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5 Great Romantic Comedies to Get You Into the Holiday Spirit Right After Finals

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

Tis’ the season to be jolly… except for the fact that it’s finals szn.

As a fellow student, I can relate to the current feelings of stress and anxiety, as well as the sleepless nights of cramming for your econ final in the morning. Or when you’re supposed to be writing your final paper for poli sci, but instead you’re daydreaming about cozying up on the couch and watching a holiday-themed romcom with hot cocoa as snow falls outside your window. 

Trust me, I get it, we’ve all been there, and it’s hard, but you’re almost there! So to motivate you, I’ve assembled a list of my personal fave romcoms to get you right into the holiday mood once finals are done! And yes, I’ve refrained from adding any sappy Hallmark rom coms to the list…

1. The Holiday

At number one, The Holiday is quite literally one of the absolute BEST holiday movies ever––at least, in my humble opinion it is. I mean who doesn’t want to watch a holiday love story involving a life swap between English-sweetheart Kate Winslet and America’s darling Cameron Diaz? 

After both leading ladies suffer heartbreak right before the holiday season, they both decide they need to leave their respective cities for a solo getaway. After agreeing to swapping houses online, Amanda (Diaz) makes her way to London, while Iris (Winslet) finds herself living in Los Angeles. Both are only expecting to nurse their broken hearts alone, until love manages to find its way back to them.

I mean, come on… a life swap love story? Jude Law as a hot single dad?? Those are just some of the reasons as to why The Holiday is one of my absolute favourite holiday movies. With a star-studded cast of Cameron Diaz, Kate Winslet, Jude Law, and Jack Black, this film is sure to warm your heart and give any singletons out there proof that love can happen when you least expect it. Also, can this home swap website actually exist please?

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BDi5zH18vxU&ab_channel=MovieclipsClassicTrailers

Where to watch: Netflix

2. Love Actually

Love is all around us during the holiday season, whether it be from family, friends, or even the Prime Minister himself… if you haven’t seen this holiday classic, I’m so sorry you don’t get the joke cause I’m not talking about Justin Trudeau. 

With an almost exclusively British cast, this film has nine interlinked storylines that all take place in London: from a writer who gets cheated on only to fall in love with his Portuguese housekeeper; to the young and single Prime Minister of England and his budding relationship with a junior household staff member; and to the heartbreaking realization between two people that sometimes marriages must come to an end. All of these storylines are filled with happiness, heartbreak, but most importantly love, which is all around us.

With performances from an ensemble cast of some of your fave Brits, Love Actually is sure to make you laugh and cry (both good tears and bad… I’m looking at you Professor Snape) this holiday season. Also, I can 100% confirm that you will finish this movie and have a favourite couple, and it will be Jamie and Aurélia. 

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H9Z3_ifFheQ&ab_channel=MovieclipsClassicTrailers

Where to watch: Netflix

3. Happiest Season

This 2020 film starring the icon herself KStew alongside Mackenzie Davis, Aubrey Plaza, and Dan Levy might just divide viewers with its realistically heart wrenching, yet also heartwarming storyline.

After being invited by her girlfriend to spend Christmas with her family, Abby (Stewart) plans on asking Harper (Davis) to marry her; but there’s just one problem… Harper hasn’t come out to her parents yet, and Abby only learns this minutes before their arrival. What follows is a few short days of secrets and betrayal, leading to a tumultuous Christmas Eve party that puts love on the line. But if romcoms have taught me anything, it’s that love always prevails––especially during the happiest season.

So if you’re feeling a bit angsty for love, The Happiest Season will for sure have you covered. Also, *spoiler alert* but… Abby, babe… Riley is right there!!

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h58HkQV1gHY&ab_channel=Hulu

Where to watch: Amazon Prime Video

4. New Years Eve

Who said all holiday rom coms have to be about Christmas? New Years is just as much of a romantic holiday, and New Years Eve is the best film to watch the week leading up to December 31st!

Much like Love Actually, this movie follows several interconnected storylines that lead up to the big night in New York City––and yes, the Times Square ball drop is included. From a rockstar trying to get his ex-fiancée back; to two strangers falling in love with each other while trapped in an elevator; as well as a couple destined to be the first to welcome their baby into the new year. Oh, and of course a movie about New Years Eve wouldn’t be complete without plenty of sappy New Years kisses!

With an all-star cast of familiar faces, this movie is sure to warm your heart and make you excited about creating your own magical New Years Eve experience with those you love!

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h_dt27_0vL4&ab_channel=MovieclipsTrailers

Where to watch: Netflix

5. Bridget Jones’s Diary

Listen, it’s not not a holiday romcom. Okay, sure, maybe the whole film doesn’t take place during the holiday season, but it does begin and end with it, and that’s enough for me to consider this 2000s classic a holiday movie. It’s basically a classic reinterpretation of Pride and Prejudice with a modern twist, starring film legends Renée Zellweger, Colin Firth, and Hugh Grant––and if that’s not enough convincing to get you on board, then I don’t even know what to tell you.

It’s the New Year, and thirty-two year old Bridget Jones (Zellweger) decides to change her life for the better with hopes of finding love. She begins to write in a diary, where she tells only the truth of everything she thinks and experiences. Along the way, she keeps running into Mark Darcy (Firth), who seems to not like her, but truth be it, that’s not the case whatsoever. She also realizes that her boss, Daniel Cleaver (Grant), has begun to take an interest in her. Thus begins her year-long whirlwind and hysterical love life where she essentially has to decide between both men, and her decision culminates during the holiday season. 

Bridget Jones’s Diary may not be your typical holiday romcom, but it is an unofficial official one in my heart, and hopefully it can be in yours too!

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EtB2FwwaMT0&ab_channel=1keepcalmandcarryon

Where to watch: Netflix

Madi Botelho

McGill '22

Madi is a fourth-year student at McGill University majoring in International Development, and minoring in Communication Studies and Cultural Studies. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, writing, daydreaming, and crying to Taylor Swift's music.
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