Like most everything else in 2020, the holiday season this year is going to look and feel a whole lot different than any before it. But while office parties will be virtual and get-togethers will be tiny (if they happen at all), there are some things that even a pandemic can’t change. Like that one hard-to-please aunt being impossible to shop for and, on the merrier side, the fact that a holiday movie marathon is just a click away. Like—ahem— some aunts, it’s hard to find a festive film that will please everyone, but at least one of the 13 titles below is sure to get even the grinchiest of revelers into the holiday spirit.
Home for the HolidaysIf you’re feeling guilty that you won’t make it to your parents’ for Thanksgiving this year, this ode to dysfunctional family gatherings—directed by Jodie Foster—might serve as an all-too-realistic reminder of what it’s really like when your relatives reassemble under one roof. Holly Hunter plays a recently unemployed single mom who heads from Chicago to Baltimore to spend Thanksgiving with her family—only to immediately regret the decision. (Yes, we’ve all been there.) Hunter’s character might summarize the feeling best when she asks, “When you go home, do you look around and wonder: Who are these people? Where did I even come from?” A very pre-Iron Man Robert Downey Jr. costars.
Where to stream it: HuluHappiest SeasonGiven the increased output of original products that the major streaming networks like Netflix and Amazon Prime are releasing, it was only a matter of time until they all caught the Christmas bug. This year, that honor belongs to Hulu, which assembled an impressive cast of actors you wouldn’t necessarily expect to see in a holiday rom-com (see: Kristen Stewart) for Happiest Season. When Harper (Halt and Catch Fire’s Mackenzie Davis) invites her girlfriend Abby (Stewart) home for Christmas, she neglects to tell her one thing: Harper has never told her ultra-conservative family that she’s gay. Though it’s a setup that sounds like it could easily reach Three’s Company levels of slapstick and double entendres, the earnestness with which it’s played by its stellar cast —which includes Dan Levy, Alison Brie, Aubrey Plaza, and Mary Steenburgen—pushes it neatly into that enjoyable space between farce and family drama.