More “Kinda” Queer Christmas Films

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In 2020, I shared my Christmas post that stirred up a bit of discussion: Christmas Films that are Kinda Queer. Having rewatched most of these films since then, I stand by my decision that all of those films are only KINDA queer Christmas films.

But there actually are even MORE films that meet the same criteria! Which is exactly why this year’s post was needed. But first, let me refresh you on what defines a KINDA queer Christmas film. [Note: this is my own definition and thus, subjective.]

“Kinda” Queer Christmas Film: a film set during the Christmas holiday season that includes an LGBTQ character or storyline – but only in a minor non-lead role. Often attributed to ensemble cast films, this specific niche can also apply to the “gay best friend” or merely a storyline where the focus barely features the queer character or storyline.

But there’s another interesting twist this year – most of this year’s films are actually GOOD films. Heck, one Christmas film was even promised to be a groundbreaking TV movie for a certain channel that’s more known for it’s homophobia! But was it actually groundbreaking as they claimed? Was it actually a queer Christmas film like they promised? (Here’s a hint: if it met the criteria for this post, it probably is not as queer as we expected…)

Well… you’ll have to read on to find out why each of these five Christmas films landed themselves on this year’s “5 More KINDA Queer Christmas Films” post.

[Note: some of these films do not, and probably will not, get a full review on QueerFilmReviews. ]

5 More “Kinda” Queer Christmas Films

When the zombie apocalypse hits the sleepy town of Little Haven – at Christmas – teenager Anna (Ella Hunt) and her high school friends have to fight, sing and dance to survive, with the undead horde all around them. Teaming up with her best friend John (Malcolm Cumming), Anna has to fight her way through zombified snowmen, Santas, elves and Christmas shoppers to get across town to the high school, where they’ll be safe. But they soon discover that being a teenager is just as difficult as staying alive, even at the end of the world.

Comedy, Musical, and … Horror? In a Christmas Film? Huh? Normally these three distinctly different genres don’t work together at all. However, there’s something really unique about “Anna and the Apocalypse” – it’s actually quite captivating! With various hints of another zombie classic, “Shawn of the Dead”, it just works well as a whole. The film is bright and colourful, despite being about killing zombies. Even as a musical, the film’s songs fit well and are performed by a vocally talented cast. Yet something still has me reserved to give “Anna and the Apocalypse a 5.0 / 5.0 rating. So why did such a high scoring film land on this KINDA queer Christmas films post? Because the only queer character is Steph (lesbian) and other than a phone call and short talks about her offscreen girlfriend – that’s all we get! From an LGBTQ perspective, it’s rather disappointing – even though this is such a great film to watch.

Read my full review to find out more!

Watch “Anna and the Apocalypse” on Amazon and Prime Video.

Jess (Aisha Dee) goes on her first date with Ben (Kendrick Sampson) and it exceeds all her expectations. However on her way home her car is hit and she dies. Ben is disappointed when she does not reply to his texts and think that she’s ghosting him (without knowing it’s actually the case in a very literal way). But after her funeral she turns up at her best friends Kara’s home. To both their surprise Kara (Kimiko Glenn) can see her. Something is holding Jess back on earth and Kara seeks help from her spiritual coach Chrissy (Missi Pyle). Chrissy thinks that it’s love that holds Jess back. Can it be her brief connection with Ben? They seek him up and to their surprise he can see Jess too. Will they be able to find out how to help Jess?

“Ghosting: The Spirit of Christmas” is a very unique film. The premise initially seems rather cute and whimsical – a literal “ghosting” after a rather decent first date! However the ensuing “comedy” that unfolds is instead a mix of quick chuckles and absurd frowns as the viewer is left trying to figure where they’re going. (I mean, sex with a ghost in order to ascend… really?!) While the film could be set at anytime and still make sense, the writers opted to add the festive holiday season to give an extra oomph – and this film needs it! Thankfully, the lesbian side plot between Kara and Ben’s sister, Mae, is actually rather cute and keeps the rest of the craziness sorta connected. So why is this film on this list of kinda queer Christmas films? Because our two lesbian characters aren’t the actual focus of the film; they’re side characters. Too much time is spent on Jess’s ghost issue even though it’s Kara’s happiness that is her unresolved issue keeping Jess from ascending. Overall, it’s an average film – but still only a KINDA queer Christmas film.

Watch “Ghosting: The Spirit of Christmas” on ABC and Freeform.

Everett Stone (Dermot Mulroney), who made it on Wall Street, returns home for Christmas with his new girlfriend, Meredith Morton (Sarah Jessica Parker). His ultra-liberal, anti-conventional rustic Connecticut family doesn’t exactly warm to the outsider, who despite her best efforts to please the prospective in-laws, looks, sounds, and acts like the conservative bigots they hate, while various Stones have their own problems. Only matriarch Sibyl Stone’s (Diane Keaton) unshakable maverick other son Ben (Luke Wilson) gives her a chance, and as Everett won’t actively turn against either, she feels more supported by him and a weird romance blossoms. Feeling beleaguered, Meredith calls in help from her easygoing sister Julie (Claire Danes), who proves no help to her but soon develops a chemistry with Everett, so everything may now shift if they dare follow their hearts.

Overall, I actually enjoyed watching “The Family Stone”. The premise follows a rather common and overused Christmas film trope: “someone brings their fiancee home to meet the family and chaos ensues”, but throws us an unexpected twist in that the siblings effectively swap their partners over the course of a few days! Additionally, the ensemble cast is well written and balanced without losing the viewer amid the craziness. (As often happens, like in another film on this list!) But it’s the cast’s superb acting that takes this Christmas film to another level – wow!

So why is yet another great film on the list? Because the only queer characters are Thaddeus and Patrick, one of the brothers who is gay. And partially deaf. AND in an interracial relationship. It’s almost as if the writers realised they needed to add variety to an otherwise cis heterosexual caucasian family – but decided to dump it all into just two minor characters that end up coming across more like the writers were trying to tick boxes off a list rather than create balanced characters. As such, “The Family Stone” is only a KINDA queer Christmas film – even though it’s quite enjoyable to watch!

Watch “The Family Stone” on Amazon and Prime Video.

When four generations of the Cooper clan come together for their annual Christmas Eve celebration, a series of unexpected visitors and unlikely events turn the night upside down, leading them all toward a surprising rediscovery of family bonds and the spirit of the holiday.

“Love the Coopers” is the third (and possible the fourth) ensemble film on this month’s list. Unfortunately, it’s also my least favorite film this month. The biggest issue I had while watching this film is there are TOO many characters, with each character getting equal screen time even before the family gets together for the holidays. There is simply too much exposition paired with poor editing that is a bit too back & forth at the beginning to really get a gist on who everyone is. When everyone finally gathers for Christmas Eve, there are even MORE plot twists! And that’s not even mentioning who’s telling the story! [Note – it’s not who you’d expect, and doesn’t make much sense either…]

With the general assumption that 10% of the population are LGBTQ paired with a cast of characters that is into double digits JUST with the family alone, there has to be at least one queer character – right? Not exactly… the only LGBTQ character is perhaps the most minor of all the others on this list: the cop who arrests Emma for shoplifting. A closeted, black, gay man who has so little screen time that if you blink – you miss his “big revelation” that he’s gay. (Heck, even I missed it the first time watching the film – and I was looking for the queer angle!) So our only queer character in this dysfunctional family holiday film is not even part of the family? Yeah, this is most certainly a KINDA queer Christmas film. And it’s not even a great film to watch despite some amazing actors & actresses. (There’s a better family debacle film on this list – that both star Diane Keaton!)

Watch “Love The Coopers” on Amazon, Prime Video, ABC, and Freeform.


Working through some difficult decisions, Mitchell family matriarch Phylis (Sharon Lawrence) and patriarch Bill (Treat Williams), have summoned their two grown sons — Mike (Robert Buckley) and Brandon (Jonathan Bennett) — home for the holidays. They hope that bringing the family together to recreate The Christmas House will help them find resolution and make a memorable holiday for the entire family and community. As Brandon and his husband, Jake (Brad Harder), make the trip home, they are anxiously awaiting a call about the adoption of their first child. Meanwhile, Mike reconnects with Andi (Ana Ayora), his high school sweetheart.

Christmas 2020 had drama amid the announcement and promises of gay Christmas films – Hallmark was giving us our first gay Christmas film: “The Christmas House!” [After a year of back and forth drama that left us uncertain how much they’d hold to their promise…. and even though Lifetime gave us “Twinkly All The Way the year before] So was it worth all the hype? My honest opinion: nope. Is “The Christmas House” a cute rom-com holiday film? Yes. Does it fall victim to many of the common issues for TV movies, such as writing built around commercials with multiple cliffhangers? Also yes. But the most important question: is it a QUEER Christmas film? … Kinda? Ergo why, even though “The Christmas House” was groundbreaking for Hallmark and I actually enjoy watching the film, it has landed on this month’s list of KINDA queer Christmas films.

I’m fully aware that this is a very divisive opinion – but the facts are hard to ignore. Hallmark promised us a gay Christmas film; instead we got a heterosexual film about the parents separating and selling the family home with one of the sons is gay. A minor character instead of a major character. Or if you take the route that the film plot is actually three storylines (Phyllis & Bill, Mike & Andi, and Brandon & Jake), we then still only have an ensemble film where only a third of the core cast are gay. Yes, Brandon is in a committed relationship with his partner and they’re awaiting news of their gay adoption. But at best, “The Christmas House” is only a KINDA queer Christmas film. Sorry, not sorry.

Read my full review HERE to find out more!

Watch “The Christmas House” on Amazon, Prime Video, and Hallmark Movies Now.

So what did you think – do you agree that these are only “Kinda” queer Christmas films? Or do you blatantly disagree?

Let me know in the comments below!