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It’s that time of year again. As we live out the final month of a turbulent 2020 we can be thankful that one thing has stayed the same this year: Netflix has delivered their festive flix once again!
There’s nothing like a fantastical movie to take you as far away from reality as possible – and what a year for it! The streaming giant has added several new Christmas movies to their repertoire. Whether you love musicals, a royal family drama, or something to fulfill your rom-com needs, there’s something for everyone. Here are my top five additions for 2020 which are all currently available to stream on Netflix UK & Ireland:
1. The Princess Switch: Switched Again
We all need at least one movie about royalty at Christmas. The second installment of The Princess Switch had big shoes to fill. You might ask now that their jig is up, what can the doppelgangers (both played by Vanessa Hudgens) possibly get up to?
The movie starts with a less-than-ideal set up. It’s been two years since we last checked in on the look-alikes and Margaret and Kevin have split. Margaret is preparing to take the throne of Montenaro after the death of the king and Kevin (Nick Sagar) is running a bakeshop with his daughter Olivia (Alexa Adeosun) back in Chicago. Stacey and Olivia make it their mission to reunite these soulmates from different worlds. Throw in a “third” Doppelganger – Margaret’s cousin, Lady Fiona Pembroke – and things start to go pear-shaped. Ridiculous as always but a perfect watch for those craving a pure, light-hearted Christmas flick with gaudy decor and winter wonderlands at every turn.
It’s probably controversial to call this film a Christmas movie as the majority of its plot does not take place during the most wonderful time of the year. It is being marketed as a Christmas movie, however, so it’s included in this list. This rom-com centers around two main characters: Sloane (Emma Roberts) and Jackson (Luke Bracey).
Sloane is single and thirty, much to the dismay of her over-involved mother (Frances Fischer) and sister (Jessica Capshaw). It’s Christmas day and she’s stuck at the kid’s table drinking vodka with her little cousin who somehow has a boyfriend in elementary school. Meanwhile, Jackson, an Australian golfer is spending the holidays with a woman and her family who may or may not be in a cult. The two meet at a chance encounter at the mall and realise they have something in common. They both feel pressure about turning up to all of the holidays of the year without a date. To avoid this and also avoid any sort of commitment, they agree to be holidates for all the big ones of the coming year starting with New Year’s Eve.
This movie does rely heavily on the charms of our leading actors but it’s very enjoyable and you’ll get to relive all of the celebrations we missed in 2020. Also, Kristin Chenoweth is in this movie which seems worth mentioning.
3. Dolly Parton’s Christmas on the Square
When I heard Christmas and Dolly Parton in the same sentence I was already sold. Christmas on the Square is a musical film (I hope you’d already have guessed as much) about how even the coldest of people can have a change of heart during the festive season. The movie begins as Regina (Christine Baranski) returns to her hometown shortly after the death of her father. She wants to sell the town to a mall developer and evict everyone from their homes before Christmas has even begun.
Is there anything that can be done for a woman so heartless? (there’s no attempt to hide the similarities with A Christmas Carol or The Grinch). Enter an actual angel (Dolly Parton) who transforms from a homeless woman to the glammed-up star we know and love right before our eyes. Operation change Regina’s heart from bad to good begins. The clichés are abundant but it’s worth a watch for the Parton penned songs and delightful choreography. Charming and fun.
4. Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey
Another musical? Yes. But a very good one that’s sure to become a family favourite. The movie tells the story of Jeronicus Jangle, a toy inventor who’s just had a breakthrough with the creation of Don Juan Diego, a living matador figurine. This is the big break he needed to set his family up for life. While he’s celebrating in style with the rest of the village, his assistant Gustafso has other ideas and takes off with Don Juan Diego and Jangle’s invaluable book of ideas. Without any proof of the thievery, there’s nothing Jangle can do to plead his case to the police.
Cut to many years later and Jangle (Forrest Whitaker) is at rock bottom, widowed, estranged from his daughter, and about to have his store taken off him. Meanwhile, Gustafson played superbly by Keegan Michael-Key is thriving off the profits he’s made from creating his factory. Jangle’s granddaughter tries to show him that belief in the extraordinary can often be the missing key to life’s hardships. This is a heartwarming story that truly embodies the magic of the Christmas spirit and the power it can harness.
5. The Christmas Chronicles 2
The second installment of The Christmas Chronicles (2018) is back with more action, laughs, and an obscene amount of sugary treats (we’re dealing with a green cake that tastes like cake but gives you the same nutritional value as broccoli). The first Christmas Chronicles movie received mixed reviews but was memorable for how fantastic Kurt Russel was as Santa Claus.
In the second movie, we get to see a lot more of Mrs. Claus too (Goldie Hawn), and indulge in the spectacle of the fantastical North Pole. Just like its predecessor, the story is by no means plain sailing. Kate (Darby Camp) is not the biggest fan of her mom’s new boyfriend. She decides to bail on the family vacation to Mexico but is taken hostage with her step-brother (Jahzir Bruno) by Belsnickel (Julian Dennison) a former elf with a quest for revenge against Santa.
The Christmas Chronicles 2 doesn’t quite deliver the same heartfelt hug as the first installment but for fans of these movies, it’s bound to be a delightful watch. The special effects and extravagant action scenes (elves gone rogue, anyone?) are dazzling stuff. A must watch for those craving a sweet Christmas adventure.