By Ariel Katz - 12/06/11 11:58 PM EST
Illinois Sens. Dick Durbin (D) and Mark Kirk (R) — who aren’t always politically aligned — both cited “It’s a Wonderful Life” as a holiday favorite.
And Kirk’s reasoning: “I want to be Clarence” — the guardian angel in the movie who teaches the protagonist, George Bailey, played by Jimmy Stewart, to value his family and his life.
Rep. Mary Bono Mack (R-Calif.) had a more personal reason for choosing the 1946 classic as her Christmas favorite. “Years ago, I had a chance to have dinner on several occasions with Jimmy Stewart … Both he and my dad were in B-17 crews during World War II, so I got the two of them together at my home to reminisce,” Bono Mack told The Hill. “Their photo together is one of my cherished keepsakes.”
Still, Bono Mack said “It’s a Wonderful Life” tied for her favorite with the original, 1947 version of “Miracle on 34th Street.”
“Both movies speak to the magic of the season,” she said.
Rep. José Serrano (D-N.Y.) also had a two-way tie for his favorite holiday flick.
“It’s easier to answer your question about the budget than it is to come up with my favorite movie,” he jokingly told The Hill before listing his top two picks, the 1951 version of “A Christmas Carol” and “Charlie Brown’s Christmas.”
“‘A Christmas Carol’ just shows you this person, Scrooge, who didn’t believe in being nice to anybody, and he was angry at the world, at his past and present, and thought there was no future,” Serrano said. “And that wonderful last scene where he’s looking out the window and he’s so happy he can’t help himself but laugh and laugh ... it’s wonderful.”
Serrano also cited Alastair Sim’s superb acting as Ebenezer Scrooge as a reason for the movie topping his list.
“He’s so good. He can be so mean in the beginning and then so wonderful at the end.” As for “Charlie Brown’s Christmas,” “it’s just a wonderful one to watch with your small child,” he said.
Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) picked two child-friendly movies as her favorites: “The Santa Clause” and “The Polar Express.”
“I watched those with my kids, and I still enjoy them,” she said.
And Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) picked a favorite from when she was a kid.
“‘Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer’ has always been one of my favorite holiday movies,” Klobuchar said. “When I was little, in the middle of a Minnesota snowstorm, I always thought the Abominable Snowman would someday careen down our suburban street ... luckily it never happened.”
Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, named the romantic Christmas flick “Love, Actually” as her favorite holiday film, citing Hugh Grant’s role in the movie as a main reason.
“I know that liking Hugh Grant is cheesy, but I can’t help it — he makes me smile with his silly, stammering ways,” Ros-Lehtinen told The Hill.