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I Watched and Rated 12 Cheesy Christmas Movies So You Don’t Have To

Welcome to the twenty-second day of Blogmas with Sara Laughed, where I’m blogging every day ’til Christmas Day. Head over to my Blogmas calendar to see the full collection, or click on the gift tag below!

‘Twas the month before Christmas,

and thanks to Netflix,

I watched 12 Jollywood movies to get my holiday fix.

This Thanksgiving, I had a totally brilliant idea.

“Ken,” I said over dinner. “I have a totally brilliant idea.”

Him: “Oh no.”

Me: “Hear me out! I think we should watch 12 cheesy Christmas movies this holiday season, in twelve days.”

Him: “This sounds like a totally terrible idea.”

Me: “That’s what you said about my Starbucks post, and that ended up being amazing.”

Him: “Okay, good point.”

Ken agreed to watch the movies with me, though he did manage to talk me out of watching all twelve of them in twelve days: instead, we’d spread them out over the month. In retribution, I photoshopped us into a Hallmark-style movie poster for the event.

Before watching the movies, I wanted to lay some ground rules. I was going to make a list of cheesy Christmas movie clichés, and a movie got one point for each cliché it met. I would also give each one a rating for how much it captured the spirit of Christmas, and how much it captured the spirit of cheesy romantic comedies. At the end, the most cliché movie that scored highest in both categories would be crowned the winner of our Jollywood Film Festival.

The Christmas Movie Cliché Masterlist

Each movie was awarded one point for the following clichés.

  1. A dead parent or grandparent, whose spirit presides over Christmas this year
  2. Someone has a Christmas themed name like Noelle, Holly, Joy, Chris, Gabriel
  3. Two people who definitely don’t like each other but have obvious chemistry accidentally end up on a winter-themed date
  4. A big city career woman goes to small town to find the true meaning of Christmas and forget about her professional ambitions
  5. It snows on Christmas!
  6. A main female character is a florist, photographer, or other quirky acceptable female movie job
  7. The love interest is a single dad with an oddly insightful child
  8. Someone is secretly royal and the main character is upset when they find out
  9. Someone is not-secretly royal and it complicates a meant-to-be pairing
  10. Two characters have serious relationship issues, but solve them with a romantic kiss and no discussion
  11. A snowy sleigh ride
  12. A proposal occurs with no build-up, way too early in the relationship
  13. Someone mentions the troops
  14. Someone is happily engaged to a person who is clearly wrong for them
  15. Someone pretends to be engaged to someone who is clearly right for them
  16. Someone says the word “miracle”
  17. Christmas carolers appear and it makes the moment magical, or someone breaks out into a carol
  18. An almost-kiss occurs
  19. The love interest is volunteering or helping others at Christmastime to show the protagonist that their heart is pure
  20. A shot of the North Star flashes in the sky
  21. Someone says Merry Christmas (one point is awarded each time this is said)
  22. Impromptu snowball fight
  23. There’s a Christmas deadline
  24. The fortune cookie dad says something seemingly wise
  25. Someone turns out to secretly either be Santa or God

If you want to play along for your next holiday movie, here’s the official bingo card.

Cheesy Christmas Movie Bingo — Sara Laughed

Crown For Christmas

Plot: A New York maid/artist is flown to a small European country to become the nanny of a spoiled little girl. Surprise! The girl is actually the princess of the country, and both she and her dad (a brooding widower king who is engaged to a terrible socialite) need an American to teach them the ways of Christmas and emotional warmth.

Cliché Points: 17

The Christmas Misunderstanding: Who stole the royal engagement ring?

The Christmas Deadline: The announcement of the royal engagement

Movie Highlights:

  • A total of four mentioned dead parents whose spirit presides over Christmas today
  • Putting the king’s crown on top of the Christmas tree
  • The pun “you are [the king’s] crowning achievement”

How much does it capture the spirit of Christmas? 7/10

How much does it capture the spirit of cheesy romantic comedies? 9/10

Total Score: 33

The Christmas Prince

Plot: A New York tabloid journalist flies to a small European country and accidentally becomes the nanny to the princess (sound familiar…?). She falls in love with the king-to-be but discovers some royal secrets that may cause the collapse of her budding love story and/or the nation of Aldovia.

Cliché Points: 18

The Christmas Misunderstanding: Was the journalist spying on the prince, or genuinely falling for him? (Ot was both)

The Christmas Deadline: The coronation

How much does it capture the spirit of Christmas? 4/10

How much does it capture the spirit of cheesy romantic comedies? 4/10

Total Score: 26

Broadcasting Christmas

Plot: Two news anchors who used to be in love end up competing for the same daytime television job. They have to one-up each other’s cheesy news stories in order to get the job by Christmas, but instead end up using the job as a way to sort through their emotional issues. Also, there’s a 100-year-old molding fruitcake that everyone is very excited about.

Cliché Points: 10

The Christmas Misunderstanding: Did one journalist intentionally use nepotism to screw the other over decades before?

The Christmas Deadline: The announcement of who got the job

How much does it capture the spirit of Christmas? 4/10

How much does it capture the spirit of cheesy romantic comedies? 6/10

Total Score: 20

A Christmas to Remember

Plot: This movie is the literal emobodiment of the “big city career woman goes to small town to forget her career ambitions and discover the true meaning of Christmas” cliché. New York boss lady who hates Christmas ever since her Christmas-loving mom died, flies to Colorado for a holiday spa vacation but instead gets amnesia and ends up finding love and the meaning of Christmas all while forgetting her own name.

Cliché Points: 13

The Christmas Misunderstanding: Who is the main character?

The Christmas Deadline: Finding out who she is before she needs to be back in New York with her terrible fiancé.

Movie Highlights:

  • “But was it special enough for Christmas?”
  • “I would never make you eat tofu.”
  • “I just fell out of the sky like some crazy snowflake with no memory.”

How much does it capture the spirit of Christmas? 8/10

How much does it capture the spirit of cheesy romantic comedies? 6/10

Total Score: 27

Christmas Cookies

Plot: A big-city career lady has to go to the small town of Cookie Jar (yes, really) to acquire its famous cookie factory for her company. Instead, she falls in love with the factory’s owner and re-discovers the joys of Christmas and carbs.

Cliché Points: 1o

The Christmas Misunderstanding: Is the main character actually in love with the owner, or just trying to sell out the factory?

The Christmas Deadline: She has to acquire the factory and be home by Christmas, or else her terrible fiancé will dump her!

Movie Highlights:

  • “Sir, I’m not a fan of Christmas, don’t worry.”
  • “Christmas is what you make it… or bake it.”

How much does it capture the spirit of Christmas? 10/10, the literal spirit of Christmas

How much does it capture the spirit of cheesy romantic comedies? 7/10

Total Score: 27

A Christmas Wish

Plot: A Christmas-obsessed advertising lady from New York has trouble standing up for herself, and wishes that Santa can make her speak her mind. She learns how to, and then uses her bravery to solve everyone’s problems and also fall in love (surprise!).

Cliché Points: 7

The Christmas Misunderstanding: Why was the main character so rude to the CEO of the company?

The Christmas Deadline: They have to sell their advertising plan by Christmas!

Movie Highlights:

  • “Christmas is not happening, I’m sorry.”

How much does it capture the spirit of Christmas? 7/10

How much does it capture the spirit of cheesy romantic comedies? 9/10

Total Score: 23

A December Bride

Plot: Last year, this main character’s fiancé ran off with her cousin and now they’re getting married. To make it through the wedding, the main character pretends to be engaged to her friend, and they plan to break it off after Christmas — but fall in love instead! (Surprise!)

Cliché Points: 9

The Christmas Misunderstanding: Are they not engaged and not in love, or not engaged but secretly in love with each other?

The Christmas Deadline: They have to pretend that they’re together until Christmas!

Movie Highlights:

  • “Christmas is not happening, I’m sorry.”

How much does it capture the spirit of Christmas? 7/10

How much does it capture the spirit of cheesy romantic comedies? 8/10

Total Score: 24

A Christmas Detour

Plot: A terrible career lady who the audience is supposed to like needs to make it to her terrible fiancé’s house by Christmas to meet his parents. Instead, she gets stuck in a snowstorm with a snarky guy who she ends up falling for.

Cliché Points: 12

The Christmas Misunderstanding: Is the terrible protagonist in love with her fiancé, or her snarky snowstorm buddy?

The Christmas Deadline: They have to get to the fiancé in time for Christmas!

Movie Highlights:

  • There were none. This movie was terrible.

How much does it capture the spirit of Christmas? 3/10

How much does it capture the spirit of cheesy romantic comedies? 2/10

Total Score: 17

The Christmas Calendar

Plot: former New York career lady has moved to her late grandmother’s hometown to become a baker. A few weeks before Christmas, she receives a “Christmas calendar” (read: Advent calendar) full of cryptic and adorable holiday riddles, and needs to know who it’s from. Could it be her rival baker?

Cliché Points: 7

The Christmas Misunderstanding: Who stole the edible gold leaf?? (Yes, really)

The Christmas Deadline: They have to find out who sent the calendar by Christmas!

How much does it capture the spirit of Christmas? 7/10

How much does it capture the spirit of cheesy romantic comedies? 8/10

Total Score: 22

Every Christmas Has a Story

Plot: A TV news anchor admits she hates Christmas and is then sent to a small “Christmas town” in North Dakota to rediscover the spirit of the holidays. She does, and also uncovers a holiday mystery.

Cliché Points: 7

The Christmas Misunderstanding: Why isn’t the annual Christmas tree being delivered anymore?

The Christmas Deadline: They have to solve the Christmas tree mystery (mystertree?) by Christmas!

How much does it capture the spirit of Christmas? 7/10

How much does it capture the spirit of cheesy romantic comedies? 6/10

Total Score: 20

I’ll Be Home For Christmas

Plot: A woman hates Christmas, and also her dad. Her dad comes back and tries to save Christmas. It works.

Cliché Points: 9

The Christmas Misunderstanding: Why wasn’t her dad there for her all those Christmases ago?

The Christmas Deadline: They have to save Christmas by Christmas!

How much does it capture the spirit of Christmas? 4/10

How much does it capture the spirit of cheesy romantic comedies? 2/10

Total Score: 15

The Christmas Inheritance

Plot: A snobby socialite needs to go to the town where her family’s company was founded to learn about why small towns are important, or something. Instead she falls in love (surprise!) and breaks it off with her terrible fiancé.

Cliché Points: 5

The Christmas Misunderstanding: Why did she lie about her identity?

The Christmas Deadline: They has to deliver her dad’s Christmas letters to the town by Christmas!

How much does it capture the spirit of Christmas? 7/10

How much does it capture the spirit of cheesy romantic comedies? 7/10

Total Score: 21

The Results:

With all twelve of our Christmas movies tallied, it seems that the first really is the best — Crown for Christmas wins this year’s Jollywood Film Festival! Either that, or I gradually became less charitable to this genre over time. I guess we’ll find out next Christmas.

Sara Laughed

I'm Sara, a blogger, aspiring programmer, and American abroad. I live in the Netherlands my boyfriend and our 11 plants, and in this space blog about my life, discoveries, and mistakes. Follow along here or on social media!

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