I’m going to update this throughout December but since I’m powering through the Netflix Christmas library already I thought I’d start now. Mini reviews of the festive films I’m watching this year..in the order in which I watched them. Bear in mind, these are not the standards we all love but almost exclusively the made-for-TV, ‘guilty pleasure’ style movies with zero twists or turns and all the cheesey predictability I’ve come to rely on.
This kicked off this year and I was all in! It ticked all the boxes, rich girl from New York travels to a snowy wonderland incognito and learns about life and love along the way.
Christmas Wedding Planner
Sneaky little Netflix hooked me in with a picture of Lilly from Gossip Girl but she’s HARDLY IN IT! In spite of that, it was a new twist on a familiar story and I enjoyed it.
The Holiday Calendar
Bonnie from The Vampire Diaries receives a magical advent calendar that predicts the future. Small town Christmas vibes with sentimental family fun and romance thrown in.
Deck The Halls
I watch this every year. A feud between Matthew Broderick and; new neighbour, Danny DeVito over Christmas lights that appeals to the whole family.
Christmas With The Coopers
Very different from the rest. An indie movie that follows the stories of multiple characters who come together for Christmas. If you’re less in to the saccharine stuff, this is a nice change.
The Princess Switch
I had such high hopes for this one and as a cheese lover I had no issue with the obvious storyline but the awful English accents ruined it for me.
I don’t know what I thought this was but it was an odd one! A kind of surreal story centred around a Big Foot hoax. I almost didn’t watch to the end but I stuck with it and it was… okay.
A Very Murray Christmas
This was really popular a few years ago and I assumed it was a stand up special. It’s actually a mini movie crossed with a variety show with lots of songs and celeb cameos. Gave me all the festive feels.
Once Upon A Holiday
A princess escapes her name and station in New York to fall in love with a regular Joe while reminiscing about the Christmases before her mother died. Dissapointing. I struggled to stay interested – and I watch some serious drivel!
The Christmas Chronicles
Unlike the majority of this list, this is a legit movie. It’s an instant classic for me with none of the made-for-TV feel. Kurt Russell plays a modern day santa and if your kids are ‘on the cusp’ it answers a lot of those niggling questions they might have about the logistics Christmas Eve. I’ll be watching it again, for sure.
A Christmas Prince
This was last years buzz-worthy Netflix release – they seem to have gone hard this year.. A journalist hides her identity to get an exclusive from the inside – again a fun twist on an old story with less cheese than this years ‘Christmas Switch’.
El Camino Christmas
This isn’t one I’d have chosen usually but since I’m doing this post and all.. I’m powering through. It’s totally different from the cheesy rom-coms but still OH. SO. MUCH. CRYING. The premise is an outsider in town looking for his long lost father and gets caught up in a liquor store ‘robbery’.
I’ll Be Home For Christmas
I liked everyone in this movie but I am so over the strait-laced single working Mum clinging to the stuffy boyfriend character. They always come around to the cosy family vibe and the boy next door eventually but it’s just been done to death. I may be losing my patience at this stage (it’s still not December)
*I did appreciate the story about Barbra Streisand giving her husband the rights to use her music though
I was just thinking that every Christmas movie (these Hallmark types) focuses on a young singleton finding love when this came along. A widow and his grown up family come together for their first Christmas without Mum and drama ensues. A nice palette cleanser between rom coms!
I saved this one to watch with the kids and it was okay. The teen liked it more than I did. A mash up between A Christmas Carol and The Parent Trap, Joy gets to live out her fantasty life via a movie-long dream sequence (spoiler?) after a car accident.
You Can’t Fight Christmas
Quite possibly the worst Christmas movie I’ve ever seen. I don’t know what it was but I just wasn’t rooting for anyone in this story. All the blah.. don’t bother.
The Best Man Holiday
10 minutes in I realised I’ve seen this before.. multiple times. I actually really enjoyed this but get your tissues out cause there are some majorly sad moments. Not one to watch with the kids. Also, it’s a sequel to a movie I’ve never seen but don’t let that put you off.. it’s a great standalone film.
A Wish For Christmas
This is the classic formula. New York woman overlooked at work is taken to ‘Christmas town’ for the holidays and convinces her stuffy festive-phobic boss to find the spirit of the season along the way.
Holiday In The Wild
One of the greates worst movies I’ve seen in a while! Mixed reviews didn’t put me off and I watched it the day it appeared on Netflix. Kristin Davis’ husband leaves her when their son leaves for college and she rediscovers herself in Africa while caring for orphaned baby elephants and drawing attention to the prominent poaching culture. Charming, cheesy and full of heart!
In the same ‘Black Movie’ style I’ve come to love, this is less about Christmas and more about modern family. A widower and his children are forced to move ‘back home’ after they fall on ‘hard’ times. Learning of lessons and predicatble romance ensues. It’s okay but not one I’d rush (get it) to watch.
Merry, Happy, Whatever
This is not a movie!! I was actuall super excited about this one because I am typically more a TV watcher than film. I hate having to meet new characters and the familiarity of episode after episode of the same family really appeals so this is right up my street. Very average in terms of content but if you like run of the mill sitcom style viewing then this is just that with a festive twist. Great background noise and family friendly.
Let It Snow
I have to be honest, I’m a real humbug about this new string of teen Christmas movies Netflix is putting out. Christmas movies are supposed to feature adults who’ve lost their way in the big city and come home to unexpectedly find love. This hip new young thing does not fit my vibe but of all the movies I’ve watched in this new genre, this is the best. I don’t know if ity’s Sabrina (okay, yes – I might be a teen at heart) or Joan Cusack (more likely) or even D’arcy Cardon (The Good Place) that made it for me but it has a special brand of hybrid modern magic that did it for me. Set in a winter wonderland, it follows multiple, interconnecting stories.
The Knight Before Christmas
One Word, NOPE. It might have been worse than the one where she played her own ‘English’ twin last year. I watched this with the kids, thinking the knight angle would keep the youngest interested but it didn’t hold any of our attention. A Knight is (why?) magically transported to the future to fall in love with a hapless Vanessa Hudgens and much as I’m up for the supernatural, this wasn’t for me.
Still to watch (do I need to add anything to this list?)
The Good Witch’s Gift
The Man Who Invented Christmas
Miss Me This Christmas
A Moody Christmas