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)
Hello fellow Christmas movie lovers! I am sincerely so excited to recap The Santa Clause for you today. The Santa Clause is the best Christmas movie of all time, and I can definitively say that now that I’ve finally seen Die Hard and can confirm without a question that that is not a Christmas movie. Don’t @ me. Anyway, you all seemed to like the recap of The Princess Switch, so we’re back at it with this one! I hope you all enjoy this recap as much as I enjoy this movie and as much as Scott Calvin enjoys the cookie dispenser in his sleigh. Let’s begin!
We start out at Scott Calvin’s office Christmas party, where they are celebrating the success of the Do-It-All-For-You Dolly. Excuse me? What exactly does Dolly do for you, Scott?
This party appears to be catered, so it’s already 1000% nicer that the “party” my office throws every year, where I can help myself to a Solo cup of kosher wine and watch rich people fight over who gets the airpods during the white elephant. This party lets us know right off the bat that Scotty is a real jerk, since he immediately interrupts his female colleague. TBH this could be set in 2018.
Scott leaves the party and is late to meet his son and ex-wife for the Christmas Eve drop off. Scott’s son, Charlie, is doubtful Santa exists, because his stepdad Neil told him that there was no Santa. A+ parenting, Neil. What kind of an asshole tells a kid that Santa is a “state of mind”? That sounds like the type of sh*t an Instagram influencer would say. My parents still haven’t told me Santa isn’t real, which I sincerely appreciate. And once my cousin Marisa told me Santa wasn’t real and I laughed it off, told her that was impossible, and have not respected her since. As it should be.
Charlie really doesn’t want to stay at his dad’s tonight and tells his mom to pick him up: “We’re talking sunup, you’re here?”
Scott starts a fire while trying cook a turkey (same), so they end up at Denny’s. We’re about five minutes in, and Scott has already insulted Neil in about 100 different ways. That’s the level of petty I aspire to.
They get back to the house and Scott reads Charlie The Night Before Christmas. Charlie starts asking logistical questions about Santa and everyone knows you don’t ask questions you don’t want to know the answers to, Charlie! Just shut up and go to sleep! Tomorrow you get free stuff!
Charlie wakes up in the middle of the night and hears something on the roof and goes to wake up his dad. This is not good, Charlie, not good. This is how every murder movie starts. Scott goes outside in his boxers, scares the daylights out of Santa, who falls off the roof! They should make those boots with better treads, am I right? Scott takes a card out of SC’s pocket, revealing what he should do next.
Then the body of Santa LITERALLY DISAPPEARS and Scott is most concerned that the man is running around naked somewhere. Lol that’d be just another Tuesday night in New York City, pal. Also, is anyone else concerned about the fact that Charlie is not scarred over the fact his dad just murdered Santa?? Sociopath much, Chuck?
Charlie and Scott go up to the roof using the mysterious ladder that just appeared (?) and get into Santa’s sleigh. Sure, why not. The reindeer take that as their cue to GTFO and they fly their crazy selves and the Calvins to some richie rich’s house. I forgot how heavily featured Tim Allen’s thighs were in this film. I don’t hate it.
Scott doesn’t want to put on Santa’s suit and go down a chimney, but Charlie uses the oldest trick in the book and guilts him into it. That kid is annoying af, but boy, is he a master of manipulation. I tip my hat to you, young sir.
This is a niceeeee house. Now’s your chance to change the meaning of Christmas, Scott. Santa grabs what he can carry and makes a run for it! A tale we’ll tell your children for years to come! But instead of making out with the good china, Scott sets off the alarm and a very aggressive Pitbull, but manages to escape with his life. When the reindeer fly to the next house, Scott realizes the kind of long night he’s looking at. Man, I remember staying up all night staring down the barrel of an 11-page essay I hadn’t started; I can only imagine the horror that must set in when you realize you have to visit ALL THE HOUSES IN THE WORLD. Because let’s be real, even the people I know that aren’t Christian usually celebrate. I SEE YOU.
In the second house, Scott starts threatening a child, and I feel like that makes sense. It’s hard to be magnanimous when you’re in ill-fitting clothes.
At some point in the evening there is a precious yellow lab puppy that appears and it better be coming to my house. I’m in love like I never have been before. I’ve got a dog bed with your name on it, Bosco.
After making all their deliveries, the reindeer drop Scott and Charlie off at the most magical looking snow heaven. A precious little elf lowers them into the factory. Inside there are reindeer that are most definitely not wearing fake antlers, giant candy canes, and lots of toys.
They are greeted by the grumpiest motherf*cker in the North Pole, Bernard, and I can understand why he would be so hostile since he basically has to do all the work for Santa but get none of the glory. Middle management sucks. Charlie and Bernard hit it off because they’re both whiney little b*tches, and I’m happy they each have a friend now since they ain’t never gonna find another one. Bernard gives Charlie a snow globe that will, SPOILER ALERT, factor into the story later.
It’s at this point that Bernard explains the Santa “Clause” that says that because Scott put on the suit, he is now Santa Claus. If only other jobs worked like that, like Victoria’s Secret Angel wings. The places I could go in this life. Also. Can we take a moment to talk about this little play on words here? Because how is a small child to know that this title was not, in fact, the correct spelling of Santa Claus, and that she shouldn’t spell Santa Claus with an e deep into her 20’s until someone finally laughs at her and the shame she feels is unbearable? HOW SHOULD SHE KNOW??
Scott refuses to accept that he is Santa, and Bernard, being the d*ck he is, yells at him that he better get used to it. A lovely elf named Judy shows him to his room and I want to live in it so badly I’ve already began researching ways to kill Santa Claus this year. FBI, if you’re reading this, that was just a joke! (It was not a joke.) There is also a weird interaction here where Scott accidentally hits on a child elf who reveals she’s over 1,200 years old. I’m sorry if your boss made you uncomfortable, Judy. I’d love to tell you it’s a brave new world out here in 2018, but I’d be lying. Maybe in another 1,200 years!
Scott goes to sleep and Charlie wakes him up on Christmas morning with a lovely physical assault. This kid is the worst. Scott is still wearing those baller monogrammed jammies that he got at the North Pole and he’s got a real bad feeling. Okay I have a major problem with this scene. It’s Christmas morning, why is Charlie already in jeans? Jeans are not leisurewear. I’m not even changing out of my PJ’s at all between Christmas and New Years—not even when I have to go to work—and this kid puts on jeans first thing Christmas morning? I’m calling the cops.
Charlie’s mom comes to pick him up and he’s already spilling all the deets about last night. BE COOL, CHARLIE. The first rule of fight club: You do not talk about fight club. Scott is still convinced it was a dream or some sort of psychotic episode (I imagine).
Okay all of a sudden it’s career day at school and Charlie announces that his dad is Santa Claus. God, Charlie! The second rule of fight club: You do not talk about fight club. How many rules is this kid going to break?!
Naturally Charlie’s mom Laura and that condescending bowl of whole wheat spaghetti that she’s with, Neil, are concerned about Charlie’s mental health. Scott takes Charlie on an outing to convince him that he’s not actually Santa and it seems his efforts may be in vain because they are being followed by a line of reindeer. I hate when that happens.
Neil starts asking Charlie tough questions about Santa and Charlie tells him, “just because you haven’t seen something doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.” Coincidentally, that’s also the line I use when people ask me why I didn’t bring a boyfriend to yet another family event.
Okay one day Scott wakes up and he has grown a beard and gained a ton of weight. He has nothing to wear and runs into work late and wearing a sweatsuit. It’s sad and pathetic and exactly the outfit I want to wear to work every day.
Scott’s coworkers are very concerned about his weight and I think it’s very rude to bring up someone’s food issues at the office, OKAY SUSAN? Scott goes to the doctor and aside from the fact that he’s gained 45 pounds all in the tummy in a WEEK, he seems perfectly healthy. But he does tell the doctor he’s been eating a diet of milk and cookies, and doesn’t he know that it’s always in your best interest to lie to the doctor? That’s why I always just check off the box that says “social drinker.” They can’t make you change what they don’t know about!
I’m not sure the timeline we’re on here now, but Scott’s at Charlie’s soccer game looking an awful lot like Santa, and the children are lining up to sit on his lap and list their Christmas present demands. Just a tip here Scotty, maybe ditch the red hoodie for a gray one?? Laura and Neil are once again not pleased and threatening Scott with taking away Charlie.
Laura and Neil take Charlie to see a psychiatrist and talk about when they stopped believing in Santa. Neil reveals that he stopped believing when he was THREE because he did not get an Oscar Mayer weenie whistle. WOW. I don’t think I was even conscious of being alive at age three, let alone capable of not believing in Santa. As our President would say, SAD!
Time is moving fast now and we’re getting closer to Christmas so naturally the Grinch Neil gets Scott’s parental rights taken away, and damn, this is darker than I remember. Scott goes to see Charlie at his house, and I swear even though Charlie is the most annoying kid on Earth, I feel bad that his parents are gaslighting him. He’s too young to know that’s the oldest trick in the book.
Okay so time moved really fast and it’s actually Christmas Eve. Laura and Neil report Scott for kidnapping Charlie (when he goes with him to deliver presents) and the police are officially involved. But Scott ain’t got time for this because he’s got work to do.
This year’s sleigh has gotten some upgrades, most notably a cookie and cocoa dispenser. Hi Honda, pls include in next year’s Civic model. K, thanks!
Okay so these two morons decide that they’re going to go to Laura and Neil’s house to deliver presents. HI HELLO IDIOT SANTA AND YOUR DUMDUM SPAWN! You just kidnapped their kid! You’re gonna go back to the scene of the crime? Do you think this is the way the Golden State Killer evaded capture for decades? NO! Get the hell outta there.
Naturally Santa Scott gets arrested, so it’s time to deploy E.L.F.S., elves with attitude! My favorite part of the movie. Just because we are small does not mean we aren’t mighty! Pop Quiz: would you guys prefer flying via reindeer and sleigh, or by jet pack? For me it’s a toss-up, but I think the cookie dispenser puts me firmly in sleigh territory.
The elves with attitude tie up the policeman and rescue Santa Scott using tinsel! Is tinsel officially the most underrated prison escape tool of all time? If only Andy Dufresne knew about it!
After the prison break, Charlie returns home to tell his mom and Neil that he’s fine. Neil is wearing another heinous sweater. Santa Scott tells Charlie that he has to stay home while he delivers presents. Damn, prison changed him.
All of a sudden Laura believes that Scott is Santa, and so does Neil. And it appears we are all officially onboard with this then! Okay!
Bernard shows up at the house to tell Charlie that any time he wants to see his dad, he just needs to shake his snow globe. Better not drop that thing, butterfingers.
Before Santa flies off he leaves Neil with that weenie whistle he wanted so badly. I hope that helps you with your trust issues, Neil! Of course, immediately after Santa leaves, Charlie shakes the snow globe like the annoying son of a b*tch he’s always been. Your privileges are revoked, Charlie. Scott comes back of course, and takes the kiddo for a ride to deliver presents, drink cocoa, and talk about how Neil’s head comes to a point. And they fly off into the night!
The end! Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night. And when I wake up, I’m getting a CAT scan!
Images: Giphy (8)
This week, I was
stoned feeling in the Christmas spirit, and obvs turned to Netflix in hopes of finding It’s A Wonderful Life or that version of Little Women with baby Kirsten Dunst some other heartwarming shit. Instead, I found the 1994 film The Santa Clause, starring Tim Allen, and you *know* I put that shit on immediately.
I hadn’t seen The Santa Clause in a while, but I remembered the basic plot: Divorced dad (Tim Allen) accidentally kills Santa, making him the new Santa. Hilarity ensues.
I remember watching this movie as a child and thinking, “Yep! This all checks out and makes sense to my child brain!” But, rewatching as an adult, I have some questions. And sure, I was
high as shit not watching as attentively as I could have been, but I think it’s crazy that The Santa Clause has been allowed to go all these years without addressing some of its essential plot problems. @TimAllen, please address these glaring issues ASAP.
1. WTF Do These Adults Think Is Happening On Christmas?
So like, in this world, Santa exists, right? But then like, all the adults don’t think he exits, which is typical. But my question is….where do the parents think the presents come from on Christmas? Like, they know they didn’t buy this shit, and it literally appeared overnight so…wtf? This goes for Miracle On 34th Street, and any other movie where Santa exists but adults don’t know about it.
2. Can Someone Really Lose Their Kid For Acting Like Santa?
Mid-way through the movie, Tim Allen loses visitation rights for his son because they think he’s encouraging his son’s unhealthy obsession with Santa. I mean, I guess letting your kid believe in Santa for too long—or believe that you actually *are* Santa—is kind of messed up, but considering there are moms who breastfeed their kids till they’re 10 and hipsters who name their babies “Alabastor”, this seems crazy to me that some over-the-top holiday fun would cause someone to lose their child.
3. Why Doesn’t Tim Allen Believe In Psychology?
Throughout the film (and yes, we are referring to The Santa Clause as a film) Tim Allen is constantly reminding everyone that Neil, his ex-wife’s new husband, is not a real doctor, he’s merely a “psychologist.” But like…hey man…you’re a grown person experiencing vivid hallucinations that you are becoming Santa Clause and it’s literally turning you into Santa. It’s like a hysterical pregnancy but…for Santa. Maybe you could benefit from some of Neil’s expertise? Just sayin’….
4. Why Are All The Elves Little Children Except Bernard Who Is Like 16?
This movie needs to make a decision about the age of elves. They all reference how “old” they are (sidenote: did Game of Thrones steal the concept of the Children Of The Forest from The Santa Clause? They’re shadily similar…), but they’re all played by children, except Bernard, who is a teen. Is Bernard just like, the oldest of all the elves, which is why he has progressed into his teens? Anybody else weirded out by the fact that one teenage boy is in charge of all these little kids?
The back-and-forth on the elves’ ages leads to a lot of weirdness. Particularly this exchange when Judy the elf (played by a literal 9-year-old) thinks the Santa Clause is hitting on her:
Hard pass on all that.
5. Is This Movie Like…Actually Really Good?
Y’all. I gotta say. I truly, madly, deeply enjoyed re-watching The Santa Clause. I thought it would be a hate-watch, but no. It was just a regular watch. Tim Allen is funny in it, and I was surprised how many lines I remembered. Like this:
I lolled at this! Popo Gigio! I remember that shit from the trailer. I can’t remember anything that happened yesterday, but I remember Popo Gigio. And you know what…it’s still funny. For real! Again, I was high as hell, but, I will stand by Popo Gigio.
Next up: The literally insane version of Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas starring Jim Carrey where they actually try to give the Grinch a love interest, because everyone knows their first thought after reading The Grinch for the first time was, “but does he fuck?”
And yes, I will be stoned throughout.
It’s fucking December, guys. As much as I wonder where the hell this year went (since I must’ve been blacked out for most of it), I’m beyond glad it’s almost over. 2017 was pretty shitty, tbh, so here’s to hoping 2018 is slightly better—only because I don’t think it can get any worse. On the bright side, soon enough, we’ll be bundled up for freezing temperatures, yet happily living as recluses for the next three months. With the holiday and winter season approaching, it brings with it a bunch of TV shows and movies we’ll gladly binge on the couch instead of tending to our social lives. Whether you’re using your boyfriend’s, ex-roommate’s, or you actually have your own account, log into Netflix, grab cheap wine from Target, and get comfy. Here are eight shows and movies to binge while you eat shitty takeout and live your best life in hibernation.
‘V For Vendetta’
After a batshit crazy war occurs in London, the city is overtaken by a controlling psychotic government. The hero in the film, who goes by V (…couldn’t tell you why), tries to fight back in order to get the world back to some sort of normalcy. Along the way, he crosses paths with Natalie Portman, who plays Evey. Together, they probably fall in love, bring world peace, and live happily ever after. I haven’t seen this tbh, so whether or not that’s actually the ending, this movie is supposedly v good and worth the watch.
This all-time classic is one you’ve most likely seen only because it randomly plays during the weekends on E!. Either way, it totally sets the mood for a much-needed girls night rom-com. Will Smith is a “date doctor” in this film, aka that friend who helps you come up with your Hinge messages before there was even Hinge. He helps mentor people with like, corny pickup lines in order to score them a date with someone clearly out of their league. When Smith meets a girl for himself, his cliché tricks fail to work on his journalist girlfriend as she slowly learns his true identity. Moral of the story: You can’t ever lie to us girls. We will find out. And we will kill you.
Netflix is taking us back to remind us why we fell in love with Eminem to begin with. Not only is he totally hot, protective, and like, family-oriented, but he’s also a humble rapper (who may or may not dream about killing his ex-wife). The late 90’s film is based on Eminem’s actual tough upbringing, his struggles on becoming a famed musician, and most definitely, the only reason you know every word to “Lose Yourself.”
‘The Santa Clause’
It’s obvs December, so be prepared for holiday classics and annoying Hallmark movies coming everywhere to a screen near you. Netflix has a ton lined up for this month, including all three parts of The Santa Clause. In this classic, Tim Allen “accidentally” kills a man dressed as Santa (um, I thought this was a family movie?) and is immediately transported to the North Pole. He’s forced to take Santa’s place on Christmas, and suddenly, he begins to gain weight like crazy and grow a long white beard. After he realizes he’s neither dreaming nor really fucking high, he decides to take on the job and all of the obstacles that come with it.
‘Dark’ Season 1
This new German series circles around a small town and its shitty, corrupt past when two children go missing. When families go searching for them, they’re introduced to shady af people who apparently are the reason why their town sucks to begin with. Supposedly full of twists, time travel, and supernatural stuff, this is being hailed as the next Stranger Things. The first season is going to be extremely binge-worthy when it’s too cold to function outside.
‘The Crown’ Season 2
It has already been awarded the Golden Globe Award for Best Television Drama Series, so with its second season premiere around the corner, we can only hope it exceeds our expectations. The Netflix original is based on the life of Queen Elizabeth II and all those who were a part of it, from the 1940s to modern era. This may sound like your average history lesson, but I assure you, the royal Gossip Girl-like show is much juicier and more interesting than that.
‘Fuller House’ Season 3
Season 3 of Fuller House comes back this month (again) without the Olsen twins, because quite frankly, they obvs have better things to do than to pretend to be Bob Saget’s teen daughters. Um, same. The new season brings more cheesy storylines, annoying af Kimmy Gibbler, and new (hopefully attractive) love interests.
‘The Ranch’ Part 4
In case you haven’t watched a single minute of this, because same, Ashton Kutcher plays a true fuckboy-wannabe in this series. After his football career failed, he decides to run a ranch with family he hasn’t seen in over a decade. Talk about awkward. Yet, in typical Ashton Kutcher fashion, he also eventually finds himself torn between choosing his current girlfriend or his high school booty call. See? Absolute fuckboy. However, this shit is apparently pretty funny, so it could be worth watching purely for procrastination.