I’ve been asked a couple of times over the last few weeks; “What’s your favourite Christmas film?” And my answer has always been the same: “Literally anything by Lifetime or the Hallmark channel.”
You can keep your Home Alones, your Jingle All The Ways, your Elfs, and even your Die Hards. Because it is festive, made-for-TV output which really captures the true spirit of the Christmas film. Each and every one of them has been practically reverse-engineered to give you a warm, fuzzy feeling, usually by throwing a now-adult teen star into a romantic mishap just before the holidays, and shooting it all in soft focus. The writing is average, the acting shaky, and the production values practically non-existent, but these films are like mince pies. You tell yourself “just one,” and then before you know it, you’ve devoured them all.
Not convinced? Here are the top contenders for the best worst Christmas movie of all time.
Married By Christmas
Carrie is a strong and independent career woman, who has dedicated her life to turning her family’s business into a conglomerate. But when her free spirit younger sister announces her engagement, a stipulation in her grandmother’s will threatens everything. It turns out, the first sister to get married will inherit the entire company, and will run it with her husband. Thus, Carrie embarks on a mad rush to find a suitable fiancé in the lead up to Christmas, all while battling her attraction to professional rival Dylan…
The Road To Christmas
Jennifer Grey, aka Baby from Dirty Dancing, is a successful fashion photographer with a handsome Italian fiancé. She is on her way to meet said fiancé in Aspen, when a freak snow storm (these things pop up a lot in Lifetime movies) grounds her plane and she is forced to hitch a ride with single dad Clark Gregg, aka Agent Coulson from the world of Marvel. Will his earthy charm wear down her uptight snobbery? Will she learn to loosen up and treasure each day? Will her immaculate white coat get covered in mud? We already know the answers to all of these questions, don’t we.
When a cocktail waitress becomes entangled in a criminal investigation, a hunky cop is assigned to protect her until she can testify. This means bringing the key witness home with him for the holidays, and introducing her to his family as his new girlfriend… Can love blossom in witness protection? You bet your sweet ass it can.
A Boyfriend For Christmas
Poor Holly has always been unlucky in love. Once, as a young girl, she asked Santa Clause to bring her a boyfriend for Christmas, and he never did. But flash forward to the present day, and what’s this? A handsome stranger arriving in Holly’s life at the start of the festive season? Could her Christmas wish finally be about to come true? (Hint: Totally.) If you find yourself wondering while watching this film why a grown-ass woman still believes in Father Christmas, you need to top up the mulled wine.
James Van Der Beek is a single dad struggling to raise his twin boys all by himself. In this corny-but-delightful twist on Mary Poppins, Doris Roberts, aka Mrs Merkle, aka Mrs Miracle, appears to take on the duties of housekeeper, nanny, and even Cupid, to teach Van Der Beek the true meaning of Christmas. This masterpiece embodies another made-for-TV movie trope; namely, that old people are magic.
And if that’s whet your appetite, then there’s plenty more where that came from. Why not spend the entire day on the sofa and binge 12 Dates of Christmas, The Christmas Consultant, Naughty or Nice, A Very Merry Mix Up, Trading Christmas, and of course, the inevitable Mrs Miracle sequels.