The Ultimate Holiday Romance Movie Roundup
Everyone gets a little sentimental during the holidays. Even the Grinch’s small heart grew three sizes this time of year. No matter your motion picture predilections during the regular calendar year, now is the time to embrace the sunny side of cinema with heartfelt flicks full of good tidings and joy. Here are our picks for getting swept away by the season of love and perpetual hope...
From Nancy Meyers comes this romantic comedy of two couples finding love through a home exchange over Christmas break. Full of lines like, “Shall I make us a little Christmas fettuccini?” and “I like corny. I’m looking for corny in my life,” it is an utterly, delightful and decadently stylish romp through two whirlwind courtships, and some of the best interior design ever documented on film. Charming, A-list cast members Cameron Diaz, Jude Law, Kate Winslet, and Jack Black swoon all over sets that will make you seriously consider redecorating your own home.
Singletons will take solace in the lead heroine’s humiliating yet ultimately hopeful journey through a minefield of family gatherings, career dramas, and dating fiascos. Starring Colin Firth in a tacky reindeer jumper and spanning a full year from one New Year's Eve to the next, it is the perfect all-encompassing romance to carry you into the new year.
Enjoy war buddies Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye tap dancing their way through the New England winter playground of Vermont. This seasonal classic is chock-full of extravagant dance numbers and Irving Berlin original gems from “White Christmas” to “Blue Skies.” In addition to all this, it is arguably the only time a man has ever serenaded a woman in her pajamas fireside, over liverwurst sandwiches and buttermilk, about insomnia—on screen or otherwise.
There exists a polarizing debate as to whether the film is, in fact, the most romantic movie of all time or… well, not. The Atlantic's skewering of the festive, rom-com mainstay is worth a read. Nevertheless, the film remains a well-crafted interwoven tale of multiple loves set against a holiday backdrop of glowing lighting and cheerful set pieces. You can’t beat Kiera Knightley in winter white knitwear or Bill Nighy jingle bell rocking out to treacly-mess Christmas anthems. Complete with heartbreaking and endearing performances, it is a seasonal staple.
The best thing to ever come out of a fight over the last available Christmas gift at Bloomingdale’s, this John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale romantic comedy is warm, cozy, and sweet. It's the movie equivalent of hot cocoa. Get ready for ice skating flirt sessions, prominent David Gray needle drops, and hallmark, crush-worthy Cusack banter in a plot that centers around the premise that love is fate incarnate.
Frank Capra's much beloved tale of a man who looses his inner compass and finds his way back again, It’s A Wonderful Life is a holiday institution that needs no introduction. It lives up to the hype year after year. Jimmy Stewart’s famously amorous speeches in which he promises to lasso the moon for his one true love and later condemns plastics, ground floors, and marriage (in that order) are the ultimate in silver screen soliloquizing.
A tale of divorce and reconciliation amid terrorist threats on Christmas Eve itself, this shoot-em-up action flick offers up handsome, loose-cannon, cop off duty John McClane, as hunky holiday hero-in-residence. A catchphrase-ridden, fully loaded adventure ride that begs the question: Can a man battle terrorists and save his estranged marriage within the same night? It is a love story for our modern times. Full of valor, sacrifice, and snappy one-liners, it also proves arriving underdressed to a party, sometimes, saves lives.
Bill Murray brings sarcasm and wit to this 1988 modern take on Dickens's A Christmas Carol. As a rich and powerful, cold-as-ice TV executive who routinely gifts his only living relative a company bath towel for Christmas, Murray is in top form, maneuvering his way through Christmas past, present, and future to eventually reunite with the one that got away (played by the adorable Karen Allen.) He lets her call him "Lumpy," so you know their love is steadfast and true.
Sandra Bullock, decked to the gills in on-trend 90’s sweaters, falls for Bill Pullman in this case of mistaken identity family comedy. A whimsical love story, the film is often credited, alongside Speed, with launching Bullock to superstardom. It also defined an archetype years before Sex and the City’s Aidan Shaw came on the scene: The dream guy who makes his own furniture.
This 1940's black and white film casts dreamy gentleman’s gentleman,Cary Grant as an angel on Earth, which seems not too far of a stretch for the devilishly handsome icon. Buoyed by the debonaire charisma of Grant, and rife with all the wholesome goodness of a bygone era, its sweet story, which emphasizes the importance of family values above money and ambition, is entirely charming and appropriate for all ages.
What is your favorite holiday love story? Tell us in the comments below?