‘Tis the season to grab your popcorn, a comfy blanket and watch a corny Christmas movie to take your mind off the winter chills. Choose from this list of festive rom-coms on popular streaming services for a movie experience that is cheesier than a baked camembert. Prepare for giggles, tears and more cringe than you can imagine!
Single All the Way (2021)
The Netflix elves have packaged their first LGBTQ+ holiday romance this season and will deliver it to viewers on December 2nd. Faced with another holiday alone, perpetual singleton Peter convinces his best friend Nick to come to his family home with him and pose as his partner. That plan doesn’t last long—Peter’s mother quickly reveals she has set him up on a blind date with her hunky personal trainer. Packed with clichés, this one isn’t breaking any festive tropes, but the star-studded cast should make it a fun watch! Ugly Betty fans may remember Michael Urie, and look out for comedy queen Jennifer Coolidge, playing Peter’s Aunt Sandy.
2020’s Holidate is goofy, charming, and not realistic at all—the perfect dose of escapism for the holiday season. If you’ve ever felt the dread of being the only single one at family gatherings, then maybe you’ll relate to Emma Roberts’ Sloane. After being dumped, Sloane makes a pact with cute Australian golfer Jackson: they will be each other’s back-up plus one all year round, a platonic “holidate”! In this whimsical rom-com, obstacles soon arise, and it’s probably not a spoiler to say the pair might end up catching feelings along the way.
12 Dates of Christmas (2011)
Not to be confused with the recent HBO series of the same name, this is a festive feature!
Think 50 First Dates, but with a festive twist. After a truly terrible encounter with Widower Miles on Christmas Eve, Kate wakes up and must relive the same disastrous date over and over again. Amy Smart and Mark-Paul Gosselaar star in this festive rom-com. Will Kate mature, discover the true meaning of Christmas and find romance with Miles? She has twelve chances to find out! This film is warm, fuzzy and utterly predictable, a perfect holiday snuggle blanket.
Christmas on Ice (2020)
Former professional figure skater Courtney is devastated when she learns her hometown’s mayor is closing the seasonal ice-rink due to a lack of funds. What will it take to save it? A Christmas miracle! (Nope, I’m not making this stuff up, that’s a genuine line from the movie.) Cue festive songs, merriment and a handsome hockey player who may hold the key to saving the town’s skating future! This one promises Hallmark levels of heartwarming cheese, and boy does it deliver.
Happiest Season (2020)
Are you fed up with holiday stress? Look no further. Indulge in this family’s drama instead, and you might feel reassured about your own. Kristen Stewart stars alongside Mackenzie Davis as Abby and Harper, respectively. The adorable couple heads home for the holidays, but there’s just one hiccup: Harper hasn’t revealed her sexuality to her family.
The film deals with the conflicts and secrets that can arise when loved ones reunite for the winter season. The drama might be a little heavier than some others on this list, but it’s also packed with enough sentimental goodness and terrible jokes to make the investment worth it.
Criterion Collection (watch for free with your student ID!)
Ella Enchanted (2004)
Okay, it’s not strictly Christmas, but I’m giving this one a free pass as the magical plot gives it a warming, festive air. If you’ve never seen this live-action twist on the princess genre, you’re in for a treat. Anne Hathaway stars alongside a delicious Hugh Dancy. This tale is set in an ambiguously old-timey (medieval?) kingdom where everyone mysteriously has a British accent.
Ella (Hathaway) is under a spell that causes her to be eternally obedient. She has her meet-cute in the forest with the handsome Prince (Dancy) and immediately falls for him. After mistakenly uncovering a dastardly plot by the king’s brother to do away with the prince and assume the throne for himself,she knows she must save him! Yet her magic curse doesn’t make this easy. It’s sickly sweet, and Ella’s cutesy innocence could grate after a while, but Hathaway has just enough self-awareness to pull it off.
What’s your favourite festive flick? Maybe one of these will become your new go-to movie for a pick-me-up! Remember, the season for festive rom-coms comes just once a year, but if you want to rewatch in March, we won’t judge!