The nippy November air has set in, some we know are well into their early Christmas shopping while others prefer to rush home and avoid traffic. What do we do if we have extra free time at home in the evening? If the weather is particularly cozy it should be fun to gather 'round for a good movie. There are a number of holiday films, but Christmas-themed romantic comedies just take the cake:
1. The Holiday (Columbia Pictures/Universal Pictures). What could possibly happen or go wrong if two women, somewhat unsatisfied with their current lives, decide to swap homes for the holiday season? The unexpected awaits when both of them begin to fall for two local men in either country. The Holiday is a sweet flick and will also show you a perfect example of the cliche "real men cry."
2. While You Were Sleeping (Hollywood Pictures/Caravan Pictures). This movie from the '90s is one of my all-time favorites. It's like the perfect cocktail of just enough meet-cute, just enough comedy, and with deep love for family. Sandra Bullock's character, Lucy, finds herself in a muddle after rescuing her crush, Peter, off the train tracks. The family mistakenly believes she's his fiancee, and caught up suddenly in a lot of generous love after being alone for so long, Lucy must find a way to tell them the truth while also resisting the advances of her crush's brother. The music of While You Were Sleeping is also very memorable.
3. The Family Stone (20th Century Fox). The Christmas season brings family together as well as a number of complex dynamics between them. It's hard to be the odd one out when you're the new fiance of a guy with a close-knit family. Things aren't what they seem though once each member resolves to give each other a chance in The Family Stone.
4. Love Actually (Working Title, Universal Studios). Multiple stories of romance, family feelings, and its complications intertwine in this British holiday romcom with a best-seller soundtrack. Love Actually was the millenial film that, after a long-time drought of films about true love that "got it," made the whole world heave a huge "awww." In it, several individuals all linked to each other deal with love and its varied discovery and bundled challenges approaching Christmas. Tender feelings, heartfelt disappointment, and curious triumphs are woven throughout this lovely film and remind us that love actually is what we all know, fear, avoid, hope for, and pursue.
5. Ronnie and Julie (A Hallmark TV Special). This might be the hardest to find among the entire bunch, but if you track Ronnie and Julie down in some digital form you won't be disappointed. It came out on the Hallmark channel decades ago. A mid-'90s millenial high-school take on Romeo and Juliet is what this TV special was, starring Joshua Jackson and Margot Finley and the setting is in a hockey-obsessed town during winter. The chemistry onscreen was palpable and the modern-day interpretation of a medieval romance quite smooth. It may look retro now but I still find it cute to watch.
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