Last year was a banger year for Netflix Christmas movies. The streaming service gave us a third Princess Switch movie starring Vanessa Hudgens as three different Vanessa Hudgenses, as well as plenty of festive rom-coms featuring Brooke Shields, Jennifer Coolidge, and Kathy Najimy. The year before that, we got a surprisingly charming Emma Roberts vehicle featuring Kristin Chenoweth, a Dolly Parton thing, the second Princess Switch movie, and a children’s film where Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn play Santa and Mrs. Claus. I have come to depend on Netflix for my December Saturday daytime content, and until this year I have not been disappointed. But what’s on the schedule for 2022?
A WHOLE LOT OF NOTHING.
There is no film starring Vanessa Hudgens, let alone multiple Vanessa Hudgenses. There are no middle-aged dames running away to Scottish castles or playing loving mothers to their gay millennial sons. Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn are hiding out in Aspen somewhere, screening Ted Sarandos’s calls. Why is the schedule so thin this year?
There are only three original Christmas romantic films this season, and each one is more disappointing than the last. I’m afraid Netflix spent their whole budget promoting Lindsay Lohan’s comeback and forgot to make other movies. Here’s what we have to work with this year:
The Noel Diary
This one should have a lot going for it: It’s directed by Nancy Meyers’s ex-husband Charles Shyer, it stars the hot actor brother from This Is Us, and it’s based on a book instead of a script written entirely by AI. Unfortunately, it is sooo long and boring. The hot actor brother plays a hot bestselling novelist, and there is literally a scene where his romantic interest sits and reads his book, silently, for several minutes. On the plus side, The Noel Diary takes up the same amount of time as two regularly paced Netflix Christmas movies, so you can drag it out over two afternoons if necessary.
Christmas With You
This one stars Freddie Prinze Jr. as a single-dad teacher who forms an improbable relationship with a world-famous pop star thanks to the meddling of his young daughter. Sadly, this is basically the same plot as Marry Me, the J.Lo rom-com that came out on Valentine’s Day this year. I recommend watching Marry Me.
Falling for Christmas
While I love and support Lindsay Lohan trying to work again, this is not a great Christmas movie. It also features a single dad with a precocious young daughter, and this time, he’s running a struggling B&B in Aspen. Lohan plays a Hilton-style hotel heiress who gets amnesia after falling off a ski slope. The dad, played by Chord Overstreet, ultimately rescues her, and they fall in love. Great, fine — we needed six more of these to pad out the season, however.
That’s it. Netflix better re-up Hudgens’s contract for 2023. Or better yet: Call Hilary Duff.