Parade Magazine's Top 9 Romantic Holiday Movies



Renee Zellweger as Bridget Jones and Colin Firth as Mark Darcy.

In keeping with the theme of my last post of Top 11 Romantic Holiday Songs, I, of course, have a list of favorite romantic holiday movies as well! I spent good portion of Thanksgiving weekend watching the holiday movie marathons on Hallmark and ABC Family. My DVR gets quite the workout over the holiday season. Granted, most of these movies are so cheesy it’s almost a sin not to have a glass of wine while watching them, but I’m still glued to my television set when they come on.

Here are my top romantic holiday movies:

Okay, there’s really nothing remotely romantic about this Jim Henson-produced show, complete with marionette otters and porcupines, but boy is it cute and a staple for the holiday season. If your guy enjoys this show, he’s a keeper. While I’m not a fan of barbeque, I sure like this kind:


9.  LOVE ACTUALLY (2003)
I’m sure everyone has this movie in their Top 5 holiday movie list, hence it’s current placement on mine. When I first saw the movie I wasn’t a fan, but as I watched it again and again over each holiday season I started to love it more and more. My favorite storylines in the film are the ones with Hugh Grant and Colin Firth. Do you have a favorite?

8.  SCROOGED (1988)
If a guy can make you laugh, that’s a turn-on, right? Well, Bill Murray puts me in hysterics and beneath this comedy lies a romantic story of lost (and found) loves. It also includes “Put a Little Love in Your Heart,” a great duet by Annie Lennox and Al Green (which is one of the songs in my Top 11 Romantic Holiday Songs list).


7.  THE HOLIDAY (2006)
While I’m not a huge fan of Jude Law (he’s too effeminate, in my opinion—anyone with me on this?), this was a cute movie.


6.  SANTA CLAUSE 2 (2002)
I have a special affinity for this film as I was on the production crew when I used to work at Disney Studios. Elizabeth Mitchell is perfectly cast as the future Mrs. Clause and it was nice to see the same actor who plays Tim Allen’s son in the original film cast again as the son, now a teenager. I thought the Clauses’ first kiss underneath the mistletoe was especially romantic.


This film always reminded me of the holidays, though I don’t think it is considered a holiday movie.  It evokes a wintery feel as the main character, Dick Matthews (a young and surprisingly handsome Burgess Meredith) returns from Alaska after he strikes it rich prospecting for gold. He is distraught when he finds out his girlfriend has moved on, but soon finds love when her younger sister (Ann Sothern) who has had a crush on him since childhood, chases after him.

4.  HOLIDAY INN (1942)
An oldy but a goody. With a soundtrack from Irving Berlin (and where Bing Crosby’s “White Christmas” got its debut), this classic film should get as much airtime as It’s a Wonderful Life around the holidays but, alas, it does not. “White Christmas” was nominated for Best Song at the Oscars that year and Berlin was the presenter for the category. It was the first time in Oscar history that a presenter presented the award to himself!


3.  SERENDIPITY (2001)
Two good-looking people + a snowy, Christmas-y New York City = perfect romance. You almost can’t stop looking at the screen as Kate Beckinsaleand John Cusack are so attractive. Toss in Jeremy Piven as the plucky best friend and Eugene Levy as the neurotic Bloomingdale’s store clerk (the precursor to Rowan Atkinson’s jewelry store salesman from Love Actually) and you have charming holiday romance.


What female singleton did not love this movie? No matter how thin or beautiful we are, we all can relate to Bridget’s plight. Who wouldn’t want both Colin Firth and Hugh Grant fighting over them? Admit it, you kind of wanted to try that blue string soup, didn’t you?


It was hard to choose a favorite between Bridget Jones’ Diary and While You Were Sleeping, but as you can see, While You Were Sleeping won out. This movie turned Bill Pullman into a romantic lead (finally!) and featured a cast of quirky family members and neighbors. Sandra Bullock’s Lucy embodied the loneliness all of us have felt (at one time or another) over the holidays and we all laugh when she finds herself in awkward situations to keep the loneliness at bay and rejoice when she finds the family she has yearned for.



What’s your favorite holiday romance?

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