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From holiday classics to heartwarming romantic comedies, here’s our pick of the best Christmas films ever
The holiday season is upon us, and what better way to embrace the festive spirit than by cozying up with some hot chocolate and heartwarming Christmas movies? With streaming platforms offering a plethora of options, finding the perfect film to enjoy with family and friends has never been easier. From timeless classics to modern gems, here’s a curated list of 10 Christmas movies that are sure to bring joy and warmth to your holiday celebrations.
The movie played a pivotal role in turning Mariah Carey’s ‘All I Want For Christmas is You’ into a cultural phenomenon. The ultimate Christmas romantic comedy, Richard Curtis’ 2003 film assembles a stellar cast featuring Hugh Grant, Liam Neeson, Colin Firth, Laura Linney, Emma Thompson, Alan Rickman, and Keira Knightley to assert the timeless notion that love is the true essence of life. Against the backdrop of London during the festive season, “Love Actually” unfolds ten distinct stories that beautifully interconnect as they explore the various facets of love.
The Polar Express
This one is for those who don’t believe in Santa Claus or possibly, are on the fence. It’s a journey of a young boy, who has just started doubting in Santa’s existence, to the North Pole on a train called the Polar Express. As the train crosses snowy peaks and ice-covered lakes, inside its cosy cabins the boy learns the meaning of friendship and loyalty with steaming mugs of hot chocolate on the side. Santa’s village, of course, is every kid’s dream, with a lavish Christmas tree, piles of gifts, and helpful elves.
Directed by Nancy Meyers, “The Holiday” is a romantic comedy that follows Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet as they swap their gorgeous, spacious abodes for the Christmas season. Winslet’s character, now residing in Los Angeles, forms a friendship with an elderly screenwriter portrayed by Eli Wallach and later develops romantic feelings for a compassionate composer played by Jack Black. Simultaneously, Diaz’s character, settled in Surrey, unknowingly connects with the brother of Winslet’s character, portrayed by Jude Law. With a duration surpassing two hours, this romantic comedy brims with charm and humor, guaranteeing ample entertainment to keep your holiday guests entertained throughout the evening.
Home Alone 2: Lost in New York
No matter what age you are, if you say the sight of little Kevin McCallister (Macaulay Culkin) watching the Christmas lights at the Rockefeller Centre in New York doesn’t melt your heart, then you truly are a Christmas Grinch. Home Alone 2 allows us to discover the magic of a white Christmas in the city of dreams through the curious eyes of a 10-year-old boy. We follow Kevin through his run-ins with the pigeon lady at Central Park, a luxurious stay at the Plaza and his mother’s search for him through crowded Times Square. Their reunion at Rockefeller only seems befitting a Christmas miracle, some would say.
You’ve Got Mail
Nora Ephron’s remake of “The Shop Around the Corner” depicts the rivalry between booksellers, serving as both a romantic homage to New York’s Upper West Side and a celebration of the transformative force of love. The wistful Christmas sequences, accompanied by Harry Nilsson’s ‘Remember,’ evoke a desire to partake in ice skating or generously share children’s books. The on-screen chemistry between Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks elevates what could be seen as a clichéd narrative into the realm of a timeless classic.
The meeting of our romantic protagonists takes place amidst the hustle and bustle of Christmas shopping in New York – check and check. In this romantic comedy featuring John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale, the narrative centers on the belief in the universe’s ability to uncover one’s soulmate, making it an ideal film for the concluding moments of the year. Their paths intersect during a visit to Bloomingdale’s, each unknowingly vying for the same pair of gloves. A delightful, endearing, and effortlessly enjoyable experience, this film serves as a charming introduction to the festive season without overwhelming the viewer.
Bridget Jones’s Diary
Sharon Maguire’s 2001 adaptation of Helen Fielding’s 1996 book unquestionably stands as one of the finest British comedies ever crafted. Brimming with a delightful mix of awkward mishaps and genuinely heartwarming moments, the film features Hugh Grant and Colin Firth at the height of their powers, engaging in a street brawl over Renée Zellweger’s Bridget Jones. The sheer fun of witnessing this rivalry is unparalleled. Adding to the festive cheer, Jim Broadbent takes on the role of Bridget’s father, with Gemma Jones portraying her mother, and Shirley Henderson shines as one of her closest friends. Enhanced by scenes set against the backdrop of the holiday season, this film effortlessly earns its place among the Christmas classics.
In one of his most heartwarming roles, Will Ferrell takes the lead as Buddy the Elf in “Elf.” Raised among elves in the North Pole, Buddy learns he’s human and embarks on a journey to meet his father, who happens to be on the naughty list. The film unfolds as a classic tale of turning around a grumpy old man’s disdain for Christmas, featuring uplifting moments of singing Christmas cheer aloud for all to hear. A perfect choice for a family movie night, “Elf” promises cozy entertainment and holiday joy.
A Christmas Carol (1984)
Charles Dickens’ timeless story gets a stirring rendition in the 1984 film “A Christmas Carol.” George C. Scott’s portrayal of Ebenezer Scrooge, a miserly old man who undergoes a transformation on Christmas Eve, captures the essence of redemption and the spirit of giving.
Dr. Seuss’s beloved character comes to life in Ron Howard’s “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” starring Jim Carrey as the titular character. This whimsical and visually stunning film follows the Grinch’s attempts to ruin Christmas in the town of Whoville, only to discover the true meaning of the holiday.