5 Christmas Movies with Asian Leads to Stream

December 5, 2023 | 1147 Visits


Thanksgiving has come and gone, it’s time to put away the turkey and bring out the Christmas films. There are always tons of choices, but when it comes to representation of the Asian community within Christmas movies, the choices are very slim and they’re a bit hard to find. So, I decided to put together a list of a few such projects.



1. “Dash & Lily” (2020) Streaming on Netflix, 7.5/10 IMDb

Technically, “Dash & Lily” is not a movie, but rather a limited series. There’s not a Christmas where I don’t rewatch all eight episodes, I could not leave it off the list. Austin Abrams (of “Brad’s Status”) plays Dash, a recently heartbroken teen who is looking to escape Christmas, but stumbles into some holiday joy after finding a notebook with a Christmas dare from Lily (played by Midori Francis of “Sex Lives of College Girls”). Dash and Lily exchange a number of dares through the notebook during the holiday season in New York. The rest of the cast includes Dante Brown (of “Lethal Weapon”) as Dash’s best friend Boomer and Troy Iwata (of “WeCrashed”) as Lilly’s older brother Langston. It’s truly a masterpiece of entertainment: the writing, the acting from a rich cast, representation all around and a killer soundtrack. The adventure of love in this series reminds me of “Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist.”



2. “Last Christmas” (2019) Streaming on Prime Video, 6.5/10 IMDb

The first actual movie on the list is “Last Christmas,” which is based on the Wham song of the same name. Set in London, Emilia Clarke (of “Game of Thrones”) plays Kate, an aspiring singer who recently had a heart transplant and is a complete mess. She works at a Christmas store owned by Santa (played by Michelle Yeoh of “Everything Everywhere All at Once”). While at work, she meets a charming and warm young man named Tom (played by Henry Golding of “Crazy Rich Asians”). Spending time with him seems to brighten up Kate’s dark and troubled life. It’s truly a movie with love, relatable characters and a sense of magic. It’s really beyond the typical holiday romance movie.



3. “Ghosting: The Spirit of Christmas” (2019) Streaming on Prime Video, 5.9/10 IMDb

This is such a hidden gem of a film. Let me just say that the rating is not exactly a good representation of the quality of the movie. It tells the story of Jess (played by Aisha Dee of “The Bold Type”) who has a great first date with Ben (played by Kendrick Sampson of “Insecure”). Driving home and texting him, she is killed in an accident. She awakes as a ghost and realizes that her best friend Kara (played by Kimiko Glenn of “Orange is the New Black”) can see her. Together they try to make sense of the situation. Although Kara is not a ghost, she also has own issues to work through. The film is filled with so many new concepts. The cast is stellar and the story is so rich.



4. “Must Love Christmas” (2022) Streaming on Paramount Plus, 6.5/10 IMDb

Liza Lapira (“The Equalizer”) stars in “Must Love Christmas” as revered romance author Natalie Wolfe. At the behest of her editor, Natalie travels to a book signing to build new experiences to improve her writing. She ends up in the snow filled and wholesome town of Cranberry Falls, and in a love triangle between her childhood crush Caleb (played by Nathan White of “Superman & Lois” ) and a reporter named Nick (played by Neal Bledsoe of “The Mysteries of Laura”). The cast of the film is great and the story is rich as well. Anything with Liza Lapira is always a great watch.




5. “Love Hard” (2021) Streaming on Netflix, 6.3/10 IMDb

Natalie Bauer (played by Nina Dobrev of “Let’s Be Cops”) is a LA girl head over heels for a guy on the East coast, who she met on a dating app. Taking a chance on love, she decides to surprise him by showing up over the Christmas holiday. To her surprise, it is a catfish named Josh (played by Jimmy O. Yang of “Crazy Rich Asians”). The man Natalie saw in the pictures is actually someone local that Josh knows named Tag (played by Darren Barnet of “Never Have I Ever”). The two strike an agreement where Josh is to help Natalie land Tag, while Natalie is to play the part of his girlfriend. It’s a movie that is funny, has some heart and has a great cast of actors.


—-Cwamne Howard


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