credit: 20th Century Studios

Die Hard (1988) ****

Dear Rory,

I finally came up with a pitch for reviewing our favorite Christmas movie, Die Hard.

Like I totally agree, there’s no point trying to give a traditional review to Die Hard. I don’t think I can come up with a better way to explain it than you did. Whatever interesting 1980s class commentary might happen irt blue collar figures versus the globalist corporate entity is super-numbed by the fact that cops don’t belong in the labor movement ever, at all, period. And I don’t think we’re at the point where we’re ready to tackle The Die Hard Problem (movies and TV making Black actors the face of the justice system to avoid engaging with the racial dynamics of our carceral system). That takes away a whole lotta more-substantial commentary on the flick. Maybe when I start watching 80s action movies?

Anyhoodles, yes, the copaganda is way beyond the scope of this review, so I was thinking I should just treat it like it’s any other holiday romcom.

I know what you’re thinking. People are bored of arguing about whether Die Hard is a Christmas movie.

But are they bored of talking about Die Hard as a Christmas Romcom?

The argument here isn’t, “Is it a Christmas romcom?” but rather, “Who’s the romantic pairing?” Right? I think that’s the argument for our review.

Let me take a whack the pros and cons of each potential romantic hero for our central heroine, John McClane. (Obv he’d be the heroine; he’s kind of a manic pixie copboy who likes to frolic barefoot through the park broken glass.)

Holly Gennaro: This is the second most obvious romantic hero for John. Holly’s his ex, and a lot of people love ex reunion stories. There are cute kids involved. Bringing a family back together is such a nice hopeful visual for the ending. Plus, Holly has to realize that John being a *massive* pain in the ass is endearing when it’s aimed at a villain, which is romantic character growth if I’ve ever heard it. Also, Bonnie Bedelia is sooo smokin.

Sgt. Al Powell: The physically distant but emotionally intimate relationship between Al and John is reminiscent of classics like You’ve Got Mail, Serendipity, Your Place Or Mine, and The Holiday. They love each other long before they’ve ever locked eyes. John and Al are smooching atop the thin blue line. It’s romantic?

Hans Gruber: My personal favorite and the most obvious pairing. As with Rock Hudson and Doris Day, we love seeing a couple with spicy chemistry. Entire romcoms are built on a couple arguing with each other. Nobody argues like Hans and John. The way they lob quips back and forth between each other is basically foreplay. Their playful banter once they finally meet blows the top off the building. Plus, dreamy Alan Rickman has a history being Austen heroes, so he’s got the chops to sweep a giggling John off his bloody feet.

What do you think? People are going to love it if I write a review like this, right? I really think I’ve stumbled onto something genius here.

Hope you’re having a great time six feet away from me, which I could know if I spoke to you instead of sending this email.

Love, Sara

(image credit: 20th Century Studios)

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