During this festive season, whether you celebrate Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanzaa, the Winter Solstice, the Summer Solstice, Boxing Day, Hogmanay, Saturnalia, all of the above, or merely waking up in the morning, please be sure to enjoy that great holiday tradition: Die Hard.
Yes, it’s the best action movie ever made. Yes, it’s a Christmas movie. Yes, because of this movie, my son once went to an Ugly Christmas Sweater Party wearing a gray sweatshirt on which he’d scrawled, “NOW I HAVE A MACHINE GUN HO-HO-HO,” which prompted someone to tell me I was a disgusting mother.
If you’re a thriller writer, watch Die Hard to see how it’s done. If you’re not, watch it to enjoy the story, the dialogue, the gutsy snark of Bruce Willis, and the gleaming, urbane menace of Alan Rickman.
My son had friends over for a Christmas party. To get in the festive spirit, he made a Christmas sweater. He decorated it with dialogue from our family’s favorite holiday movie, Die Hard.
I am so proud.
Considering how my other kids reacted — by rattling off lines from the movie — our next family project will be to hand craft Christmas cards featuring Die Hard dialogue. “Schnell! Schnell!” “Karl, shoot the glass!” “Welcome to the party, pal.” “And the quarterback is toast!”
On the subject of Write What You Know, here’s a first: I’ve had the opportunity to climb out of a stuck elevator after another passenger hauled the doors open. I suspect this is as close as I’ll ever come to being in Die Hard.
For the record, I wasn’t stuck for long. Just long enough to figure out that pushing the HELP button didn’t connect us to help but to an answering machine. Just long enough to wonder what the other passenger and I were going to talk about for endless hours until somebody found us. But the doors proved surprisingly easy to pull apart. Luckily, we only had to jump down about a foot. I didn’t even have to write out Now I have a machine gun. Ho-ho-ho.