Christmas is almost upon us and Netflix has lots of festive-themed movies to lighten up your day. But it can be difficult to pick the right to watch from so many. So we have listed five Christmas-themed movies for you to watch with your family this holiday season.
1. A BOY CALLED CHRISTMAS (Gil Kenan, 2021)
This is a British fantasy film that looks at the origins of Santa Claus. The boy behind the story. And how he came to be the reindeer-flying, joy spreading, benevolent old man that we know and love. Interestingly, despite being a children’s film, ‘Boy Called Christmas’ feels thematically darker than other films on this list, with its depictions of child abuse, kidnapping and parental death. But it still has a sense of wonder that will win hearts over.
2. A CASTLE FOR CHRISTMAS (Mary Lambert, 2021)
The beautiful Brooke Shields plays Sophie Brown, an American author who falls in love with a castle in Scotland and wants to become its owner. ‘Castle for Christmas’ has a flat-looking image which has become characteristic of Netflix media. But it also resembles a Hallmark holiday movie with its good looking cast, charming location, a supremely upbeat ending and lots of snow. There’s also a meet-cute involving the adorable terrier Hamish. What’s not to love?
3. LOVE HARD (Hernán Jiménez, 2021)
The most romantic scene of this year is not in an epic, sweeping romance film but in a rom-com. In ‘Love Hard’, the writer Natalie (Nina Dobrev) is catfished by the insecure Josh (Jimmy O. Yang). When she finds this out, she is obviously mad at him. But things start looking up as they get along and sparks fly. And then the scene happens. We see the couple sing a revised version of “Baby, It’s Cold Outside”. A song that is notorious for its portrayal of dubious consent is turned into a relationship of understanding and care after Natalie and Josh switch words around. It is moments like this that make ‘Love Hard’ such a sweet Christmas watch.
4. HAPPIEST SEASON (Clea DuVall, 2020)
Technically a 2020 movie, ‘Happiest Season’ was only made available on Netflix last month. The feel-good holiday film has Kristen Stewart and Mackenzie Davis as the romantic leads. There are enough “coming out of the closet” jokes to make you chuckle but not so much as to feel tiresome. Dan Levy’s monologue (as Abby’s best friend John) will bring you close to tears while Aubrey Plaza is a gift that keeps on giving. Actor Clea DuVall, of the excellent TV series ‘Veep’, sits behind the camera. We even get a brief appearance from her ‘Veep’ co-star, Timothy Simons, who plays a mall guard with dreams of being the “bad cop”.
5. LAST CHRISTMAS (Paul Feig, 2019)
‘Last Christmas’ is technically a 2019 movie but was dropped on the streaming platform last month. Emilia Clarke is a joy to behold as Kate, a hot mess who is on her journey of self-love and acceptance. Henry Golding (of ‘Crazy Rich Asians’), however, is the real revelation here, as he plays the charming Tom Webster who has a heart of gold and a soul like an angel’s. For all its cheerful, glittery ending, the movie might still leave you with an aching heart for a reason we cannot disclose.
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