It’s official, the John Lewis Christmas advert has been released so we can all now talk about Christmas without feeling guilty…. because, once the John Lewis advert appears the countdown begins properly (even though the Sainsbury’s advert is far, far better in my opinion!). I’m currently writing lists, and checking them twice (insert groan emoji here), I’ve even worked out what day I need to stay up to just gone midnight so that I can ensure I book an online food shop in time (don’t ask me why but they ALWAYS get booked out super quick here, and you need to be on the ball to nab a spot – is it the same where you live?), basically I am in full on planning mode right now.
One of my favourite things to plan in the run up to Christmas is what movies we are going to watch – I like to make time to watch a couple of films a week, just to break up the stress a little. There are several films we are guaranteed to watch as a family, and also a few chick flicks just for me on those evenings when I have some wrapping, or card writing to do. Over the next few weeks I will be listing mine, and my family’s favourite festive films – the ones we think are essential viewing – there will be films for the kiddies, films for the chaps, Christmas classics and, starting off today, Christmas Chick Flicks (or rom-coms if you prefer).
5: The Family Stone
Meeting your partners family for the first time is always going to be quite nerve-wracking, isn’t it? But meeting them for the first time, over the Christmas holidays just takes the stress to a whole other level – especially if you are a super uptight control freak, like Sarah Jessica Parker’s character is in this film. The Family Stone has a pretty impressive ensemble cast (Claire Danes, Dermot Mulroney, Rachel McAdams, and the goddess that is Diane Keaton, among others), and while it doesn’t quite give you the warm and fuzzies in a way that some of the other films on this list do, it’s definitely worth a watch.
For me this film is a must – simply because it’s opening credits feature ‘Cool Yule’ by Louis Armstrong (give me a jazzy Christmas tune and I’m in heaven). The plot revolves around Johnathan (John Cusack) and Sara (Kate Beckinsale), who meet by serendipitous chance in Bloomingdales while shopping for Christmas presents. Johnathan is smitten with Sara, despite being engaged to be married, and wants to keep in touch, however Sara would prefer to let the fates decide and writes her number on the inside cover of a book they see for sale on a used book store, while Johnathan writes his on a five dollar bill, which she promptly uses to buy some gum with. She believes that if either of them find others number again then they were truly meant to meet. While not an out-and-out Christmas film, large parts of it are set in New York over the festive period, and because New York does Christmas so well that’s enough for Serendipity to be included in this festive film list.
3: Bridget Jones’s Diary
Okay, so this film is set over the course of a year but it begins and ends at Christmas (with Bridget literally freezing her ass off wearing just her granny pants and a cardigan on a snowy London street), and that’s good enough for me! Again, another fantastic ensemble cast is what makes this film so ruddy good – Renée Zellweger , Colin Firth, Hugh Grant, Jim Broadbent, among others. It’s brilliantly written, has a fantastic soundtrack, and a good selection of truly awful Christmas jumpers – what more could you want from a Christmas chick flick?!
2: The Holiday
Two women living in different countries decide to swap homes for Christmas so that they can both get away from the disasters that are their personal lives. Iris (Kate Winslet) leaves her chocolate box cottage in Surrey and heads to Amanda’s (Cameron Diaz) gorgeous LA mansion, while Amanda comes over to the UK believing that there ‘aren’t any men’ in the village where Iris lives. Of course there are men, and she falls for one man in particular, Graham (Jude Law), who just happens to be Iris’s big brother. Meanwhile, in LA, Iris takes a shine to not one but two men – the first being Jack Black, and the second being her new next door neighbour, 90-year-old former screen writer Arthur Abbott (played by the wonderful Eli Wallach), who helps Iris regain her “gumption.” The Holiday is an incredibly easy and enjoyable film to watch – a definite must in the days running up to Christmas!
1: Love Actually
….is all around. What is there to say about this film? It has a brilliant ensemble cast, written by Richard Curtis – from Bill Nighy as the washed up rocker making a come back, Liam Neeson as the recently widowed step father to a boy experiencing his first true love, or Colin Firth finding unexpected love in Spain after discovering his wife is having an affair with his brother (the swine), the individual story lines intertwine in such a fluid way. This is a film that really will give even the biggest Scrooge the warm and fuzzies, and if not, well it’s worth a watch just for Hugh Grant and his bum jiggling to ‘Jump’.
There are so many Christmas chick flicks to choose from, but these five are on my ‘must watch’ list every year. Why not come back next week when I will be listing my top five Christmas films for the family (there might be a certain elf called Buddy on that list). Many of the Christmas films in this series of posts are available to watch on NOW TV (I am a member of their Blog Squad), who are currently offering a 14 day free trial of their movies package. They have such a wide range of movies to choose from (Over 1000 each month), that even if you are a total Scrooge when it comes to Christmas films you are guaranteed to find something that you will enjoy!
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