The Case Against Cliché Holiday Films

Secret Santa this. Twinkly lights that. Nobody seems to want to discuss the true star of the holiday season: subpar Christmas films.

I’m not referring to the classics, which are unquestionably masterpieces and include Home Alone, The Grinch, and Elf. No, cherished reader. I’m talking about the standard, formulaic rom-coms with cliched Hallmark stories and predictable conclusions. These repetitive movies practically beg to be mocked with prominent traits like a festive town backdrop, a consistently picturesque protagonist, and a mysterious elderly man who is obviously not secretly Santa Claus. And even though they produce a fresh, overabundant crop every year, I, for one, never get tired of watching them.

Falling For Christmas by Lindsay Lohan is one such instance. The Netflix original, which debuted in November, generously gave the world two gifts: the triumphant comeback of a figure from the early 2000s and a plot that was eminently corny in regards to the holiday season. It goes as follows: A privileged heiress who lost her memory due to an accident tries to put together her past while residing at a cosy ski lodge and developing a relationship with the charming proprietor. A love tale develops. It’s too sentimental and cliche, and it’s so terrible it’s good. These are the qualities of holiday movies that I have grown to enjoy and expect.
An example would be the Friday night not too long ago when I was stuck on my couch (pun intended) and had way too much fun watching The Noel Diary, a brand-new corny movie. A well-known author visits his rural hometown to attend to family obligations and runs into a woman who is looking for her birth mother. What happens next, you ask? Why, of course, a love tale develops.
Are you not yet piqued? I’d like to recommend the movie Single All the Way from 2021, in which two best friends, Peter and Nick, pretend to be each other’s lovers to escape criticism from their families when they are single around the holidays. (Added bonus: This features Jennifer Coolidge.) A love tale develops as well. Chef’s kiss

A motif emerges? Before engaging in this type of unique viewing experience, you must accept what you’re getting: not much innovation. These feel-good movies follow all-too-familiar cliches. But in a way, that’s where their beauty is. The tunes are well-known holiday jingles. You can discuss the plots during the first half of the film and still understand what is happening. Pea coats for the grounded love interest, fuzzy head-to-toe costumes for the spoilt character who still has a lot to learn, and a sea of plaid for everyone else make up the wardrobe, which is deliciously predictable. It’s a tried-and-true formula that consistently produces results.
Any streaming service can be searched for a few titles to find an unlimited variety that all seem to be variations of the same thing. We have your regional motion pictures: A Christmas in California, a Christmas in the country, and a Christmas in a castle. The Holiday Calendar, Hometown Holiday, and Falling Inn Love are three examples of small-town love stories. Even movies about weddings now have their own subgenre, such as A Bride for Christmas, A New York Christmas Wedding, and Christmas Wedding Planner. Yes, each of these is a genuine movie. Additionally, they are all tens!

Undoubtedly, the same stories are produced year after year. Yes, even if they just woke up or went tobogganing, the actresses’ hair and makeup are always in doubtably immaculate condition. Of course, we can see the happy endings in romance stories coming a mile away. Are they realistic? Without a doubt. But who is to say they ought to be? The essence of the ideal holiday rom-com is sheer escape.
Swaddling up in a fluffy blanket and watching cliched Christmas movies is a type of self-care I take seriously, much like burning a scented candle or having a hot bath. These cinematic works of art consistently bring joy at a time when everything is colder, darker, and bleaker, even if they don’t revolutionise storytelling. Goshdarnit, they’re here to make you feel festive, and that’s exactly what they’re going to do.

After all, not all of the media we watch or listen to have to be profound or thought-provoking. Sometimes, at the conclusion of a long year, having nothing but “Aw” and “Pretty!” ideas is precisely what I need. This is the time of year to turn off your brain, let awful things happen, and enjoy blatantly corny Christmas movies.

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