Overview of new Netflix holiday movies
By Sonam Kaloti, Arts Editor
If you’ve logged onto Netflix at all this holiday season, chances are you’ve been advertised a holiday movie at the forefront of the service, practically begging for you to watch it. There are so many holiday movies (and especially romcoms) out there that it gets difficult to pick which one to watch! It doesn’t help that most titles and posters are nearly identical (usually a stereotypical couple wearing red and green with a lit tree in the background and possibly a Golden Retriever). Luckily, I enjoy binging seasonal films almost as much as I enjoy binging Degrassi… almost.
The Holiday Calendar
Directed by Bradley Walsh, The Holiday Calendar is a cute love story following Abby Sutton (Kat Graham) after her grandfather gifts to her an antique advent calendar which used to be her late grandmother’s. Abby is an aspiring photographer in a dead-end job with a stilted love life. While she’s pushed to try romance with her long-time best friend Josh Barton (Quincy Brown) by her family, Abby pursues a very eligible bachelor named Ty Walker (Ethan Peck) instead. Abby quickly learns the advent calendar is more than she bargained for, since its daily toys predict what each day has in store for her.
The Holiday Calendar has a fresh and modern take on younger generations’ very confusing notions of love. The film also provides insight on the infamous “friend zone”—what it really means, and if it’s possible to escape it. I’d recommend this one if you like a feel-good romance flick.
The Princess Switch
The Princess Switch, directed by Mike Rohl, features a quaint baker from Chicago, Stacy De Novo (Vanessa Hudgens), who is invited to a royal baking competition with her baking partner and best friend Kevin (Nick Sagar). Upon arriving to Belgravia, Stacy runs into Duchess Margaret Delacourt (also played by Vanessa Hudgens). The duchess is arranged to marry the Prince of Belgravia (Sam Palladio), but all she really wants is to lead a normal life. In a grand scheme, the two girls switch lives and find themselves tangled in unrequited feelings, forbidden love, discovering purpose, and most of all, confronting themselves.
I enjoyed the fantasy layer to the plot, since it takes the child dream of growing up to be a princess and manufactures this dream into a not-completely-cheesy movie for young and mature audiences. The characters are all lovable and well developed (except for the prince who has minimal growth as a character but is “dashing” enough for that to be ignored). If you like romcoms, The Princess Switch fits the bill.
The Christmas Chronicles
Of these three new Netflix originals, The Christmas Chronicles directed by Clay Kaytis is my favourite. Little Kate Pierce (Darby Camp) is stuck at home on Christmas Eve with her estranged older brother Teddy (Judah Lewis), while their mother is called in for a night shift on their first Christmas after the loss of their father. While watching some old video tapes, Kate catches a glimpse of what appears to be Santa Claus in their house. Together, Kate and Teddy attempt to capture Santa. An unexpected grandiose adventure ensues when Kate and Teddy sneak onto Santa’s sleigh. Catching him off-guard whilst in the sky, Santa loses control of the sleigh and it crashes, threatening to ruin Christmas. Together, the three must save Christmas on the most exciting night of their lives.
Kate is innocent, but she is also extremely smart and headstrong. However, Teddy is a reckless teenager trying to cope with his current life by breaking laws and acting out. Balancing the siblings out, Santa is a witty, charming, naïve gentleman who lacks charm with local authorities but has enough charisma to put on a jazz performance with his cellmates.
I’d recommend The Christmas Chronicles to anyone who wants to brighten up their holiday spirit, since the movie is quirky, fun, and as warm as hot chocolate.