10 CHRISTMAS MOVIES FEMINISTS CAN ENJOY
When I think about Christmas movies I picture a lonely woman moving to a new town and finding love in the backdrop of a white Christmas and festive music playing. While this is charming and romantic, It is bit anti-feminist and female empowerment because these storylines only paint one in a particular way and have their happiness and fulfilment revolve around having a romantic partner.
Here are ten Christmas movies that are female centered and empowering:
1. Last holiday (2006)
This movie is a favorite for me because one of my favorite black actresses, Queen Latifah plays the protagonist, Georgia, a department-store employee who learns that she has a terminal condition that will likely kill her in a few short weeks. The shocking diagnosis prompts Georgia to change her drab life: She travels to a luxurious resort in Europe, eats amazing food, and has the adventure of a lifetime. Queen Latifah hilariously brings this comedy to life with her usual charm.
For those people who love movies set in certain timelines you’d definitely love this one. Based in 1950s Manhattan, the film begins as Carol (Cate Blanchett) enters the department store where young TheRooney(Roony Mara) works and immediately catches her eye. With Sarah Paulson portraying Abby, Carol’s closest friend, Carol offers the rare star-studded cast in a well-crafted lesbian love story. It’s sad, it’s gorgeous, and it’s perfect for a long night of drinking hot chocolate and probably crying.
3. A Bad Mom’s Christmas(2017)
I love bad mom’s and this sequel to the the feminist comedy, A Bad Moms Christmas follows messy, complicated mothers Amy (Mila Kunis), Kiki (Kristen Bell), and Carla (Kathryn Hahn), who spent the first film bonding about how hard it is to be a good mom. Now, the holidays have arrived, and things have gotten even harder as their own moms appear. Christine Baranski, Cheryl Hines, and Susan Sarandon could not be more fantastic, and the film is a hilarious, foul-mouthed break from the usual clean-and-tidy holiday slate.
4. A Black Christmas (2019)
Have you ever watched a holiday movie and said, Wow, I wish this were a slasher film? If so, Sophia Takal’s 2019 remake of the 1974 original is for you. Takal wanted the remake to be “fiercely feminist,” and the film, set largely within Greek life, runs full speed into feminist issues like sexual violence and toxic masculinity. A group of sorority sisters—Riley (Imogen Poots), Kris (Aleyse Shannon), Marty (Lily Donoghue), and Jesse (Brittany O’Grady)—are being stalked by masked frat boys. Violence ensues, which might be difficult to watch for people, myself included, who can’t handle blood and gore. While the film has room for improvement, it gets points for reckoning with the misogyny built into fraternity life and the way that campus leaders allow that entanglement to fester.
5. The Christmas House
If “gay holiday movie” and “Hallmark” were in the same sentence in 2010, you probably wouldn’t have believed me. But we’ve finally arrived. Brandon Mitchell (Jonathan Bennett), and his husband, Jake (Brad Harder), are heading home for the holidays, but it’s already a stressful visit: They’re hopeful and anxious that the next phone that rings will come with an answer about the pending adoption of their first child.
6. First Christmas(2020)
Halle Downing (Idara Victor) was placed in foster care as a child, so she’s surprised when her biological family invites her to their New Orleans home for Christmas. The longer she spends with them, the more she learns about the ins and outs of her relatives, and over the course of the film, she learns lessons about the importance of family, trust, and love. I was excited to see that First Christmas includes a queer storyline and I hope that this film provides a sense of familial love this holiday season.
7. Mrs Santa Claus(1996)
Angela Lansbury stars as Mrs. Santa Claus in a film just as delightful as the first few words of this sentence make it sound. She even sings her own anthem that includes the lyrics: “The moment has come to beat my own drum, because I want the world to know there’s a Mrs. Santa Claus.” She’s driving the sleigh this time.
8. Bridget Jones Diary (2001)
At first glance, this movie seems like the opposite of female empowerment. Bridget, played by Renée Zellweger, is completely obsessed with losing weight and her attractive boss, played by Hugh Grant. But any true fan might suggest that all of that is a guise to get us to look deeper at Bridget, who’s whip-smart, a good journalist and clearly doesn’t need any man (even if one of their names is, as it happens, Mr. Darcy). Mark Darcy’s reindeer “jumper” alone makes this a holiday movie. Case closed.
9. Happiest Season (2020)
It takes a while to see the strong side of the women in this film. But when it does happen, it’s electric. And unforgettable. This hilarious, yet touching, film about a lesbian couple who hit a rough patch is a can’t-miss.
10. Godmothered (2020)
Disney Plus made an effort again to squash holiday movie tropes with Godmother. It starts out fairytale-esque, but veers off-course. By the end, the aspiring fairy Godmother at the center of this story realizes that a happily ever after doesn’t have to involve romance. Finding self-love and rediscovering your love for your job, life or familiar is just as valuable.