Sat
Dec 12 2015 3:00pm

#12RomComsofXMas: A Holiday Binge-Watch List

The 12 Gifts of Christmas

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It’s that time of year again, Christmas time. That magical time of year when cable and network tv pumping out more holiday related programming than one can handle. Last year I found all the glorious ABCFamily Christmas romantic comedies Netflix had to offer. I highly recommend Christmas Cupid and 12 Dates of Christmas. After spending the last few months buried in superheroes—We get it, Hollywood. You’re never going to make romantic comedies, again—I am more than ready to dive back into the cheesy holiday, romancy goodness.

ABCFamily has stopped producing these gems, but luckily Hallmark, Lifetime, Ion and UP have picked up the slack. There are so many to chose from, by my preliminary count at least thirty-eight different holiday themed rom-coms are airing between now and December 31st. Here’s a short list of the movie I feel I cannot miss.

12 Gifts of Christmas

When Anna, an unemployed painter, is unable to make ends meet, she is hired to become a personal Christmas shopper for Marc, an uptight corporate exec. As they work together, Marc learns that Christmas giving has less to do with the amount of money spent and more to do with the importance of the gift, while Anna discovers she might find success as an artist in a way she never expected. Stars Katrina Law, Aaron O'Connell and Donna Mills.

I’ve loved Katrina Law since the first time I marathoned Spartacus and the guy in this movie has a jaw that could cut glass. Count me in.

A Christmas Kiss

Priscilla Hall is a tough woman to work for, but her long suffering assistant Wendy is convinced that someday all the hard work will pay off. Unfortunately, Wendy’s dreams of impressing her boss get complicated when she realizes that the mysterious man she kissed in a falling elevator is Priscilla's boyfriend.

More like Christmas Vengeance! Amirite!?

Dear Secret Santa

Dear Secret Santa

After breaking up with her boyfriend, Jennifer, moves back to the house she grew up in bringing back memories of her friend Jack, who used to live next door, but recently passed away. One day, Jennifer gets a Christmas card from a “Secret Admirer” in her mailbox and becomes curious as to who sent it. The admirer knows so many personal things about her that she decides to write back and is astonished when something they say reminds her of Jack. Is it possible that he is sending her the Christmas cards? Stars Tatyana Ali and Jordin Sparks

Frankly, I’m stuck at on the dead neighbor friend. This seems a little morbid for a Christmas romance, which means I have to see how they pull this off.

Joey Lawrence, Paula Shaw, and Emily Hampshire in Hitched for the Holidays

Hitched For The Holidays

When commitment-phobe Rob Marino (Joey Lawrence) breaks up with his girlfriend before Thanksgiving, he is criticized by his big Italian family about his inability to keep a relationship through the holidays. Wanting to prove them wrong and fulfill his dying grandmother’s (Paula Shaw) wish to see him happy in love, Rob goes online and finds Julie (Emily Hampshire), another single New Yorker who’s meddling Jewish mom (Marilu Henner), has driven her to seek a temporary boyfriend. Rob and Julie agree to pose as a couple through the holidays to get their families off their backs. But things get complicated when Rob’s Catholic clan and Julie’s Jewish family get involved. With Christmas coming and Hanukkah around the corner, they double their efforts to keep the charade going, only to discover their fake feelings may be a little too real.

Stars Joey Lawrence, Emily Hampshire & Marilu Henner.

FINALLY! An interfaith holiday romantic comedy that doesn’t star Seth Rogen.  Also… Joey Lawrence with his restored hairline. Yes, please.

A Boyfriend for Christmas/ A Prince for Christmas/A Bride for Christmas/A Princess for Christmas

A Princess for Christmas

These are five different movies, but they all promise that someone will be receiving a whole human being for Christmas. Color me intrigued.

Matchmaker Santa

As a little girl, Melanie Hogan (Lacey Chabert) wished to find her own prince charming just like her parents found true love. Now an adult, Melanie is running her own bakery and dating a handsome CEO, Justin (Thad Luckinbill). Although things seem perfect when Justin asks Melanie to spend the holidays together at his beautiful lake house upstate—and meet his mother. Melanie finds herself spending more time with Justin’s best friend and loyal assistant, Dean (Adam Mayfield), who just might be harboring a secret crush on her. When complications arise that throw Melanie and Dean together over the holiday, will the two realize they're meant to be? Stars Lacey Chabert, Florence Henderson, John Ratzenberger, Thad Luckinbill & Adam Mayfield.

Nothing says merry and brightlike a girl ditching her man on Christmas for his best friend. We all need a bit of cynical realism this holiday season, right? (Omg, but really this plot sounds amazing. I have to watch it.)

The Nine Lives of Christmas

Fireman Zachary Stone (Routh) is a confirmed bachelor who doesn’t believe in love or commitment. When a stray tabby cat named Ambrose shows up at his door, Zachary takes him in and slowly starts to see that a little companionship might not be so bad after all. Zachary’s commitment to solitude is further challenged when he meets Marilee (Sustad), an animal lover and veterinary student who teaches Zachary how to care for his new feline roommate. Chemistry immediately develops between the two, but will they find a way together despite themselves?

The only thing that would make this better if you replaced Brandon Routh with Tom Hardy and swapped out the cat for several dogs. You’d have to change the title, but whatever.

Brandon Routh in The Nine Lives of Christmas

Merry Kissmas

(Sponsored by Kay Jewelers. I’m on to you, Kay)

Unwinding her relationship from a controlling choreographer, Kayla happens to fall for a handsome man, Dustin, who she shares a magical kiss with on a chance elevator encounter. But, when the choreographer begins to make nice and Dustin is the one who makes some missteps, Kayla is torn on which man she really loves.

I’m watching this to find out if the choreographer has a name. Or is it koreographer?

I’m sure I’ll squeeze in at least five more of these movies before Christmas morning. Tweet me with #12RomComsOfXmas if you tune in! XOHOHOHO

***

#12RomComsofXmas: The Results Are In

Guys, I survived. It’s not even Christmas Day yet and I watched (or at least tried to) 16 romantic Christmas movies. I’m here now to report my findings to you. I have to say Christmas Cupidand Holiday in Handcuffsare still the frontrunner for my favorite holiday romances, but I have a few more gems to add to the list.

Please note that the asterisks next to the titles below mark the films that had nothing to do with Christmas, but were just set at Christmas time in order to take blatant advantage of the holiday season. For shame!

Must-Watch

Snow Bride: A reporter ends up stranded, while wedding her friend’s wedding dress, with the politically connected family she’s secretly researching for a gossip rag. Katrina Law (Arrow, Spartacus) has amazing comedic timing. She made the movie.

Hitched for the Holidays: Joey Lawrence is still hot and Emily Hampshire is adorable. This movie was funny, perfectly paced, and it was great to see a Jewish family celebrating Hanukkah in a holiday movie.

A Princess for Christmas:  Heroine and the miserable brats she takes care of joins royal in-laws in Britain for the holidays. The kids are truly awful, but this was a cute, fun movie. This also stars a young Sam Heughan so all you Jamie Fraser fans suffering through another Droughtlander, this is the flick for you. It’s on hulu, Amazon and OnDemand.

A Bride for Christmas*: A women ditches a third man at the altar and ends up in the crosshairs of a man who has been bet by his friends that he can’t get a complete stranger to marry him before Christmas. Oh man I wanted to hate this movie, but I just couldn’t. The timeline makes no damn sense and who in their right mind would take a new office space and a new wife as winnings in a bar bet???? But it was filled with heart and humor.

12 Gifts of Christmas:A little slow but SUPER CUTE!

Leave Wrapped

A Prince for Christmas: DNF’d after thirty minutes. This one had a super morbid subplot with dead parents and the Prince, in my opinion, was not all that attractive. That has to break some sort of prince rule.

Christmas Belle*: Nick Gonzalez and Haylie Duff take on a retelling of Beauty and The Beast. The had amazing chemistry and HO-boy this movie tried, but in the end it failed. I’ll blame what seemed to be the lack of a budget. The entire third act took place in real time, in the same location. Mess.

A Boyfriend for Christmas: DNF’d as soon as I remembered who Patrick Muldoon was. He’s aged like a tan leather satchel and I’m still angry at him for stealing Kelly from Zack.

The Nine Lives of Christmas*: Two people use their cats as an excuse to move in together. It had potential to be good, but it was kinda slow and little bleak thanks to Superman’s fear of commitment.

Christmas Under Wraps:Santa’s hometown needs a new doctor and that doctor is Candace Cameron. I wanted to like this movie, but it was a little slow and not a full romance. Candace Cameron actually spent most of the movie providing reliable health care to the townspeople aka elves. Her romance with Santa’s son was an afterthought.

The Christmas Gift: There’s a kid. He gives a girl a gift. Jump ahead twenty years, she uses him to get ahead at her job as a reporter. There was other stuff that I actually fast-forwarded through. The romance doesn’t start until minute 58. Meh.

Fir Crazy: The “villain” was played by Colin Mochrie from Whose Line.

Don't Open  Until Christmas

A Snow Globe Christmas: Not really a romance either and the heroine breaks Donald Faison’s heart. Unforgivable.

A Christmas Kiss*: DNF’d this one 30 minutes in. Bad cast + bad writing just doesn’t work for me. And they made a sequel, A Christmas Kiss II.

Merry Kissmas* (Present by Kay Jewelers):Heroine dumps fiance to get with new man, to then break up with new man to get back with fiance in what ultimately ends up being a 90 minute Kay Jewelers commercial. It ends with Hero proposing with a Leo Diamond from Kays, if you’re looking for something for that special someone.

Best Christmas Party Ever: Semi racist, ultra sexiest hero somehow makes the smart, successful, caring heroine fall for him because he apologizes every time he does something stupid. NOPE!

For a full recap of all my live-tweets, check the #12RomComsofXmas tag. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! 


Rebekah Weatherspoon was raised in Southern New Hampshire and now lives in Southern California with her favorite human and their two furry babies. She writes steamy multicultural contemporary and paranormal romance. You can find all of her titles at www.rebekahweatherspoon.com.

 

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2 comments
brontëgirl
1. brontëgirl
I've seen most of "Matchmaker Santa" and "Hitched for the Holidays." I ran across 'em while channel surfing. Both are cute movies.
brontëgirl
2. Chava
I've seen most of these plus a few dozen more. My all-time favorite is The Most Wonderful Time of the Year. The rare TV Christmas movie where production values, acting, directing, and writing are good enough that you can't tell it's a TV Christmas movie. Plus Henry Winkler.

Of the movies on this list, Nine Lives of Christmas is surprisingly well done. Worth a watch.

In this year's batch of Hallmark movies, the best I've seen is Angel of Christmas.
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