Top Five Holiday Romance Movies

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By: Katie and Deirdre

The holiday season is in full swing and we at SYTYCW couldn’t be more pleased. December brings with it the chance to trim Christmas trees, listen to well-loved carols, bake sugar cookies and hunker down with hot chocolate (or mulled wine, if you’re our kinda gal!).

But most importantly, this time of year allows us to relax and get comfy watching our favourite Christmas movies. For the romance lover in all of us, holiday movies don’t disappoint in bringing the magic and wonder of love straight to us.

If you’re feeling unfocused, or guilty taking time off, when it comes to your writing–the best part? It’s technically research. 🙂 We at SYTYCW encourage you to take in a love flick (or ten) this month. If you’re feeling really studious, you might consider how these well-loved films approach plot, conflict and characterization. But we’ll the look the other way if you don’t.

Here’s our top five holiday romance films:

Love, Actually

This particular rom-com can be quite polarizing—some love it, some hate it! But not only does it feature an all-star cast, it features relationships in varying stages, and of all shapes and sizes, reminding us that the magic of the season (and romance!) can bring us together.

The Shop Around the Corner

If you enjoyed “You’ve Got Mail”, you really shouldn’t miss the classic Hollywood romantic comedy on which it was based. Margaret Sullavan and James Stewart work (and bicker) side by side, each unaware that the other is the pen-pal they’re falling for. Until Christmas Eve. . .


The Holiday

Whether you’re partial to the charm of a snow-covered cottage or the glam of old Hollywood, the parallel romances in this movie show us opposites attract, and that love can be found in unexpected places. If nothing else, watch because Cameron Diaz’s character, Amanda, has fabulous taste in coats. (Oh God, the coats!)

The Family Man

Nicolas Cage’s Wall Street executive gets a second chance at love with Tea Leoni by way of a Christmas miracle in this surprisingly charming holiday romance. Be sure to have a tissue handy for all the warm feels!

While You Were Sleeping

Sandra Bullock plays a quirky and lonely transit token collector caught between two men. When she saves her commuter crush from an accident on Christmas Day, she doesn’t expect to fall for his brother! This one is funny and heartwarming–and who can resist a perfectly charming Bill Pullman 😉


And, special bonus pick:

Die Hard

Ok, it’s not technically a Christmas movie. Or a romance. But it’s Deirdre’s go-to holiday indulgence. Curl up on the couch with an eggnog and cookies and watch Bruce Willis walk barefoot over broken glass to rescue his estranged wife (her name is Holly!) from the evil, and irresistibly suave, Alan Rickman.


How about you? What’s your favourite holiday romance? Share your choice or tell us what you love about these (and what they can teach us about storytelling) in the comments! And Happy Holidays!



Reply to Chrissie

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  1. Four Christmases is my fav newer rom com for Christmas. Sleepless in Seattle is another fav that starts out at Christmas. The Holiday is one of Cameron Diaz’s best movies. And I love the old White Christmas, with Danny Kaye. I think Holiday Inn (same movie) had Fred Astaire in it, and Bing was in both. Another one is Miracle on 34th Street. I love all versions. It just isn’t Christmas unless I watch them. 😉

  2. Dina van't Veer

    This is my favorite time of year for movie watching. Chrissie I love all your movies but some more perfect Christmas movies are Bridget Jones Diary, Under The Tuscan Sun and the absolute best, my most loved movie, The Sound Of Music!

    This Christmas break starts tomorrow for me and lasts until the new year. You can bet I’ll be over dosing on ALL romantic movies every day. I will of course have tons of hot chocolate, some nice locally produced wine, including ice wine, and of course apple cider!

    Wishing everyone the most joyful and safe holiday season.

    • Yes to “Bridget Jones’s Diary” and “The Sound of Music!” I just picked up my paperback copy of BJD last night for seasonal reading. It’s hilarious!
      I also watched “Arthur Christmas” for the first time this year and it was charming.

  3. Katie Gowrie

    I’m loving all of these movie mentions! So much festiveness in one blog post 🙂 (I watched Arthur Christmas for the first time a year ago and it just shot right up to one of my fave holiday picks!!)

  4. Last night I went on a Christmas movie marathon and watched Love, Actually, Die Hard, Bridget Jones Diary, While You Were Sleeping (one of my very favorite movies!), and Mixed Nuts (a funny movie with Steve Martin, Rita Wilson, Madeline Kahn–she is hilarious in this, Robert Klein, Rob Reiner and others). I like the other movies others mentioned, but I don’t own them. I’ve never seen Arthur Christmas. This time of year with the cold weather is perfect for curling up with a good movie or a good book.

    Hope everyone has a merry Christmas and a wonderful new year.