If You Like It’s a Wonderful Life
“If You Like…” is a feature highlighting blogger recommendations for books, authors, TV shows, movies, and music based on the things you already know and love. This week includes suggestions based on the 1946 Christmas movie classic It’s a Wonderful Life, in which a man questioning his will to live is shown what the lives of those around him would be like if he never existed.
If you like It’s a Wonderful Life, you might like…
- A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. — Kate (Literary Explorations) and Annette (The More You Read, The More You Will Know)
- Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver: A girl gets a chance to redo her life the right way. George Bailey, take two! — Anna (Anna Reads)
- Where Angels Go by Debbie Macomber: Three angels work behind the scenes to help three people with very different Christmas wishes. — Annette (The More You Read, The More You Will Know)
- Skipping Christmas by John Grisham: The Kranks want to get away from it all for Christmas by taking a cruise, but they come under intense pressure to conform when their neighbors find out. — Annette (The More You Read, The More You Will Know)
- The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson: Follows the Herdman family, “absolutely the worst kids in the history of the world,” as they take over a church Christmas Pageant. Laugh out loud moments but ultimately heartwarming and touching. — Twan (Artie is my Muse)
- Olive the Other Reindeer by Vivian Walsh and J. Otto Seibold: Follows the same plot as the movie, but less elaborately. — Twan (Artie is my Muse)
- Wishin’ and Hopin’: A Christmas Story by Wally Lamb: Wally Lamb is tied with David Levithan as my favorite writer EVER. The craft of his writing is so intricate without feeling intricate and it amazes me every time. This is a quick read that follows fifth grader Felix Funicello through the Christmas season of 1964 and through past and present. I know this has been popular with Baby Boomers- there are a lot of pop culture references of which younger readers may or may not be aware. — Twan (Artie is my Muse)
- Marly’s Ghost by David Levithan: A modern retelling of A Christmas Carol that is quite lovely. David Levithan has such a wonderful way of writing relationships that covers all the cliche moments without ever being cliche. — Twan (Artie is my Muse)
- The Shop Around the Corner: This movie stars James Stewart and Margaret Sullavan. Two employees at a gift shop can barely stand one another, without realizing that they’re falling in love through the post as each other’s anonymous pen pal. — Kate (Literary Explorations)
- White Christmas: Another classic holiday movie that’s a must-watch this time of year. “Lord help the mister who comes between me and my sister…” — Anna (Anna Reads), Annette (The More You Read, The More You Will Know), Ginger (G Reads), and Twan (Artie is my Muse)
- Miracle on 34th Street: My personal favorite — the Natalie Wood version for sure! — Annette (The More You Read, The More You Will Know) and Ginger (G Reads)
- A Christmas Story: My son actually got his tongue stuck on the light pole when he was little because of this movie. It bled. This one isn’t that old — 1983. — Annette (The More You Read, The More You Will Know), Twan (Artie is my Muse), and Ginger (G Reads)
- The Muppet Christmas Carol, It’s A Very Merry Muppet Christmas, Letters to Santa: I love the Muppets. And combining the Muppets with Christmas makes my brain almost explode. Most people know about The Muppet Christmas Carol – it follows the traditional Christmas Carol format with Kermit as Bob Cratchit and Gonzo as Charles Dickens. A Very Merry Muppet Christmas follows more of an It’s A Wonderful Life format where we find out what the world would be like if Kermit had never been born. Letters to Santa is the most recent and has the Muppet gang trying to get a very special letter to Santa. The Muppets are smart funny- kids find them silly and adults can laugh at clever wordplay and sight gags, and at the same time they have amazing sincerely heartfelt moments. — Twan (Artie is my Muse)
- Olive the Other Reindeer: This is one of the only cases where I enjoy the movie better than the book. It’s a lovely cartoon featuring Olive, a dog who doesn’t act much like a dog and worries about disappointing her owner. She then hears someone on the radio say “all of the other reindeer” and mistakes it for Olive the Other Reindeer and realizes that must be why she doesn’t act like a dog, so she heads to the North Pole to fulfill her reindeer duties. — Twan (Artie is my Muse)
- The Santa Clause, The Santa Clause 2, and The Santa Clause 3: One of Santa’s elves leaves the North Pole after making some mistakes and changes Christmas completely. Granted, the sequels aren’t AS good but they’re still fun. In the third we get sort of It’s A Wonderful Life-y when we see what the world would be like if Scott Calvin had never become Santa. — Twan (Artie is my Muse)
- Emmet Otter’s Jug Band Christmas: This one is from Jim Henson as well and features creatures from the Muppet Workshop but none of the regular gang. It sort of follows the plot of The Gift of the Magi. — Twan (Artie is my Muse)
- Mixed Nuts: This is a not very well known Christmas movie with Steve Martin and Adam Sandler (and a lot of other big names). It follows a group of people working at a failing Suicide Hotline on Christmas. The whole thing is really sweet and touching but also hilarious. — Twan (Artie is my Muse)
- Peewee’s Playhouse Christmas Special: You can actually watch it online right now for free at http://www.peewee.com. — Twan (Artie is my Muse)
- Classic Christmas Specials: Johnny Cash, Judy Garland, Bing Crosby, Sonny & Cher. — Ginger (G Reads)
Have you watched It’s a Wonderful Life? If so, do you have any of your own recommendations to share?
Next week, bloggers will be sharing recommendations based on the tv show 24. If you like 24 and want to share recommendations or get involved in future weeks of “If You Like…” please contact me for more information.