in recent years

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totally top five: holiday romcoms

Crystal and I have spent like, the last three holiday seasons, watching a whole bunch of those made-for-tv(ish) holiday romantic comedy/dramedy movies available on various streaming services because the holidays are a time for ignoring your problems and watching laughably bad movies made on shoestring budgets, so here are five of my favorites in no particular order!





The Spirit of Christmas mostly gets points because it has, by far, the best looking male lead in a sea of mediocre white guys. Also, he’s a ghost and kind of rude and stand-offish in a way that’s both infuriating and kind of hot. Jen Lilley is also enjoyable, even if her character is a little too tv Christmas movie trope-y for my extremely refined tastes. Their chemistry is good and the movement from antagonistic to romantic is extremely enjoyable. Also, this is the only movie on this list that I paid actual money to watch and I didn’t even feel ripped off!

A Snow Globe Christmas is great because they took Alicia Witt and let her be kind of caustic and then paired her with a cheerful, patient (and handsome!) Donald Faison and then actually let them kind of play and push at each other instead of just making them walk a standard romcom line. This one is kind of a weird ride though, let me tell you. And it’s one of the first that had an ending I couldn’t exactly predict!

Naughty & Nice or Christmas Mix (How much do I love that so many of these movies have multiple names? SO MUCH.) is one we put off watching for a long time because we’d been avoiding all the Haylie Duff movies (I have an aversion.) but had to finally give in because we were running out of other options. She is actually very charming here and Tilky Jones is probably the second handsomest mediocre white dude I’ve seen in these movies. Also, he used to be in a boy band. This one’s got good chemistry which helps tolerating the unnecessary complications of the third act easier. Also Marsha Brady’s a badass, mountain-y mom in this, which was a delightful surprise.

Married by Christmas or The Engagement Clause is our most recent watch and possibly my very favorite? Jes Macallan is great; pretty and pretty normal and super funny, especially while playing drunk, and Coby Ryan McLaughlin is handsome and extremely charming even while being a dick. This one was mildly frustrating because the lead is blamed for things she shouldn’t be, but it makes up for it by actually featuring a gay character (!! I still absolutely cannot believe Hallmark isn’t churning out at least one gay/lesbian version of these movies every year. Honestly. What a waste.) and also being intentionally funnier and missing the typical unnecessarily complicated third act! Also, shout out to the world’s ugliest wedding dress.

A Holiday Engagement has an okay-ish dude the the very charming Bonnie Somerville who is way better served by this script than she ever was on Friends and Jordan Bridges is pretty good-looking. (I know where my priorities are, thank you.) I loooooooooooove a good fake relationship story and this one is very dumb and very cute. The real winner in this though is the kooky family element and all of the Christmas-y fun that develops from it. Also, Shelley Long is a DELIGHT.


Honorable Mentions

How Sarah Got Her Wings | Window Wonderland | Christmas Crush or Holiday High School Reunion


If you need even more recommendations for holiday viewing this season, I also have a Totally Top 5: Christmas Movies edition. 🎄🎅🏿