20 Romantic Comedy Christmas Movies That Deliver the Feels

Damarys Ocaña Perez | Nov 26, 2019 Movies
20 Romantic Comedy Christmas Movies That Deliver the Feels

Vanessa Hudgens and Josh Whitehouse in The Knight Before Christmas
Brooke Palmer/Netflix

We may be into watching Oscar-bait dramas, superhero blockbusters, and horror flicks during the rest of the year, but Christmas is the time for holiday rom-coms. There's nothing quite like settling into a dark movie theater (or the couch in a dark living room) and indulging in that irresistible combination of meet-cutes (ya know, two strangers stuck in an elevator, two strangers reach for the same gloves, two strangers crash into each other when one of them steps through a time portal), pratfalls, and a happy ending. It's really as simple as that. 

Hallmark, Lifetime, and Netflix know this, so they've packed their end-of-year schedules with plenty of 90-minute flicks that combine romance and laughs, and will transport viewers to a whole different reality where love always wins. Aside from familiar actors, they star all the elements that put holiday rom-coms in a league of their own: snowy cabins, sumptuously decorated royal castles, crackling fires, steaming cups of hot cocoa, magical carriage rides, and lots of hot guys in flannel. 

Though movie studios have only produced a single, solitary Christmas rom-com this year -- Last Christmas with Game of Thrones star Emilia Clarke -- there are plenty of modern classics to rewatch till the last of the indulgent holiday treats has gone straight to our hips, and the last pine needles drop off the Christmas tree. They offer grander romantic settings, from the classic -- like the Rockefeller Center ice rink -- to the travel-inspiring, like London. 

Here are 20 Christmas rom-coms guaranteed to make even the iciest of hearts melt into a puddle of warm fuzzy feelings and make us smile.

  • 'Last Christmas'

    1

    In Theaters Now

    In this sweet new flick, the former Mother of Dragons is a lonely Christmas-store elf battling depression and crushing guilt whose heart is in need of serious healing. Along comes Crazy Rich Asians star Henry Golding, who shows her how to embrace life again while the two get to know each other walking a gorgeously decorated London. There are plenty of laughs -- especially from Emma Thompson (who wrote the script) and Michelle Yeoh who star in supporting roles -- so this basically can't miss.

  • 'The Knight Before Christmas'

    2

    Available to Watch Now on Netflix

    Holiday movies that mix romance with highly improbable events and cute sweaters are Vanessa Hudgens' new sweet spot. Already a Netflix Christmas rom-com veteran after last year's guilty pleasure The Princess Switch, she returns this year with this time-traveling rom-com. Hudgens plays a high school science teacher who has called it quits on love -- until she meets a knight (Josh Whitehouse) who fell through a time portal to the present day and charms his way into her heart. 

    We're so freaking watching this. 

  • 'Holiday Rush'

    3

    Premieres: November 28 on Netflix

    Looks like the perfect mix of laughs, tears, and romance. The adorable Romany Malco (A Million Little Things) stars as a popular radio DJ and widowed dad of four spoiled kids who loses his job right during the holidays. As he and his producer (Sonequa Martin-Green, of Walking Dead and Star Trek: Discovery) plan his comeback, they -- duh! -- fall in love. And of course, the whole family discovers the true meaning of Christmas along the way.

  • 'Merry Liddle Christmas' 

    4
    Kelly Rowland stars in Merry Liddle Christmas
    Courtesy of Lifetime

    Premieres: November 30 on Lifetime

    Destiny's Child member Kelly Rowland's first foray into TV is a Lifetime Christmas movie she produced and stars in, inspired by a recent family Christmas gone wrong. She plays a successful single tech entrepreneur who buys a snazzy new house and then has to suffer through what is a familiar scenario to many: having crazy family show up for the holidays. Meanwhile, her growing feelings for a neighbor force her to break her own dating rules to find happiness.

  • 'A Christmas Love Story'

    5
    Scott Wolf and Kristen Chenoweth in A Christmas Love Story
    Crown Media United States LLC/Photographer: Brian Douglas

    Premieres December 7 on The Hallmark Channel

    There is a huge bonus to this movie: beautiful music. In what is bound to be a Hallmark Christmas classic, Broadway and TV star Kristin Chenoweth stars in this romance that mixes heartrending emotion with lighter moments. She plays a choir director whose new singer is a golden-voiced  boy ... with a widowed father, played by Party of Five alum Scott Wolf. (Let's hear it for throwback stars!) Chenoweth's character is inspired to write a Christmas song, and she and dad fall in love in time for the big Christmas Eve concert.

  • 'Let it Snow' 

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    Available to Watch Now on Netflix

    It's the Love Actually of teen movies: big cast that can actually act, and lots of story lines involving everything that kids that age are worried about -- such as how to get out of the friend zone, how to tell someone how ya feel, etc. etc. Add snow and a big Christmas bash, and the hormones will be on overdrive. 

  • 'Love Actually'

    7

    There's so much wrongness in this movie -- like, a dude actually tells his best friend's bride that he's in love with her in a hyper-romantic way, and another dude moving on from his deceased wife like a month after her funeral. But somehow, Love Actually actually works, probably because of the great cast and the funny couple moments. It's a feel-good classic with a mostly happy ending and a three-hankie opening sequence that get us every time. 

  • 'Serendipity'

    8

    Released in 2001

    Two people spend a few hours together during the holidays in New York, and though they're instantly super connected, they make it impossible on themselves to pursue the relationship, because rom-com. Ten years later, they can't stop thinking about each other despite having moved on to other relationships, so of course they have to find each other and prove they're meant to be. 

  • 'Just Friends'

    9

    Released in 2005

    Before Ryan Reynolds became a one of Hollywood's hottest dads with an equally hot career, he made this cute little flick with Amy Smart. His character ends up back to the small town he left after high school when he was a chubby guy who was friend-zoned by the girl of his dreams. Naturally, he now looks like Ryan Reynolds and is a womanizer, but when he tries to use his questionable charms on her, he figures out that he's got some growing up to do -- in time for a Christmas kiss, of course.

  • 'The Holiday'

    10

    Released in 2006

    It's hard to resist a good-looking cast playing characters who fall in love over Christmas. Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet play very different single women who switch houses for the holidays, ending up in wildly different places than they're used to, but finding -- through the magic of rom-com -- exactly the kind of man there that suits them. Though the relationship between Winslet and an adorkable Jack Black, set in Los Angeles, is cute, the movie is most satisfying when Diaz and Jude Law share cozy talks and sexy times in the snow-covered English cottage of our holiday dreams. 

  • 'The Best Man Holiday'

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    Released in 2013

    A group of (gorgeous) friends -- evenly split between men and women -- who haven't seen each other in years, are stuck together in one house for the holidays. Sign us up to watch the Christmas Cupid do his thing. Old flames are rekindled, tensions boil over, but love wins the day. This movie is rated R, which is a rare, but very welcome thing for Christmas rom-coms.

  • 'The Princess Switch'

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    Available to Watch on Netflix

    In this modern take on the Prince and the Pauper, a duchess who's about to marry into a small European monarchy persuades an American baker who looks just like her to switch places so she can enjoy the holidays out of the spotlight. The switch turns out to be permanent when the baker, Stacy, falls for the crown prince. (The duchess falls for Stacy's best friend.) Vanessa Hudgens plays both characters convincingly enough to make this a fun watch, and there's a cute kid involved -- so it's a win-win-win. 

  • 'Let It Snow' 

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    Candace Cameron Bure, Jesse Hutch Let It Snow
    Crown Media United States, LLC/Photographer: Eike Schroter

    Available to Watch on The Hallmark Channel

    It's one of the most beloved Hallmark Christmas rom-coms for a reason. The plot of Let It Snow is classic rom-com: Two people butt heads when they first meet. (In this case, she's a driven executive from Arizona who is working on a revamp of a snow lodge business, and he works there.) Then, the couple slowly realize that (well, well, well) all that fighting is actually masked, ahem, energy. 

    And they go on sleigh rides and live happily ever after.   

  • 'A Christmas Miracle'

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    Premieres December 1 on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries

    We love it when single moms get everything they want at Christmas: a dream job, and a hot dude. Tamera Mowry-Housley stars in this optimistic story about a journalist who gets a chance to work at a lifestyle magazine where she finds a great feature story that makes her career and lands the handsome, supportive colleague who just happens to single as well.

  • 'A Very Merry Mix Up'

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    Alicia Witt, Mark Wiebe A Very Merry Mix-Up
    Crown Media United States, LLC/Photographer: Ben Mark Holzberg

    Available to Watch on The Hallmark Channel

    When life throws a massive relationship curveball in real life, it's usually not fun. But in Christmas rom-coms? Bring it on! We know everything is guaranteed to work out in the end. That's definitely the case in this charming flick, one of Hallmark's most loved. Alicia Witt plays a newly engaged woman traveling to meet her future in-laws. She loses her luggage, phone, and then mistakes someone for her fiancé's brother, ending up celebrating the holidays with entirely the wrong family and wrong, but oh-so-right, man. 

    Don't fight it, baby! It's fate!

  • 'While You Were Sleeping'

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    Released in 1995

    Released a year after Sandra Bullock's breakout film, Speed, this is the huge hit movie that proved she was a superstar -- but it also proved that audiences are as incurably romantic as her character. In While You Were Sleeping, Lucy is a mousy transit worker who secretly pines after a handsome regular train rider. When he goes into a coma after an incident at the station, she saves his life and gets mistaken for his fiancée. She's too lonely to tell his quirky, welcoming family the truth, which actually turns out fine, because she ends up falling for his brother anyway.

  • 'A Christmas Prince'

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    Available to Watch on Netflix

    Regular women marrying into royalty has been movie fantasy territory as long as there have been movies. And with A Christmas Prince, Netflix -- the first of a series of three movies -- threw its hat in the ring in a major way. It is romantic fantasy, yes, but it's also got an interesting story that involves a potentially devastating secret -- and just for thrills, a wolf attack. Rose McIver plays a brainy journalist sent to Aldovia to cover a press conference, poses as a tutor to a young princess, and falls for the crown prince.  

  • 'A Christmas Kiss'

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    Released in 2011

    It's Christmas, and two people who stuck in an elevator WILL fall in love -- period. In this fun and fluffy flick, Laura Breckenridge plays an aspiring interior designer who takes a job with an extremely demanding boss (Law & Order alum Elizabeth Rohm). While pulling an all-nighter for work, she gets in an elevator, gets stuck inside with a handsome stranger, and sparks fly. 

    The problem: He's the boss' boyfriend. 

  • 'Four Christmases'

    19

    Released in 2008

    Reese Witherspoon and Vince Vaughn are a longtime couple who are experts at avoidance. They go from good time to good time, don't talk about marriage, and every year, they go out of their way to avoid visiting their families for Christmas. But when they're forced to do just that one holiday season -- visiting all four of their divorced parents -- they're actually forced to confront their own intimacy issues and make their relationship better. 

  • 'Elf'

    20

    Released in 2003

    When it comes to movies, Christmas can be a little unconventional. Yes, it's a Will Ferrell movie about a hilariously clueless elf who finds out he was accidentally taken to the North Pole as a toddler -- only to come to New York to find his real family. But, hang on. Because in the midst of the fish-out-of-water chaos that ensues, the pratfalls, and the fart jokes, is an adorable romance between two people who are clearly meant for each other. Buddy the Elf meets Jovie, an unenthusiastic Christmas store employee played by Zooey Deschanel, and the two go on the dorkiest date ever that is actually magical.  

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