Each movie listed includes: 

(1) Title (2) Rating (3) Genres (4) Starring (5) Synopsis (6) My Personal Review (7) Scoring 1-5

 

 Click on the pictures to pin them on Pinterest for later.

The Holiday (2006)
Rated: PG-13
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Romance
Starring: Cameron Diaz, Kate Winslet, Jude Law, Jack Black, Eli Wallach, Edward Burns, Rufus Sewell, and John Krasinksi
Synopsis: Two women troubled with guy-problems swap homes in each other's countries, where they each meet a local guy and fall in love.
Review:  Amanda and Iris switch homes to escape.  Instead, Amanda meets Graham, and Iris meets Miles.  An endearing love story that keeps you smiling and laughing. It even brought a few tears. We see two women with broken hearts heal and learn to live and love again. One of my favorite parts is Graham's little girls.  I don't think they could be any sweeter or more adorable.  The other is the relationship between Iris and Arthur.  That's something really special.  His words of wisdom, like, you should be the leading lady of your life not the best friend, ring true for all women.  I highly recommend this movie.  I've seen it countless times.
Scoring: 5
Holiday Affair  (1949)
Rated: NR
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Family, Romance
Starring: Robert Mitchum and Janet Leigh
Synopsis: A young widow is romanced by a sales clerk whom she inadvertently got fired which her suitor isn’t happy about but her son is. 
Review:  Another yearly must see in our house. Connie, a war widow with a young son, has to pick between predictable and safe or adventure. Very interesting to see how she gets to the answer.  I think most women can relate to the nice guy vs. bad boy situation.  Little Timmy is precocious and guides his mom in ways his little heart doesn't yet understand.
Scoring: 4

Holiday Affair (1996)

Rated: NR

Genres: Comedy, Drama, Family, Romance

Starring: Cynthia Gibb and David James Elliott

Synopsis: A remake of the original where a widow with a young son is wooed by a man while dating another. 

Review:  If you’ve seen the original this may disappoint you. However, it is still a sweet and romantic film. The story just doesn’t translate as well over time. 

Scoring: 3

 

Holiday Baggage (2008)

Rated:  PG

Genres: Drama, Family

Starring: Cheryl Ladd and Barry Bostwick

Synopsis: Pediatrician by day, single mom by night, Sarah invites her estranged husband, Pete, back to their suburban home for the holidays on one condition: he must reconcile with their daughters before she agrees to finalize a trial separation with divorce.

Review:  Filled with lots of family drama, the dynamics are interesting but not surprising. People do and say what you expect them to. The family is dealing with their emotional baggage as we watch.  It’s okay but not one to watch twice.

Scoring: 2

 

A Holiday Boyfriend (2019)

Rated: PG

Genres: Drama, Romance

Starring: Olivia Dunkley and Matt Merchant

Synopsis: Katie flies home for the holidays after being dumped by her boyfriend. She starts using a dating app and discusses her first "meet"/date with her two friends. After many other jerks, she wishes for a holiday boyfriend.

Review: The beginning of the movie was kind of blah and disconnected for me.  I honestly only kept watching because I needed to see the whole thing to write this.  I’m so glad I did.  The more the movie went on the more I loved it.  I think the whole tone of the movie changed in the second half when she started dating her holiday boyfriend.  Three quarters of the way through it I thought I’d give it a 2 because I enjoyed it but wouldn’t watch again.  By the end I was debating between a 3 and a 4.  I will definitely watch again. 

Scoring: 3

Holiday Break Up (2016)

Rated: TV-14

Genres: Comedy, Romance

Starring: Manon Mathews, Shawn Roe, and Katie Leclerc

Synopsis: A young couple breaks up and faces the prospect of the holidays turning into one long pity party. Their solution: pretend they're still together.

Review:  This is one to miss. It’s not the worst movie I’ve seen but it’s boring and poorly done. The actors are okay. I didn’t enjoy sitting through it. 

Scoring: 1

The Holiday Calendar (2018)

Rated: NR

Genres: Drama, Fantasy, Romance

Starring: Kat Graham, Ron Cephas Jones, and Quincy Brown

Synopsis: A struggling but talented photographer inherits an antique holiday advent calendar, the contents of which seem to predict the future. Will this magical calendar lead her to love this holiday season?

Review:  A beautiful love story that emphasizes friendship, family, and being true to yourself. The way the items in the calendar correspond to things that happen add magic to the story.  It’s sweet and meaningful. 

Scoring: 4

 

Holiday Date (2019)

Rated: G

Genres: Family, Romance

Starring: Brittany Bristow, Matt Cohen, and Teryl Rothery

Synopsis: Joel poses at Brooke’s former boyfriend when she goes home for the holidays.

Review: This is very similar to the movie A Holiday Engagement.  It’s just as much fun except the family is less dramatic and complicated.  The relationship between Joel and Brooke are the real centerpiece.  You know how it will end but it’s worth watching the hijinks along the way.  The inclusion of Hanukkah adds another dimension.  It’s sweet and easy to watch.

Scoring: 3

A Holiday Engagement (2011)
Rated: G
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Family, Romance
Starring: Jordan Bridges, Bonnie Somerville, Shelley Long, and Haylie Duff
Synopsis: A woman hires a man to pose as her fiancé when she returns home for the holidays. 
Review:  Hillary hiring a fiancé has disaster written all over it which we know from the beginning. Especially because he's an actor who twirls a sign in front of a store in costume.  We also know how it will end. The joy of this movie is all the awkward and funny situations that ensue to get to that ending. The evolution of family relationships happens in a relatable way. 
Scoring: 4

Holiday for Heroes (2019)

Rated: G

Genres: Drama, Romance

Starring: Melissa Clare Egan and Marc Blucas

Synopsis: A woman and a soldier exchange letters for a year before their worlds collide.

Review: This movie is about so much more than the synopsis suggests.  It looks at being deployed from the soldier and the family points of view.  It shows the importance of community and how together we can do so much more than we can alone.  And it’s a reminder to remember those deployed and to share the magic and meaning of Christmas all year.  Yet, it manages to do it in a sweet subtle way that doesn’t make the movie feel dark.  The romance was just a part of all of this.  The acting, scenery, and everything was great.  I’m watching again.

Scoring: 4

Holiday Hearts (2019)

Rated: G

Genres: Family, Romance

Starring: Ashley Williams and Paul Campbell

Synopsis: While planning an annual Christmas party, Peyton is forced together with Ben to care for a friend’s daughter. 

Review: A lovely Christmas romance with plenty of both.  It’s very positive and upbeat. The little girl who plays Lily is exceptional. It’s one of those movies where you know how it’ll end but it’s enjoyable getting there. Lots of Christmas spirit. 

Scoring: 3

Holiday Heist (2011) 
Rated: NR
Genres: Comedy, Romance
Starring: Lacey Chabert, Vivica A. Fox, and Chris Kattan
Synopsis: A group of college students stay at school over Christmas to work at a special exhibit in the college's fine art gallery. The students have little in common.  They decide to hold a Christmas Eve dinner in the gallery and stumble into a trio of bumbling thugs planning a Holiday Heist of the exhibit. As the students are held hostage, they are forced to learn about themselves and each other, the spirit of Christmas, and work together foil the thieves. The night ends up being a Christmas Eve these new friends will never forget!
Review:  This movie is proof that not every Lacey Chabert movie is a hit. It’s, well, just plain stupid. Like Home Alone but with adults. Save your time. 
Scoring: 1
 

Holiday Heist (2019)

Rated: PG

Genres: Drama, Family, Romance

Starring: Chaley Rose

Synopsis: A man released from prison is torn between a life of crime and a fresh start with a woman he meets while scoping out a potential heist

Review: I found the criminal part of it to be a little underplayed considering it was a central plot in the movie.  I also couldn’t believe they had jewels on loan from London yet nobody guarding these priceless jewels.  Besides all that, I was interested.  It’s worth giving a shot.

Scoring: 3

Holiday In Handcuffs (2007)
Rated: PG
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Family, Romance
Starring: Melissa Joan Hart, Mario Lopez, Markie Post
Synopsis: Would-be painter Trudie loses her waitress job and boyfriend Nick on Christmas Eve - her only shot not to feel like her family's black sheep. To replace the ideal son-in-law with even hunkier dream-prince, David, she kidnaps him at gunpoint to attend the family holidays in a secluded luxurious log cabin. David decides to play the perfect catch to make her undoing worse. Before the police rescue him, he and the family realize they adore each other, the others all prove imperfect, and David and Trudy reassess their relationship after getting to know each other.
Review:  This is a fun movie.  It shows the average family and their issues magnified with a comical lens. Each character adds new humor and emotion to the movie. So many funny, meaningful, and unexpected moments. Very enjoyable. 
Scoring: 3

Holiday In The Wild (2019)

Rated: PG

Genres: Drama, Romance

Starring: Rob Lowe and Kristin Davis

Synopsis: Jilted by her husband on the eve of embarking on an African safari, a woman travels to the continent alone where she meets an elephant conservationist.

Review: While this does partly take place during Christmas, it’s not a true Christmas movie.  However, it’s a wonderful movie.  The elephants are so sweet, the acting is wonderful, and the story unfolds at a perfect pace.  The only real minus for me was the lack of back story between Kate and her husband.  Why did they break-up and how was it resolved? 

Scoring: 3

Holiday Inn (1942)

Rated: NR

Genres: Comedy, Drama, Musical, Romance

Starring: Bing Crosby and Fred Estaire

Synopsis: At an inn which is only open on holidays, a crooner and a dancer vie for the affections of a beautiful up-and-coming performer.

Review:  A wonderful musical with songs and dances for each holiday. Christmas is, of course, only one of them but worth it to hear Crosby sing “White Christmas”. I also find the cultural differences between films today and back then an interesting history lesson. 

Scoring: 5

 

Holiday Joy (2016)

Rated: PG

Genres: Comedy

Starring: Bailee Madison and French Stewart

Synopsis: A shy high school student's Christmas wish comes true, only it isn't exactly as wonderful as she'd hoped.

Review:  Joy is envious of her neighbor’s family and being popular. Following an accident, she wakes up as a member of their family and popular at school. It’s your typical “learn the grass isn’t greener” story but told from a teen point of view. Not syrupy or sweet but filled with funny, tender, and relatable moments. That being said, younger audiences will probably enjoy it more. 

Scoring: 2

 

Holiday Road Trip (2013)
Rated: PG
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Romance
Starring: Ashley Scott, Patrick Muldoon, Shelley Long, and George Hamilton
Synopsis: Two feuding pet shop employees fall for each other while escorting a celebrity dog on a Christmas promotional tour.
Review:  This movie is corny. Stereotypical rich, not playing by the rules, son of the CEO, and a hard-working employee, who always follows the rules, in a camper with a dog for a trip. That being said, it’s still entertaining. I liked it much more than I expected to. 
Scoring: 3
 

Holiday Rush (2019)

Rated: PG

Genres: Drama, Family

Starring: Deon Cole

Synopsis: After his sudden firing, a popular radio DJ moves in with his aunt, bringing along his four spoiled children, and a plan to return to the airwaves.

Review: A good family film. The only downside is how quickly the children pivot from beyond spoiled to grateful and loving. The story includes coping with loss at the holidays and the importance of family and friends. 

Scoring: 3

Holiday Spin (2012)

Rated: NR

Genre: Drama

Starring: Ralph Macchio

Synopsis: On Thanksgiving Eve, Blake’s Mother is killed in a car accident and Ruben is there announcing he is his father and is taking him back to Miami. At 17, Blake cannot live on his own and has no choice but to go with the man who abandoned him as a baby. Ruben owns a dance studio where he lives with his wife, Emily. Ruben is counting on his student winning a dance competition to save his failing dance studio. 

Review:  This movie is just so-so to me. If you’re a big dance fan you may enjoy it more. The relationships are the most interesting part of the movie but Christmas is just a backdrop. 

Scoring: 2

 

Holiday Switch (2007)
Rated: PG
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Fantasy, Romance
Starring: Nicole Eggert and Bret Anthony
Synopsis: Paula and her family are struggling with bills a week before Christmas. She falls down a laundry chute which leads her to another life in which her husband is her wealthy ex-boyfriend. Paula soon realizes she wants nothing more for Christmas than to return to her former life.
Review:  A be careful what you wish for/what if I had taken the other road tale. I found this movie to be delightful.  We see Paula learn that Christmas spirit is about valuing people not money.  Her family, while poor, is so rich in so many ways.
Scoring: 4

A Holiday To Remember (1995)

Rated: NR

Genres: Drama, Family, Religion, Romance

Starring: Connie Selleca, Rue McClanahan, and Randy Travis

Synopsis: Carolyn is leaving the big city with her daughter Jordi for her childhood village, deep in the forest. She meets her former fiancé, whom she left at the altar years ago. She also finds a lost boy who she wants to adopt, but Jordi is not too keen on the idea.

Review:  This is a very sweet story. Between the love story of Carolyn and Clay and Carolyn and little William I don’t know which is more moving. It’s gently told and unfolds at the right pace.  

Scoring: 3

 

Holiday Wishes (2006)

Rated:  PG

Genres: Drama, Family, Fantasy

Starring: Amber Benson

Synopsis: Danni, a girl looking for her sister, Britney, a spoiled teen, and Rachel, a foster child, make wishes at a Christmas dance and two of them switch bodies. When Danni discovers what has happened, she must figure out how to switch the girls back.

Review:  I enjoyed seeing such diverse personalities and lifestyles examine what they have and what they don’t. The messages of appreciation and what makes a family are relevant and meaningful. 

Scoring: 3