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Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Movie

By Esme Bateson, MA Cultural Studies

Comprised of a star-studded cast, Jingle Jangle has been heralded for portraying a Black family in all their glory. Inspired by Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, director David E. Talbert wanted to make a similar film which featured people like his son, so he too could feel inspired.  Jingle Jangle is the result, a joyous, seasonal film, full of upbeat songs, costumes, and sets. It is a story which does not focus on white narratives of Black people, but rather is a heart-warming Christmas film about believing in yourself and your dreams.

It is colourful, exciting, and uplifting, packed with gizmos, gadgets, and nonsensical language which create a fantasy land where everything is bright, jolly and, most importantly, extremely Christmassy. It follows Journey as she tries to help her grandfather retrieve what he lost when his invention book was stolen many years ago. The power of family, friendship, and love is a central theme throughout the film, and reminds viewers to stay close to those nearest and dearest to us, as well as reminding us that we are brilliant and can do whatever we set our hearts to. 

Generous and warming, I’ll be singing Impossible for weeks to come, a catchy tune performed by the talented Madalen Mills as Journey, as she reminds us that ‘Whether you think you can or think you can’t. You’re right.’ A powerful message for people of all ages, Jingle Jangle is one of the most exciting and wholesome Christmas movies you’ll see this year!

Featured Photo Caption: The Jingle Jangle movie poster (Credit: Netflix/Jingle Jangle).

Kristen Steward and Mackenzie Davis star in Happiest Season (Credit: Sony).

An LGBTCheesy Christmas

By Deirbhile Ní Bhranáin, BA Media and Development

There’s nothing like seeing yourself on screen. Whatever your views on representation, it matters for many reasons, and the thrill of seeing an accurate media portrayal after years of stereotyped characters is a present all its own. This year, there will be some exciting new LGBTQ+ characters taking up the mantle of the cheesy Christmas romcom, and there is no better time to do it than this winter when we could all do with some festive cheer. 

The first one that has to be mentioned is Happiest Season, starring Kristen Stewart and San Junipero star Mackenzie Davis. Although it’s the first mainstream Christmas rom-com to centre a queer couple, it’s already under a bit of fire for a plot centred around a coming out (again). But you know what, we will love it anyway.

Hallmark is delving a bit deeper, with the plot of just-released The Christmas House centring a cis gay male couple looking to adopt their first child. Again, an LGBTQ+ movie is the first of the channel’s kind. Maybe we are screaming about the length of time it took the rom-com gods to recognise us, maybe we are just glad we won’t have to watch three Vanessa Hudgeonses attempting different accents. 

Friendsgiving and I Hate New Years, out now, can fill in the holidays next to Christmas with stories of chosen families. Or we could return to Carol, already a classic, although a dubious addition to the ‘cheesy’ category.

These movies may have been late in the making, but at least we might finally have a queer Love Actually on our hands.

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