It’s that time of year again! ‘Tis the season for bright spirits, mulled wine and indulging in our favourite guilty pleasures (perhaps not so guilty for some) that are holiday rom-coms! From Love Actually to The Holiday…it’s not Christmas until the feel good, holiday rom-coms start rolling. If you’re anything like me, you probably having a running list of holiday rom-coms that are a must-see every year. While the post card/carollers scene from Love Actually will surely never get old, it’s not the worst idea to add some new holiday favourites into the mix every now and then. Fret not, we’ve rounded up our favourite holiday rom-coms that you probably haven’t seen yet but totally should!
Crashing Through the Snow (2021)
Watch: STACKTV with Prime Video Channels
By now everyone is well aware of the cookie cutter Hallmark plots…I thought I knew where this one was headed but Crashing Through the Snow was a pleasant surprise (I know shocking right!). Centred around Maggie Collins and Jeff Randall – turns out navigating co-parenting while trying to uphold holiday traditions for their girls is no easy feat…especially as their lives head in separate directions. Jeff’s girlfriend’s elaborately planned family Christmas getaway to Aspen gets interesting when she graciously invites Maggie…who accepts. Throw in a surprise visit by a charming brother, there’s not one but two love stories here amidst this blended family drama. What I loved about this movie is the genuine dialogue around important family themes such as divorce and blended families, a sight for sore eyes when it comes to traditional Hallmark movies. Also notable, there is no obvious ‘villain’ in this movie which I thought was absolutely refreshing and reflective of real life relationships. PLUS…the Christmas décor in the movie made me want to book a red eye to Aspen…safe to say Hallmark did this one right!
Boyfriends of Christmas Past (2021)
Watch: STACKTV with Prime Video Channels
While this title leaves very little to the imagination…. it’s clearly a Hallmark movie that takes on the classic Scrooge ghosts of Christmases past plot. The twist…we get to follow the lead, Lauren, as she revisits her past relationships which all happen to have come to an end leading up to Christmas. While a walk down memory lane on past failed relationships would be an absolute nightmare for most, turns out watching someone else do it isn’t so bad. While the movie’s ending comes at no surprise, Lauren’s journey to self discovery is not as predictable as you would think. Bonus - her best friend/potential love interest played by Toronto native Ray Ablack isn’t so bad on the eyes either!
Holiday in the Wild (2019)
This one takes the cake for the most unconventional and unique take on a Christmas movie plot I’ve seen. When Kate decides to go on the safari vacation that was intended to be her second honeymoon with her estranged husband, the trip proves to be more than she bargained for but exactly what she needs. When she stumbles upon a rescued baby elephant, she’s instantly drawn to helping nurse the rescue back to health at the elephant sanctuary. Turns out the elephants are not the only ones healing as Kate begins to discover herself again in the wild. Calling all SATC lovers, Kate, played by the fabulous Kristen Davis is essentially an extension of her character as Charlotte York. Throw in some cute elephants and a charming Rob Lowe…who by they way I’m convinced actually ages like fine wine…you have a recipe for a WILDLY (pun intended) entertaining holiday rom com.
Happiest Season (2020)
Watch: Amazon Prime
From the cast, to the humour and originality of the script, Happiest Season is bound to get you in the festive spirit. While the movie takes on the classic Christmas trope of drama unfolding when a family reunites for the holidays, the refreshing twist is that the drama is surrounded around Harper and her lesbian partner Abby. When Harper invites Abby to come home with her for the holidays, Abby’s in for a surprise when she discovers Harper hasn’t come out to her family yet. While it’s refreshing to see a progressive holiday rom com centered around a LGBTQ2+ story line, I also loved the portrayal of the depth of female relationships, both familial and romantic. With all the ingredients of a modern classic rom com…Happiest Season is bound to get you laughing and feeling all the feels.
Same Time, Next Christmas (2019)
Watch: Disney Plus
Unlike typical holiday movies, Same Time Next Christmas takes a modern spin on traditional family Christmases. While 9 times out of 10 most Christmas movies take place in chilly New York City or some remote small town, this one somehow manages to deliver the magic of Christmas from sunny Hawaii. The movie follows star crossed lovers Olivia and Jeff as they reunite at the same Hawaiian resort where they met as kids. The ‘will they won’t they’ trope will keep you wondering all while blushing at the abundantly romantic scenes between the stunning Lea Michelle (Olivia) and not one but two charming lads… Charles Michael Davis (Jeff) and Bryan Greenberg. Heck it might even persuade you to take a sunny Christmas vacation to the tropics yourself!