Movies to watch this Christmas!

Photo by Rodion Kutsaev via Unsplash

I love Christmas and everything about it – the decorations in shopping malls and across Oxford Circus, the sales, festivities, and ultimately, the movies! Below is a list of the latest Christmas movies to watch with friends and family to prep yourselves for the festive season! [All the movies are available on Netflix.]

Operation Christmas Drop

Starring Kat Graham, AKA Bonnie Bennet from The Vampire Diaries, and Alexander Ludwig, the kid from Race to Witch Mountain, these two actors remind us of the beauty in helping others.

Erica Miller is a political aide sent to a tropical Island to close down an Air Force base that has a Christmas tradition – Operation Christmas Drop. Erica is well-organised and determined to get the job done. Her tour guide happens to be Captain Andrew Jantz, a cargo pilot, and the complete opposite of her. Charming, enthusiastic and wears his heart on his sleeve, Capt. Andrew (code name, “CLAWS”), is a real humanitarian, thinking about the good of others.  Andrew escorts her around the Island and attempts to show Erica the beauty in what their program does. Every year, the base organises boxes of appliances to be flown to over fifty Islands. The boxes consist of food, generators, school supplies, and gifts for children. This operation helps thousands of Islanders maintain their survival. What starts as trying to find ways to close the base, ends with Erica realising this ‘Operation Christmas Drop’ goes beyond dropping gifts to Islanders.

Now, this is what I call a Christmas movie. It brings joy, laughter and most of all, makes us appreciate what we have and guides us to strive to help others.

Also, it’s nice to see our favourite Bennet Witch spread a little Christmas magic.

Midnight at the Magnolia

Who doesn’t love it when best friends end up together?

Childhood friends and radio hosts, Maggie and Jake test the boundaries of their friendship when they decide to fake a relationship to get their show nationally syndicated by New Years.

They have known each other for a long time. Their fathers own a restaurant business together and both families always celebrate the holidays together – Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years’.

Maggie is waiting to be whisked away by her one true love, whoever that may be. While Jake’s longest relationship has lasted three months. He says he just can’t seem to connect with anyone. Other than Maggie, who knows him better than he knows himself. 

We all see the chemistry between the two, from the family dinners to the cute banter on the radio. Even their fans have been waiting anxiously for their favourite radio hosts to announce they are a couple. That’s where Jake gets his brilliant idea for them to fake being a couple in hopes of getting their show nationally heard.

From Maggie’s father popping open a champagne bottle he’s kept closed for five decades in hearing they are a couple, to their boss making them be seen together in public at parties, Maggie and Jake can’t help when the acting begins to get a little too real. 

A California Christmas

With his devil-may-care attitude and wealthy lifestyle, Joseph charms all the ladies. However, his mother is unimpressed by his lack of passion or work ethic at her firm. Therefore she orders him to close a deal to purchase a dairy farm by Christmas, or else he’s fired. We witness this spoilt playboy feign being a ranch hand to warm up to the hardworking farmer who refuses to sell her family’s land. Callie, our farm girl, exudes confidence and believes she doesn’t need a man or anyone to help her maintain her family, house, or farm. What began as a tactic to secure a deal and maintain his carefree lifestyle, gradually changes to Joseph realising it really isn’t all about the money. Callie teaches Joseph what the benefits of hard work really mean. 

This movie isn’t all about romance either, it entails a little comedy from the brilliant acting of Ali Afshar, Joseph’s smart-mouth driver.

Fun fact: Did you know, these actors are a couple in real life? They met on the set of Roped, another southern, countryside film, and got married in the summer of 2019. Don’t you love it when movie couples end up together?

Princess Switch 2: Switched Again

If you haven’t watched the first movie, you may not understand this review. And if you haven’t yet watched this movie, then what the heck are you waiting for?

This romantic, Christmas comedy stars our High School Musical fave, Vanessa Hudgens, and Nashville star, Sam Palladio. 

Vanessa Hudgens plays three roles, accentuating her wonderous acting abilities. She acts as, Princess Stacy, once simply Stacy of Chicago, Duchess Margaret of Delacourt, soon to be Queen of Montenaro, and Lady Fiona Pembroke, Margaret’s envious, savvy cousin.

The second movie is set two years after the events of the first film. Stacy, now Princess of Belgravia, has taken up her royal duties with grace, though it has created an accidental rift between her and Prince Edward. Whereas in Montenaro, Margaret is preparing to become Queen after the death of the King, and the sudden decision of his son, Howard, to abdicate the throne. This inevitably puts a strain on Margaret and Kevin’s relationship, and due to the pressures of ruling a nation, Margaret breaks it off with Kevin. Therefore, best friend Stacy swoops in to give this couple a chance to rekindle their romance. Deciding to switch lives once again, they plan out every detail. However, what they do not expect is for Margaret’s gold-digger cousin to join their game of charades in hopes of taking Margaret’s place for her coronation and escaping with her fortune. We witness Hudgen’s stellar change in accents for each character, a hilarious kidnapping, beautiful chemistry between the two couples, and a picturesque, happy ending.

We even get to see EastEnders’ fun-loving Fatboy, Ricky Norwood, play the hilarious role of Reggie, Lady Fiona’s trusty sidekick.

Holidate

Fed up with her family always trying to set her up and being single on the holidays, Sloane meets a stranger, Jackson, and they both decide to be each other’s holidate – a date for every holiday.

From an awkward New Year’s where Sloane accidentally flashes everyone during an attempt to recreate the epic Dirty Dancing lift, to eating chocolate in a car together during Valentine’s Day, to celebrating Fourth of July with her family, Jackson worms his way into her life, her family and her heart.

Only catch?

Sloane’s a commitment-phobe.

Still, not over the scars, her last boyfriend left her with, Sloane has a shield around her heart. In spite of being each other’s dates and friends for almost a year, Jackson just can’t seem to show Sloane that he really is one of the good ones.

I thoroughly enjoyed watching all the aforementioned movies as it prepped me for the holiday season. I hope you enjoy the movies just as much as I did. I wish you all a great break and hope everyone comes back refreshed for Semester two!

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