Lifestyle & Culture

Summer Lovin’: Christmas Rom-Coms

Say goodbye to your typical snow filled Christmas romance flicks and say hello to real summer lovin’ as Keighley Bradford brings you some Christmas romance enjoyment for 2020.

If you know me, then you know I am a Hallmark movie queen. There’s nothing I love more than kicking back after a stressful day of work or study then by putting on a classic rom-com, and at this time of year, a holiday-themed romance is the perfect evening flick to chill out to with the air-con blaring to keep you cool.

However, scrolling through Netflix, you’ll probably notice many holiday rom-com features are heavily focused in a setting involving snow. And while that’s all well and good, it’s just a tad unrealistic for those of us down under who celebrate Christmas typically in sweltering heat.

Thankfully, 2020 is a wave of fresh hot rom-com content, with films deriving from the norm and embracing the warmer side of the festive season!

A California Christmas (2020) | Netflix

The newest release on Netflix, this Christmas rom-com is set in northern hemisphere where the sun always shines – sweet, beautiful California. Conforming to your typical rom-com ‘Hallmark’ narrative, this film features Hollywood couple Lauren and Josh Swickard, who also star together (and met each other on set) in a non-Christmas-related flick called Roped (2020). This film was written and produced by Lauren during the pandemic-shutdown, with Lauren noting in an interview with NBCLA that ‘A California Christmas’ (2020) was also one of the first movies produced in the ‘post’-pandemic restart of Hollywood filmmaking.

The film itself follows Joseph (Josh), who, after being threatened of losing his carefree lifestyle, heads to the West Coast to convince Callie (Lauren) to sell her family’s land to his mother’s business before Christmas arrives. Only this timing has the family thinking he’s the new farmhand, and he doesn’t disagree, taking on the identify of ‘Manny’ in order to get closer to Callie and learn what makes her tick in order to seal the deal on the sale. However, things don’t exactly go to plan.

As a Christmas romance, you know what you’re in for with this film, as clichés and tropes are key to the genre. However, despite this, the film maintains some originality in regard to certain aspects of the narrative arc, with this being most notable in the way it embraces the narrative journeys of secondary characters, such as with Callie’s mother, Wendy (played by Amanda Detmer). Additionally, there is some real character growth and development within this feature which adds depth to the storyline.

Overall, ‘A California Christmas’ is a great flick, so you should most definitely add to your Christmas watchlist.

Operation Christmas Drop (2020) | Netflix

A Netflix Original, this Christmas rom-com takes place on the island of Guam at the US Anderson Air Force Base. It follows congressional aide Erica (played by the Vampire Diaries’ Kat Graham), who leaves frosty Washington DC a week before Christmas at the bequest of her boss, who wants Erica to find a fault with the tropical military base in order to shut it down. Her escort around the base and island is Captain Andrew “Claws” Jantz (played by Alexander Ludwig), who, unbeknownst to her, is aware of her plans to try and shut down the base. Throughout the film Erica learns more about the good being done voluntarily by those on base in relation to ‘Operation Christmas Drop’ and how it works, with Erica herself becoming involved different aspects of the project. Of course, more complications arise on this journey, but they are best watched then read.

What makes this film extra special is the plotline which is actually based on real tradition that’s been carried out since 1952. To learn all about the mission, watch the film or click here.

Feature Image: Madelyn Gardiner, Yak Media Designer

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