Happy Valentine’s Day to all our festive friends! To get into the spirit of the most romantic holiday, the elves have been watching the catalogue of Christmas rom-coms from Netflix to Hallmark and everywhere in between, and we’ve come up with our definitive guide to the 4 best Christmas rom-coms that will have you laughing, crying and celebrating love any time of the year.
With festive magic and a star-studded cast, The Holiday stole its way into our hearts in the mid-2000s – in fact, I remember seeing it for the first time in my auntie’s living room when it finally aired on TV and have routinely watched it every Christmas since. Transatlantic adventures are on the horizon when, faced with romantic setbacks, Amanda (Cameron Diaz) and Iris (Kate Winslet) decide to swap their homes in England and California for the holidays to be met with new experiences and unlikely romances. These powerhouse actresses opposite the handsome and mysterious Graham (Jude Law) and the supportive and at times goofy Miles (Jack Black) have amazing chemistry, with the perfect blend of well-paced romance and comedic Christmas shenanigans that make this move a timeless classic. If the A-list cast and heartwarming story aren’t enough, the internet has unanimously agreed that Kate Winslet’s modest Rosehill Cottage is the stuff of our dreams – the perfect setting for the quintessential countryside Christmas love story!
Made and set in bonnie Scotland, this fledgling festive film has a stellar Scottish cast to be proud of with stunning snowy settings that highlight the beauty and magic of our very own highlands. A classic love story unfolds as a pair of strangers (Kenny Boyle, Natalie Clark) have to overcome recent heartbreak and team up to travel home in time for Christmas with no shortage of squabbles, challenges and unexpected connections along the road… Sure, this movie is packed full of romantic clichés and awkward meet-cute moments for our unlucky protagonists, but aren’t those the bread and butter of our favourite Christmas rom-coms? With well-known local actors including Still Game’s Sanjeev Kohli and cultural references like the coveted gold Duke of Edinburgh award, this movie has a homey nostalgic feeling that will have you chuckling along.
Starring Game of Thrones’ Mother of Dragons Emilia Clarke, this Christmas movie became an instant hit with rom-com lovers around the world for its funny yet heartwarming (and often heartbreaking) story – and for us, this movie is extra special as it features a Christmas shop just like our own. We promise you will be enchanted with the story of Kate, a Christmas shop ‘elf’ who’s lost touch with her Christmas spirit as she struggles with her self-esteem, family troubles and a series of mistakes and goofy mishaps befitting the life of a young single artist in the city… until she meets a mysterious stranger Tom (Henry Golding) who steals her heart and brings out her brighter side. Emilia Clarke’s comedic side really shines in this movie as she gets to know Tom, as well as in her relationship with the no-nonsense Santa (Michelle Yeoh), but we do have to warn you: this fabulous film bucks some familiar trends of our usual Christmas rom-coms, so expect some twists and don’t watch without a supply of tissues nearby!
A staple in the Christmas catalogue, Love Actually is a time-old favourite following the threads of 8 London-based romances as they navigate their issues over the Christmas period. Maybe it’s the star-studded cast of proven stars like Emma Thompson, Alan Rickman and Hugh Grant as well as emerging talents Kiera Knightley and the adorable young Thomas Brodie-Sangster that make us love this movie; maybe it’s the refreshing diversity of first love, workplace romance and long-term struggles that are often neglected in rom-coms. All we know is that year after year, we’ll be watching and waiting for Prime Minister Hugh Grant to realise what’s been right there all along…