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The 6 Best Romantic Holiday Movies

So you’re finally home for the holidays, relishing in the fact that you’re done with exams and getting to spend some time with your family and friends. You’re grabbing dinner with your pals, visiting all your aunts and uncles, having a blast in the snow… and it’s exhausting! All the craziness of the season may leave you frazzled, and soon all you want to do is curl up with a mug of hot chocolate and a movie. The only decision to make is: which one? Here are six of our favorite romantic movies about the holiday season to chill you out and warm you up at the same time!

1. Love Actually (2003)

In potentially the most adorable and heartbreaking moment of this movie, Mark stands in front of his best friend’s wife with a stack of signs, one of which declares: “To me, you are perfect.” And you, Love Actually, are perfect to us! Love Actually weaves together nine stories about Londoners at Christmastime and teaches us about love in all its forms. The delicious mix of unlikely pairings, bittersweet endings and new beginnings in this film makes it an obvious choice for our list… as if Hugh Grant’s infamous dance scene isn’t enough of a reason!

2. Elf (2003)

“I love you! I love you! I LOVE YOU!” Buddy the Elf chirps in this Christmas comedy, and his endearing outbursts don’t end there. A human raised as an elf, Buddy spends the film trying to reconnect with his long-lost family and spread holiday cheer in New York City. This is one of our favorites because in the midst of his holiday adventures and mishaps, he falls in love with cynical Jovie (played by a blonde Zooey Deschanel), and his crazy goofiness may just win her over.

3. The Holiday (2006)

We would never complain about spending some time with Jude Law and Jack Black on our holiday vacation, and neither would Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet, obviously! Two women who decide to swap their houses—and lifestyles—after bad breakups find exactly what they’re looking for in this flick. It’s chock-full of laughs and serves as a reminder that even when you’re feeling blue, some optimism and a change of scene (and maybe meeting someone with an English accent) can turn things around.

4. How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)

We wouldn’t touch him with a 39-and-a-half-foot pole, but that doesn’t mean we don’t love him anyway! We have to admit, the Grinch’s decades-long crush on Martha May Whovier is incredibly adorable, and we root for him the whole way through, even while he tries his best to ruin Christmas. If this movie isn’t already a part of your winter break tradition, it probably should be—there’s no movie out there that’s a better reminder of the powerful spirit of community and kindness.

5. Serendipity (2001)

This holiday story is so uplifting because nothing’s better than watching two strangers fall madly in love. Serendipity makes our list because it brings out our sappy, romantic side—we totally understand the simultaneous happiness and heartbreak Sara and Jonathan experience as they find each other only to lose each other. The two spend years thinking about each other and about what could have been… and what could still be, if fate works in their favor!

6. Bridget Jones’s Diary (2001)

Okay, okay, so this one isn’t technically a holiday movie. But the first big scene is a New Year’s party and there’s snow and festivity all around, so by our book, it qualifies. We girls all have secrets we keep from the guys in our lives, so we appreciate that this movie gives us an inside look at Bridget Jones’s sassy, honest opinions on her men. A classic girl-turns-her-life-around-to-catch-her-dream-man flick, Bridget Jones’s Diary is quirky and relatable, and it makes sure we know what the important things are in life: loving yourself and never letting anyone read your diary.


Whether you’re cheering for Sam in the airport or giggling at Buddy’s misadventures, swooning with Amanda or groaning with Bridget, these movies are sure to make you fall in love with love all over again. If you make it through all of them (we wouldn’t blame you) and are still in that lounge-y, movie-watching mood, be sure to check out our other favorite holiday classics!

Sophie van Bastelaer is a proud Belgian-American studying International Development, English and Women's Studies at McGill University. Whenever Sophie starts to get gloomy with the state of the world, she thinks about the arrivals gate at Heathrow Airport, which probably means she's too obsessed with Love Actually. She also enjoys the rain, putting on a British accent, binge-watching trashy TV shows and experimenting with any and all kinds of baked goods (focusing especially on that prime chocolate/peanut butter combination). 
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