‘A California Christmas’ (2020) is a romantic comedy that enlivens the Christmas spirit of love and hope. Directed by Shaun Paul Piccinino, this film finds romance at unexpected junctures and situations. It follows the story of Joseph (Josh Swickard) who is assigned the job of buying a farm for his enterprise. The Van Aston Enterprises is headed by Joseph’s mother, who seems hell-bent on acquiring the farmland, but there is a catch. The farmland belongs to Callie Bernet (Lauren Swickard), who doesn’t budge to the deal offered to her.
Mrs. Van Aston asks Joseph to negotiate and cut a deal with Callie in a stipulated time. Joseph heads to the ranch, but as luck would have it, is mistaken for the new ranch hand, Manny. Sensing an opportunity, Joseph decides to play along with the ruse. He gets hold of the actual ranch hand (David Del Rio) and employs his valet, Leo (Ali Afshar), to look after him and ensure that their ruse doesn’t fall apart. As the story progresses, Joseph can’t help but fall in love with Callie and her infectious charm.
‘A California Christmas’ has tried and tested plot tropes, but what makes this film work is the lovely chemistry between Joseph and Callie, who are a real-life couple. Leo provides some humorous moments for the viewers to enjoy and peppers the film with fun-filled energy. It is an entertaining film for the holiday season. Thus, we decided to put together a list of movies for you to enjoy in the coziness of holiday warmth. You can watch most of these films like ‘A California Christmas’ on Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime.
7. The Knight Before Christmas (2019)
‘The Knight Before Christmas’ has all the elements that one looks for in a Christmas film. Filled with magic, love, time travel, and a medieval character, this film is a great watch. Sir Cole (Josh Whitehouse) is a medieval knight who travels forward in time to meet with Brooke Winters (Vanessa Hudgens) in accidental circumstances. Their serendipitous meeting grows into a bond wherein both of their destinies are fulfilled. Exemplifying the Christmas spirit, this film is an enjoyable ride.
6. While You Were Sleeping (1995)
Directed by Jon Turteltaub, ‘While You Were Sleeping’ stars Sandra Bullock, as Lucy, a Chicago Transit Worker employee. On a fortunate day, she manages to rescue a stranger, Peter Callaghan (Peter Gallagher), whom she had a crush on, from a potentially fatal rail accident. She takes him to the hospital, where the staff assumes her to be Peter’s fiancée.
She is too flummoxed to speak out the truth and thus maintains this charade. Everything moves happily as Lucy slowly finds herself amidst the Callaghan family. Things get complicated when she finds herself attracted to Peter’s brother, Jack (Bill Pullman). This film is surely going to keep up your holiday spirits if you loved watching ‘A California Christmas’.
5. Love Actually (2003)
No list of Christmas romances is complete without mentioning ‘ Love Actually’. A British venture directed by Richard Curtis, this film tells nine stories of characters interconnected with each other in one way or another. Their stories might be different, but they are all united with one emotion: Love. Featuring an ensemble cast comprising Hugh Grant, Keira Knightley, Rowan Atkinson, Colin Firth, Liam Neeson, Laura Linney, and many other stalwarts, ‘Love Actually’ has now become a staple film for the holidays.
4. Carol (2015)
Todd Haynes‘ ‘Carol’ is a brilliant romantic drama film that celebrates the union of love beyond the prejudices of gender. Set in 1950s Manhattan, this film stars Rooney Mara as Therese Belivet, who meets with Carol (Cate Blanchett), a charming woman with refined taste. They both develop a bond that grows along with time passing through the travails of their little journeys. Although their love fails to escape the stigma of heteronormativity, they triumph together, aided by the spirit of Christmas.
3. The Holiday (2006)
Directed by Nancy Meyers, ‘The Holiday’ is a testament to the fact that love persists if you believe and dare to hope. It follows the story of Iris (Kate Winslet) and Amanda (Cameron Diaz), who decide to swap their homes for a retreat out of heartbreak and despair. Iris is an Englishwoman, whereas Amanda belongs to the city of California. They both find love in new places and manage to move out of their emotional doldrums. Fine performances by Jack Black as the adorable music composer, Miles Dumont, and Jude Law as a book editor, Graham Simpkins, makes this film a pleasant watch.
2. Remember the Night (1940)
An American Classic, ‘Remember the Night’ is a Christmas romantic comedy directed by Mitchell Leisen. Starring Barbara Stanwyck and Fred MacMurray, this film is a memorable journey stated through simplistic humor, warmth, and loving tenderness. Shoplifter Lee Leander (Barbara) is prosecuted by district attorney John Sargeant (Fred). Owing to the holiday season, it gets difficult to get a conviction. John tries to get Lee’s bail and eventually takes her to his home. They both fall in love gradually, and their journey is deftly balanced against the festive season of Christmas. It is a satiating film for all aficionados of romance and comedy.
1. Messy Christmas (2007)
A German comedy film directed by Vanessa Jopp, ‘Messy Christmas,’ involves a couple who decides to invite their ex-partners and their respective families for Christmas. The premise of the film is a quirky one that sets motion to a chain of events unfolding through typical humor. A group of misfits propel this story and make this one of the best foreign films out there if you enjoy some romance and comedy dipped in the festive spirit.
Read more: Best Christmas Movies on Netflix