It’s the festive season, and you know what that means. You got it! Cheesy romantic holiday movies where that quirky blonde girl, who just happens to have bad luck with relationships, meets the awkward funny guy and they fall in love. The problem with these movies (that most of us are weirdly encaptivated by) is that they’re not exactly the best example of a healthy relationship and lack diversity. So, we’re going to talk about healthy relationships and some problems with these holiday RomComs and then give some awesome diverse romance movie recommendations for the holidays.
What is a healthy relationship?
Well, there are multiple examples. Love doesn’t just happen one way, but here are a couple basics that everyone should know. First: communication. Communication is one of the most important parts of any relationship, romantic, platonic or family. Making sure you are constantly communicating with your partner, which ties into another healthy aspect, trust. There needs to be trust coming from both sides of a relationship. A relationship is all about equality, there is no “person who wears the pants” in a relationship. It’s an equal effort from both sides.
A commonly asked question is “What about fights? Are those healthy?” and the answer is - kind of… If you are referring to arguments every now and then, then yes that’s completely normal. When the arguments turn in to fights - physical, verbal or emotional - it turns unhealthy or abusive. If you or someone you know is in an unhealthy relationship, there are resources to help.
How do RomComs Compare?
Lots of romance movies don’t exactly show all sides of a relationship and they can really damage someone’s idea of a healthy relationship. Most times, they don’t show the communication or show the couple setting boundaries. Some may show good communication or boundary setting but include an unrealistic grand romantic gesture. Most focus on the romantic relationship and fail to show the rest of the lives of the individuals in the couple, making it seem like the relationship is their whole life. The key is to enjoy but remember to be critical of what you are watching and that many healthy relationships don’t look exactly like the ones being shown.
RomCom Holiday Movies with LGBTQ+ Representation
This holiday season, you might want to check out some of these movies that feature LGBTQ+ representation.
The Christmas House (2019, Hallmark)
A married couple summons their two kids, Mike and Brandon, back to their home for the holidays in hopes to strengthen their relationship again. While Brandon and his husband, Jake, make the trip home, they wait anxiously for a call about the adoption of their first child.
Happiest Season (2020, Hulu)
Abby and Harper are a lesbian couple that plan on going on a holiday trip with Harper’s conservative and wealthy family. Abby sees this as the perfect opportunity to propose to Harper, however, she finds out that Harper has yet to come out to her family.
I Hate New Year’s (2020, Tello Films)
Rising music star Layne Price heads home to Nashville to battle her writer’s block. After a confusing visit with a fortuneteller, she rekindles a friendship with her old BFF, Cassie Holmes. Cassie plans on finally revealing her romantic feelings for Layne, Layne is too focused on seeing her ex to notice.
RomCom Holiday Movies with Racial Diversity
You might also be interested to check out some movies that highlight more diverse couples, check out these movies that feature some racial and ethnic diversity
Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey (2020, Netflix)
Decades after his trusted apprentice betrayed him, a once-joyful toymaker finds new hope when his kind and curious granddaughter comes into his life.
The Holiday Calendar (2018, Netflix)
A talented photographer stuck in a dead-end job inherits an antique advent calendar that may be predicting the future- and pointing her towards love.
Dash and Lily (2020, Netlix)
A whirlwind holiday romance builds as cynical Dash and optimistic Lily trade dares, dreams and desires in the notebook they pass back and forth at locations all across New York City.
It is normal to enjoy holiday romantic comedies, that’s why there are so many of them! But it is also important to be critical about what you are enjoying. Do you have other examples of diverse holiday movies or want to share some of your favorites? Let us know on Instagram (@teensource.org).