There’s a perfectly nerdy Netflix Christmas movie for any holiday mood
Single until the end. Photo credit: Philippe Bosse, Netflix
I know it might not sound like it, but it’s the season to be happy.
Amid the depressing reality that now involves a new variant of COVID-19 as people still come to terms with the roller coaster of the past two years, Christmas bells and carols can seem like a jarring tradition of celebration.
But the holidays are also a time of heartwarming sameness in the midst of uncertainty, a time when you can stifle your inner movie critic and embrace the scowl.
Netflix’s Christmas movies have become all about the frenzy whether you want to admit it or not. A keyword search for “Christmas” on the streaming platform returns dozens of holiday movies, ranging from classics to this year’s specials. Some are already out for an early screening before Christmas, while others are rushing like Santa on Christmas Eve. And surely, there is something for all vacation desires.
Heartwarming Netflix Christmas Movie: “Single All the Way”
After Hulu The happiest season and Hallmark’s Christmas house, Netflix’s first gay vacation movie is long overdue. Single until the end, a playful exploration of a gay man’s relationship with his family, has once been praised for avoiding the hackneyed trope of coming out in films featuring LGBTQ leads.
Fed up with being seen as a sad bachelor by his family, Peter (Michael Urie), a young gay man, brings his best friend Nick (Philemon Chambers) back to his New Hampshire home for Christmas, intending to pretend that they are a couple . But their pretense collapses before they even begin, when they find out that Peter’s mother has already set him up on a blind date. The rest of Peter’s family, however, are convinced that Nick and Peter should be together instead, and are keen to match the pair.
Representation aside, the setup is quite the supermarket cake mix of the Christmas romance genre – sap dialogue, mushy family interactions, and predictable storyline – in other words, the stereotypical movie we need for a viewing. healthy vacation. Eccentric characters, like Peter and drama queen aunt Sandy (Jennifer Coolidge), effectively work their charm in the proven model.
Look at this when you are … looking for something sweet, funny and to regain hope for 2022.
A Romantic Netflix Christmas Movie: “Love Hard”
Dating columnist Natalie (Nina Dobrev) travels the country to meet her dating app match, only to find out that the man behind their lovely conversations is really Josh (Jimmy O. Yang), a dorky dude who looks nothing like nothing in his profile picture.
It turns out Josh had provided his dating profile with photos of his traditionally attractive friend Tag (Darren Barnet). Caught off guard and trying to make the most of a futile cross-country trip, Natalie and Josh negotiate a deal in which she would pretend to be his girlfriend in front of his family, as he helps her seduce Tag. But, surprise surprise, the unlikely couple eventually develop feelings for each other.
The film obviously tries to keep up with conversations of the time, like the infamous cat fishing on dating apps and society’s changing ideas about attractiveness. In a music scene, Natalie and Josh even change the lyrics to the notoriously problematic song “Baby It’s Cold Outside”, upping the level of consent to make it sound cuter and less, uh, nagging.
The moral of the story is more than a little uncertain (an intentional catfish rewarded with love), but this squeaky story makes it possible to watch festive hatred or a cheesy triumph for those who make up Team Duckie. .
Look at this when you are … Fed up with swiping left and just wanna see some Tinder romance work.
A Family-Friendly Netflix Christmas Movie: “The Claus Family”
For those who are not fans of the holiday season, there are also visual pleasures for you. They are like secret love letters on Christmas, with no open celebration.
The Claus family tells the story of Jules (Mo Bakker), a teenage mopey who discovers that his grandfather is Santa Claus. While most children would be absolutely thrilled with the reveal, it becomes a source of agony for Jules, who hates Christmas and has come to associate the holidays with the death of his father. Things get worse for our cranky protagonist when he realizes he’s meant to replace his aging grandfather as a friendly gift.
This Dutch-Belgian coming-of-age film explores grief and kinship through the heartwarming prism of the Christmas spirit, but a sulky future Santa is sure to put the brakes on his joie de vivre to season, unless, of course, tempering the holiday spirit and mixing it with a little teenage angst is your goal. As we learn with Jules, maybe the real meaning of Christmas lies in doing something that you are not passionate about, just to spread joy to loved ones and strangers.
Look when you are … feeling quite un-festive but would still love to go through the Christmas movie moves.
A fun Netflix Christmas movie: “The Princess Switch 3: Romancing the Star”
The Princess switch The franchise stars Vanessa Hudgens in three very different roles: Stacy the Courageous Baker, Margaret the Pragmatic Royal and Fiona the former femme fatale antagonist. In the final installment of the film series, the three identical-looking women join forces to retrieve a stolen relic. True to its namesake, chaos ensues as the lookalikes engage in impromptu identity exchanges.
A complete departure from his previous films, which were more caught up in romance and palace politics, The Princess Switch 3: Romancing the Star, went into full break mode. We see our characters dressed in black overalls, with high tech gadgets, as they walk through rooftops and cut open windows.
Look at this when … you’re down for some action scenes while on vacation.
A nostalgic Netflix Christmas movie: “A Castle for Christmas”
Sophie (Brooke Shields), a novelist, travels to Scotland amid controversy over her latest book and decides to buy herself a castle. However, she must first convince Myles (Cary Elwes), the grumpy Duke who owns the castle, to sell it to her. Soon the bickering pair find themselves living in the same castle under an arbitrary deal, which, let’s face it, is just a way to get scenes of the two protagonists in accidentally romantic encounters.
Between spirited Sophie toasting ‘the women who buy castles’ and the Duke sultry cooling off in a tub in an unlocked bathroom, the film is a replay of all the tropes of Christmas romantic comedy – to his credit, shamelessly. The storyline isn’t really the point here anyway. Seeing ’80s idols sharing the same screen is enough to revel in nearly 100 minutes of wonder.
Look at this when … you’re craving a big dose of classic nostalgia, or when you want to bond with your older parents without having to have a conversation.
Fantastic Netflix Christmas Movie: “A Boy Called Christmas”
In today’s London, as three siblings struggle to cope with the recent death of their mother, their aunt tells them the story of a boy from days gone by. The boy, Nikolas (Henry Lawfull), who also lost his mother, goes on a magical adventure with his pet mouse in the land of the elves. During his epic journey, he encounters an assortment of mythical creatures – trolls, elves, flying reindeer – and learns about the origins of Christmas traditions.
The magic element of A boy called Christmas presents itself with vivid CGI characters, sprawling fantasy landscapes and captivating action sequences. But even giving an imaginary treatment to its world construction, the film does not hesitate to approach grief with a realistic tone. Like any good children’s movie, our hopeful protagonist Nikolas ultimately overcomes challenges with trusted companions and a lot of courage.
Look when you are … looking for a really good and healthy watch.
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