Dreaming of a Christmas movie that doesn’t adhere to the cookie-cutter formula of a white man and woman falling in love? As networks continue efforts to make their popular holiday films more inclusive, the request no longer hinges on a Christmas miracle.
Perhaps you’ve already devoured Netflix’s rom-com “Love Hard,” which cast Jimmy O. Yang (“Silicon Valley”) as its romantic lead. To that we say “Yippee-Ki-Yay,” and don’t you pout, let us tell you why: This season’s offerings include new films that will have viewers who crave more representative programming singing “Joy to the World!” (All times are EST/PST.)
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“Single All the Way” (Netflix):This storyline might ring (jingle) bells for the singles out there. In an effort to evade his family’s prying questions about his inadequate love life, Peter (Michael Urie) convinces his bestie to accompany him to his family’s celebration while pretending to be his boyfriend.
“The B—- Who Stole Christmas” (VH1, Dec. 5 at 6): RuPaul and drag queens assemble for what VH1 is calling “the draggiest Christmas movie ever made.” A fashion writer is assigned a story in a quaint town of Christmas zealots, only to find herself among “cutthroat housewives, a high-stakes ‘Winter Ball’ competition and a sinister plot that could destroy Christmas fore-evah!”
“The Christmas House 2: Deck Those Halls” (Hallmark, Dec. 18 at 8): In the follow-up to Hallmark’s first holiday film to include an LGBTQ couple in a major storyline, the Mitchell sons compete to see who can deliver the most festive home.
“Under the Christmas Tree” (Lifetime, Dec. 19 at 8): When a Christmas tree expert locates the ideal tree for the governor of Maine’s festivities, there’s only one problem: it’s in someone’s backyard. Once they move past this spat, the two leading ladies begin to fall for one another. Ricki Lake is also featured in the film.
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Non-Christmas holiday features
“Eight Gifts of Hanukkah” (Hallmark, Dec. 3 at 8): Can an optometrist spot the look of love? Mysterious gifts sent nightly during Hanukkah send a doctor on a hunt for her secret admirer.
“Hot Mess Holiday” (Comedy Central, Dec. 11 at 7): A Type-A woman in finance finds herself kicked to the curb by her unfaithful fiancé during the Diwali holidays. Her best friend comes to the rescue, but partying to get over a broken heart quickly becomes a dangerous escapade when they get their hands on a pricey diamond.
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“A Picture Perfect Holiday” (MyLifetime.com): When a fashion photographer (Tatyana Ali) travels to a small town for a workshop, she learns that her accommodations have been double-booked. Will a picture-perfect romance with the wildlife photographer develop?
“Merry Liddle Christmas Baby” (MyLifetime.com): Singer Kelly Rowland stars as an expectant first-time mother in the follow-up to “Merry Liddle Christmas” (2019) and “Merry Liddle Christmas Wedding” (2020).
“Miracle in Motor City” (MyLifetime.com): Amber (Tia Mowry) desperately needs Smokey Robinson to perform in her church’s Christmas pageant after promising he’ll attend.
“Kirk Franklin’s A Gospel Christmas” (Lifetime, Dec. 4 at 8): A woman is reassigned as head pastor at a new congregation just before the holidays. She overcomes her fears and obstacles and a new romance begins to bloom.
“My Favorite Christmas Melody” (Lifetime, Dec. 5 at 8): “My Love Is Like…Wo” singer Mýa plays an uninspired singer/songwriter recruited by a hometown high school teacher for his fight to keep the school’s art program.
“A Christmas Treasure” (Hallmark, Dec. 7 at midnight): Former American Idol Jordin Sparks portrays an aspiring writer who questions whether she should move to New York after finding a time capsule and crossing paths with a chef.
“A Holiday in Harlem” (Hallmark, Dec. 12 at 10): A woman steps up to the plate to co-chair her neighborhood’s annual Christmas event when her grandmother is injured.
“A Naija Christmas” (Netflix, Dec. 16): A mother promises the first of her three sons to wed first will receive the family home, which sends them on a mission to find women she would approve of before Christmas.
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Movies featuring Hispanic stars
“Holiday in Santa Fe” (Lifetime, Dec. 10 at 8): Mario Lopez stars as an employee of his family’s holiday decor business, which is eyed by an executive at a big greeting card corporation.
“1000 Miles from Christmas” (Netflix, Dec. 24): A man in his 30s lacks Christmas spirit. He’s sent to a Christmas-obsessed town where he meets a woman who’s dead set on changing his mind about the season.