Being Women

Enchanting Christmas Romance: Unwrapping the Magic of 2 Holiday Rom-Coms on Screen

Winter is here! Christmas is just around the corner. Everyone is trying to ring in 'holiday cheer' one way or another. The "romcom" universe is expanding by leaps and bounds, adding to the already existing staple of magical romances

Winter magic and rom-com

Winter is here! Christmas is just around the corner. Everyone is trying to ring in ‘holiday cheer’ one way or another. Me, myself, or precisely my movie buff soul, is back to craving that special thing again—the magic of romances, mistletoes, and snow. With OTTs making their way into our homes, the “romcom” universe is expanding by leaps and bounds, adding to the already existing staple of magical romances, almost sending us into a suspension of disbelief.

But Mirror, Mirror, which one is the cosiest of them all? Ah, this can be tricky because there is no single formula to evaluate. The holiday spirit is a must! Sweet, oozing romance should be there in good measure, and it should stir up that warm, fuzzy feeling inside that will comfort us. It will remind us that all is well and happy. Here are the top two picks, which I must say were chosen with a heavy heart because there are honestly so many that are my favourites.

Love Actually (

An absolute genius of a rom-com with Christmas flavour and fervour, which I have watched 101 times. The only one that always stood out to me in the crowd of Christmas fluff stuff. For the uninitiated, the movie has nine interconnected stories all set against the gorgeous backdrop of London, sending strong vibes of festivity, love, and fantasy.

Hugh Grant, the Prime Minister – I close my eyes to Hugh Grant’s Prime Minister sitting alone on Christmas Eve in a grand drawing room at No. 10. He is going through a holiday card box and comes across the one from Natalie—the tea lady he’s been longing for. For those who remember the dialogue, it was “If you can’t say it at Christmas, when can you, eh?” to which she writes. “I’m actually yours.”. Falling in love for no good reason whatsoever—is the message that comes across in this movie. The way Hugh Grant, our Prime Minister, finds her redefines the Christmas spirit.

It’s time to tell someone that you love him or her dearly.

Colin Firth, the writer– Another eternal favourite is Colin Firth, a writer, who is holed up in a beautiful house with picturesque surroundings and a lake, falling deeply in love (and in the lake too 😂) with his Portuguese housekeeper.

There is also the amazingly beautiful eighteen-year-old Keira Knightley who plays Juliet. She is married to Ejiofor’s Peter, but his best man, Mark Andrew Lincoln, is madly in love with her. He confesses his undying love for her on her doorstep. She responds with a kiss. How incredibly romantic!

Then there is Sarah played remarkably by Laura Linneys, an American office worker who falls in love with a handsome Brazilian colleague, Karl. After hitting it off at the work’s Christmas party, she invites him back to her house, where the tryst does not go too well. Their final meeting is on Christmas Eve, where he merely wishes her a Merry Christmas. Sarah chooses to spend the holiday with her mentally ill brother. Well, whether you like such an ending or not, we have to agree that Christmas and holidays do make things (un)happen. 

A dashingly handsome Liam Neeson plays Daniel, a widower left looking after his stepson, Sam. Sam’s crush shares the same name as his mother’s. The story, strikingly simple, touches a chord in the heart simply because of the way the dad-son reconnection is portrayed with warm and sweet moments.

Love comes into life in surely unexpected ways.

We also have Bill Nighy, an ageing rock ‘n’ roll legend, recording a shitty Christmas single, Christmas is All Around, and then promoting it relentlessly for sales. Nighy’s excellent comic timing and witty and on-point one-liners are the stars of the story.

The love story isn’t quite romantic, but it is the type of love that we all crave at some point in our lives—friends looking out for each other.

We also have a quirky story of Martin Freeman and Joanna Page as naked body doubles on a movie set, who very awkwardly and cutely realise that they are meant ‘for each other.’ My least favourite is the story of Colin Frissell, played by Kris Marshall, who decides that the only way to find romance at Christmas is to fly to the United States and try his luck. His dreams come true, and he returns to England with Denise Richards and Heidi Klum. Well, it’s a short and idiotic story that does not speak much about love but can be absorbed in the spirit of Christmas.

And finally, Harry (the late Alan Rickman ) has Mia (Heike Makatsch) as his gorgeous and seriously seductive secretary. Emma Thompson’s discovery of a necklace in Harry’s coat leads to the disastrous discovery of Harry’s affair, and the bedroom breakdown that follows thereafter broke many a heart into a million pieces. Both Rickman and Emma shine in their roles, and it’s almost as if you empathise with both.

Despite the fanfare and enduring criticism the movie has faced over the years, I would say that it’s a must-watch (or rewatch) during this festive time of the year.

The Princess Switch (

Vanessa Hudgens (VH), is a baker (baking is a complete “Christmassy” thing if you ask me) and also a princess. The movie opens with a fabulous Christmas song ( My soul is sold to Christmas) in Chicago that perfectly captures the essence of the season. Stacey (VH) and her best friend Kevin work together in the bustling city. There is a big Christmas competition happening in a make-believe European country. Kevin encourages Stacey to attend so that she can put the bakery on the world map. Ok, so here is a Christmas trope of suspension of disbelief. They all fly to Europe, where a Duchess (no one has seen her face) is getting married to the prince.

The Duchess tries to employ Stacey and make her bake a wedding cake. And then she proposes the impossible – swap places! Stacey agrees and what follows next is a classic Christmas sequence of events. Stacey falls in love with the Prince (played by the extremely handsome Sam Palladio) while the Duchess falls for her best friend Kevin. Hudgens shines bright in both roles and Kevin’s daughter, played by Alexa Adeosun, is delightful – like a Christmas cookie.

The best part of the film is when the Duchess and Kevin sit down to watch a Christmas movie. Kevin decides to watch a Netflix favourite ( and mine too) – The Christmas Prince. It has all the elements of a Christmas blockbuster: royalty, snow-covered palaces, unrequited love, messy baking, a magical wedding, some disasters, and oh a cooking competition too. The whole fact that this movie is a story of mistaken identities (isn’t it a lovely genre??)  set during the Christmas holidays— in breathtakingly beautiful Europe, which is also somehow very “Christmassy” forces me to give it a holiday movie rating of 8 out 10 for sure. It spawned two sequels as well, all worth a watch.


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