Apart from gifts, delicious kakanin, and an endless slew of Jose Mari Chan memes, another of my favourite things about the holiday season is the influx of new Christmas movies — particularly the romances. Majority of holiday romance films are cheesy, yes; but I can’t deny that they never fail to get me in the Christmas spirit! Plus, as a hopeless romantic, I can never resist a good romcom!
As most of us will probably be spending this Christmas at home, we could all use the extra holiday cheer. Don’t you agree? So, to help get you in the mood, here are a few kilig Christmas movies to add to your watch list!
Romantic Christmas movies coming in 2020
Release date: 28 October 2020
Known for their annual holiday releases, Netflix begins this year’s set of Christmas movies with Holidate. Sloane (Emma Roberts) and Jackson (Luke Bracey) are tired of the pressure of finding someone to be with during the holidays. To make up for this, the two agree to be each other’s “holidate” — an instant plus-one for special occasions.
To keep things from getting messy, they agree to keep things strictly platonic. But as a year’s worth of festivities goes by, the two (unsurprisingly) find themselves catching feelings — and even looking forward to the holidays they used to dread so much.
2. Operation Christmas Drop
Release date: 5 November 2020
Christmas is indeed coming early this year, as Netflix is dropping a second holiday romance by the first week of November! Operation Christmas Drop is, interestingly, based on a decades-old military tradition that takes place every Christmas. Annually, boxes of food, clothing, toys, and other supplies are dropped across islands in Micronesia. The film was shot on an actual Air Force Base, and was the first scripted flick to shoot in Guam. Cool, huh?
In the movie, Kat Graham plays a congressional aide named Erica, who spends her Christmas on assignment at a beachside Air Force base in Guam. Erica is tasked by her boss to observe Operation Christmas Drop, which the congressman is looking to shut down. There, she meets the charming Captain Andrew Jantz (Alexander Ludwig); well-aware of her mission, he asks her to give him 24 hours to show her around the island, what they do, and just how important the yearly Christmas operation is to the community.
3. The Princess Switch: Switched Again
Release date: 19 November 2020
Yet another of Netflix’s chill, feel-good Christmas movies, The Princess Switch was pretty well-received when it came out in 2018. To the delight of those who enjoyed the first film, its sequel, The Princess Switch: Switched Again comes out in November 2020. (Plus: the streaming giant has actually revealed that a third movie is already in the works!) So, what can we expect from the second film? Well, long story short: Vanessa Hudgens will be playing not two, but three doppelgängers this time around!
In Switched Again, Duchess Margaret unexpectedly inherits the throne to Montenaro and experiences a little relationship trouble with her boyfriend, Kevin (Nick Sagar). It’s then up to her double and baker-turned-Princess of Belgravia, Stacy, to get them back together. However, making things more complicated, a third lookalike, Margaret’s cousin Fiona, enters the picture — and she has every intention of stirring things up!
4. Happiest Season
Release date: 25 November 2020
The release of holiday romcom Happiest Season is a big deal, not just in the movie world, but also for the LGBTQ+ community. Writer and director Clea DuVall was quoted saying, “I’m a huge fan of Christmas movies, but I had never seen my story represented. Happiest Season felt like a great opportunity to tell a universal story from a new perspective.” Originally intended for the big screen, this film will be bypassing theatres and premiering on Hulu this November!
In the movie, Kristen Stewart and Mackenzie Davis play lead couple Abby and Harper, who head to the latter’s family home for the holidays for the very first time. Abby, planning to pop the question during the Yuletide festivities, discovers that Harper has yet to come out to her (super conservative!) family. Spoiler alert: Like all feel-good Christmas romcoms, this one’s guaranteed a happy ending!
5. The Christmas Setup
Release date: 12 December 2020
In this Lifetime exclusive, real-life couple Ben Lewis and Blake Lee play each other’s love interests — how cute is that? This film is doubly special, as it’s been marked the channel’s very first LGBTQ+ holiday film. (It’s about time!)
A lawyer from New York City, Hugo (Ben Lewis) heads to Milwaukee to spend the holidays with his mom and best friend. His mom decides to play matchmaker and arranges for Hugo to run into Patrick (Blake Lee), his secret high school crush who also happens to be home for Christmas. Her meddling works in everyone’s favour — Hugo and Patrick hit it off! But just when it seems like things are headed somewhere, Hugo is offered a promotion that requires him to choose between love and career.
Romantic Christmas movies to watch over and over again
6. Love Actually (2003)
Honestly, are the holidays ever complete without watching Love Actually at least once? One of the most popular Christmas movies out there, the film features an ensemble cast that includes names like Liam Neeson, Keira Knightley, Hugh Grant, Emma Thompson, Colin Firth, and Alan Rickman.
The movie tells not one, but 10 different love stories that are revealed to be interlinked in the end. Love Actually is about all sorts of love: from first love, to forbidden love, to unexpected love — and even love lost. With so many narratives in a single film, even just one of them is bound to tug at your heartstrings!
7. Serendipity (2001)
I don’t know about you, but I think Serendipity is such an underrated Christmas movie! For anyone who hasn’t seen it, this must-watch film depicts two strangers who meet while attempting to buy the exact same pair of gloves at Bloomingdale’s. To compromise, Jonathan (John Cusack) and Sara (Kate Beckinsale) agree to take one each, then proceed to split a frozen hot chocolate at Serendipity 3.
Their chemistry is undeniable; but because both of them are already in relationships, they decide to let the universe work its magic and bring them together, should they be meant for each other. Jonathan writes his name and number on a $5 bill, while Sara writes hers on a book that’s about to be sold. Years later, both are unable to shake the feeling that they missed out on their soulmate — and just days before Jonathan is set to walk down the aisle, he searches for Sara one last time (not knowing that she’s been looking for him, too).
8. The Holiday (2006)
Yet another Christmas movie from the early 2000s, The Holiday has become quite a Yuletide classic. Both needing to get away after enduring much heartbreak, Iris Simpkins (Kate Winslet) and Amanda Woods (Cameron Diaz) discover one another on a home swap website and agree to trade houses for two weeks.
While both are simply looking for a change of scenery, Amanda unexpectedly meets Iris’ handsome brother Graham (Jude Law), and Iris befriends a Hollywood music composer named Miles (Jack Black). These two women, at first unlucky in love, each get swept up in a sweet holiday romance they weren’t at all expecting!
9. Let It Snow (2019)
As a big fan of John Green’s books, I was equal parts excited and nervous when Netflix announced that they would be coming up with a film adaptation of one of his novels (co-written with authors Maureen Johnson and Lauren Myracle), Let It Snow. But when it premiered in 2019, I was pleasantly surprised with how it turned out!
Let It Snow weaves several love stories together à la Love Actually; only this time, it’s about teens. Various types of love are well-represented in this film: from romantic feelings blossoming between best friends, new love with someone unexpected, a rekindled romance with an old flame, and even love for a pet (not so typical, but we’re here definitely for it). It’s exactly the type of feel-good holiday story that’ll leave you with warm, fuzzy feelings!
10. Last Christmas (2019)
In this star-studded holiday flick, Emilia Clarke plays Kate, an aspiring singer who (quite unhappily) works as an elf at a Christmas shop. Just outside the store, she meets Tom (Henry Golding), an unconventional guy who works as a courier, volunteers at a homeless shelter, and doesn’t believe in carrying a cellphone around with him.
The more they get to know each other, the more Kate is inspired by Tom to love herself more and work a little harder at pursuing her dreams. But the thing is, whenever she actively seeks him out, he seems to disappear for extended periods of time. The plot twist? Well, you’ll have to see it for yourself — just know that after seeing this film, you’ll never hear George Michael’s iconic Christmas song the same way again!
Are your favourite Christmas romcoms on this list? We’d love to hear all your recommendations. Feel free to send them our way via the comments section!