Last year I wrote a post about my utter disappointment in the dismal selection of Holiday movies available on Netflix Instant. So imagine my delight when I stumbled upon a Thanksgiving cornucopia of Hallmark and ABC Family Christmas movies available for your instant viewing pleasure!
It’s like Netflix said, “Luci, we are sorry about the whole Qwikster debacle. What can we do to make your life more enjoyable? Here, enjoy this selection of festive schmaltz!” I am not even being facetious when I say this. I watch Christmas movies pretty much during all my waking hours during the holiday season. In fact, I have seen most of these so I can give you the most complete viewing guide possible.
My favorite Christmas movie theme is where Santa Claus and/or an angel are real and help people see the true meaning of Christmas. This is going to be like your Miracle on 34th Street, Netflix has both the original and the remake on instant. For a more modern take, try 2009’s Mrs. Miracle. It will blow your mind by starring Dawson as the parent of 6-year-olds. Along the same lines is The Santa Trap, another story about a little girl trying to prove that Santa is real.
My second favorite holiday trope is the seasonal romance. Especially if it’s someone who OMG loves Christmas and is filled with Joy To The World falling in love with someone who hates Christmas, usually due to a tragedy they experienced on Christmas when they were a child. They hate each other at first! Holiday in Handcuffs stars Melissa Joan Hart in a lively holiday romance! I’ll be honest here, Netflix doesn’t have nearly as many Holiday romances as they could on Instant.
There are oodles of modern takes on A Christmas Carol out there. For some reason, they really love having a woman be the new Scrooge. ‘Cuz high-powered women are totally bitches, amirite? Christmas Cupid blends the Holiday Romance theme with the Scrooge theme, and I think it has the whole cast of High School Musical or something in it, or the OC. One of those. Unfortunately, Netflix does not have Scrooged on Instant, which is a mistake I hope they rectify next year. They do have the Jim Carrey version of A Christmas Carol, but it’s probably the only Christmas movie I’ve never seen, so I can’t vouch for it.
For some reason, the made-for-TV Hollywood types love the Santa Claus Has Children theme, or non-relatives, who are thrust into the business unexpectedly, Santa Clause-style. Netflix Instant has Snow, about Santa Claus’s next-in-line who probably isn’t up to the task. There is also Santa Baby 2: Christmas Maybe, the sequel to Oscar-nominated (not really) Santa Baby, both starring Jenny McCarthy as Santa Claus’s daughter. For some reason, only the sequel is available on Instant. I’ve seen both, and trust me, you’ll get the same amount of enjoyment out of both. For non-relatives picking up the reigns (see what I did there?), try Call Me Claus starring Whoopi Goldberg and The Santa Clause 2, which is decidedly not as good as the original.
Finally, for the day-to-day business of just being Santa Claus, try Santa Claus: The Movie, which you probably haven’t thought of since you were seven.
There are a number of Christian Christmas movies available on Instant, but I am firmly in the “Keep Christ Out of Christmas” camp and prefer secular movies, so I’ve never seen any of those. There are also several with talking live-action animals who save Christmas. I don’t care for those and will not review them.
So is your favorite Christmas movie on Netflix Instant this year? Probably not, unless you just can’t get enough Jenny McCarthy. But it’s a far cry better than last year’s depressing options, and will keep you entertained for a Saturday while you wrap presents.