Christmas Rom-Coms: Netflix    December 2021

There’s a comfort for me with these movies – no big surprises or plot twists. I know what’s going to happen and it’s always a happy ending. It is why I watch Hallmark movies during the year. I generally avoid the Hallmark Christmas movies because too often they try to shoehorn Christmas into the plot.

I tried watching A Christmas Prince and could only get about a quarter through it. It’s supposed to be like a Hallmark movie but it’s even worse. Of course, you can see what’s going to happen a mile away – that’s the point of the Hallmark movies. But this one seems to lack a sort of heart or warmth that a real Hallmark movie has. And there are two sequels and I didn’t want to feel forced to watch them if I finished the first.

I finally watched A Castle for Christmas and loved it as I knew I would. I especially love when the couple are close to my age. Very Hallmark-like. Stars Brooke Shields and Cary Elwes. My question was – why did they introduce the Italian couple? I thought they would work into the movie somehow but they never came up again. I kept waiting for them to show up to try to ruin the romance somehow. A friend Googled and came up with the answer.

I watched Single All the Way starring Michael Urie and Philemon Chambers with Kathy Najimy and Barry Bostwick as Urie’s parents. The big surprise was Luke Macfarlane playing the other love interest for Urie – Macfarlane plays the romantic lead in a lot of Hallmark movies, so his presence was a nod to those movies. The script is as cheesy as you’d expect but with good actors like Najimy and Bostwick, the dialogue sounds natural coming out of their mouths. Unfortunately, Jennifer Coolidge is in the movie. I fucking hate her. Whether it’s her or the directors, she’s always Acting with a capital A and she sucks. She brings down every scene she’s in as far as I’m concerned. I don’t know why anyone hires her. But I enjoyed the movie, even though it was a plot done a million times with the only twist being that the couple is gay. (Najimy’s husband Dan Finnerty has a wonderful cameo in the film.)

Love Hard stars Nina Dobrev as a writer looking for love, who is catfished. Again, the predictability is the attraction to the movie itself but you cannot help but shake your head when it comes to her total lack of self-awareness.  

By Carene Lydia Lopez