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Top Holiday Romantic-Comedies to Watch This Holiday Season

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Nov 07, 2011 | 7:42am EST

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the holidayWith the holiday season upon us, we find ourselves immersed once again in the hustle and bustle that comes with it. Houses are being decorated (both inside and out), snow is starting to cover the ground, and there’s just a general source of merriment in the air. Sure, it also means that your bank account is going to drop sufficiently after all the holiday shopping and there’s a good chance you’re going to get involved in one or two family fights, but that’s all part of the grand tradition…right? It all depends on how you look at it.

Yes, the holidays come with a measure of stress, but also a lot of joy and laughter. Whether you're stuffing yourself with delicious Thanksgiving turkey or tearing open tons of packages under the Christmas tree, you're going to be surrounded by the people that you love and that's never a bad thing. But for those of you who are still having trouble embracing the holiday frivolity, I decided to compose a list of some must-see holiday rom-coms. Most romantic comedies are usually suitable to watch all year round, but there’s just something about these movies that never fails to put you in the Christmas spirit (at least for 2 hours anyway). Some are traditional holiday classics, while others have a more modern-day appeal, but they all contain that feel-goodness that you can only find during this time of year. Each and every one of these films guarantees to get you out of your winter funk and high on Christmas cheer. Let the Holiday Netflix Streaming begin!

Love Actually

This is probably one of the best holiday films ever created. The movie is made up of a top-notch celebrity ensemble who end up all being connected to each other in some form or another. Each individual character is experiencing their own unique set of problems during the holiday season, which result in some rather touching moments. New relationships are discovered while others come to an end; some love is forbidden, while others have to face a language barrier. But the theme of the film is constant: love is everywhere! It may sound cheesy, but this movie provides a great mix of comedy to go along with all the romance. Plus any movie that features Hugh Grant as a dashing Prime Minister (who can dance) deserves major praise.

The Holiday

Who knew when you’d put Cameron Diaz, Jude Law, Kate Winslet, and Jack Black in a movie together, you’d get such a feel-good holiday film, but that’s exactly what you get. Two women, who meet each other on a home-exchange website, impulsively decide to switch homes for the holidays. One heads off to sunny California while the other experiences the snow-covered English countryside. Once removed from their natural environment, they are forced to develop a better understanding of themselves and even end up finding love along the way. Who knew that a change of address could end up changing your life so much! If I could be guaranteed to meet Jude Law, I would totally give this whole house-swap thing a try.

Four Christmases

Holidays and family bonding are sort of a package deal. I mean, what’s Christmas without a little family embarrassment? Reese Witherspoon and Vince Vaughn get a double, double dose of family fun (and by fun, I really mean nightmare) throughout the course of the movie. Since both come from broken homes, these two are forced to visit all four of their divorced parents on Christmas Day and as you can guess…things get a little crazy. Talk about family overload – this couple gets it in spades, but the end still leaves you with that warm fuzzy feeling that comes from the realization of the importance of family. For better or for worse, they’re yours for keeps.

It’s A Wonderful Life

Have you ever pictured a world where you didn’t exist? Maybe wonder how different other people’s lives would be if you were never part of it? Well George Bailey gets to experience it firsthand in this holiday classic that is nothing short of heartwarming. After contemplating suicide, a down-on-his-luck businessman meets an angel who shows him what life would have been like if he’d never existed. In the end, George is made to realize just how many lives he’s touched throughout the years and that despite all his troubles, he truly has a wonderful life. (the trailer really doesn't do it justice, but don't let that put you off from seeing it -- it's a great film!)

Marley & Me

If you think your dog is a pain, you should definitely get a load of this pup. You’ll never under-appreciate your dog again once you see the kind of trouble Marley gets into. Based on the New York Times bestseller, the story focuses on a young couple who embark (pun intended) on the many adventures that come with marriage, career, family, and pet ownership. Although it starts off as a comedy, be ready to shed a few tears by the end as the couple realizes just how much love a dog can bring into your life. You know you want this little guy waiting for you under your tree.

The Family Stone

Meeting the parents is always a huge benchmark in any serious relationship. You’re always unsure what to say, how to act, and you experience this overwhelming fear that they aren’t going to like you. Well in this movie, fear becomes reality for an uptight, businesswoman who accompanies her boyfriend to his parent’s house for their annual Christmas celebration. But it turns out she’s not just meeting the parents…she’s meeting the entire family. Yeah, talk about pressure. She feels like a fish out of water as she tries SO HARD to get them to like her, but it’s quite an uphill battle. There are so many awkward moments in this film, you can’t help but laugh and be thankful that it’s her and not you.

The Family Man

Life is full of regrets and sometimes you just can’t help but question some of the decisions you’ve made along the way. You ask yourself What if I had gone to this college? or What if I had chosen this major? The world is full of What ifs but no one ever gets to experience the road not taken…accept for Jack Campbell. Jack is a workaholic bachelor who gets a glimpse of what his life would’ve been like had he stayed with his college sweetheart instead of taking a job in New York City. Now at the mercy of a wife and two kids, Jack finally learns just how important family can be. One decision really can change your life.

Serendipity

By definition, Serendipity means an accidental discovery and that’s exactly how these two people find their happily ever after. It all started with a pair of gloves that lead to two random strangers spending an evening together and inevitably falling in love. Without exchanging each other’s names or numbers, they rely on fate to decide if they will ever see each other again. This film demonstrates a Christmas miracle in its truest form and leaves you with the feeling that anything is possible. Plus nothing says holiday spirit quite like Christmas in New York.

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