Trope inversion in Christmas movies
November 26, 2019 9:57 AM   Subscribe

Tis the season for made for TV (or Netflix) Christmas movies. And every year I'm reminded how much I hate a specific trope: city girl (or guy) is forced to go to a small town unwillingly, where they then find redemption from their evil city ways and true love. I want to see the opposite situation. Does it exist?

I want to see a movie, TV episode, book, anything, wherein a country dweller unwillingly gets stuck in the the city, finds a loving, quirky community of diverse and friendly people, learns a few things about themselves, and finds true love (last one optional, but I think for a true trope inversion, it's required). If it's set at Christmas that would be awesome.
posted by backwards compatible to Media & Arts (19 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
 
Isn’t that Elf?
posted by billiebee at 10:05 AM on November 26, 2019 [22 favorites]


This is a little bit sideways to your question, but Moscow on the Hudson. It's definitely got the "fish out of water in the big city who comes to find his home there" vibe.

Also sideways: U Turn. The vibe here is "city boy winds up in small town and discovers it is infinitely more fucked up than city life."
posted by adamrice at 10:11 AM on November 26, 2019 [2 favorites]


Maybe The Holiday? It actually goes both ways - city person goes to country, country person goes to city - and they both like the change.
posted by brainmouse at 10:14 AM on November 26, 2019 [4 favorites]


Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Mary Tyler Moore
posted by jraz at 10:17 AM on November 26, 2019 [5 favorites]


I'm not sure it's 100% on-point, but Noelle on Disney+ came up in a search and looks to have a lot of the pieces. It looks kind of awesome.

Eyes Wide Shut works for this in the abstract! An outsider interloper making his way in an insider's world. With sexy results.
posted by rhizome at 10:18 AM on November 26, 2019


Check out the "Move From Country To City" subcategory on this TVTropes page.
posted by WCityMike at 10:20 AM on November 26, 2019 [2 favorites]


I mean, do you want a film with a happy ending? Otherwise this is Midnight Cowboy
posted by glasseyes at 10:37 AM on November 26, 2019 [6 favorites]


The show Don't Trust the B in Apartment 23 might tick some of these boxes, although I don't remember if it was around long enough to have a Christmas episode, alas.

Premise: small town Pollyanna type moves to NYC with big dreams (which are almost immediately thwarted) and moves in with actual con artist/garbage person whose best friend is James Van Der Beek (playing himself as a delightful fictional dirtbag). It ends up settling into a sort of Odd Couple situation where both of them learn from one another and start to grow into (slightly) better people.

Also: if you haven't seen "Always Be My Maybe" on Netflix, I think that might be thematically pretty similar to what you're looking for but not an exact trope-for-trope match.
posted by helloimjennsco at 10:41 AM on November 26, 2019


Big Business is along these lines. Bonus: twins. "Two couples of sisters from New York and from the countryside discover that they are connected in an incredible way. "
posted by XtineHutch at 11:00 AM on November 26, 2019 [1 favorite]


The Knight Before Christmas doesn't feature a city, per se, but it does have a time-traveling knight who goes from simpler times to the modern world and finds love.

It's honestly the "best" TV Christmas movie I've seen in a long time (other than Becoming Santa, which doesn't fit your requirements at all, but is bananas enough to merit a mention).
posted by uncleozzy at 11:04 AM on November 26, 2019 [2 favorites]


This is absolutely the plot of Brooklyn starring Saoirse Ronan. Irish country girl has to move to 1950s Brooklyn, leaving everything she knows behind... although diverse in her case mostly means "one non-Irish person". There's a beautiful Christmas scene as well.

This is also the plot of Paddington and Paddington 2. Country bear ends up in London and hijinks ensue. Familial love.
posted by acidic at 11:35 AM on November 26, 2019 [6 favorites]


Pieces of April is my favorite Thanksgiving movie about a young woman hosting Thanksgiving (in NYC) for her suburban family who think she's a fuck-up. Her oven breaks and her building full of quirky, diverse, and sometimes friendly neighbors help her out.
posted by tangosnail at 11:48 AM on November 26, 2019 [6 favorites]


This is kind of the frame story of the original Tales from the City series: Mary Anne the nice heterosexual girl from Cleveland ends up in pre-AIDS San Francisco, meets a bunch of queers, hijinks ensue, and she learns the true meaning of Christmas chosen family.
posted by nebulawindphone at 2:45 PM on November 26, 2019 [2 favorites]


It's not a good movie, but in One Starry Christmas, an astronomer from NYC and a cowboy from Texas have a fun Christmas Eve date in Central Park. The city-boy boyfriend she's about to dump is the classic city-boy movie trope jerk... but the leading man cowboy love interest is really excited to be in NYC.
posted by pseudostrabismus at 4:25 PM on November 26, 2019


Ooh actually kind of Enchanted too, right? She's not exactly from rural America, but she makes the city work for her and decides to stay.
posted by brainmouse at 8:31 PM on November 26, 2019 [2 favorites]


Babe: Pig in the City?
posted by Red Desk at 10:51 PM on November 26, 2019 [1 favorite]


Maybe The Hudsucker Proxy?
posted by benbenson at 8:13 AM on November 27, 2019


They're not country-dwellers exactly, but the Muppets sure do find themselves a cast of colorful, quirky, kind characters in Manhattan!

The whole movie is kind of a love letter to the diversity and vibrancy of big cities.
posted by lieber hair at 11:42 AM on November 27, 2019 [1 favorite]


Crocodile Dundee has a bit of this!
posted by Pax at 5:59 PM on November 27, 2019


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