First Time Watching Christmas Movies... Willingly | Happy Holidays!

So, I don't celebrate Christmas. Well, we do but not really. We do the family gathering with food and a few little presents (though I almost always skip out that part, because yes, I'm kinda the worst), but it's never a giant thing with trees (real or fake), or Christmas movies. This year, however, I broke my golden rule. I willingly watched Christmas movies (though I still have standards and refuse to pay attention when 'Love Actually' is on, because I honestly have seen the sex scene out of context at least three times and now, I have zero interest in finding out what the fuck is actually going on).

It all started with this...
Now, we can get into all the privacy questions this raised some other day - but for now, I need to announce that this tweet sent me racing to my Netflix account - very, very curious about a Christmas movie which was creating a tweetstorm of savagery and shameful enjoyment. So let's run through all the Christmas movies I've watched so far:

A Christmas Prince (2017)

It ended being... not too bad. As usual, I found myself thinking about how the prince needed to shave his face and questioning the journalistic ability of a woman who took random photos and recordings, and managed to get her laptop hacked by a 14 year old - but somehow, I finished the movie and didn't feel like I wasted my time. It still feels like a switched-up version of 'Princess Diaries' especially with the country being called Genovia Aldovia. Every plot movement felt like a typical soapie, or rom-com move, and I'm legitimately over people proposing to people they don't know but if I let that stop me, I wouldn't have any films to watch (which probably explains how I managed to watch a grand total of zero 2017 major movies - true story). There's all kinds of plot holes and questionable moments, but get on Twitter to find that content. For me, it was the beginning of a Christmas miracle.


For that alone, I give it 3.5/5.

Christmas Belle (TV Movie 2013)

In the leadup to Christmas on Australian television, every weekday at 12pm - Channel 7 will air a Christmas-themed TV movie. Usually, I switch off, because well, they suck. But well, I didn't want to this year. Normal characters heading to small towns and accidentally falling in love is the oldest trick in the book, but it does me in every single time. That said, this movie was really, really average. To summarise: Belle, a home valuer is sent to a small town in North Carolina to look at the property of a grumpy, handsome man ('Beast') who wants to sell after losing his ex-wife. He's typically aloof, and snaps when Belle goes too far. However, he apologises - and they become friends, with 'chemistry'. A guy who's not dating her but apparently likes her for some reason (who already has the approval of Belle's father) rocks up in town and causes chaos, but his villainous nature is outdone by his sheer stupidity, and the 'Beast' proposes to Belle, and everyone probably lives happily ever after.

This movie is let down by all the filler. I get the need to put some instrumental music over a random scene with no dialogue, but cutting all that out would've saved me a lot of time. Additionally, the villain fiance is a dirtbag - and while that's fine, he also happens to be extraordinarily boring. I recently watched 'Beauty and the Beast' so now, I understand the links to the film, but all it's truly reminded me is that TV movies are usually terrible.

I give this: 2/5.

Christmas Inheritance (2017)

Honestly, I've watched this three separate times - and while I will always wish for more, I think this was my favourite thus far. Recognising the main character, Ellen Langford, being played by a former Australian soapie star Eliza Taylor was only the cherry on top. I found myself pleasantly surprised that the main character wasn't a brat, merely a little reckless but otherwise fun. Ellen Langford may be known as the 'party heiress', but her biggest crime seemed to be skipping out on presentations and performing circus tricks to get people to donate. It's later revealed her behaviour - and not caring how she is perceived - comes from the loss of her mother, which has made her less interested in forming meaningful relationships. She obviously had that 'big city schtick' and did not understand the concept of buses or small towns with no Ubers or Lyfts, but she warmed quickly to the little town of Snow Falls, and of course, the apparently handsome motel manager, Jake. Some things fall into place a little too easily, but it's nice to have a film focusing on the spirit of Christmas and little moments.

Her fiance, while definitely showing some ultra shitty behaviour when he incessantly reminds Ellen that she does not belong, is far from the monstrous villains in 90% of rom-coms where the fiance is a sycophantic asshole without a single redeeming quality. The movie has got the perfect amount of cheesiness to melt my ice-cold heart and sweet dynamics outside the romance which make it fun to watch.

Rating: 4.5/5

Elf (2003)

Other than 'Home Alone', this is the Christmas movie that's usually on everyone's TV screen leading up to Christmas. Well, except mine. It was my first time watching it - and I totally understand the appeal. I put my jealousy aside regarding Buddy's unparalleled ability to make things (obviously, he's off the pace when it comes to elf standards, but he is human).

For those of you who don't know, 'Elf' follows the story of Buddy, who grew up with elves in the North Pole after Santa accidently took him while delivering presents to an orphanage. Obviously, he doesn't quite belong...

Image result for elf screencaps

But Buddy didn't figure it out yet. In fact, it's not until a really bad day of toy-making that he overhears the elves discussing his 'human' status that he gets it. With this news, Papa Elf gives Buddy permission to find his birth dad, Walter, in New York City. Tons of shenanigans ensues, including high-stakes snowball fights, lots of spaghetti with maple syrup and very impressive Christmas decorations.

The film is constantly fun and light-hearted, even Buddy's impending relationship with Jovie is played with a childish tone - which makes moments of utter heartbreak relating to Walter and Buddy far more powerful. It's so, so clear why this movie continues to steal hearts every Christmas, and after it, it's nice to believe in miracles and believe in people.

Rating: 5/5

Anyway, that's my summary of my first Christmas movie experiences! I've obviously seen a few more, but this is the first time I've embraced the movie aspect of it all - and I wanted to document it all.

Till next time.