A Definitive Ranking of Netflix’s Holiday Rom-Coms
Though they are often predictable, formulaic, and just the right amount of cheesy, holiday romantic comedies are the perfect movies to watch with a cozy blanket, hot chocolate, and your friends and family. Luckily, Netflix has a wide selection of festive films, giving other networks like Hallmark Channel and Lifetime a run for their money.
With several heartwarming and magical movies to choose from, we’ve done the work for you and narrowed down the streaming service’s best films for a winter screening. Below, check out our definitive ranking of the best Netflix holiday rom-coms!
10. Operation Christmas Drop (2020)
Based on the titular real-life humanitarian airlift, Operation Christmas Drop follows congressional aide Erica (Kat Graham) as she investigates the US Air Force base responsible for the annual supply effort with an eye on shutting it down. It’s not until she butts heads with Captain Andrew Jantz (Alexander Ludwig) that she embraces the spirit of the holidays and realizes the importance of the tradition, all while finding love along the way on a gorgeous tropical island. This heartfelt flick is perfect for anyone looking to escape the cold with an easy holiday watch.
9. The Holiday Calendar (2018)
Also starring Kat Graham, The Holiday Calendar sees her struggling photographer Abby find luck after being gifted a magical Advent calendar, just as her friend and fellow photographer Josh (Quincy Brown) comes home for the holidays after traveling around the world for work. As the calendar brings her new love with someone else, Josh begins to realize his true feelings for her in true friends-to-lovers fashion. The movie also stars Ron Cephas Jones and Ethan Peck. Every holiday rom-com needs a bit of magic, and this film has plenty to spare.
8. Christmas Inheritance (2017)
Premiering the same year as the first A Christmas Prince film, Christmas Inheritance may have been overlooked, but Hallmark movie fans will certainly love this festive flick. In need of humbling before taking over the family business, socialite Ellen (Eliza Taylor) is sent to her hometown of Snow Falls to continue a tradition of exchanging in-person letters with her father’s former business partner. Growing closer to the town’s charming residents, including Andie MacDowell’s Debbie and Jake Lacy’s Jake, she finds a new perspective on life through her new friendships and romantic connection.
7. Holiday in the Wild (2019)
Starring Kristin Davis and Rob Lowe, Holiday in the Wild takes the holiday rom-com across the globe to Africa. Left by her husband, Kate (Davis) decides to go on their second honeymoon to Zambia alone, coincidentally with pilot Derek (Lowe), whom she recently met at a restaurant. Falling in love with the amazing scenery and an elephant named Manu, she decides to extend her stay as she grows closer to Derek, only to discover his preexisting relationship with someone else. To no surprise, the film ends on a happy note with the two leads overcoming their obstacles to be together in true rom-com fashion. Keeping things in the family, the film also stars John Owen Lowe as Kate’s son Luke.
6. Let It Snow (2019)
Jumping into the young adult genre, Let It Snow is based on the book of the same name by authors John Green, Lauren Myracle, and Maureen Johnson. Set during a snowstorm on Christmas Eve, the film follows three different love stories weaved together by common threads, ultimately ending up at a waffle house holiday party. The movie is easy to follow for those looking to turn off their brain with an easy watch, despite the switching back and forth between subplots. Kiernan Shipka stars alongside Isabela Merced, Shameik Moore, Odeya Rush, Liv Hewson, Mitchell Hope, Jacob Batalon, and more.
5. The Knight Before Christmas (2019)
The first Vanessa Hudgens Netflix film to make this list, The Knight Before Christmas is cheesy in all the best ways. Knight Cole Christopher Fredick Lyons (Josh Whitehouse) gets transported into present-day Ohio on an ambiguous mission by a witch. After nearly being hit by her car, he connects with schoolteacher Brooke (Hudgens) as she takes him in until his “memory” returns. As the two grow closer and she begins to believe his true identity, time becomes of the essence, as he must complete his mission before midnight on Christmas Eve if he doesn’t wish to be stuck in the present forever.
4. Love Hard (2021)
Described as When Harry Met Sally… mixed with Roxanne, Love Hard is one of the newest Netflix holiday rom-coms on this list. Nina Dobrev stars as Natalie, a writer unlucky in love who decides to surprise her dating app crush, Tag (Darren Barnet), in person, only to discover she has been catfished by his friend, Josh (Jimmy O. Yang). As Josh promises to help set her up with Tag, she agrees to pretend to be his girlfriend for the holidays. As they spend time together, she starts to realize that what’s on the outside isn’t what matters most and that the right person for you might not be who you expect.
3. Holidate (2020)
This funny film is perhaps one of the most relatable on the list, officially coining the titular term to describe a one-time date for numerous festive functions. After breaking up with her boyfriend, Sloane (Emma Roberts) feels judgment from her coupled-up family over living a single life. To avoid her mother’s terrible set-ups and to not be the only single member of the family, she and Jackson (Luke Bracey) decide to be each other’s holidates to avoid the awkwardness. Over the course of a year, the two become good friends and question if they could become more than that. The hilarious rom-com also stars Kristin Chenoweth as Sloane’s idea-giving aunt and SNL’s Alex Moffat.
2. The Princess Switch series (2018-2021)
The Prince and the Pauper meets Hallmark holiday movies in this Netflix juggernaut franchise. Starring Vanessa Hudgens in dual, later triple, roles, The Princess Switch follows an identical-looking baker and princess as they switch places and change each other’s lives forever. Things shake up even more with the introduction of Fiona, the duo’s newest lookalike who has her eyes on the throne. The third installment, Romancing the Star, just premiered November 18, so fans can binge the entire series all winter long.
1. A Christmas Prince series (2017-2019)
Perhaps the Netflix holiday rom-com that started it all, the A Christmas Prince series fulfills everything rom-com fans want out of a cheesy, feel-good holiday flick. A hopeless romantic with a big city job sent on assignment in a magical, Christmas-themed kingdom? Check. Royal family drama? Check. Falling in love with Prince Charming and living happily ever after? Check. Following the love story of Amber (Rose McIver) and Prince Richard (Ben Lamb), the series spawned two sequels, The Royal Wedding and The Royal Baby. As a fun Easter Egg, the series takes place within the same universe as The Princess Switch movies!