The holiday season, beginning with Thanksgiving and through the end of the year, is one of my favorite times of the year. Generally festive, lots of time off work, and the only time of the year I don’t mind the snow and cold weather. This year, because of The Fucking ‘Rona, the season feels a little different: a bit bleaker, a little less fun. (It’s fine; I’ll survive.) To counter that, we are going all-in on watching some of the more recent Christmas-themed movies that are streaming. Because by god I will steal the Christmas Cheer from these films or die trying. Below are my thoughts on a few of the ones we’ve watched so far. I’m not going to much talk about plots, because really ‒ what more do you need to know other than it’s a Christmas-themed rom-com?
HOLIDATE (Netflix) ‒ This movie was surprisingly raunchy, much more so than I would have expected from a Netflix Christmas movie. The raunch actually works, too, which is even better. There are a couple of awkwardly cheesy scenes, but nothing too embarrassing, and usually done with a clever bent to them (at least the one I can remember offhand). Highlights include a fun Antony and Cleopatra visual pun and a realistic depiction of why mixing alcohol and fireworks is the best decision ever. Also, the male lead looks and sounds like he’s auditioning to play a Hemsworth brother.
HAPPIEST SEASON (Hulu) ‒ Holy hell, did this film have a great cast ‒ Kristen Stewart, Mackenzie Davis, Alison Brie, Aubrey Plaza, Dan Levy, and Victor Garber (who played Sydney’s dad on ALIAS, and who my friend Bill refers to as “angry old Josh Bales”). This one was little more dramedy than comedy, but it worked for me. Kristen Stewart is fantastic, and Aubrey Plaza, who has more of a minor role, is eminently watchable, as she is in pretty much everything. I have one gripe, but it is spoiler-y in nature, so I’ll leave it in the comments.
Fun fact: HAPPIEST SEASON was written and directed by Clea DuVall, who played the homicidal invisible girl in one of the very early episodes of BUFFY.
DASH & LILY (Netflix) ‒ Technically a tv show, but it’s only eight 22-ish minute episodes, so it very much plays like a long movie. We were initially going to watch something probably much worse, when the blurb for this one ‒ specifically it being set in a bookstore ‒ caught Jess’s eye. We’re six episodes in so far and it’s been a lot of fun. The actors who play Dash and Lily are charming and, important for a story like this, have good chemistry. The story and pacing move just quickly enough, and, mercifully, the writing isn’t full of too many clichés. If this one doesn’t have a reasonably happy ending, I will surely yell.
What are some of the Christmas movies you’ve watched this year?