Yes, I know you’ve already seen them both, don’t lie! But just how guilty is your guilty pleasure? Let’s find out…

Movie title card over a background of New York City covered in snow
A Christmas Prince

Not offensive to women = 1/1 pt
Features a woman as the main protagonist and/or supporting character = 2/2 pts
Passes the Bechdel-Wallace test = 3/3 pts

These are the easiest points to get (in theory, so many movies do not. Also don’t even ask about representation of POC or LGBT). On to the next…

Prince Richard and the journalist Amber at the ballArtistic and/or Entertaining = 2/4 pts

This movie did not win any points for being artistic, and I don’t know if ‘entertaining’ quite sums it up either. I gave 2 points in this category because this movie was exactly what you thought it was going to be: a bland story costumed in a ballgown, and with a 100% guarantee of a happy ending. I clicked on it to play in the background while I worked, making my choice specifically because I did not want anything too distracting on. It achieved its goal of not offending my feminist sensibilities while having a logical enough plot arc that did not offend my writerly sensibilities.

Above and Beyond General Media = 1/5 pts

A Christmas Prince scraped one point out in this section because of the character of Princess Emily. Emily has spina bifida and is wheelchair-bound. I cannot review her character with the same eye as someone in those situations, but personally I found it to be a positive representation. Emily’s story is not a cure narrative, she is portrayed as affected by her physical differences but she also has a lot of other things going on, making her the most well-rounded character in the movie.

A number nine inside a Venus symbol

Overall: 9/15 points. A Christmas Prince doesn’t have a lick of originality but it’s not offensive. Binge-watch away.

Need more info? Check out The Daily Beast review here.

Christmas Inheritance title imposed over an ice rink surrounded by trees
Christmas Inheritance

Not offensive to women = 0/1 pt
Features a woman as the main protagonist and/or supporting character = 2/2 pts
Passes the Bechdel-Wallace test = 3/3 pts

Wow I hated  this movie. I knew I was going to from the premise (accomplished woman learns to be more motherly by going to a patronizing small town is one of my least favorite romance tropes), but I took one for the team for this review. My low expectations were met.

Ellie and Jake on a walk in the snow
Artistic and/or Entertaining = 0/4 pts

Perhaps others will find more to love in this film, but I was underwhelmed. The plot didn’t make sense, main character Ellen’s characterization was confusing, the male lead was super rude, the writers had clearly never been to a place with actual snow.

Above and Beyond General Media = 0/5 pts

Like A Christmas Prince, the purpose of this film was to be fun and light. However, A Christmas Prince has more redeeming qualities. Christmas Inheritance could’ve made changes to go above and beyond. At the end of the film, Ellen becomes CEO of her family’s company. She’s shown in the beginning to be business-minded and forward-thinking. But the film won’t let her have this. She spends the middle of the film being inexplicably klutzy and overly-impressed by the kindergarten-level kindness shown by the male lead. Read more here. 

A number five inside a Venus symbol

Overall: 5/15. Skip this one, there are better romances out there. For example…


The title of the movie Back to Christmas, over a backdrop of the LA skyline
Back to Christmas

Not offensive to women = 1/1 pt
Features a woman as the main protagonist and/or supporting character = 2/2 pts
Passes the Bechdel-Wallace test = 3/3 pts
Artistic and/or Entertaining = 4/4 pts

Back to Christmas was a pleasant surprise. A 2014 TV movie originally called Correcting Christmas, you can now find it on Netflix. The movie tells the story of Ali, who is given a chance to salvage her relationship when she is sent back in time to the previous Christmas, days before she and her boyfriend broke up. The premise is fun (I like time travel), features an off-the-cuff fairy godmother character, and the movie is well-written.

Need more Christmas romance this year? Check out our review of Four Fantastical Christmas Romances.

Above and Beyond General Media = 3/5 pts

I won’t say this is the most revolutionary movie I’ve seen, but it is a cut above its peers in the Hallmark-esque romance category. The reason this movie earned more points in this section is because of the nuance given to the characters. Usually, the female MC in these stories realizes her current BF is a materialistic tool, and the folksy down-to-earth guy is the one for her. In Back to Christmas, the same concept applies. Ali realizes her boyfriend, Cam, isn’t the one she’s meant to be with. However, the movie does not go out of its way to villainize him. Ali has changed in the year they’ve been apart, and realizes that she and Cam do not want the same things anymore.

Ali discusses the problem with her mother, who tells her flat out children are difficult and she likes that her daughter is an adventurer with no plans to settle down. Ali is shocked  to hear her mother say this, probably because she’s been watching the same movies we have, where mother characters tell their children how great they are, and then drop hints about grandkids. Then Ali’s fairy godmother shames her for not communicating better with Cam.

Though the movie ends up in the same place as others of its ilk, its path isn’t as clear cut and there is more discussion of the complications, making the ending feel less inevitable and more logical.

The number thirteen in a Venus symbol

Overall: 13/15. All of the familiar scenes, comfortable happy endings, and no pandering!

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One thought on “Netflix’s A Christmas Prince & Christmas Inheritance: A Feminist Review

  1. I HATED the Christmas Inheritance for all the reasons you stated above PLUS the truly crappy acting. Horrid movie!

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