Madame Web Is A Christmas Movie

Madame Web Christmas Movie

A perennial debate pops up, usually around Thanksgiving and then stretching through the end of the year. That debate: Is Die Hard a Christmas movie? While culture has firmly pushed past the curmudgeons to a “yes,” we have a new entry in the canon to argue about… Madame Web is a Christmas movie, and I can prove it with three simple pieces of evidence.

Before we get into it, we should discuss a little bit why the whole Die Hard thing is an argument each year. It comes down to a simple separation between people who believe movies that include Christmas in any way are, in fact, Christmas movies. On the other end of the spectrum is the belief that you can’t just have Christmas as a backdrop. The movie needs to involve the holiday in some way, and have something specifically to say about Christmas. To simplify it, just because Shane Black sets every movie he ever makes at Christmas, does not — according to the latter argument — make them Christmas movies. On the other hand, It’s A Wonderful Life is a Christmas movie because it plays with the themes and ideas of Christmas.

I’m going to differ from that take, because in my opinion — and how we’re going to approach Madame Web here — anything can be a Christmas movie if you want it to be. And in this case, we’re going to have to stretch belief thinner than a strand of spiderweb to make this argument work. That said, I do think there’s compelling evidence that at some point in the tangled scriptwriting, er, web of making Madame Web this might have more specifically been a Christmas movie. So, let’s get into it.

Evidence #1: Dakota Johnson Is Watching A Christmas Carol

The biggest piece of evidence Madame Web is a Christmas movie? Early in the film, Dakota Johnson’s character Cassandra Webb is dismissed from her job and given a week off because she nearly drowned and briefly died. The first thing she does? She watches A Christmas Carol. Specifically, I believe she’s watching the 1951 version starring Alastair Sim. But I’m a Madame Web scholar, not A Christmas Carol scholar, so I could be wrong.

Ostensibly, Cassie is watching A Christmas Carol solely because she is currently struggling with the idea that she may be having precognitive views of possible futures. In the scene, she tells Scrooge that you can’t change the future (which is a gross misunderstanding of the point of A Christmas Carol, but whatever), until she saves a bird, and then realizes she can change the future. This movie is great.

Anyway, “plot” points aside, it is verifiably insane to casually watch A Christmas Carol on your medical leave from work unless it’s Christmas time. When I posted something similar to this on Threads, I got called a gatekeeper. And sure, I guess it’s gatekeeping to say I don’t know why you would watch A Christmas Carol outside of the corridor between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. But I think forgetting about the real world for a second, in movies, you don’t casually throw in Christmas movies people are watching on TV unless A) it’s Christmas or B) there’s something seriously weird and wrong about this character like they’re a slasher or something.

Cassandra Webb is not a slasher or something (that’s evil Spider-Man Ezekiel Sims in the movie) so is it possible that she’s watching A Christmas Carol because it’s Christmas?

Counterpoint: There’s No Indication It’s Christmas, And It Seems Pretty Warm

Madame Web Isabela Merced Dakota Johnson Sydney Sweeney Celeste O'Connor

One piece of evidence working against that is there’s no snow on the ground at any point, no Christmas decorations, and overall based on how everyone is dressed, it’s pretty warm. While I can’t refute the first two items — generally, there’s a whole lot of Christmas going on in Christmas movies — I can take a look at the weather in New York City (where the movie is set) during December of 2003 (when the movie, we think, is set).

The large majority of December 2003 was in typical temperature ranges for Winter, aka 30s to 40s. However, there were a few unseasonably warm days. December 11, 2003 stretched up to 60 degrees. December 17 saw a high of about 55 degrees. And December 24 was at about 58 degrees at certain points.

While this isn’t blazing hot, it could explain Dakota Johnson walking around with a light leather jacket, and the other three Spider-Women running around the city and environs in what could best be described as Fall or Spring wear. And maybe Ben Parker (Adam Scott) and Mary Parker (Emma Roberts) decided to have a baby shower barbecue on December 11 because it was so warmish? Yes, I’m stretching here, but this is a thin premise to begin with so let’s roll with it.

Evidence #2: The Release Date Of Britney Spears’s “Toxic”

Okay, look. I get this takes place in another universe. And it’s not like there’s strict fidelity of dates anyway. But! In a scene towards the middle of the movie, the Spider-Girls — Julia Cornwall (Sydney Sweeney), Anya Corazon (Isabela Merced), and Mattie Franklin (Celeste O’Connor) — all dance to Britney Spears’s “Toxic” on a table in a diner. The music is playing on the radio, and the DJ explains that while it isn’t a single yet, they think it’s going to be a big hit. At the same time, everyone loves the song, and knows all the words.

“Toxic” was a song on Spears’s In The Zone, which was released on November 15, 2003. “Toxic” wasn’t released as a single until January 12, 2004. While my initial reaction this is how it didn’t make any sense… What if it does make sense? What if it makes the most sense of all?

Specifically, if “Toxic” has started to hit critical mass enough based on the popularity of In The Zone, it’s possible that this squarely sets Madame Web between November 15, 2003, and January 12, 2004. What happens between those two dates? Christmas!

Evidence #3: The Birth Of Peter Parker

Madame Web Post Credit Scene

Here’s where I officially started to lose my mind [Editor’s note: that happened with the headline on down, brother]. One of the main plot points of the movie is that Mary Parker is pregnant with an unnamed baby. Her brother is Ben Parker, and they keep talking about how he’s going to be a great Uncle. In case you didn’t pick up on it, Ben is Uncle Ben of Spider-Man fame. Mary Parker is Peter Parker’s mother, and the Richard she refers to is Richard Parker, aka Peter’s father. Additionally, the also unnamed woman Ben Parker has met that he describes briefly to Cassie early in the movie is May Parker, aka Aunt May, née May Reilly.

So what does this all have to do with Christmas? Well, think about it this way. A messiah (Peter Parker), born to a woman named Mary, whose husband (Richard) is off in places unknown, attended by three wise people (Julia, Anya, Mattie)? Sounds familiar, right?

Not only that, but if we set the barbecue at December 11 per the data above, Cassie is suspended from her job for a week, and she takes a week to go to Peru (did I mention this movie is great? It is), which potentially points to the whole movie taking place over two weeks. What’s two weeks after December 11? December 25, baby.

That’s right: in Madame Web, Peter Parker is Spider-Jesus, and he’s born on December 25, 2003.

I’m semi-convinced at this point that in some draft of the movie they pushed this whole angle harder, and were asked to tone it down to the point that — despite there being a game to guess the kid’s name earlier in the movie — they never say “Peter” out loud, which is wild. But whatever, I think I clearly rest my case here, no notes.

So in conclusion, not only is Madame Web a Christmas movie… It’s the ultimate Christmas movie. Glory to our newborn Spider-Man, and get ready for a yearly rewatch of everyone’s favorite holiday flick: Madame Web.

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