I did a lot of things that I would consider my “firsts'' this year. I called my first professional sports game, moved into my first solo apartment, and met a bunch of my co-workers for the first time after a virtual year. I got to do plenty of new things this year.
I’m also spending my first holiday season with my girlfriend, which means the chick flick movie suggestions are POURING in. We’ve gotten off to a roaring-hot start, watching 4 Christmas movies before the second week of December.
I’ve never been the type for the lovey-dovey, “chick flick”-type movies in general...let alone during the holidays. I’d much rather have a glass of whiskey and get comfortable with series like Money Heist, Ted Lasso, Ozark, or Black Mirror - a few samples of what were on my binge-list this year - than the romcoms or reality TV that so many love across America.
And yet somehow, here I am, 4 modern Christmas movies into the season.
Gents: I’m proud to announce that I’ve bailed you all out. Whether it’s a night in with your girl, or a more casual “Netflix and Chill” with a Tinder date, here’s your guide to the Chick Flick Christmas movies you can watch this December.
Notable Cast: Nina Dobrev (Vampire Diaries, Degrassi), Jimmy O. Yang (Silicon Valley, “Good Deal” standup comedy special), Darren Barnet (Never Have I Ever, American Pie Presents: Girls; Rules)
Vibe: Funny & modern with a really good cast. My kind of Christmas movie compromise.
Natalie Bauer (Nina Dobrev), a relationship writer in LA, has nearly given up on her dating life, and finally hits the apps. She starts to fall for Josh Lin (Jimmy O. Yang), an outdoorsy guy from Lake Placid, New York. Natalie decides to take a risk and fly out to meet Josh in person - just in time for Christmas. As soon as she gets off the plane, she realizes she’s been catfished by Josh, who used pictures of his better-looking friend Tag (Darren Barnet) in an attempt to win over more girls. Natalie is left to make the decision of whether or not Josh’s catfishing is a dealbreaker for their relationship.
Call me crazy, but I really liked this one. Movies like this typically have bogus plots that expose a lot of holes, but they actually laid out a pretty easy-to-follow storyline. The supporting characters are hilarious, Jimmy O. Yang is incredible, and so is Nina Dobrev; as Matt Mullin in PhillyVoice stated, leads in rom coms are often hard to like, but these were about the two most likeable leads in any movie I’ve watched this year. A solid balance of comedy and love.
Love Hard is a strong candidate for best Christmas rom com on Netflix. PIC: IMBD
Notable Cast: Emma Roberts (American Horror Story, Scream Queens, a lot of others), Luke Bracey (Monte Carlo, GI Joe: Retaliation, Hacksaw Ridge), Andrew Bachelor, aka “King Bach” (Vine, Black Jesus, Real Bros of Simi Valley)
Vibe: Raunchy and a little impractical, but the comedy saved it. Get your favorite drink out for this one on a chill night in.
Sloane Benson (Emma Roberts) despises the holidays: she hates coming home to her family routinely without having a boyfriend. So does Jackson (Luke Bracey), who starts off the movie spending Christmas with a true gem of a girl; after getting down and dirty for a while, she rattles off sexual explitives in front of her parents, and Jackson runs for the door. Well, you guessed it; Sloane & Jackson meet, they hit it off (although neither wants to admit it), and they decide to bring each other home for their family gatherings every holiday...hence the term “Holidate.” But as their relationship grows, so do their feelings for each other...can they survive without dating, or is their love too much to resist?
This was an interesting one. Personally, I thought it was a little corny and impractical, but the performance from Emma Roberts (who I’m normally not a huge fan of) saved it. It did get pretty crude right off the bat, too, which set the tone for a pretty unconventional Christmas rom com. If you’re single and losing hope, this might give you the motivation you need. If you’re in a relationship, you might have a tough time getting past the corniness. Either way, worth the watch.
I was pleasantly surprised by Emma Roberts in Holidate.
The Princess Switch
Notable Cast: Vanessa Hudgens (High School Musical...you know her), Sam Palladio (Nashville, Episodes, Humans)
Adam Sandler’s Jack & Jill takes a new twist....okay, I’m done.
But the concept stands. Vanessa Hudgens plays 2 characters that look exactly alike - how original! Stacy De Novo, a baker from Chicago, runs a shop with her best friend Kevin (who she is crushing on, although she’d never admit). They enter a banking contest and travel to Belgravia, whose princess-to-be - Margaret Delacourt (obviously Vanessa Hudgens, too) - is getting married to Prince Edward of Belgravia, but having doubts, wanting to live a “normal” life. So, obviously, the two Vanessa Hudgens’ have to meet in person...what kind of investment would it be for them not to? They meet, realize they are both going through a tough time, and switch places to navigate through their issues...but it’s more complicated than it seems with a nationally-televised baking contest and a royal wedding on the horizon.
G-rated movies are always hit or miss. I’m definitely more apt to be engaged with a movie if it’s raunchier or has more of the complex subplots in some of the other shows I’ve been a fan of, but I suppose I should’ve known what I was walking into. Overall, a very easy watch, and of course, a happy ending. It’s lacking a whole lot of plot, which might be a dealbreaker for some. Feel-good vibe.
Serious Adam Sandler vibes with this one.
Quick-hit: The Princess Switch: Switched Again
Of course, there has to be a sequel. This time, it’s not just two Vanessa Hudgens...it’s THREE. Lady Fiona, a batshit cousin of Princess Delacourt, enters the chat, trying to get access to the Queen-to-be’s financial systems so she can pay for her lavish lifestyle. I’ll admit, she’s hilarious - a flirt, a drunk, and walking around with her posse of 2 loyal followers attached to her hip - but this was a total stretch. You can go without Part 2.
Quicker-quick-hit: The Princess Switch 3: Romancing the Star
Full disclosure, I have not watched this one yet. Apparently, the 3 characters that are played by Vanessa Hudgens come together to find a thief wanted for stealing a royal relic.. Likely story after one tried to screw the other two over...how did Fiona not get jail time? My expectations are low, but I will watch it just to find out.