— by ALEXA MILAN —
Many of these movies will likely appeal to moviegoers of both genders, but women in particular should appreciate the romance, heart and holiday spirit of these Christmas classics:
5. “Home for the Holidays”: This is actually more of a Thanksgiving movie than a Christmas movie, but most women can probably relate to Claudia Larson (Holly Hunter) and her dysfunctional family throughout the entire holiday season. Claudia is 40 years old, single, has just lost her job, has just made out with her ex-boss and finds out her teenage daughter Kitt (Claire Danes) wants to spend the holidays with her boyfriend instead of her mother. Not wanting to spend Thanksgiving alone, Claudia travels to Baltimore to spend the holiday with her domineering parents (Anne Bancroft and Charles Durning), uptight sister and brother-in-law (Cynthia Stevenson and Steve Guttenberg) and rambunctious, gay brother (Robert Downey Jr.). Claudia and her off-the-wall family provide plenty of mishaps to make for some hilarious holiday fun.
4. “It’s a Wonderful Life”: Frank Capra’s holiday tearjerker is a Christmas classic. All his life, George Bailey (James Stewart) has put the needs of Bedford Falls above his own dreams. But when he is held responsible for a misplaced $8,000 loan, the threat of the town falling to corrupt millionaire Mr. Potter (Lionel Barrymore) pushes him over the edge. Thinking his wife (Donna Reed), children and everyone else in Bedford Falls would be better off without him, he contemplates suicide on Christmas Eve. A guardian angel named Clarence (Henry Travers) tries to convince him of the positive impact George has had on his family and the town by showing him what life would be like without him. What results is an uplifting tale of love, family and second chances no Christmas would be complete without.
3. “The Holiday”: This Christmas romance may be a bit cheesy, but the story of two women finding themselves and finding love is a fun holiday treat. Amanda (Cameron Diaz) is a wealthy movie trailer producer from Los Angeles who breaks up with her cheating boyfriend right before Christmas. Iris (Kate Winslet) is a mild-mannered newspaper reporter from Surrey who is shocked when the man she loves gets engaged to someone else. The two women meet through a Web site for a vacation program that allows people to trade homes for two weeks. Not wanting to face spending the holidays alone, they decide to take a house-swapping vacation during Christmastime. While in Surrey, Amanda meets Iris’ attractive brother Graham (Jude Law), and Iris develops a friendship with funny and charming composer Miles (Jack Black). Uplifting and fun, this is the perfect film for anyone looking for a little holiday romance.
2. “Elf”: This heartwarming story of how Buddy the elf (Will Ferrell) spreads the meaning of Christmas to a jaded New York City is bound to appeal to any woman who loves a good laugh and a charming Christmas tale. A human raised by elves, Buddy goes searching for his estranged father (James Caan) when his large size starts interfering with the elf community. When he finally meets his career-oriented dad Walter, Buddy tries to melt the detached man’s heart with his overenthusiastic sense of holiday cheer. Along the way, he accidentally lands a job at a department store when he wanders in wearing his elf attire. There he meets Jovie (Zooey Deschanel), a department store elf in need of some Christmas spirit of her own.
1. “Love Actually”: The “ultimate romantic comedy” tells eight intertwining stories of Londoners finding love at Christmas. The stories include single Prime Minister David (Hugh Grant) falling for his bubbly catering manager Natalie (Martine McCutcheon), businessman Harry (Alan Rickman) being tempted to cheat on his wife Karen (Emma Thompson), grieving Daniel (Liam Neeson) bonding with his stepson (Thomas Sangster) following his wife’s death and recently single Jamie (Colin Firth) falling for housekeeper Aurelia (Lucia Moniz) despite the fact that they don’t speak the same language. With this much romance and festivity, it’s impossible to walk away from the movie without a smile on your face.
Agree? Disagree? Let us know in the comments section.
Follow Alexa Milan on Twitter at http://twitter.com/alexamilan.