For some people, the best thing to see on them Christmas days is a good old-fashioned Christmas movie. And who can blame them? Movies like It’s A Wonderful Life and television treats like the old Rankin/Bass stop-motion specials of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and Frosty the Snowman are like a warm cup of hot nostalgia chocolate.
But for others, the best thing to see during the holidays is a good ol’ Christmas rom-com. One of the pinnacle examples of the genre is the now-iconic Love, Actually — though it could be argued that it;s Hallmark and Netflix that are the dominant forces of the genre, churning out a veritable figgy pudding of “content’ designed for comfort.
Here are the very best of the worst Christmas romcoms you can stream right now, with maximum consideration given to top-notch C-list stars, contrived scenarios and fantastical, outlandish premises.
The Knight Before Christmas (Netflix)
67% Critic Score on Rotten Tomatoes
Sir Cole, a knight from the 14th century has been transported into present-day Ohio. There he befriends a kindly schoolteacher named Brooke. This fish out of water love story hits all the usual notes, but Brooke is played by Vanessa Hudgens, an expert of the genre. Hudgens also starred in The Princess Switch, a Christmas romance whose Metacritic score is too high to warrant including in this list.
Dear Christmas (Prime Video)
6/10 IMDb Score
Described by one critic as the cinematic equivalent of wet cardboard, Dear Christmas features some high quality C-tier talent in the form of Melissa Joan Hart (Sabrina the Teenage Witch) and Jason Priestley (Beverly Hills 90210). Hart earns an entire livelihood as the host of a successful romance podcast and meets a small town firefighter named Chris Massey. Yes.
Your Christmas or Mine (Prime Video)
57% Critic Score on Rotten Tomatoes
“Leave this one under the tree,” says Benjamin Lee of The Guardian. Asa Butterfield (Sex Education) and Cora Kirk work extra hard to wring as much as they can out of this very familiar comedy of errors in which two lovers decide to surprise each other at Christmas only to end up celebrating with each other’s families.
Last Christmas (Prime Video)
50% Critic Score on Metacritic
Named after the classic holiday breakup song, this romantic drama centers on the tumultuous struggles of an aspiring musician (Emilia Clarke) who meets a handsome and kind bicycle courier (Henry Golding) who teaches her to observe the magic in the world around her. What elevates the film from pure cheese is a heartbreaking plot twist that actually works.
Single All The Way (Netflix)
49% Critic Score on Metacritic
Social media strategist Peter gets dumped by his boyfriend, just when he was happy to finally have someone to take home for Christmas. Peter asks his best friend and roommate, Nick, to take up the boyfriend spot — if only to please his family during the holidays. It’s a charming friends-to-lovers story filled with some bright comedic supporting talent such as Jennifer Coolidge and Barry Bostwick.
44% Critic Score on Metacritic
Honestly, the lower we get on the critical score, the better these get. Holidate features Emma Roberts and Luke Bracey as two sarcastic singles who agree to be each other’s holiday plus ones in order to discourage their family from constantly prodding about their love lives. Of course, things don’t go according to plan and from St. Patrick’s Day to Christmas, the two develop feelings for each other.
Love Hard (Netflix)
42% Critic Score on Metacritic
When an L.A.-based writer (Nina Dobrev) thinks she’s found her soul mate on a dating app, she surprises him in person on the holidays, only to discover he’s a catfish (Jimmy O. Yang) To make up for the mistake, he introduces her to the man she thought he was but she soon realizes that it’s the connection they made that mattered and not the profile pic. Yang and Dobrev have surprising chemistry, making this outlandish premise feel natural.
Falling for Christmas (Netflix)
40% Critic Score on Metacritic
Sometimes bonkers is best. Lindsay Lohan returns in her first major production in over a decade as a spoiled hotel heiress who loses her memory after a ski accident. The owner of a small bed and breakfast winds up taking care of her. With an incredibly tropey premise as well as predictable life lessons for its main characters, Falling for Christmas benefits mostly from Lohan’s earnest comic timing.
Which of these so-bad-it’s-good Christmas movies are you adding to your holiday binge list?