With Thanksgiving rapidly approaching (seriously, where did this year go), we can now finally say that holiday season is here. Some of you may have been blasting Mariah Carey for a few weeks now, but for those of you who abide by some made-up guidelines about when you’re allowed to watch Christmas movies, I hereby give you permission to begin. Every year, there are dozens of new Lifetime, Hallmark, and Netflix holiday movies, so if that’s your thing, go off—but I understand that mindless Christmas cheer isn’t for everyone. So I decided to go through all the major streaming services and choose the best holiday movies that are available this year, whether you’re trying to find something for family movie night or just getting drunk in bed by yourself.
Now, before you yell at me in the comments, let me clarify that “best” is relative, and I don’t mean these are all the highest-quality movies available. They’re all great options in different ways, just like we all have our favorite side dish at Thanksgiving dinner. If you’re about to DM me about how The Princess Switch is an objectively bad movie, I suggest you take an edible and let the spirit of Christmas take hold.
‘Knives Out’ – Prime Video
Many of the films on this list are Christmas-centric, but Knives Out feels more like a Thanksgiving movie. Okay, it’s not technically a holiday movie, but with wintry vibes and a large family all together for the first time in a while, it feels appropriate. Set at a New England mansion that will make you wish your fireplace worked, Knives Out is a thrilling murder mystery, with enough twists and turns that even your most annoying cousin at Thanksgiving won’t be able to complain that he’s bored.
‘It’s A Wonderful Life’ – Prime Video
You probably haven’t seen It’s A Wonderful Life unless your dad made you watch it every year growing up, but it’s actually pretty good. Thankfully, it’s streaming on Prime, so you won’t have to dig out the VHS tape this year—a Christmas miracle! In the movie, a guy who’s about to commit suicide on Christmas Eve is rescued by an angel who shows him how much of a difference he’s made in the world. Sounds bleak, but there’s a reason it’s been a Christmas classic for over 70 years.
‘Carol’ – Netflix
Does Carol meet the traditional definition of a holiday movie? Perhaps not, but it’s an excellent movie, and there are more than enough holiday moments for me to include it here. Cate Blanchett stars in this 1960s-set drama as a depressed housewife who has an affair with a younger woman who works at a department store, played by Rooney Mara. If you want to drink a whole bottle of wine and watch something holiday-adjacent but not like, jolly, this is a perfect choice.
‘Klaus’ – Netflix
A lot of Netflix’s holiday offerings are kind of cringe, but this animated Christmas movie from last year is adorable, creative, and was nominated for an Oscar. The voice cast includes favorites like Jason Schwartzman and Rashida Jones, and the main character is a postal worker, so we obviously stan. This is an ideal choice if you have younger kids around during the holidays, but also, you’re never too old for a good animated movie.
‘The Princess Switch’ – Netflix
Obviously, I didn’t want this list to be full of sh*tty direct-to-Netflix holiday movies, but I had to make one exception, and it’s The Princess Switch. This delightfully bad piece of cinema stars Vanessa Hudgens and Vanessa Hudgens as a regular woman and a princess who happen to look exactly alike. It’s ridiculous, and it’s perfect. And this week, Netflix is giving us a sequel! The Princess Switch: Switched Again stars Vanessa Hudgens, Vanessa Hudgens, AND Vanessa Hudgens, and as you can imagine, it looks absolutely bonkers. Sign me the f*ck up!!!
‘The Family Stone’ – HBO Max
There’s nothing like a holiday movie about a dysfunctional family to take your mind off your own dysfunctional family for a couple hours. Sarah Jessica Parker and Diane Keaton lead an all-star cast in this dramedy about spending Christmas with the in-laws. If your top holiday concern is making sure you don’t run out of alcohol at your parents’ house, you’ll definitely enjoy this one.
‘Home Alone’ – Disney+
I don’t think I need to explain what Home Alone is about, but I wanted to make everyone aware that all three movies in the series are available to stream on Disney+. Considering Macaulay Culkin turned 40 this year (still not over it), this is the perfect holiday season to revisit this classic and think about how f*cking old you are. Too real? Sorry. If you’re going to watch all three movies, just make sure to fast-forward through Donald Trump’s cameo in the second one; no one needs to see that.
‘The Santa Clause’ – Disney+
The Santa Clause happens to be my family’s yearly Christmas movie rewatch of choice, so I have seen this more times than I can count. Tim Allen stars in this family comedy about a not-very-jolly guy who, through some wild circumstances, inherits the position of Santa Claus. If you haven’t seen it, I totally recommend—it’s one of those family movies that actually has a lot of adult humor, so you won’t feel like you’re watching something for people half your age. Also, the kid is super cute.
‘Last Christmas’ – Hulu
This 2019 rom-com stars Emilia Clarke and Henry Golding, so if for no other reason, you can watch it for the hotness factor. Emilia plays Kate, a 26-year-old hot mess who works as an elf in a year-round Christmas shop (bleak). She meets Tom (Henry Golding), who is (obviously, just look at him) a handsome charmer, and as the two fall in love, things start turning around for her. UNTIL the ~dramatic twist~ happens, which I won’t go into so I don’t spoil it. I’ll say that it’s very on-the-nose given the title, and you might hate it. That’s all I’ll say!
Images: Courtesy of Netflix; Giphy (4)
At this point, I feel like it’s kind of tired to complain about the amount of reboots and remakes of classic TV shows and movies. Everyone has different taste, so who cares if they’re bringing yet another ’90s show back from the dead for easy money? But we all have to draw the line somewhere, and you know what? I draw that line at Home Alone.
Earlier this year, The Walt Disney Company completed their acquisition of 20th Century Fox, one of the largest business deals in history. I’m sure there were lots of reasons why Disney bought Fox, but one of the biggest factors was Fox’s huge catalog of content. In addition to all of their existing properties like Star Wars and the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Disney now has the rights to tons of other famous movies, and they’re wasting no time putting these to use.
This week, Disney CEO Robert Iger announced plans for reboots of numerous family-friendly Fox titles for the upcoming Disney+ streaming service, including generally unexciting things like Cheaper By The Dozen and Night at the Museum. But the new project that’s furthest along in the development process is a new version of Home Alone, and honestly? They can keep it.
Everyone: Enough with the reboots, for the love of god.
I’m not going to pretend that I’ve ever been some crazy fan of Home Alone. It’s a cool movie, sure, whatever, but it wasn’t one that I rented every week at Blockbuster (RIP). Whether or not a reboot of Home Alone was a good idea, I probably wouldn’t be that excited to watch it—but it’s not a good idea! No matter how much you love the original movie, the whole concept of Home Alone in 2019 just doesn’t make sense.
If you’ll recall, the original Home Alone was released in 1990, and it was a huge hit. But you also might recall that 1990 was a very different time in the world. There was no internet, no cell phones, and 9/11 hadn’t happened yet, so people tended to be a lot more chill about traveling and just like, life in general. It still would’ve taken a lot of oversight for a kid to be left behind on their family trip to Paris, but maybe it could’ve happened.
Cut to 2019, when I literally have three WiFi connected devices within an arm’s reach. Poor little Macaulay Culkin would probably already have an iPhone, his parents’ credit card, and an Uber account to use in emergencies. Without some major stretches of the imagination, Home Alone would be approximately 10 minutes long.
Home Alone in 2019: The McAllister Family have all been invited on an influencer trip to Lake Como. Kevin doesn’t have enough followers, so he can’t go.
— Betches (@betchesluvthis) August 7, 2019
I’m sure Disney knows this on some level, and they are planning to make some tweaks to the plot. Rather than the movie, where Kevin has to fend off two burglars, the new version will “follow a husband and wife who go to war with a young boy who has stolen something from them.” That sounds interesting enough, but I’d imagine that the main through line of a project called Home Alone still involves the main character being left home…alone. This sounds less like “Home Alone” and more like “two grown-ass adults who have too much time on their hands and who would probably be better off seeking out legal avenues of recourse”.
The most exciting piece of news out this whole announcement is that Melissa McCarthy is in talks to star in the new Home Alone, which might be the only thing that can save it. No word yet on whether Macaulay Culkin will be invited back in some capacity, but based on his current life trajectory, I’m guessing the answer is no. So far, no release date has been announced, but the Disney+ service is launching this November.