.
He concludes thusly: “A conservative should appreciate the themes here.”
Okay, I’m convinced. Die Hard isn’t really an action movie about terrorists. It is, instead, a cultural commentary on consumerism in secular, postmodern America — with an emphasis on how it impacts families during the Holidays.
Sophistry, or not, this is a brilliant comeback…