Opinion / Carolina Abbott Galvão
I don’t always like to admit it but every year I rediscover that I am unequivocal and wholeheartedly in the Christmas movies. And I’m definitely not the only one: Research shows a record 200+ holiday movies were made in 2021, with everyone from Netflix to Lifetime trying to cash in on the annual craze.
Last week, a rather surprising contender threw his hat in the ring: Retailer Zara released a Christmas-inspired short divine night (on the picture), directed by Luca Guadagnino. Taking place over a single day, it sees the writers trade in the balmy summer landscapes of northern Italy for a Swiss ski resort, where drama and mischief ensue. In the first 10 minutes, we meet a glamorous hotel manager who mercilessly crushes her groom’s homemade cookie; John C Reilly plays a weathered Santa Claus and Alex Wolff a musician in love.
The plot is undeniably far-fetched, but the Christmas movies don’t really make sense; Netflix made a huge success of The Princess Switch, his trilogy of films about a Chicago baker finding a royal doppelganger in an invented country. And it’s a smart move for Zara from an advertising standpoint: people are fed up with stereotypical commercials and having a prestigious director on board definitely helps.
Yet whether all of these new films will actually stand the test of time is another question. Part of the appeal of Christmas movies is their lingering nostalgia. If Netflix or Zara want their contributions to be more than the (lucrative) flavor of the year, they’ll have to do a better job of appealing to my sensibility. As great as getting comfortable with new and weird plot sounds, when time is of the essence I’ll probably end up looking Vacations rather.