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TheStreet Open House

10 Best Christmas Movies That Aren't About Christmas

Stocks in this article: TWX DIS

10. The Family Man
Released: 2000
Box office gross: $75.8 million

OK, so we really aren't sure why this only gets the "Christmas setting" treatment when it's basically director Brett Ratner's mix of It's A Wonderful Life and A Christmas Carol.

Nic Cage's wealthy Wall Street executive gets mugged by this film's form of Wonderful Life's Clarence the Angel (played by Don Cheadle) and shown what life would have been like if he didn't learn finance in London and, instead, shacked up with Tea Leoni, had some kids and settled down in Jersey. We'll give our finance folks a second to finish off their Old Fashioneds at the company office party and figure out which life Cage's character decided was better.

Though we understand the greater point this film is trying to make about balancing success in one's professional endeavors with a deep, fulfilling personal life, the NY Waterway ferries, PATH trains and NJTransit rails are filled with folks from Wall Street and other financial centers along the Hudson who manage to do both. The Brothers Grimm story everyone still tells about modern finance is that everyone with an office is a slicked-back Gordon Gekko with a penthouse uptown and a pied-a-terre in a far-off city accessible only by private jet.

That's nowhere near true, and the film's ending alludes to that fact. Recalibrating your personal priorities to that of a human being rather than that of an ATM is one thing. Painting the world in broad, cartoon strokes that make every blue collar/white collar interaction into Jamie Dimon vs. Johnny The Roofer glosses over a whole lot of folks in the middle.

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