With The Holiday, starring Cameron Diaz, Jude Law, Kate Winslet, and Jack Black, you get a movie that ticks all the best boxes: rom-com, Christmasy, takes place internationally, beautiful actors. It’s no wonder it’s one of the most popular movies to enjoy any time but especially at Christmastime. Diaz’s and Winslet’s characters are two women who need a change of pace at the holidays, so they decide to do a house swap — Diaz heads to the English countryside, and Winslet comes to LA. In experiencing each other’s lives, they learn about themselves but also about what makes them happy. It’s cute! It’s romantic! And if you loved it and want more movies like The Holiday to cozy up with in the chilly weather, who could blame you?
And, listen, don’t let the naysayers deter you from re-watching The Holiday this year or adding movies that’ll give you The Holiday vibes to your binge-list. Although the film received mixed reviews from critics at its release, it has rightfully become a Christmas cult classic (Diaz’s wardrobe alone is worth watching for.) It was written and directed by Nancy Meyers, who has written, produced, and directed such favorites as Father of the Bride (1991), The Parent Trap (1998), and Something’s Gotta Give (2003). In fact, The Holiday landed on the list of highest-grossing films of the 2000s helmed by female directors.
Now, with all that said, get ready to feel all the feels (unless you’re like Amanda, in which case — *esophageal spasm*!) with the following films.
Christmas Romance Movies Like The Holiday
1. Love Actually (2003)
No list of Christmasy romance movies is complete without Love Actually. What makes Love Actually a great next film after The Holiday is its Britishness. While The Holiday has scenes in England and America, Love Actually is almost exclusively British and tells a variety of love stories all around Christmastime. Not all of the stories are happy, though, because even though this film is pretty idealistic, it’s still also realistic.
2. Bridget Jones’s Diary (2001)
Like Love Actually, Bridget Jones’s Diary is almost exclusively British, and while it doesn’t take place entirely over Christmas, the holiday does serve as a catalyst for our titular protagonist’s self-discovery and, ultimately, finding someone who loves her “just as she is.” Much like The Holiday’s main characters endure a few bumps, Bridget finds that the road to happiness isn’t always smooth — but it’s worth it.
3. Love Hard (2021)
If you haven’t already, add this brand new Netflix film to your watch list! Helmed by Costa Rican director Hernán Jiménez, it follows unlucky-in-love Los Angeles writer Natalie Bauer (Nina Dobrev) as she spontaneously flies 3,000 miles to meet a guy she’s fallen for on a dating app. Only, surprise! When she shows up at the house she believes belongs to outdoorsy hunk Tag Abbott (Darren Barnet), she realizes she has been catfished by nerdy — but cute and wildly endearing — Josh Lin (Jimmy O. Yang).
4. You’ve Got Mail (1998)
Like The Holiday, You’ve Got Mail is a go-to this time of year that was also written and directed by a woman — in this case, Nora Ephron. And then there’s the digital connection, er, connection. Instead of booking a house exchange online, You’ve Got Mail‘s protagonist Kathleen Kelly (Meg Ryan) logs into old school AOL to have charming and flirtatious exchanges with a mystery man known by the handle NY152. Unbeknownst to her, that person is none other than her business rival, Joe Fox (Tom Hanks). And, naturally, rom-com cuteness ensues!
5. Holidate (2020)
If holiday rom-coms give you life, move this Netflix pick to the top of your list — it spans, like, all the holidays. The premise echoes The Holiday, too, in that the main characters are two people who are frustrated by their singledom at Christmas. Here, Emma Roberts and Luke Bracey play those singles, who decide to be each other’s “holidate” to get family and friends off their backs.
Internationally Lovely Rom-Coms Like The Holiday
1. Mamma Mia! (2008)
Another international love story, Mamma Mia! is an over-the-top movie musical about a girl in Greece just trying to figure out who her dad is from a group of three attractive men who once had dalliances with her mother. With music from the Swedish band ABBA, this is one movie that’s fun all year round but especially relevant after The Holiday.
2. Crazy Rich Asians (2018)
Head to Singapore for this romance film. Though it starts in New York, Crazy Rich Asians moves to Singapore for a wedding, and along the way, this couple finds love before finding heartbreak and eventually love again. Plus, if you’ve ever wanted to see how lavish life can be for the rich in Singapore, this will give you an idea.
3. Leap Year (2010)
We’re going to Ireland to follow a woman who’s following her boyfriend so she can propose to him. She’s tired of waiting so she’s going to use Leap Day as her opportunity. Fate has other plans after she arrives in Dublin, and her mission gets derailed. All is not lost though when she meets someone else on her trip.
4. The Proposal (2009)
In the classic enemies to lovers trope, two people hate each other before realizing they’re meant to be. Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds are those two people in this case. Bullock’s character is Reynolds’ character’s boss and they absolutely do not get along. But when immigration comes after her for being in the U.S. illegally — she’s Canadian! — these two devise a plan to trick them into thinking they’re a couple. They spend a weekend at his family’s house in Alaska and it’s cute, it’s hilarious, and it’s totally devious. Plus there’s Betty White, so you can’t go wrong.
5. The Wedding Date (2005)
In The Holiday, Iris and Amanda swap houses to try to outrun their romance woes. In The Wedding Date, Kat Ellis (Debra Messing) hires a male escort to escape hers. Specifically, she hires suave Nick Mercer (Dermot Mulroney) to be her boyfriend at the wedding of her younger half-sister Amy (Amy Adams). So, the pair heads to London, where the nuptials are taking place, and where Kat’s former fiancé is. That goes over about as well as you’d imagine, and things only get more interesting from there.
More Movies Like The Holiday
- Letters to Juliet (2010)
- While You Were Sleeping (1995)
- Notting Hill (1999)
- Serendipity (2001)
- Penelope (2006)
- Alfie (2004)
- What If (2013)
- Pretty Woman (1999)
- Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994)
- Just Married (2003)
- New Year’s Eve (2011)
- Let It Snow (2019)
- It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)
- Two Weeks Notice (2002)
- Hitch (2005)
- The Family Stone (2005)
- How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days (2003)
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