30 Feminist Christmas Movies, Ranked

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Love Actually, Screencap via Universal Pictures

Love Actually

Love Actually is a modern holiday classic. It’s a collection of minimally interconnected stories that all come back to one thesis statement: “Love actually is all around.” There’s a man wrestling with whether or not to have an affair, an aging musician trying to make a hit song again, a man having a strange reaction to his best friend’s marriage, even the prime minister. It’s intended to be heartwarming, and to many people, it is. For some, however…well, we’ll get to that.

The Good

  • There are some pretty great, strong female characters. Karen is a do-it-all wife and mother who is shown to have a rich interior life when confronted with the possibility that her husband is not being faithful. Sarah is a graphic designer who prioritizes her family over her love life. Judy, for what little we see of her, is a kind, sweet woman playing a nude body double in a film. Although, the writers make her say, with no irony, “All I want for Christmas…is you!” So. There’s that.

The Bad

  • Everyone, including her family and her boyfriend/the prime minister, keeps calling Natalie fat, completely seriously.  Of course, there is nothing wrong with being fat. But Martine McCutcheon just is not, at all. It’s irresponsible to cast a woman who looks like she’s probably about a size 6 in a role for a fat woman. Also body-shaming is gross.
  • Jamie gets Aurelia to agree to marry him even though they’ve never had a real conversation. They speak different languages, so there’s no real way to know anything about each other. Also, she was employed by him, which, with the power dynamic, makes the relationship inherently kind of problematic (ditto x1,000,000 for Natalie and the prime minister).
  • Colin leaves the UK to go to America and find girls who are “easy.” And instead of being taken down a notch for his objectifying of women, he’s rewarded with sex.
  • Pretty much every story involves a man pursuing a woman; never the other way around. Except maybe Mia, who is painted as a complete villain.

The Ugly

  • Imagine you are newly married, enjoying a snowy evening at home with your husband, when the doorbell rings. When you answer, it is your husband’s creepy best friend, who only filmed you at your wedding and has always been rude to you. He’s holding up a sign asking you to lie to your husband, and then proceeds to proclaim that he’s in love with you, despite the fact that you’ve never had a significant interaction. Also, you are married to his best friend. Does this sound heartwarming to you? Because instead of telling her husband and/or calling the police on this stalker, Juliet’s reaction is pleasant surprise, flattery, and then actually rewarding the behavior kissing him. So basically, those warning signs are actually adorable declarations of love, ladies!