The Grumpy Guide to Christmas Movies

Why must Christmas movies be so…terrible? What is it about the holidays that turns regular f784f548f08fa691c849dbf4f8b634c1moviegoers into big balls of mush? I feel like a big green cynic but bah, humbug! I hate when it magically starts to snow when two people kiss. I hate when families gather round a piano to sing carols. In movies, extended families always fit around one large table. Nobody ever has to sit at a wobbly card table. Nobody ever has to balance a paper plate on their lap, trying not to let a lake of gravy scald them. Nobody ever gets stuck sitting between two lefties.  The turkey comes out golden brown and nobody ever gets salmonella. Nobody ever buys their brother a sweater that doesn’t fit. Nobody ever has to skype Christmas greetings because they drew the short straw at work. And most of all I’m sick of everybody always falling in love at Christmas. Has anyone actually ever fallen in love at Christmas? Isn’t that like having your first date on Valentine’s day?

Here’s a bunch of sappy Netflix movies I’ve watched while wrapping my oddly shaped gifts (in movies they’re always easy to wrap boxes and nobody has to hunt for scotch tape for 2 hours) so you don’t have to.

Holiday Engagement: a woman breaks up with her perfect fiance the week before she was going to trot him out to her family at Thanksgiving. Since 30 is “in her rearview mirror” and her mother’s determined not to have an old maid for a daughter, she does what any reasonable woman would and hires an actor to pose as her intended. So of course they spend an awkward holiday weekend pretend-planning a wedding (while buying actual dresses and china) and – wouldn’t you know it – falling in love. Hated every minute of it and even seeing Shelley Long as the obtrusive mother didn’t mitigate this for me in any way.

Merry Kissmas: Two people meet in a mistletoed magical elevator and so of course they must begin the 89 minute process of falling in love. It’s slightly awkward because she’s actually engaged to someone else, but don’t worry, he’s a dick, and we don’t feel sorry for him in the least. We have to sit through the couple getting into a cutesy flour-fight while baking suspiciously perfect cookies, and then they top it all off by adopting a shelter dog.

12 Dates of Christmas: I’ll see you your rescue dog and raise you some orphans! Remember when Amy Smart was almost a thing? I think she probably peaked around Butterfly Effect, which was at least a decade ago. So now she’s relegated to the land of bad Christmas movies, where washed up TV stars frolic. Mark Paul Gosslar co-stars as the man she’s bound to fall in love with. The catch? 12 Dates of Christmas is holiday Groundhog Day. Poor Amy Smart keeps waking up on Christmas Eve trying to find the right combination of Christmas cliché to break the spell and let her live happily ever after with Zack Morris (hint: it will involve both an orphan AND a rescue dog).

The Heart of Christmas: Just in case you thought I was going a little soft on 12 Dates, now I’m going to shit all over a kid dying of cancer. Because really, how better to up the Christmas ante than with childhood leukemia? I don’t necessarily want to make light of a very serious disease but then again, the movie does star Candace Cameron Bure (from that other early 90s TV show, Full House) as a workaholic mom who has no time for her kids until she discovers a blog written by a woman watching her 3 year old son go through chemo, and spends all her time reading that instead, still netting no time with her kids, but man do your little heartstrings get yanked. A sick kid’s not going to see another Christmas? You know what that means! Time to get the whole town to band together and sing Christmas carols in the street! Candace is very lucky that the only thing she loves more than god is shitty movies – she’s been able to nudge her career along by combining the two into a putrid Christmas holiday special nearly every season since her husband retired from the NHL. I assume they cover her SUV payments. Early next year her old sitcom’s getting a (Netflix!) reboot, so I guess her Christmas wish came true.



42 thoughts on “The Grumpy Guide to Christmas Movies

  1. Michelle

    I’ve seen Holiday Engagement and 12 Dates and thought they were ok, the typical Hallmark Christmas movie stuff. But I like the comments you had on these movies. Especially loved your comments on Candace Cameron.


    1. Jay Post author

      Actually there’s no sit back and relax – I work straight through, 6 in a row, then off for boxing day, then another 6 in a row. That’s why I’m passing on sleep so I can get all my stuff done at night!


  2. J.

    Jings! I can’t tell which of these sounds worse! Think I’ll stick with the annual Home Alone, It’s a Wonderful Life, and Rare Exports viewing!


  3. Birgit

    My teeth are rotting just reading what you watched. You know what? You probably heard already but there was a child dying of cancer so the whole town got together and made Christmas early. He passed away about a week or so ago. Sad event because it is true. On a better note, at least you avoided Jenny McCarthy


  4. calensariel

    I feel exactly that same way about all the schmaltz, though I do have a short list of contemporary movies I like: Fallen Angel, The Family Stone, Noel, Borrowed Hearts, and Nothing Like the Holidays. Oh, and one with Linda what’s her name from Beauty and the Beast, Silent Night.


  5. Liz A.

    I think I sat through those. Well, at least two of them. But the 12 Dates one… That Groundhog Day premise has been used in at least three Christmas movies I can think of.

    But I need something on in the background while I frantically knit the gifts I’m giving in two days. Yeah, nothing like waiting until the last minute.


  6. DotedOn

    I was praying for bad Christmas movies shown on TV this year but for some reason, I got stuck with Jackie Chan and Steven Seagal. I’m not sure who picks the movies here. I’m really disappointed 🙂


  7. Pingback: An Even Grumpier Guide to Christmas Movies | ASSHOLES WATCHING MOVIES

  8. Angela Soriano

    I love 12 Dates of Christmas. It’s super sappy but actually good 🙂 it’s the only one that I’ll watch again (and again and again).


  9. Pingback: Four Christmases | ASSHOLES WATCHING MOVIES

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