By Jeremy Carden
Considering that Christmas is less than 10 days away, I found myself watching one of my favorite movies this past weekend. I did find it strange that despite it being December, I was watching a movie that was not related to Christmas. However, I began to rethink that notion…
I watched “12 Angry Men” on December 16th while I was cleaning my apartment. I realized that the genius behind the movie is the fact that it was just a dozen men sitting in a room arguing back and forth for 99.8% of the film! There are not a lot of people that would find that kind of concept interesting enough to focus an entire movie around.
Now, the reason that I think this movie should be a Christmas film is because it truly relates to the experience of being around a lot of family members for an extended amount of time. Hear me out on this one, I am heading home for a few days this weekend for the holiday. Am I nervous? A little bit, but that feeling comes more from seeing my extended family rather than my parents and sister.
By extended family, I am referring to my aunts and cousins on my father’s side of the family. I think a lot of you will be able to relate to having family members that you cannot stand for one reason or another. There is a #ChristmasWithBlackFamilies and #GrowingUpBlack hashtag for a reason.
Not to mention, the clapback memes are too accurate to not be funny!
During the holiday season, you are likely to be around your family for about five or more days. Either by your own choice or being forced into it, you go to the family dinner where 20 or more people are packed into the same house for several hours. Not everyone there is going to be in a good mood, and you might have to sit across the table from someone you would not talk to if your life depended on it. This film is all that and more!
When I really thought about it, I realized that each of the 12 jurors in the movie represents a family member that we can all relate with on some level.
Don’t believe me? I think the 12 jurors can give us 12 reasons why you should think otherwise.
- Juror #1
This is the relative who sits at the end of the table like the head of the family. He gets the conversation going, and is not against stepping in when necessary when things get out of hand.
- Juror #2
The meek family member that is easily talked down to or talked over when trying to voice his opinion.
- Juror #3
The loudmouth member of the family who explodes at the drop of a dime. He is willing to start a fight over the slightest thing with anyone who he feels stands against him.
- Juror #4
The straightforward family member who is 100% serious 100% of the time. One might consider him a buzzkill though because his logic kills any joke that you try to tell him. However, he would be the best candidate to ask if you need to hold a few dollars because he has a successful business.
- Juror #5
The relative that grew up in the ghetto, but climbed their way to middle-class status. However, they do not like it when anyone brings up the way they were raised. Even though they tried to leave their old lifestyle behind, they can show you a trick or two if you find yourself in a knife fight.
- Juror #6
A relative that is not too nice or too mean. He is a happy medium in terms of demeanor, and is not too bad to have a conversation with. Most of his income comes from odd jobs that he does around the neighborhood. If you need a paint job around the house or some repairs, then this handyman will gladly do the job for the right price.
- Juror #7
The out-of-town relative that has 1,000 different places that he’d rather be at than the family gathering, but your auntie made him come. He is always complaining because of how badly he wants to leave, or tells a joke every chance that he gets. However, only a few of his jokes stick because most of them are usually a jab at another family member. He does not throw any shade towards Juror #3 since he does not want to start a fight that he cannot finish because no one else would jump in to help.
- Juror #8
If there is a heated topic being discussed, this is the one family member who has a different opinion from everyone else. At first, they are unsure where they stand. However, they will present hardcore evidence as to why they feel differently about the subject. Juror #3 is not his biggest fan, but #8 might end up changing the hearts and minds of everyone in the room.
Even though he is the most level-headed person in the room, he is the only one in the family that carries around a pocketknife. Luckily, he jabs it into the dinner table or another piece of furniture rather than another family member.
- Juror #9
The family elder that is as kind as they are old. Even though their kindness is refreshing in a room full of diverse people, they can sometimes lose their train of thought. Be prepared to repeat yourself several times when talking to this person because they may forget what you were talking about to begin with. Do not underestimate them because sometimes they notice things that no one else can!
- Juror #10
The bigot in the family that always voices their opinion even if race or politics has nothing to do with the conversation that is happening at the time.
Do not start a conversation about politics, religion or race relations with this person because it will get very ugly very quickly.
No one has told them off for their way of voicing their opinion without a filter because Juror #1 wants to keep the peace, and Juror #9 is sitting too close to him to deal with any fighting.
However, he will eventually say something so messed up that it causes most of the family to leave the table.
- Juror #11
The one family member with an accent that sounds familiar, but you cannot identify it if your life depended on it. Could they be Hispanic? German? French? They could be from New York or New Jersey. It does not matter because they are well-mannered and just a joy to be around.
- Juror #12
The annoying family member that will not shut up about work. They are constantly talking about how well their job is going even if you did not ask them about it.
The one member of the family that got arrested earlier that year, and the rest of the family cannot figure out how they did not go to jail. If you are nervous about some of your secrets being exposed at dinner, this family member will end up getting the most shade thrown at them.
After reading through the list, I bet you had at least six family members pop into your mind!
Even though this movie does not have a signal snowflake, I do recall there being a heatwave and a downpour of rain. This entire film was basically a family at the table having Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner while throwing shade and talking about some deep topics.
Are there any non-Christmas films out there that you feel could be labeled as one? Think about it carefully like I did with this film and you might surprise yourself with what you find!
Be sure to follow my blog for more interesting topics and I wish you all a Merry Christmas!