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8 Holiday Movies that are So Bad, They’re Good

Holiday movies can be a hit or a miss — and with dozens of new ones coming out every year, it can be hard to sift through them all to find the ones worth watching. While many of us enjoy the beloved Christmas classics like Home Alone or Love, Actually, sometimes the holiday movies with the cheesy titles, outrageous antics and most cliche moments prove to be the most entertaining — even if they’re kind of cringeworthy. Here are eight holidays movies that are so bad, they’re good.

1. Just Friends

Just Friends features Ryan Reynolds at his finest — er, worst — as Chris, an awkward high school senior-turned-successful record producer who harbors a crush on his best friend, Jamie (Amy Smart). During Christmastime, Chris returns to his hometown and struggles to tell Jamie how he feels about her, not knowing that she, like him, wants to be more than “just friends.” The film is filled with outrageous hijinks, many of which are at the hands of popstar Samantha (Anna Faris). While the actors’ performances aren’t exactly Oscar-worthy, they do make for a fun, feel-good Christmas film

2. The Night Before

When actors like Seth Rogen, Anthony Mackie and Joseph Gordon-Levitt hit the screen, you’re certainly in for a wild ride. The Night Before tells the story of best friends Isaac (Rogen), Chris (Mackie), and Ethan (Gordon-Levitt), who have a long-standing tradition of spending every Christmas Eve together. After years of maintaining this tradition, Isaac and Chris want to leave it behind, but Ethan isn't ready to let it go. The film is outlandish and absurd, as the three friends’ antics get them into more trouble than anyone can imagine. And while The Night Before is most definitely a Christmas movie, the film does give a nod to Hanukkah à la Seth Rogen’s decorative sweater.

3. Office Christmas Party

Is there anything more dull than a company Christmas party? Not if you work at Zenotek, where the Chicago company’s “holiday mixer” is nothing more than threats of impending layoffs and a rather pitiful charcuterie board. Determined to save Zenotek, Josh (Jason Bateman) teams up with Clay (T.J. Miller) and Tracey (Olivia Munn) to throw the best Christmas party ever, and gain the approval of a big client, without CEO Carol’s (Jennifer Aniston) knowledge. Sure enough, the party is a success — if you count damaging company property, exorbitant amounts of drug and alcohol use, and several ER trips as a success. Ridiculous and laugh-out-loud funny, Office Christmas Party might just have you wishing your company holiday parties were this fun.

4. Why Him?

Why Him? might just take the cake for the strangest Christmas movie ever. The film follows Stephanie (Zoey Deutch), who brings her boyfriend, Laird (James Franco), home for Christmas. Laird proves to be far more improper and eccentric than Stephanie’s parents had hoped. It's not long before a rift develops between Laird and Ned, Stephanie’s father (Bryan Cranston), as Ned doesn't feel as though Laird is right for his daughter. Packed full of raunchy humor and awkward exchanges, Why Him? Is a Christmas movie that's shameless enough to be considered bad, but sweet enough to also be good.

5. A Bad Moms Christmas

You certainly don’t need to have seen the original Bad Moms in order to understand this film. The holidays are coming, and mothers Amy (Mila Kunis), Kiki (Kristen Bell) and Carla (Kathryn Hahn) must deal with their own mothers coming to visit them for Christmas. Determined to juggle their mothers and the stress that comes with Christmastime, the three women decide to “take Christmas back.” Of course, “taking Christmas back” wouldn't succeed without getting drunk at the mall while shopping for Christmas presents, a Sexy Santa competition, and the most elaborate Christmas party on the planet. You certainly don’t need to be a mother to enjoy this movie — anyone of any age can appreciate the mother-daughter dynamics and the catastrophes that result from such a relationship.

6. A Christmas Prince

A far cry from the raunchiness that is Office Christmas Party or A Bad Moms Christmas, A Christmas Prince is as sweet as can be. Aspiring journalist Amber (Rose McIver) is sent to the fictional country of Aldovia to write about Prince Richard (Ben Lamb), who's expected to take the throne following his father’s death. Eager for her big break in the journalism industry, Amber masquerades as an American tutor named Martha in order to investigate Richard further. Unsurprisingly, Amber and Richard find themselves falling for one another, and Amber is reluctant to tell Richard the secret she's uncovered about him – as well as her true identity – which leads to a lot of complications.

A Christmas Prince doesn’t sound particularly good, and it really isn’t, as far as good movies go — but it is romantic and heartwarming, like something off of the Hallmark Channel, and that's certainly enough to make it worth the watch. Plus, the film has spawned two sequels, so that must mean it's at least a little bit good, right?

7. The Princess Switch

Ah, yes, here we have yet another royal-falls-for-a-commoner movie trope — and yet, we still eat it up like candy. The Princess Switch is exactly what it sounds like: baker Stacey (Vanessa Hudgens) and duchess Margaret (also Vanessa Hudgens) run into one another and agree to switch places for a couple of days around Christmastime. The problem? Stacey falls for Margaret’s husband-to-be, the prince, while Margaret falls for Stacey’s friend. Like A Christmas Prince, The Princess Switch may not have the most original storyline, or the best acting, but it does have heart, and awakens in all of us that long-held desire to meet and marry our own princes and princesses.

8. Holidate

Okay, so technically this film isn’t just a Christmas movie — it sort of packs a bunch of American holidays into its timeline, from New Year’s Eve to Saint Patrick’s Day to the Fourth of July. Still, Holidate begins during Christmastime, with Sloane (Emma Roberts) and Jackson (Luke Bracey) frustrated with their single status during the holidays. The two agree to be each other’s dates to every holiday event throughout the year, and find themselves falling for one another along the way. While the acting isn’t exactly spectacular and the friend-to-lovers trope has been played out a million times before, Holidate proves to be almost good at times. Plus, let’s be real here: we’re all suckers for the friends-to-lovers trope, anyway.

Holiday movies may not always have the best plots, characters or dialogue, but most of them make up for these insufficiencies through humor, romance and plenty of holiday spirit. If you’re in the mood for some films that are as bad as they are unironically good, the eight films above are sure to fulfill your holiday wishes.

Becca is a senior at Emory University studying English and Political Science. When she's not writing or stressing over homework, she can be found reading, rowing, or listening to Ed Sheeran on repeat.
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