By Claire Mueller, Staff Writer
// It’s the perfect time of year to bundle up under a warm blanket, drink hot cocoa, and watch a seasonal movie with close friends and family. For those who own Netflix, the options are limitless; below are four Netflix movies, graded on a 1-5 ornament scale.
Mariah Carey’s Merriest Christmas (2015) — 2 ornaments
Netflix seems to have recorded this on their DVR, and just uploaded it straight from there. Having Mariah Carey host an entire segment about herself is an interesting idea, and she certainly ran with it. It features Mariah’s rendition of Christmas songs both old and new, and a subplot of Santa surprising Mariah’s younger backup dancers. Justifying the two ornament score, the plot is subpar, and Mariah’s performances randomly interrupt its progression. While the plot gets a little lost in between Mariah’s many performances of Christmas carols, and has little blank spots where commercials were, it’s a fine film to watch if you’re interested in how Mariah creates her own version of the songs. It even includes a reading of The Night Before Christmas, which younger viewers can enjoy.
The Christmas Prince (2017) — 3.5 ornaments
The film is Netflix’s attempt at re-creating every Hallmark Christmas movie, ever. Amber Moore (Rose McIver), a journalist desperate for a chance to prove herself, is sent to write an exposé on Aldovia’s playboy king-to-be, Richard (Ben Lamb), who is reluctant to take up his late father’s crown. In doing so, she pretends to be the new royal tutor for Aldovia’s young princess. The film is an assembly of clichés; there’s the poking fun at American media and its focus on celebrity tabloids, how each character somehow gets their happy ending, and the fact that Richard and Amber get engaged at the end—the all-too perfect rom-com. The setting is clearly based off of The Princess Diaries, set in the very similar, very fictional Genovia. Also coinciding with the Princess Diaries, Amber isn’t seen as a true “love interest” until she has a makeover by a professional makeup team (for all those who know the Princess Diaries makeover scene, it’s almost exactly the same). As a holiday movie, it’s best to see this if you’re in the mood for cringey, so-bad-it’s-actually-good movies without substantial plots.
How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000) — 4.5 ornaments
The Grinch is a classic anti-Christmas, anti-capitalist hero millennials and Gen. Z’ers love. The protagonist, the Grinch (Jim Carrey), is an outcast from the society of Whoville. Due to his disgust with Christmas’ values of consumerism, he is determined to ruin the holiday. The film’s comical plot conveys a much larger message: that we have let Christmas become purely about gifts and greed, not valuing the time we share with friends and family. While older viewers can recognize that motif, kids may choose to focus on the amusing ways of the Whos in Whoville. Nevertheless, it deserves a score of only 4.5 because the story, derived from the Dr. Seuss book, doesn’t fill up two hours by itself. Therefore, the writers are forced to come up with a backstory for the Grinch, which creates a lull in the middle of the film. However, with Carrey’s dry, sarcastic humor and the occasional breaking of the fourth wall, the movie differs from many of the generic holiday movies on Netflix. Combined with its appeal to the younger audiences, it’s easy for all ages to enjoy the movie.
White Christmas (1954) — 5 ornaments
The film follows Bob Wallace (Bing Crosby) and Phil Davis (Danny Kaye), two former World War II soldiers who have become big-shot showmen. After they meet Betty (Rosemary Clooney) and Judy (Vera-Ellen), a traveling pair of sisters, they all decide to travel to Pine Tree, Vermont to save their former general’s country lodge. Even though the movie is clear United States, World War II propaganda, it reveals the very real side of former army men who did not have stable jobs to fall back on. While the plot is somewhat predictable, the musical numbers are endearing. Crosby’s classic crooner “White Christmas” came from this film, and has withstood time ever since. Also, it shows the versatility of golden Hollywood actors. The film has everything that a classic Hollywood movie needs to succeed: physical comedy, beautiful vocals, and the impressive dance performances. For California kids who haven’t experienced a true white Christmas, it’s a perfect movie to celebrate the holiday season.
Whether you like musicals, comedies, Christmas rom-coms, or Mariah Carey, any of these films are perfect for immersing the soul in the holiday spirit. If none of these movies light up your inner Christmas tree, never fear. Netflix has many more options, and they’re available all year round. Happy holidays from Blueprint.