‘Tis the season for warm and fuzzy movies, mistletoe magic and of course, questioning everything in your life. It’s those quiet moments during the holidays that make you take stock of your choices and wonder what if? Instead of driving yourself crazy trying to debate a decision you made in high school, why not watch holiday movies that do it for you? Because sometimes we all need reminding that the grass is not always greener on other pastures, especially after hitting the eggnog pretty hard. Here are my top picks for infamous holiday switch movies.
Frank Cross (Bill Murray) is crude, selfish and mean. He’s worked his way up from the mail room to be a fancy TV executive, sacrificing everything to get to the top including the love of his life. When Christmas Eve antics get a little out of hand at work he has three ghastly visitors in true Charles Dickens fashion who scare him straight.
The Family Man [Amazon Video, Google Play]
In another men-obsessed-with-success film Nicholas Cage stars as Jack Campbell, rich investment-banker bachelor who believes all he needs in life is his sports car. He gets a chance to see what is missing when he wakes up married, alongside the college sweetheart he left behind (a pre-Madam Secretary Tea Leoni). Will Jack trade in the sports car and corner office for ugly Christmas sweaters and a minivan? How did he get lucky enough to have Don Cheadle play his Christmas switch angel?? So many questions.
Trading Places [Netflix]
Instead of being switched by some sort of Christmas magic, two men’s lives are swapped as part of a bet between upper crust broker brothers Mortimar and Randy Duke. Apparently, this is what rich people do for fun. They frame wealthy Wall Street commodities broker Louis Winthorpe III (Dan Akroyd) and replace him with a street hustler Billy Ray Valentine (Eddie Murphy) to see how the two fare in different environments. The social experiment blows up in their faces when Louis and Billy Ray join forces and conspire against the Dukes on the trading floor in a play that I still hardly understand. Highlights include Dan Akroyd as a drunk santa and Eddie Murphy’s infectious laugh.
Last Chance Christmas / Kristin’s Christmas Past [Lifetime, Amazon Video]
Super sassy music publicist Kristin (Shiri Abbleby) is happily estranged from her family until her BFF gets a girlfriend and can’t keep her company on Christmas anymore. She goes to sleep sad and alone only to wake up back in time to the eve of her worst Christmas ever. She quickly takes the opportunity to guide her 17-year-old self to make some different choices in hopes of fixing her future.
Holiday Switch [Lifetime, Amazon Video]
Poor Paula is having a case of the-one-that-got-away when her high school ex rolls back into town for the holidays. As a mom of two pouring over a stack of bills right before Christmas she wonders how life might have been if she chose the rich business man instead of her adorbs blue-collar husband. So, she does what any self-respecting woman would do: travels to an alternate universe via the clothes dryer. On the other side of perm press she finds herself rich and pampered with her new mate but soon figures out money doesn’t buy happiness or even fidelity.