The festive season is upon us, and that means it’s time to switch on the air con, chuck on a Christmas sweater, and flick on a Christmas movie to get you into the spirit. Instead of waiting around for movies to arrive on free-to-air TV, Netflix has your Christmas marathon covered with a huge line up.
Here’s a list of the top 11 Christmas films to watch on Netflix Australia:
- Love Actually
- Let It Snow
- The Holiday Calendar
- The Princess Switch
- Christmas Chronicles
- A Christmas Prince
- Once Upon a Holiday
- The Spirit of Christmas
- Christmas Inheritance
- Christmas With the Kranks
It’s over a decade old so, if you’ve already seen it a hundred times, what’s one more? Set at Christmas time, Love Actually intertwines a number of love stories, taking snapshots of important events of each couple involved. If you’re looking for a normal full-length story, this one may not be for you. But for the Christmas-themed rom-com fanatics, your heart will be melting each time you watch Mark come to the door with a handwritten note card saying, “To me, you are perfect”.
There’s a bunch of sweet and funny moments, from a Prime Minister’s realisation that it’s time to settle down to Jamie’s attempt to heal a broken heart, capturing some of the inspiring yet stressful events that this time of year can bring. Just like the previous two films in this list, it’s a classic that seems to always make a comeback at Christmas whether you like it or not.
You can never go wrong with the classics, including Elf, starring Will Ferrell. It’s a story of an orphan toddler who accidentally crawls into santa’s bag of presents and is transported to the North Pole where he gets adopted and raised by elves. Noticing later on that he doesn’t completely fit in, he takes on the journey of finding his real dad in… New York. What are the chances!
Even if you’ve watched this movie a hundred times before, there’s always something to laugh about with Elf. It’s a movie for the whole family – with Christmas spirit at the heart – plus a wicked sense of humour that even the young ones will appreciate.
Let It Snow
Let It Snow starts off like most Christmas movies, set in a small town, on Christmas Eve, in America. What sets this flick apart is that it focuses on multiple, overlapping storylines that become connected by local diner, Waffle Town. We start the scene with plain-jane Julie bumping into pop star Stuart Bale on the train. Stuart seems to take a liking to her sassy attitude and, after much resistance on Julie’s part, decides to follow her around for the day. A heartbreaking truth about Julie’s mother is revealed, which opens Julie up to vulnerability, igniting the chemistry between her and Stuart.
Across town, best friends Dorrie and Addie are doing their best to navigate the harsh world of romantic rejection. Addie is worried her boyfriend is breaking up with her, so after an intervention staged by her bestie, she ends up making an unusual alliance and re-discovering her confidence. Dorrie, on the other hand, finds herself in a tricky situation with a cheerleader that hasn’t come out as gay to her friends and family. After serving her and her friends at the Waffle Town diner, the cheerleader pretends she doesn’t know Dorrie as to avoid dealing with her confusion over her sexuality. The last major storyline is one involving two friends since childhood, Duke and Tobin, where through conversations with a friend, we discover that Tobin has feelings for her. One very adventure-packed day later (where there may or may not be a car chase scene), the two find themselves on the roof of the Waffle Town, where a party is going on. What happens next, you’ll have to find out for yourself.
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The Holiday Calendar
If you haven’t got yourself an advent calendar yet, wait until you watch this movie – it might have you wanting one that’s not just filled with chocolate. The Holiday Calendar is a story of a photographer Abby played by Kat Graham from The Vampire Diaries, who is stuck in a dead-end job taking Santa photos, too afraid to take a chance to showcase her own photography. Things in her life start to change pretty quickly as her grandfather gifts her an antique advent calendar that may be predicting her future.
Two love interests come into the scene – her childhood best friend and a very handsome doctor. It’s a little cheesy but a lot of fun trying to figure out what the calendar will predict next, and if she will ever get her break as a “real” photographer.
The Princess Switch
From our royal family obsession in recent years, it seems like Netflix is going with this theme for its Christmas films. Vanessa Hudgens plays two different characters in the Princess Switch – one being Stacy, a baker from Chicago and the second Margaret, the Duchess of Montenaro who has a British accent that might have you cringing throughout the movie. Once you get past the shonky accent, you might enjoy this chick flick especially if you’re a fan of High School Musical.
If the title doesn’t already give it away, the two switch places in order for the Duchess to get to know the people of her town. It’s basically The Princess Diaries meets The Parent Trap. When it’s time for the two to go back to their own realities, it seems that both have fallen for each other’s beaus. It’s a film so bad that it’s good and will get you into the Christmas spirit with its very festive scenes.
The Christmas Chronicles has a bit of a twist of how most movies portray Santa. This one hates when people assume he’s fat, gets annoyed when asked to go “Ho, Ho, Ho” and even has a laugh with a touch of menace to it. Nevertheless, he’s all about saving Christmas when siblings Kate and Teddy Pierce try to catch in him in action on Christmas Eve but instead make him lose his magical hat, reindeer and sack of presents.
The brother and sister work together as a team for the first time since their firefighter dad passes away, which takes a toll on the whole family at the start of the film. This adventure seems to be exactly what the two needed, it even features elves that seem to be a lot like the minions from Despicable Me who speak gibberish. With most other Netflix Christmas films leaning towards the rom-com genre, this is a great one for the whole family and if you’re a fan of The Santa Clause films, you’re likely to enjoy this one too.
A Christmas Prince
Continuing with the fairy tale Christmas theme that Netflix has going on, this film follows a lowly junior editor, Amber, who is sent abroad to get the scoop on a prince set to become king. He’s portrayed as a wild, party boy who’s reluctant to take up his royal duties, but it turns out to be only what the media wants to depict him as – go figure.
As Amber snoops around the castle she gets caught by the royal family’s gatekeeper who assumes she is the new tutor for the young princess Emily, whose disability makes her closed off to everyone, except her older brother. Amber plays along in her new role with the intention to get her story but instead falls in love with the prince. As with any movie, the truth is bound to come out, but will the prince forgive her for lying about her identity? It’s slightly predictable, and even its sequel ‘A Christmas Prince – the Royal Wedding’ might give away how this one ends, but it does throw in a few plot twists you may not expect.
Once Upon a Holiday
Another royal film, but this time it’s a princess that refuses to fulfil her duties. Set in Manhattan at the magical time of year, princess Katherine, played by Step Up’s Briana Evigan, runs off and goes incognito to experience the city. A couple of muggers steal her camera while a handsome young man named Jack tries to help get it back with no luck. With the princess not being concerned about the whole situation, they part to be reunited once again later that day. Not knowing who Katherine is, and wondering why she is roaming the streets by herself, Jack tries to help her out by letting her crash in a house that he’s renovating.
Jack’s sister Emily is excited to meet Katherine, as she’s been worried about Jack’s love life and hopes this one’s a keeper. However, Emily’s journalist boyfriend uncovers Katherine’s real identity and wants to reveal the truth of the runaway princess. It’s another predictable story but gets you in the holiday spirit if you’re into Christmas romance movies.
The Spirit of Christmas
For a bit of a spooky twist, The Spirit of Christmas is set around a haunted inn that needs to be appraised and sold within three weeks, just before Christmas. The young lawyer, Kate, has a promotion resting on the success of this job, but encounters the spirit Daniel upon arrival, who haunts the place by taking the form of a human 12 days before Christmas every year since his death 95 years ago. He isn’t one to enjoy guests while he is in human form, he’s quite stubborn in fact, but with no intention of leaving, Kate finds herself helping the ghost solve the mystery of why he has been stuck there all this time.
We’re first introduced to Kate at a dinner night out where her boyfriend breaks up with her. However, this happens to her a lot, and she isn’t too fussed about it, as she seems to have lost all sight of ever falling in love after her parent’s divorce. But as the mystery of the ghost unravels, Kate finds herself in an unlikely romance. If you enjoy solving mysteries, you might like to add this one to your list.
It seems that Netflix is loaded with terrible Christmas romances, yet we still end up watching them like the trash TV enthusiasts that we are. Christmas Inheritance is a story of a spoilt city gal who is about to inherit the family company, but her dad is concerned she’s not responsible enough for the job. So, to help her learn more about the spirit of the firm, he sends her to deliver a handwritten Christmas card to his former business partner in his hometown, Snow Falls – a tradition kept from when the company first started.
Predictably, there’s a lot to learn as she goes incognito in the small town with only a bit of cash in her pocket. Her trip surprisingly also gets extended by a snowstorm, forcing her to work to keep her hotel room. As her fiancé, who’s just as spoilt, awaits her return, there’s a romance that starts to build during her time at Snow Falls, with the sweet and humble manager of the inn she’s staying at. Gasp! This film aims to be inspiring and festive, but you might like to leave this one for when you run out of Christmas movies to watch.
Christmas with the Kranks
Another classic to add to the list is Christmas with the Kranks. When parents Luther and Nora are finally alone for the holidays, they randomly decide to ‘skip Christmas’ and go on a cruise instead. The whole neighbourhood quickly turns against them, believing their decision is a threat to the harmony of their community and the spirit of Christmas itself. As the Kranks continue to prepare for the cruise the more guilty they start to feel.
If you haven’t watched this movie in a while you can flick this one back on without remembering how it all ends. It’s a comedy that will surely have you laughing and it has a heartfelt ending that reminds us of what Christmas is all about.
There are many more festive movies on Netflix, so if none of these take your fancy, keep searching away as there’s bound to be one that you’d like to settle down with on Christmas Eve.