Almost all of the most popular Christmas movies are practically stuffed with the sort of festive magic that spreads joy and cheer far and wide, but sometimes, they also have some very problematic messages. Some Christmas films lack the depth necessary to convey any kind of festive message (looking at you, Office Christmas Party). But others – even the most popular ones – can inadvertently condone some pretty awful things.
While this isn’t necessarily an issue for the free thinkers in the audience, more impressionable viewers could be easily led astray by the messages these films send out. And, given that Christmas is predominantly a time for family, that proves particularly troublesome for the children watching these films. The films on this list are all family friendly, to varying degrees, and it’s entirely possible that they’ve warped the minds of your beloved little ones. It’s even possible that they’ve gotten to you, too – because, whether you realized it or not, these Christmas films all broadcast pretty bad messages.
9. The Holiday
The message: A change of scenery fixes everything
One of the most beloved Christmas rom-coms is also the least problematic film on this list. While its core characters are often cited as some of the sweetest and most lovable characters in romantic cinema, The Holiday isn’t entirely without its issues. That is to say, while its characters themselves generally seem to be morally sound human beings, the lesson it teaches its audience is potentially harmful.
When Iris (Kate Winslet), still hung up on her narcissist ex-boyfriend, discovers that he’s recently engaged, she decides to gets away for Christmas. Halfway across the world, Amanda (Cameron Diaz) finds herself in a similar situation – her boyfriend Ethan admits to cheating on her, prompting a messy breakup. The two women agree to swap homes for the Christmas period, desperate to get away from their own lives.
So far, so good – except the somewhat predictable result sees both women falling in love while staying in the each other’s homes. While The Holiday bucks the trend of most films of its type by condemning the more toxic relationship traits often forced upon us by Hollywood, it still reinforces the idea that running from our problems will see us stumble blindly upon the thing we were looking for all along. It makes for wholesome festive entertainment, but it’s hardly realistic – making its message gently problematic if not taken with a pinch of salt.