For decades, holiday movies have reinforced the same romantic themes and themes that have become most important to the genre. Not to mention that the rudely placed mistletoe, accidental bumps, or secret royal families are in any way bad, but these stories also failed to spawn more diverse narratives about love — those that fall outside the white, heteronormative bubble that many viewers have recently realized are obsolete. and non-inclusive.
In recent years, and especially during the unprecedented period, which was 2020, holiday movie scripts have finally avoided these narrow and narrow guidelines to usher in a new era of inclusion in the genre.
“People see themselves in our program and feel welcome here,” Amy Winter, program manager for Lifetime and Lifetime Movie Network, told NPR recently. “During this premiere season, we have over 20 different leads and over 80 different characters. So we’re doing pretty well.”
These films, which feature blossoming love stories between color characters, LGBTQ + characters, and characters with physical disabilities, don’t just represent a shift in Hollywood; they provide a significant display to a wider circle of viewers, showing that love and holiday magic comes in all forms. Last month, Hallmark made his feature film debut in “Christmas House,” his first holiday film featuring a gay leading couple, and Lifetime invested husbands Ben Lewis and Blake Lee in real husbands to lead their debut LGBTQ + holiday role, “The Christmas.” Setup “.
“This is a big deal,” Joanna Wilson, author of several books on holiday entertainment, told The New York Times. “Queer people were bosses and associates and brothers and sisters of the main characters. Being central love is very exciting and it doesn’t come a moment too soon. “
Here are seven different holiday flicks worth checking out:
1. “New York Christmas Wedding”
Among the many LGBTQ + holiday movies released this year, we were especially pleased when it debuted Netflix’s “New York Christmas Wedding.” Starring actress Nia Fairweather, she stands out from the crowd as the only new holiday feature involving an ethnically diverse lead cast. On the eve of her wedding, Fairweather’s character is visited by an angel who shows her what her life might have looked like had she followed her romantic feelings for her childhood friend Gabrielle played by Adriana DeMeo.
2 “The happiest season”
This novel with “Kristen Stewart” and Mackenzie Davis broke Hulu streaming records after its Weekend premiere over the weekend, becoming the most-watched film on the streaming page over the weekend. In “The Happiest Season,” Stewart plays lesbian Abby, who heads to her girlfriend Riley’s family home for the holidays with the intention of proposing. In typical rom-com mode, not everything goes according to plan.
3 “Sugar and spice holidays”
“The Feast of Sugar and Spices” is the first holiday of a lifetime to feature the main cast of predominantly Asian Americans, and it’s about time. The film, experienced for life by Asian-American screenwriter Eirene Donohue, shows rising architect Suzy returning to her hometown for Christmas. Suzy is persuaded to return to her baking skills for a local gingerbread competition and ends up receiving help from her former high school crush.
The story is known for holiday movies, but scenes that involve the whole family eating chopsticks or seeing the main character abruptly respond, “I didn’t know if Christmas was a big deal where you come from,” give a nuance to the cultural presentation.
4. “Christmas Ever After”
To continue with the superlatives, Lifetime also released his first film starring an actress with a disability. In the novel “Christmas Ever After”, the romantic novelist Izzi travels to the family home for Christmas, where she accidentally meets a man who looks just like the man of his dreams on the covers of her books. The lead role of Izzy is played by Ali Stroker, who also broke through barriers last year after becoming the first wheelchair performer to win a Tony Award for her role in Broadway’s revival of “Oklahoma!”
Although a slightly older film, the romantic drama “Carol” released in 2015 still deserves to be on this list because of its more moody portrayal of the banned holiday romance LGBTQ +. In the film, the character Cate Blanchett Carol meets a younger woman and saleswoman Therese played by Rooney Mara. The passionate affair that begins between the two women brings to light the challenges that lesbians face during an era of prejudice and discrimination.
6. “Christmas house”
Hallmark’s first LGBTQ + holiday film, “Christmas House,” stars “Mean Girls” actor Jonathan Bennett and Brad Harder. The new film represents an important shift for Hallmark – a network that came under fire last holiday season due to the withdrawal of a series of Zola commercials featuring same-sex couples. Now he has finally released his first film featuring two homosexual males, with a family-centered story as the couple eagerly awaits an invitation to adopt their first child.
7. “Feliz NaviDAD”
Mario Lopez and Melissa Joan Hart team up for “Feliz NaviDAD,” one of the few holiday films in which the main character of Latinx appears. In the new Lifetime film, Lopez plays single father and high school principal David Morales, who gets a second chance at love when his daughter Noel signs him up for a socializing app.