Best cheesy Christmas movies - depicted by a clapperboard hovering over a vista of snowy trees

Best cheesy Christmas movies

I absolutely love snow. But here in the UK, we very rarely get a white Christmas. So to get me in the mood, I try to treat myself to the very best cheesy Christmas movies from the US.

In 2020, I completely overdosed on schmaltzy festive films to cheer myself up. I shared some of my mini-reviews with friends on Facebook. They now serve as A Note To Self as to what bears a re-watch. And what to avoid. I hope it helps you too!

But first…

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 5 Stars

Crown for Christmas

I’ve no idea how much they paid Rupert Penry-Jones (aka Captain Wentworth in Persuasion and the gorgeous Adam in Spooks) to turn up as a random royal, but it was worth every penny! A genuine Christmas surprise. Plus awesome snow, and a castle so…

Christmas At The Plaza

At The Plaza Hotel itself in New York, one of my favourite cities. With two delightful leads – one is a historian – and a rather lovely sub plot. Heaven. (If you want to see the hero in period costume and the concierge get a promotion, watch A Timeless Christmas.)

Sweet Mountain Christmas

With my favourite Marilyn Monroe from Smash, a handsome lead and some deft touches, this feels more like a ‘proper’ film. Also lovely setting of the Blue Smokey Mountains.

Christmas in Vienna

Snowy loveliness and a classic story.

Double Christmas

Ryan Reynoldsesque male lead and some pretty sparky dialogue. Was fun to see the Hannakah traditions too.

Christmas Scavenger Hunt

Every Christmassy activity you could wish for with Veronica Mars.

Good Morning Christmas!

Riley from Buffy as a charming Morning TV host.

Christmas By Starlight

Sandra Bullockesque lead and quite a funny script as far as Christmas movies go.

Poinsettias for Christmas

My childhood crush Beau from Dukes of Hazzard is now a farmer. Lead looks a bit like Christopher Reeve. And for once there’s no obvious solution to the inevitable crisis. Watch and learn a surprising amount about poinsettia farming.

Christmas poinsettia
More stressful than you’d think!

⭐⭐⭐⭐ 4 Stars

A Christmas Prince

Rather tacky decorations for a royal family. But gets extra points for snow, archery, horse riding and a wolf.

Christmas Under the Stars

With ‘what ever happened to?’ Desperate Housewives‘ hunky Jess Metcalfe.

Midnight at the Magnolia

I can’t resist a friends-to-lovers trope with some peppy dialogue. The whole jazz club sub-plot seemed a bit of a misfire. But loved the main pair.

A Timeless Christmas

Quite a charming time travel tale.

Christmas Made To Order

The lead guy looks a bit like Karl Urban. Very cosy.

Romance At Reindeer Lodge

Amusing set-up even if it veers a bit off track later on.

Christmas in Montana

Proper snow and a rugged rancher turned lawyer turned rancher again.

Holiday Date

A hint of Meet The Parents so more comedic than most. A bit silly but sweet too.

Christmas tree in deep snow
What do we want? Snow!

⭐⭐⭐ 3 Stars

Mistletoe Christmas

Not the best chemistry but the male lead is easy on the eye. Weirdly devoid of people – did they use all the extras budget on fake Christmas trees?

Chateau Christmas

Not much chemistry, but Scott from Brothers and Sisters is always a delight. Also liked the classical music twist.

Merry and Bright

Marisa Tomeiesque female lead and a male lead who reminded me so much of a young evil Sean in The Good Place / Kevin in Brooklyn 99 that it was very distracting. Also give her the damn dog already, stupid mom subplot.

One Royal Holiday

I preferred the bodyguard over the prince, so this was miscast for me.

Very Merry Toy Shop

It may only be a supporting role, but Anthony from Sex And The City as a small town Mayor is a joy to behold.

Christmas Town

The male romantic lead wasn’t for me. But it’s all very seasonal and agreeable. Certainly wins the best tree lighting ceremony.

My Christmas Inn

The Christmas Inn is inherited from a random aunt. In Alaska. As you do. Great scenery but the female lead needed to put more ‘oompf’ into it.

The Spruces And The Pines

Romeo and Juliet on a tree farm. It passes the time, and it’s fab to hear a Texan accent in New Hampshire, but where’s the snow?

Another Christmas Coincidence

Bit of a blub fest given the diagnosis of a serious illness half way through. But ultimately uplifting and based on a true story.

USS Christmas ‍

If Top Gun/Under Siege did Christmas movies. Felt they woefully under-used the potential of a warship as a setting.

A Family Christmas Gift

I would definitely stay at that hotel. Novel music magazine angle.

A Nashville Christmas

Christmas Carol twist. The Spirits steal the show.

Return to Christmas Creek

Well it’s the first one with a sea plane! The family feud didn’t really make sense, and the rather modern Kallax unit from Ikea undermined the whole ‘we haven’t remodelled in 20 years’ vibe. But inoffensive enough.

⭐⭐ 2 Stars

Meet Me At Christmas

Hmpf. Just tell her why you stood her up 20 years ago. Soooo annoying.

A Christmas Movie Christmas

This could have been like Isn’t It Romantic? But after a strong start, it peters out. Pretty cheap production values too. Like someone was scurrying around re-distributing the fake snow as the cameras rolled.

Christmas gingerbread house with white frosting. Yum.
Is it even a Christmas movie without one of these?

⭐ 1 Star

A Gingerbread Romance

Oh for Rudolf’s sake, the Inn inheritor has been cast again?! I stayed around for the full size gingerbread houses but turns out they’re just piped cardboard.

A Christmas Exchange aka Christmas in London

A TERRIBLE interpretation of The Holiday with awful British accents and all filmed in Canada with some pathetic Photoshopping. It gets one star because the reference to a romance novel called “The Library In Leeds” made me giggle. Also hands-down the worst treelighting ever.

The Christmas Cottage

Talk about paint by numbers! In fact, it may have been preferable to watch some paint dry. Forgettable.

It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas

When Battlestar Galactica‘s evil Number Six is the town mayor, frankly you hope for more. Yawn fest and a waste of a fabulous actor.

Matchmaker Christmas

Set in some completely distorted world of publishing with a very grumpy leading lady. A terrible take on Persuasion.

Christmas Everlasting

So sad. Starting with a funeral? No fair Hallmark. Not even 24’s President Palmer could induce me to keep watching.

Disclaimer: ‘best cheesy Christmas movies’

This is a list of my worst and best cheesy Christmas movies. Not ‘proper’ romantic comedies set at Christmas. For that, my all-time vote has to be While You Were Sleeping. The ‘leaning’ scene is perfection. Exhibit A:

About the author/sofa sloth

H.J. Reynolds has written an historical action adventure about Royalist spies in Oliver Cromwell’s England. Can fledgling agent Lady Audette Miles stop a traitor who could bring down the cause of the exiled King, and her own fragile hopes, forever?

She is now seeking a literary agent. Contact her at helen[at]

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