For years we’ve grown a love-hate relationship with cheesy (we’re talking mozzarella on cheddar on provolone level cheesy) Hallmark and Lifetime Christmas movies. But once Netflix took over that market with films like A Christmas Prince and Christmas Switch, the instant access of holiday cheese has put us in a dairy overload. And let me tell you: most of the Christmas movies on Netflix are objectively terrible, whether they’re legitimately produced by the streaming service or just swinging by for the holidays. Let me tell you something else: my roommate and I have watched most of them anyway, so we can personally vouch for their sometimes-enjoyable-but-mostly-not brand of awfulness. Below, 11 Christmas movies on Netflix that are full-on yuletide cheese.
1. 'A Christmas Prince'
Because of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s engagement and subsequent wedding, A Christmas Prince is probably the most mainstream and least mediocre Netflix Christmas movie out there right now. You know what else it is? Aggressively unmemorable.
I say this mostly in reference to the sequel (which we’ll touch in a minute) and how the entire time I recognized zero characters. Seriously, the second movie has one dead-eyed man lurking in the shadows from the first film, and my roommate and I were like, “Who the hell is he?” and later “OH, he was in the first film?”
It was the primary antagonist.
Aldovia is also a dumb name for a country, and I’ve watched The Princess Diaries 40 times, don’t @ me.
2. 'A Christmas Prince 2: The Royal Wedding'
With A Christmas Prince 2: Electric Boogaloo, we were practically narrating it because it was so predictable. Oh, Amber and her husband-to-be keep getting separated by royal duties? I wonder if this will be a problem later! Amber is having her blog censored and is criticized for breaking protocol? Maybe this will cause some conflict! Also, a moment of silence for all the parents who almost got out of a canceled children’s Christmas play before Amber hosts it at the palace. So close.
The most memorable part of this movie was that Netflix nabbed some solid Converse and Apple sponsorships. Good for them.
3. 'Christmas Inheritance'
An heiress gets sent to the small town of Snow Falls to learn responsibility before inheriting her father’s toy dynasty. Snow MFing Falls. That’s gotta be a new low.
One upswing? Jake Lacy is there to inject a modicum of charm. I think it’s a win for the film, but after a recurring role on an HBO show and a tenure on The Office’s later seasons, probably a low-key loss for Jake.
4. 'Christmas in the Smokies'
The plot of this movie was 1,000 percent written by the moms who elected Blake Shelton Sexiest Man Alive.
In it, Shelby(?) is trying to save her crusty walrus father’s farm, and her country singer ex-boyfriend is going to help... somehow. I don’t really know, I’m not deeply invested in any save-the-farm stories unless they’re filled with gratuitous scenes of piglets and baby lambs.
5. 'Christmas Crush'
A Lifetime flick grabbed by Netflix, for whatever reason I come back to this flick year after year. It’s not good — I mean, that’s a given, you know what this listicle is by now. But it’s comforting, familiar... basically Mean Girls if you added a decade, multiplied the seasonal cheer, and subtracted anything resembling humor or quality.
Still not convinced? Well, in it, auburn-haired Georgia reunites with her popular girl BFFs at their high school reunion. One’s a gorgeous and cruel blonde, one’s a significantly more idiotic blonde, and the other is a brunette with questionable taste in men. Entirely unprovoked and undesired, the quartet performs pop music remixes of Christmas carols, in costume of course. And Georgia even falls in love with Aaron Samuels!
Like idk man, now that I think about it, it’s weird that I keep returning to a Mean Girls rip-off every Christmas. Maybe I can just save myself an hour and 27 minutes and just watch the video for "thank u, next" instead.
6. 'Christmas Wedding Planner'
Lily Van der Woodsen (Kelly Rutherford) is in this, as well as NYSNC’s very own Joey Fatone!
Two weird things about Christmas Wedding Planner, and spoilers if you can’t predict the “curve balls” of this genre. 1. Titular Christmas wedding planner Kelsey annoyingly (and weirdly) narrates the story with text messages sent to her dead mom, because of course there’s a dead mom. And 2. Kelsey also falls in love with her cousin Emily’s ex-boyfriend, but said cousin is totes cool with it. Even after Emily’s (wait for it!) cheating unpleasant fiancé ruins her wedding day, and Kelsey and the ex-boyfriend GET MARRIED IN HER STEAD.
Dude, I would’ve burned that church to the ground.
7. 'Merry Kissmas'
Minus 20 points for the deeply unpleasant fiancé in this. I know holiday movies are chock full of unpleasant fiancés — you know, the oh-so-wrong S.O. that steps out of the picture no later than act two. However, the fiancé in Merry Kissmas (ugh) is uniquely appalling. With his shellacked facial hair and his unintelligible accent, you can’t wait for him to be kicked to the curb so the core couple can blandly fall in love. Minus another 30 points because I spent too much time trying to figure out if this story is in San Francisco or Palo Alto, neither of which is particularly Christmas-y.
8. 'Christmas with a View'
Confession: I have no idea what this movie is about. My roommate did a Merry Kissmas/Christmas with a View double feature and by hour four of our B-movie holiday I wanted to die.
Pictured above is the one sparkling gem in this garbage pile, unanimously declared the sexiest guy in this and all Christmas movies. His name is Clive, he’s a city planner, he says approximately six words the entire film and I want to marry him.
9. 'A Holiday Engagement'
I got 35 minutes into A Holiday Engagement before I fell asleep.
10. 'Spirit of Christmas'
This is Lifetime by way of Netflix, but we need to talk about this: The Spirit of Christmas is about a literal spirit of Christmas. That is, it focuses on Daniel, a 2018 Brooklyn bartender who is actually a ghost from the 1920s (which, in flashbacks, looks like it’s either the Victorian era or the 1950s)? The protagonist is sort of a stock auburn-haired career girl trying to sell the inn he’s haunting, I’m not going to Google her name but I CAN tell you that she passes up her big partnership in order to save her love interest's soul.
Sorry, this movie is just like...maybe bad-good on first watch, but mind-breaking the second time around. It’s really because whoever penned this has a Stephanie Meyeresque understanding of the supernatural. I’ve never met a ghost personally, but I’m pretty sure they’re not corporeal and can eat whenever the hell they want.
And when all curses are broken, will Daniel move on to the afterlife with his former fiancé and mother of his child? Or will he reject the threshold and shack it up with the woman he’s known for two weeks?
No spoilers, but either way: that’s not how ghosts work.
11. 'Christmas Switch'
It’s sort of amusing watching Vanessa Hudgens as Lady Chanel Tweed Suit channel Grace Kelly and trip over the word “schedule.” She really does the best she can with this material. Still, god bless you if you expect any twists from a movie that’s basically "The Prince and the Pauper, but make it festive!"