Disappointed that Christmas is over? Here’s a fun way to prolong the festive spirit: curating next year’s movie schedule. Forget Elf and Jingle All The Way: tacky made for TV movies are where the real magic is. Sometimes.
I’ve spent a lot of time with my Granny over the past few weeks and we’ve watched a veritable plethora of films of varying quality. For your viewing entertainment next year – or this year, if you can’t bear to give up the festive spirit yet – here is a rundown of some of the most memorable that graced the TV this year.
A Christmas Reunion
Premise: New York hotshot comes back to small town in the wake of her aunt’s death, only to find that the other benefactor of her aunt’s bakery is her ex-boyfriend. They decide to run the bakery and the traditional holiday baking competition for one more Christmas.
This is a good place to start. As soft as marshmallow fluff and so happy you’ll be able to feel the enamel corroding off your teeth.
Verdict: That’s all I can find to say about it, which is a decent signal of how inoffensive it is. Would watch agan.
Premise: miserable old arsehole has banned Christmas because his wife cheated on him one year. A Christmas Carol retelling with a twist. The twist is that Christmas Past gives up and goes on a bender.
Most of the movies I watched I enjoyed on at least some superficial level. This one was trash, but not good trash, like the trash you find in the reduced section in Tesco at 10:30pm.
The main character is obnoxious beyond words. The Ghost of Christmas Present is so stereotypically dim you’ll want to strangle her. There’s a romantic subplot that will make you throw up in your mouth, and it’s all so bad you’re constantly wishing for the sweet release of death.
The real MVP is Miserable Old Arsehole’s teenage daughter, who can’t hide her dislike of him. You and me both, hen.
Verdict: Avoid. Do literally anything else instead.
My Christmas Dream
Premise: Department store manager is in charge of legendary annual Christmas display, with a high- profile job in Paris at stake. This is very stressful for her, given that she apparently has no imagination. Her heart is warmed by a little boy, who turns out to be the son of a painter she fired the day before. Of course he is.
How do you make a Christmas movie more heartwarming? Add a precocious, blue eyed blonde haired six year old boy, who absolutely steals the show amongst the generic offering of Christmas Romcom Characters.
It also boasts the most celebrity appearance of any of the films I saw, with Danica McKellar playing the store manager.
Verdict: Cute. Most likely to make you cry if you’ve had a couple of glasses of wine.
On The Twelfth Day of Christmas
Premise: journalist starts sending anonymous secret santa presents to the radio DJ she fancied at uni when she finds out he hates Christmas now.
In the pantheon of shit Christmas movies I saw this year, this was the pinnacle. I loved it. It had characters I genuinely enjoyed – yes, even the crabbit grinchy one – and it’s the only one where I’ve actively shipped the main characters. Very good.
Verdict: would watch again. In fact, will be looking through the Channel 5 TV guide to see when it’s on again next year.
A Christmas Prince
Premise: Journalist accidentally ends up posing as governess for (presumably) European royal family. There’s an attractive, reluctant prince.
The most livetweeted Christmas movie of the year, courtesy of Netflix. Imagine being stuck in a fur-lined cuddle between The Princess Diaries, The Sound of Music and any rom com. That’s The Christmas Prince. It’s tacky. It’s awful. I couldn’t turn it off. It’s become an internet sensation, the most unmissable Christmas film of the year.
Although I must know the answer to one of life’s biggest questions: why is it, according to the accents, that every made up European principality is located somewhere in Berkshire?
Verdict: 10/10 would get drunk and make fun of with friends every year.
Please let me know if I’ve missed any howlers from my list. I’m on the lookout for additions to next year’s list…
And it’s still not too late to watch A Christmas Prince. I’m just saying.