Top 10 Nepo Baby, Family Business Christmas Movies

by Allen Esrock | Dec 15, 2023 | Lifestyle

If someone would bother to ask me about my greatest life regrets, I’d share the following: 1) failing to invent Fantasy Baseball even though I started reading baseball box scores when I was four-years old, 2) arbitrarily becoming a LA Clippers fan (basketball) instead of LA Lakers, and 3) most importantly, I didn’t invent the term “nepo baby”.

For those of you who have been living under a rock or are over 45, nepo baby refers to the children of celebrities who have succeeded in careers similar to those of their parents.  Vulture Magazine created so much nepo baby heat including An All But Definitive Guide to the Hollywood Nepo-Verse.

Family business NxtGens are the nepo babies of their local markets.  Similar to their famous counterparts, family business NxtGens are scrutinized by friends, family and even themselves for the advantage they received by being born into family businesses.  While it’s easy to lambast the next generation, it’s also important to remember the real-world problems that come with those privileges.

We’re going to save solving those issues for 2024.  Instead, we’re excited to create our list of the Top 10 Nepo Baby, Family Business Christmas Movies.  We built our list on based on the following criteria:

  • Rotten Tomatoes TOMATOMETER Ranking
  • Neponess – Not all neponess is created equal. We factor in the following criteria: 1) Hollywood royalty; 2) Longevity – How many generations has the family been in the entertainment industry; 3) Nepo In- Crowd – Where do they stand in Vulture’s Hollywood Nepo-Verse and 4) Jamie Lee Curtis – Jamie is our all-time favorite nepo baby, partly because my father-in-law delivered her.
  • Family Business – Does the movie plot include a family business?
  • NxtGen Nexus Says – Because it’s our list.

#10 Die Hard

A New York City police officer tries to save his estranged wife and several others taken hostage by terrorists during a Christmas party at the Nakatomi Plaza in Los Angeles.

Rotten Tomatoes TOMATOMETER – 94%

Neponess

Bruce Willis was married to Demi Moore and father of nepo baby poster child, Rumor Willis.

NxtGen Nexus Says:

Some critics argue that Die Hard shouldn’t be considered a “Christmas” movie.  Except for the fact that it takes place at Nakatomi’s Christmas Party, I understand their concerns.  (Note – if you have problems with “Die Hard”, you can skip “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang”.)

 

#9 Something from Tiffany’s

Tis the season for romantic misfortune, and there’s still time to get Something from Tiffany’s — a little box of derivative fun that bolsters a low-carat hand of comedy and good chemistry.

Rotten Tomatoes TOMATOMETER – 70%

Neponess

Zoe Deutch, daughter of Lea Thompson and Howard Deutch, sibling of Madelyn Deutch.

NxtGen Nexus Says:  The only thing in common with “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” is the name so good branding.  My 31-year-old daughter and I watched it together last year and managed to make it through the entire movie.

#8 Kiss Kiss Bang Bang

After being mistaken for an actor, a New York thief is sent to Hollywood to train under a private eye for a potential movie role, but the duo is thrown together with a struggling actress into a murder mystery.

Rotten Tomatoes TOMATOMETER – 86%

Neponess

Robert Downey, Jr., son of Robert Downey, Sr.

NxtGen Nexus Says:  Downey gets extra props for playing 2G family business NxtGen in the “Ironman” movies.  Writer/Director Shane Black must have been terrified by an elf growing up because “Lethal Weapon”, written by Black, also takes place during Christmas.


#7 Meet Me In St. Louis

A disarmingly sweet musical led by outstanding performances from Judy Garland and Margaret O’Brien, Meet Me in St. Louis offers a holiday treat for all ages.

Neponess

Judy Garland stars and husband Vincente Minnelli directs this all-time classic.  Parents of Liza Minnelli, Garland is mother of Lorna Luft.

NxtGen Nexus Says:  If “Seinfeld” is a television show about nothing, then “Meet Me In St. Louis” is a musical about nothing.  There is literally no plot.  With Judy Garland performing “The Trolly Song”; nine-year old Margaret O’Brien stealing the show, and an overall sense of niceness, it’s essential Christmas time viewing.

#6 Home Alone

An eight-year-old troublemaker, mistakenly left home alone, must defend his home against a pair of burglars on Christmas Eve.

Rotten Tomatoes TOMATOMETER – 65%

Neponess

Macaulay Culkin, son of Kit Culkin and brothers  Kiernan Culkin (also in the movie) and Rory Culkin.

NxtGen Nexus Says:  Kiernan Culkin was the star of HBO’s “Succession” so scores on the family business front.   In case you think there’s a typo, the TOMATOMETER reading is correct.  However, the critics don’t always get it right as “Home Alone” generated hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue and occupies a secure place in pop culture history.

#5 Elf

Raised as an oversized elf, Buddy travels from the North Pole to New York City to meet his biological father, Walter Hobbs, who doesn’t know he exists and is in desperate need of some Christmas spirit.

Rotten Tomatoes TOMATOMETER – 86%

Neponess

Zooey Deschanel, daughter of Caleb Deschanel and Mary Jo Deschanel and sister of Emily Deschanel.

NxtGen Nexus Says: “Elf” could have been a huge failure except for the extraordinary casting of Will Ferrell and Zooey Deschanel.  Their combined quirkiness is what makes the movie a holiday classic.

NxtGen Nexus Says:  The movie was written by sisters Nora Ephron and Delia Ephron.

#4 Miracle on 34th Street (1947 version)

After a divorced New York mother hires a nice old man to play Santa Claus at Macy’s, she is startled by his claim to be the genuine article.

Rotten Tomatoes TOMATOMETER Ranking – 96%

Neponess

John Payne husband of Anne Shirley, father of Julie Payne and grandfather Katheryn Towne.

NxtGen Nexus Says:

The movie takes place at Macy’s, the family-owned department store and also references a long running feud with Gimbal’s, a family-owned department store.  Additionally, the movie features eight-year-old Natalie Wood.

#3 Trading Places

A snobbish investor and a wily street con artist find their positions reversed as part of a bet between Randolph and Mortimer Duke, who own Duke & Duke, a multi-generational commodities broker.

Rotten Tomatoes TOMATOMETER – 88%

Neponess

Jamie Lee Curtis, daughter of Hollywood legends Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh.

NxtGen Nexus Says:

Did somebody say Jamie Lee Curtis?  If you’re a fan of John Landis movies such as “Animal House”, “Blues Brothers”, and “Coming to America”, you’ll love “Trading Places”.

#2 You’ve Got Mail

Book superstore magnate Joe Fox and ndependent book shop owner Kathleen Kelly fall in love in the anonymity of the Internet, both blissfully unaware that he’s trying to put her out of business.

Rotten Tomatoes TOMATOMETER – 70%

Neponess

Tom Hanks, husband of Rita Wilson, father of Colin Hanks and Chet Hanks.
Meg Ryan married to  Dennis Quaid and father of Jack Quaid.
Written by sisters Nora Ephron and Delia Ephron

NxtGen Nexus Says:. The movie plot revolves around G2 (second generation) owner Kathleen Kelly’s decision whether to sell the family business.

.
#1 It’s a Wonderful Life

An angel is sent from Heaven to help a desperately frustrated businessman by showing him what life would have been like if he had never existed.

Rotten Tomatoes TOMATOMETER – 94%

Neponess

The Barrymore Family traces its mid-19th century London stage.  Lionel Barrymore stars in the movie.  Drew Barrymore is his grandniece.

NxtGen Nexus Says:  “It’s a Wonderful Life” is the best Christmas movie and, one of the best movies ever made, “It’s a Wonderful Life” is about a family business NxtGen who is trapped within the family business.

Other movies receiving votes: National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, (avaiilable on every streaming service in the world), White Christmas (Rosemary Clooney is George Clooney’s aunt) and Batman Returns (even though Batman is G2 at Wayne Industries, it’s still a Batman movie.)

Nepotism is alive and well in Hollywood, sports, politics, monarchies, and in family businesses. That hasn’t changed since the dawn of man, and it’s not going to change in the future. The real question is how can NxtGens leverage their privilege to create a more fulfilling world for themselves and a better world for everybody.

That’s the miracle of the Christmas season.  Have a wonderful holiday.

View more articles

Allen Esrock is the Founder of NxtGen Nexus, a platform for the next generation of family business owners which is based on his experience of growing up in a family business. Prior to that he started Jitter Fingers, the first safe, social networking website for tween girls and their bffs with Jitter Finger clubs in 12+ countries and 250+ cities in the US.

About the Author

Allen Esrock is the Founder of NxtGen Nexus, a platform for the next generation of family business owners which is based on his experience of growing up in a family business. Prior to that he started Jitter Fingers, the first safe, social networking website for tween girls and their bffs with Jitter Finger clubs in 12+ countries and 250+ cities in the US.