Entertainment Movies Festive films: All the merry movies about to sleigh the box office

Festive films: All the merry movies about to sleigh the box office

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‘Tis the season of staying home and streaming, and this year there are a host of Christmas movies out to scratch that festive itch.

Of course, the scratching may be well underway already, since a number of the season’s biggest films dropped early in November.

The trailer for Kristen Stewart and Mackenzie Davis’s new Christmas comedy, Happiest Season, dropped on Wednesday, and is already proving why it’s the hottest item on Santa’s 2020 list.

It follows Stewart and Davis as Abby and Harper, a young lesbian couple who find themselves in hot water when they return to see Harper’s conservative family for the holidays.

Things get complicated when Harper reveals she has not come out to her family, and introduces Abby as her straight, orphaned friend.

The film marks actor-turned-director (and power lesbian) Clea DuVall’s (Girl, Interrupted) second feature film, and fans are already thrilled at the all-star cast, which includes Schitt’s Creek mastermind and star Dan Levy and Parks and Recreation alumna Aubrey Plaza.

It also stars Alison Brie (Glow), Victor Garber (Legally Blonde, Titanic), Mary Steenburgen (Step Brothers) and Mary Holland (Greener Grass).

As cinemas across the country peep open (depending on which state you’re in), Australian fans can look forward to catching Happiest Season in theatres from November 26.

And while Happiest Season is one of few festive films to feature queer representation in the leading roles, it turns out it won’t be the only one.

The Christmas Setup 

If the thought of spending the holidays with your meddling mother-in-law sounds less than appealing, imagine if she was everyone’s favourite nasally queen, Fran Drescher.

Drescher – in a role she was born for – plays a busybody mother Kate, whose son Hugo returns home from his high-flying, New York lawyer lifestyle with a friend (Ellen Wong).

Kate is determined to test out her matchmaking skills and set her son up with his high school friend and secret crush, Patrick.

You would be forgiven for believing the on-screen chemistry between the two male leads, Ben Lewis (Arrow, The Handmaid’s Tale) and Blake Lee (Parks and Recreation) is a little too believable.

That’s because they’re a real-life, married couple – cue the swooning!

The Christmas Setup also marks Lifetime’s first holiday film featuring an LGBTQIA+ couple as central characters, and will drop on Lifetime on December 12.


December wouldn’t feel festive without a cheesy, predictable romantic comedy that you can put on after a long day of Christmas shopping and fighting over car spaces at your local shopping centre.

At least this one has some eye-candy you can drool over too.

Starring Emma Roberts and Australian hunk Luke Bracey, Holidate follows Sloane and Jackson, two singles who decide to join forces to tackle the dreaded holiday party season.

Acting as each other’s plus-ones to work and family events, the singles eventually develop feelings for one another and begin to question their arrangement.

Sure, the formula might be safe and familiar, but a feel-good film might be the perfect gift to ourselves after such a hellish year – and it’s already available on Netflix.

The ‘holidate’ concept is also not a bad idea for anyone braving the yuletide period alone, especially if you can snag a suitor that looks like Roberts or Bracey.

The Christmas Chronicles 2

Speaking of attractive leads, we can’t look past Hollywood’s hottest grandparents, Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell.

The seasonal sequel picks up a few years after the original and features a now-teenaged Kate Pierce as she is unexpectedly reunited with Santa and Mrs Claus.

Now a cynical teen, Kate and the gang must work together to save Christmas from a troublemaker who threatens to cancel the holiday forever.

While the feature reunites much of the original cast, Chris Columbus helms the sequel, taking over the director’s chair from Clay Kaytis.

Columbus, a kids movie veteran, has led some of the all-time greatest flicks, including Home Alone, Home Alone 2, The Goonies, Mrs Doubtfire and the first two Harry Potter films – needless to say, we are in good hands.

The Christmas Chronicles is already available on Netflix, and the highly anticipated second instalment drops on November 25.

Mariah Carey’s Magical Christmas Special

Many of us associate Christmas with Santa Claus, some celebrate St Nicholas, and few may even consider Jack Frost as a central figure of the festive season.

But all of these characters are outshined by the true queen of Christmas: Mariah Carey.

The familiar bell-based intro of her record-breaking 1994 hit All I Want For Christmas Is You isn’t the only gift Carey will be giving us this year.

While the rest of us have spent 2020 in forced hibernation, Carey has been busy delivering her best-selling memoir The Meaning of Mariah Carey, a new album titled The Rarities, and now a whole Apple TV Christmas special.

The special will drop some time over the next two months and is set to include a number of surprise guest appearances, music, dancing and animation in an event said to “enliven the Christmas spirit around the world”.

Because if anyone can save this dumpster fire of a year, it’s Carey.