Every December, I get the itch to watch a specific kind of movie. It needs to be gay (ideally lesbian), it needs to be Christmas-y, and it needs to be good, or good-bad – you know, where it’s bad but you have fun. If you’ve seen almost any indie lesbian romcom in the past 20 years, you know what I mean.

Most years, this means my fiancée and I look up a list of lesbian movies, watch the trailers for a half dozen of them, try to start one, get bored and give up. Then we rewatch Make The Yuletide Gay, which, despite being about gay men and not lesbians, is exactly the kind of feel-good gay nonsense I crave at Christmastime.

Olaf and Nathan at a holiday party in Make The Yuletide Gay
Olaf and Nathan, leads of Make The Yuletide Gay (2009). 50% sex jokes, 50% weed jokes, 100% feel-good holiday fare.

This year, we decided to give Christmas At The Ranch a shot. From a brief glimpse at the poster, I had assumed this would be yet another lesbian movie where I would struggle to tell the protagonists apart. I was fully prepared for a good-bad movie experience. Or just a bad one.

The movie poster for Christmas At The Ranch
I mean, can you blame me?

But to my surprise, Christmas At The Ranch was actually… good. Not bad-good. Just good.

It’s definitely not a new story line. Haleye, who is in a high-powered marketing job in a big city, is called back to Tennessee to help save her grandmother’s ranch from being sold. And there’s a cute ranch hand named Kate who’s been helping out while Haleye’s been gone. Three guesses what happens next.

But it wasn’t completely predictable, and it wasn’t frustrating in the way Hallmark-esque movies can sometimes be. Haleye isn’t a jackass who hates Christmas, and Kate has a pretty realistic view of how much trouble the ranch is in. I was also actually able to tell the leads apart, despite my impression from the poster. 

Haleye and Kate from Christmas At The Ranch sit at a bar smiling at each other
Haleye and Kate, leads of Christmas At The Ranch (2021). Two different people!

My one gripe is that I do wish the ranch hand, Kate, had been a lot more butch. There’s a long history of lesbian media where the leads are both fairly feminine. Which, sure, I guess happens sometimes in real life, but where are the butches?? I need more!

Besides their failure to satisfy my insatiable need for butch lesbian representation, this movie absolutely hit the spot. It was cute, funny, and gay. It also kept both me and my fiancée invested. Plus there’s a character named Masonry who’s basically a gay hippie Alexis Rose, which I love. Christmas at the Ranch has definitely earned its spot as the second movie in our yearly gay Christmas movie rotation. And it gives me hope that we’ll be able to add more in the future.

Christmas at the Ranch is available free on Tubi – seriously, you don’t even have to make an account. Check it out, and if you have any other lesbian holiday movie suggestions, let us know!