Fans of festive movie puns will no doubt be rejoicing this year over the imminent arrival of Universal’s black comedy. A violent night. Sure, the film may star David Harbor as a boozy Santa Claus who is forced to take on a team of heavily armed mercenaries led by John Leguizamo, but for many the genius movie title is the selling point.
But if you imagine A violent night The best Christmas pun in a movie this year, think again.
Lurking under the radar at AFM is seasonal romance Yuletide the KnotMarketed by Fabrication Films and boasting an ultra-rare, double-syllable pun.
Sure, the timeless tale of a small-town wedding planner who unexpectedly bumps into his high-school sweetheart while planning his biggest Christmas wedding, a reunion that “reminds her of loving” Stranger Things An ass-kicking star in a Father’s Christmas suit, but who really cares when you’ve got a cool movie name?
“To be honest, it started with the title,” admits director Nania Miyata. “I’m a very small person, and it was really painful for a lot of my friends. I wrote it with a friend. We started a few years ago and sat around coming up with different Christmas movie concepts, but each time we had to include the title and where it came from.
Not content with coming up with the best holiday puns, Miyata even added the line “Yuletide the Knot” to the script for a movie he shot in the ski town of Steamboat Springs, Colorado. “It’s very cheesy, but I like to include the title in the dialogue of my films, so it ends up being said. I have done this in every film till date.
Introduced to holiday romance movies by his parents and the Hallmark Channel, where it was just “non-stop Christmas movies,” Miyata recently got his first taste of this corner of Hollywood as a filmmaker in 2018. , Christmas Harmony (You guessed it, a character named Harmony is – double-pun alert – a singer). But even with only two Christmas rom-coms under his (Santa’s) belt, he says he’s noticed several beats that most such features usually hit.
“First, for me, the snow. The snow is essential,” she says. “But it’s a career girl who’s often lost her heart and needs to be reminded of the magic of Christmas, and of course there’s a love story that makes her remember, and that eleventh-hour thing where everything falls apart, and then they end up come together.”
Once confined to platforms like Hallmark, the humble festive family feature has recently broken free and is making some major Angels in the Snow on Netflix.
The past few years have seen a steady flow land on the platform, including A castle for Christmas, Christmas under the wraps, Christmas Wedding Planner (The filmmakers should be kicking themselves for not thinking Yuletide the Knot), Let it snow And Operation Christmas Drop.
Miata isn’t done with the genre, and says she was tempted to make a Christmas horror movie, mostly because she was inspired by a movie featuring Santa as a zombie slayer called — wait for it — Slay ride.
And, in keeping with the self-aware nature of his films, he says he got the idea of a meta-sound for a feature that turns seasonal romance on its head, following someone who actually writes such films but thinks it’s absurd. . “And then, finally, it’s a Christmas rom-com, and he learns that magic is real,” he says. “It’s so stupid, but I thought I’d vent some of my feelings toward it.”
This story first appeared in the Nov. 3 daily issue of The Hollywood Reporter on American Film Market.