Netflix Christmas movies: reviewed


It’s the most wonderful time of the year in one of the most unprecedented and unpredictable years in many people’s lives. And nothing says it’s the holidays like watching cheesy, poorly written, “romantic” holiday movies. 

Here is a list of eight holiday movies on Netflix in order from best to worst. So grab a cup of hot chocolate, snuggle under the covers and brace yourself mentally for the sheer amounts of cringe you are about to witness.

1. The Knight Before Christmas

Have you ever wondered what it would be like if a 14th century knight was magically transported into modern day Ohio? Me neither. That was until I watched some poor sap dressed in cheap chainmail get magically dropped in the middle of Ohio and then almost immediately get run over by a car. Basically Sir Cole goes on a hunt in 14th century England and runs into an old lady who magically transports him to Ohio so he can “become a true knight”. But he only has until Christmas Eve to become a true knight or he will be stuck in modern times forever. Enter Vanessa Hudgens’ character, Brooke, the high school science teacher who is taking a break from love to focus on her career. After being introduced she promptly hits Sir Cole with her car. Because how else are the two love interests supposed to meet? The staff at the hospital, being sensible medical professionals, send Sir Cole home with the woman who hit him with her car. Because that makes sense. As he is staying at her guest home, which she can somehow magically afford on a teacher’s salary, they fall in love. And it turns out that finding love was the key to becoming a true knight, so yeah, he can return home. But oh no, he doesn’t want to leave her behind. The magic old lady sends him back and he and Brooke are reunited for a happy ending. Guess you could say she got COLE for Christmas. I can’t tell if I’m proud or disappointed at the writers for not putting that line in after making Sir Cole say “bejabbers” unironically.

2. A Christmas Prince

A young reporter trying to make a name for herself is willing to do a lot of crazy and questionable things. Like watching horrible Christmas movies. No wait, she’s just lying to the royal family so she can sneak in and get the scoop on the handsome misunderstood prince who is going to be crowned king. So Amber Moore slips away after a press conference and lies to the staff that she is the new American tutor for the prince’s younger sister, Princess Emily. Because what’s the worst that the reigning royal family of a foreign country can do to some random reporter trespassing and blatantly lying to the royal family? The young princess, being the only reasonable character, immediately figures out that she’s lying and promises to keep her secret because I guess she finds it entertaining. During her stay at the castle, Amber realizes that there is more to Prince Richard than just being the detached, wealthy playboy. Apparently he has feelings. And apparently these feelings are for her. But their romance is put on hold when Richard’s gold digging “first love” appears for the Christmas festivities. Despite her attempts, the prince insists on taking Amber to the Christmas Eve ball where he is to be crowned king. But, gasp! He’s adopted, so that means his slimy power hungry cousin is going to be crowned king instead. Gasp again! Amber discovers that the King, before he died, created a law that makes Richard the new king. Because that is totally something that can happen. After Richard is crowned king, Amber returns and quits her job. But don’t worry she won’t stay on unemployment too long, as Richard without any security shows up in New York City and proposes to her on New Years Eve at exactly when the clock strikes midnight. Don’t worry, if this royal romance garbage wasn’t enough for you as a stand alone, there are two other movies in this series. 

3. A Princess for Christmas

Nothing quite says seasonal depression like losing your sister, your brother-in-law, your job and any money you had left in your bank account. But don’t worry, a handsome detached prince will fix any emotional trauma. After what I call a series of unfortunate events, Jules Daly is struggling to raise her clumsy niece and kleptomaniac nephew who were orphaned after the passing of both of their parents. But don’t worry, the kid’s rich grandfather suddenly decides that after cutting all ties with them because their father married a commoner, he should stop being a stuck-up jerk and get to know his grandchildren before he kicks the bucket. And of course he has another ridiculously attractive son named Ashton. So inevitably after two days, Jules and Ashton start falling in love, because how else would two reasonable adults cope with the loss of their siblings? But their whirlwind romance is put on hold due to Ashton’s gold digging girlfriend. And of course there has to be an upcoming Christmas Eve Ball, because what else was the film crew going to do with the leftover budget money? Jules thinks that she wouldn’t be invited since she’s a commoner so she goes to leave. But the servants stop her and take her to the ball where she and Ashton have their moment. Ashton breaks it off with his social climbing girlfriend, and they lived happily ever after. And it wasn’t at all creepy that Ashton and Jules were technically sibling-in-laws. 

4. The Princess Switch

Ah yes, another movie with Vanessa Hudgens, because what else is she going to do with her career besides acting in poorly written holiday rom coms. Hudgens plays Stacy DeNovo, a successful pastry chef in Chicago, and Lady Margaret Delacourt, the princess of Montenaro and fiancee of Prince Edward of Belgravia. Yes, you read that correctly. Hudgens is playing two characters, who just happen to look exactly the same. The two characters decide to switch to experience each other’s life. They also decide to tell no one, so Stacy’s hot best friend Kevin, Kevin’s daughter Olivia and Prince “I’m just the bland rich guy” Edward are all left in the dark about their plot. But over the time, both seem to fall in love with the men in each other’s life. Margaret picks the obviously better choice, Kevin, who is the ripped sou-chef and single father. And Stacy falls in love with the Prince, who suddenly decides he’s going to care about orphans on a whim. But they switch back and both realize they can’t live without Kevin and Prince Edward. So they reveal the big secret and both men are just completely fine with it. Because it’s not like trust is something to build a relationship on.

5. Christmas Wedding Planner

I am at least 80% sure that this was originally One Direction fanfiction written by a 13 year old. But according to Wikipedia, it is actually based on the book, Once Upon a Wedding by Stacy Connelly. In this poorly written romcom, Kelsey is beginning her career as wedding planner by planning her cousin, Emily’s wedding. But her cousin’s ex-boyfriend, Connor, shows up back in town to ruin the wedding. When Kelsey tries to reason with Connor he tells her that he is actually there as a private investigator to look into Emily’s fiance, Todd, and he asks for Kelsey’s help. Kelsey agrees to help so long as Connor promises not to ruin the wedding if he finds nothing on Todd. Thus begins the highly unrealistic montage of Kelsey and Connor following Todd around town. They follow him into a restaurant where he is meeting with a lady. Kelsey, not understanding how tailing someone works, stomps up to Todd and yells at him. Todd explains he’s thanking this lady for giving him a deal on Emily’s wedding dress. Kelsey gets embarrassed and she and Connor leave. Kelesey’s Aunt Olivia tells Kelsey that the reason Connor and Emily broke up is that Emily’s father paid Connor off to leave. Kelsey is heartbroken and tells Connor he can shove off. So the wedding goes on as planned, until Connor busts in and exposes Todd for getting someone on his family’s staff pregnant. And Emily, despite being engaged to this man, automatically believes her ex-boyfriend. Connor proposes to Kelsey and they get married, because the whole thing was already set up and paid for and no one objected to someone else getting married after having paid for everything. 

6. Christmas With A Prince

Just to clarify, this is Christmas With A Prince. Not to be confused with A Christmas Prince or A Princess For Christmas, which are both vastly superior to this train-wreck. In this poorly written and acted dumpster fire, young pediatrician Tasha is forced to allow Prince Alexander to stay on her floor of the hospital to recover after breaking his leg in a skiing accident. What country is this in? Couldn’t tell you. Why is a pediatric doctor taking care of him instead of an orthopedic doctor? Not a clue. Why do none of the children in this pediatric ward look sick enough to be staying over Christmas? Wish I could tell you. Why does the Prince look like 60 year-old David Hasselhoff? They probably couldn’t hire any self respecting male actors. So Prince Edward and Tasha fall in love in a ten minute montage that makes no sense. Then Edward invites Tasha to a Christmas Eve Ball, because every Christmas royalty movie has to have a Christmas Eve Ball. At the ball, some snarky Russian princess whose name wasn’t important enough to remember, tells Tasha she will never belong with the royals so after everything now, Tasha decides to listen to someone else. As she’s going to leave, the king of whatever country this is supposed to take place in, who up to this point has only been a secondary character, tells Tasha she is more than any of the other people in that room. This is after talking to her a total of three times. Prince Alexander tells her he is in love with her and he is going to start some charities for children with cancer. Don’t worry. If you didn’t have enough of the plot holes and poor acting there’s a sequel and possibly another in the works. 

7. Holly Star

Now what could be worse than plot holes, acting that makes me want to vomit, and rushed, nonsensical romance plot? All of that, plus creepy puppets. Sloan, a broke and unemployed puppeteer, returns to her childhood home in Maine. After slipping on some ice and almost getting hit by a truck, her life flashes before her life. And Sloan suddenly remembers watching a man dressed like Santa Claus burying a bag of cash. How convenient. However, she can’t seem to remember where she saw the man bury it. Sloan tries desperately to remember, even going so far as to ask a hypnotist. But no matter what she tries she can’t remember. So then she comes up with the grand idea to try and have a near death experience since that’s how she remembered it the last time. Yeah, cause that makes sense. So Sloan asks her best friend, Kay K to try and almost kill her. And because Kay K is insane she automatically agrees. At the same time she also starts working for her childhood sweetheart, Andy, selling Christmas trees. Sloan and Andy rekindle whatever flame they were supposed to have had as kids and go on a couple dates. But Andy, the only rationale character is not okay with Kay K trying to kill Sloan to find whatever money she supposedly remembers. Sloan suddenly realizes that getting a man is far more important than getting filthy rich. So she makes amends with Andy and they lived happily ever after. The real question is what does any of this have to do with Holly Star? Because honestly I don’t know.

8. A Cinderella Story: Christmas Wish

I don’t know if any movie will make me want to chug rat poison like this movie did. It physically hurt me to watch this. The only saving grace is Gregg Sulkin playing the male lead and Bruno the disabled French Bulldog. But even the cute disabled dog could not save this dumpster fire. It goes as most Cinderella stories, Kat Decker is orphaned and left with her cruel stepfamily who mistreat her. On top of all of her chores, Kat has to work at a Christmas theme park as an elf, where she writes her own songs. These songs are so ungodly bad, that I physically had to restrain myself from turning it off and sitting in a dark, quiet room for the next two hours. It is at this theme park that she meets Nick Wintergarden, the son of the wealthiest business man in town. However, neither knows each other’s identity. Despite the fact that neither of them are wearing anything that might cover their face to the extent that they wouldn’t be able to recognize one another. So Nick and Kat begin flirting with each other and Nick invites her to his family’s Christmas Eve Ball. Her stepfamily is having none of this and steals the invitation from her. Her friend Isla, who is working the Ball, sneaks her in as one of the performers. And after one of the cringiest scenes in the movie, Kat knocks out one of the performers and has to go on in her place. So Kat puts on a “ballgown” that makes it very clear that the production team no longer had enough money left in the budget to buy a good dress. She sings a terrible song, exposes her stepfamily, and awkwardly dances the night away with her charming prince. And we can all celebrate because thank god it’s finally over.                                     

In the midst of marathoning these horrible holiday films, I found some actual gems. So if you want to watch some genuinely good holiday movies, I recommend Jingle Jangle and the Holidate. Both can be found on Netflix.

Happy holidays, stay safe and spread holiday cheer. Not COVID-19.