Decision paralysis is hard enough when you’re the only one scrolling endlessly across streaming platforms. The holidays can make it exponentially harder to find and choose a movie or series. Often it means factoring in friends and family, conflicting traditions, moods, and “already seen it” problems.
So how to make a collective decision about what to watch this holiday? Follow the Watercooler’s decisive guide…and blame us if your people don’t like the outcome!
Step 1: Appoint a final Decision Maker
Who gets the job? Your special guest. If there’s more than one, make it the person you see the least often, or the person who came the farthest. If that doesn’t boil it down to one person, anoint the person who’s had the most challenging year, or the most senior.
Step 2: Factor in frame of mind
That person who’s had a challenging year might not want to sit through one of those family movies with a big loss…or that sh*t-out-of-luck relative.
So the Decision Maker should start by asking everyone what they’re in the mood to watch — and prompt them to pick 3 from this list: find me fun, enlighten me, transport me, romance me, thrill me, grip me, or inspire me.
3: Filter the results
Once you’ve written down everyone’s choices, head to the Watercooler’s search engine and click on 3 categories that got the most votes, 4 if there’s a tie.
4: Consider the kids
If the tweens and under are joining for movie night, scroll down to the “What interests you?” section and click on “family friendly.” If nothing from the list excites the grown-ups, check out our Best International Holiday Movies, which includes titles most of your guests have not yet seen, but are sure to be intrigued by. Look under “Kid’s Table” and “For the Whole Family” for picks.
5: Consider the elders
If you’ve got older generations in the mix, narrow the options down further by clicking “take me back” (under “What are you in the mood for”). Also click on “Classics” (under “What are you interested in?”)
Scroll down to see results that are more likely to stir the older generations. The best part about a nostalgia watch is that it will prompt them to share their own stories from the era. (That is priceless. You will wish you did more of this when they are gone.)
6: No kids or elders?
Use the “what are you interested in” prompts and ask everyone to pick 2 from the following:
Acclaimed & award winning, classic, epic, fresh perspectives, fantasy, history, heroes/heroines, satire.
7: Narrowing it down to The One
Once you scroll down to see your results, ask everyone to pick just 2 from the top 6 titles. Tally the votes to see if you have a leader. If you don’t, go with the first title.
Note: many streaming services offer free trials. And there are several more months of winter ahead – so consider trying a new one!