'Tis the season of glittery lights and evergreen conifers littered with ornaments. 'Tis the season of carols and jolly fat men and tiny elves with pointy ears. 'Tis the season to be cuddled up on the sofa with gingerbread cookies and eggnog. And what better thing to be doing while you lounge on the couch then watching Netflix?
For me, holiday films are the epitome of Christmas, (along with family gatherings and gift-exchanging of course). But we all have our go-to Christmas movies when Thanksgiving passes and the winter season rolls around. A few that come to mind are How The Grinch Stole Christmas, The Polar Express, and Home Alone. Although these classics are pretty damn, well, classic, there are many underrated, underappreciated, and independent Christmas films that deserve attention as well. So after going on a binge, I have accumulated six films on Netflix right now that are must-watches. I thoroughly enjoyed these and who knows? Maybe they’ll get put on your list of favorite Christmas favs.
6. "A Christmas Prince" (2017)
Rose MvcIver plays Amber Moore, an aspiring young journalism intern for a popular magazine who is assigned overseas to get the scoop on the scandal of a soon-to-be-king during the holidays. To her surprise, the prince is very different than what the media portrays him as. What I found most lovable about this movie was the dynamic and witty relationship between Amber and the prince's younger paraplegic sister. Ben Lamb and Alice Krige also star in this witty family-friendly film.
5. "The Heart Of Christmas" (2011)
In this inspirational tear-jerker, we follow Megan, (played by Candace-Cameron Bure), who takes a deeper look within herself when she encounters a family decorating for Christmas in October for their sick and dying two-year-old. This movie is a faith-based true story. What I found most lovable about this film was the raw and honest telling of the day-to-day complications of parents who have children with terminal illnesses. Despite these difficulties, viewers see this family never give up hope for a miracle.
4. "The Christmas Project" (2016)
Despite this movie coming out only a year ago, it holds true to the classic ragtag feel of the mischievous band of kids that we see in great works such as The Little Rascals, Home Alone, and the Parent Trap. In The Christmas Project, the Buckley brothers learn what Christmas is truly about when a family tradition forces them to drop anonymous gifts off to the home of their school bullies. Watching this comedy I found myself sympathizing with both the protagonists as well as the antagonists.
3. "Noel" (2004)
Featuring the late but great Paul Walker and Robin Williams, this heartwarming Christmas tale follows four individuals on the eve of Christmas as they struggle with issues ranging from a strained engagement to a bed-ridden relative suffering from Alzheimer's. Something that stood out to me about this film was the way each character's story connected with another character's. Each individual is faced with their own problems, and must learn to find the beauty of the season in their ugly situations. Penelope Cruz and Susan Sarandon are also cast in this star-studded drama.
2. "Dear Santa" (2011)
This sweet and charming film stars the beautiful Amy Acker alongside David Haydn-Jones. Acker plays the main character, a prissy and frivolous thirty-year-old socialite living off of her parents' money (think Cher from Clueless, except older and as a brunette). Acker's character is threatened by her parents to get more serious about life because they are finally cutting her off financially. Suddenly, as if by fate, she finds a letter written by a little girl to Santa Clause. The letter begs Santa to grant her widowed father someone that will love him the way her deceased mother did. The characters were very believable and played wonderfully. What I loved about this one was the moments that reminded me of delightful 90s romantic comedies.
1. "Bad Santa" (2003)
I'm sure you've at least heard of this one. But it's surprising how many people have not seen it. A few notable stars in this movie are Billy Bob Thornton, Bernie Mac, and Tony Cox. In this crude but amusing comedy, Willie Stokes, (Thornton), plays a bad-tempered alcoholic who, along with his partner, dresses in Christmas garb to rob retail stores on Christmas Eve. But when he befriends a small boy he realizes maybe there is more meaning to the holiday and to his life than he once thought. Vulgar but clever, this film will tug at your heartstrings.