17 Christmas Movies To Watch If You Can’t Stand ‘Love, Actually’
You feel it in your fingers, you feel it in your toes. Christmas is all around you, and if you have to watch Love, Actually again, you'll start to hate the holiday season altogether. That's OK, though. There are at least 17 Christmas movies to watch if you hate Love, Actually. You have plenty of options, without ever having to look at Hugh Grant again. Some are romantic, some are corny, some are scary, and some are tangentially related to Christmas at best. But they all count as Christmas movies, and that scene with a silent man coming onto his friend's young wife is not included among them.
The following may be Christmas movies to watch if you hate Love, Actually. But maybe don't bring up the fact that you hate Love, Actually when suggesting you watch one of these after dinner instead. Friends and family generally don't want to hear that you hate Love, Actually, actually, and they end up forcing you to sit through it so you can both be absolutely sure that's the case, when of course it was, because you're an adult, and you know what kind of movies you're totally over by now.
Here is a list of movies that are safe to watch if you're not a fan of Love, Actually, but you're no Grinch either. Bust out the egg nog, grab a cozy blanket, and enjoy.
If Love, Actually isn't your thing, why not give Serendipity a try? It's as treacly, but with a fun, weird edge. How real is the concept of fate, and how much does fate play into romance? Is a Serendipity hot chocolate that good? Which one of the stars seems more out of place in a holiday-themed romantic comedy? These are the questions Serendipity seeks to answer. Even those who turn up their nose at a romantic Christmas film have to admit that this one's pretty fun. And Grant isn't in it. See? There can be romantic comedies without him.
2. While You Were Sleeping
There is no way to describe the plot of 1995's While You Were Sleeping without it sounding like a movie Jenna Maroney is starring in on 30 Rock. Just know that it covers all of the great film basics: Christmastime, a dashing Peter Gallagher, a mousy Sandra Bullock, lying, train accidents, large families, Bill Pullman, and confusion. For a film that's over 20 years old and essentially has the premise of a sitcom, While You Were Sleeping holds up surprisingly well.
Stream While You Were Sleeping here.
3. Die Hard
Die Hard counts, OK? It's set at Christmas. It counts. If you hate Love, Actually because it's a festive, cutesy, wholesome-adjacent holiday romance, then throw the whole thing out and replace it with an action film. That's perfectly acceptable.
4. The Nightmare Before Christmas
Is it a Halloween movie, or is it a Christmas movie? This spooky musical has confounded audiences since 1993. If there's someone at your Christmas party who everyone shops for at Hot Topic, kindly suggest this take the place of Love, Actually at the party.
Stream Nightmare Before Christmas here.
A family-friendly Christmas comedy that's distinctly strange? Yes, please. If you haven't seen it, fair warning: Zooey Deschanel is a blonde, Will Ferrell wears tights most of the time, and Tyrion "Peter Dinklage" Lannister may or may not be physically restrained in one scene by Academy Award-winning James Caan.
6. Santa Buddies
Talking puppies who have to help Santa save Christmas? Yes, please. Santa Buddies should be required viewing at every holiday get-together forever. It *happens* to be available in full on YouTube. You're welcome.
Stream Christmas Buddies here.
7. The Night Before
Love, Actually haters often object to the film's vignette-y format and saccharine script. For the Love, Actually hater in your life, suggest a screening of The Night Before instead. Over-the-top parties, hilarious actors, drugs, Joseph Gordon-Levitt in corny sweaters, and there's a neat bow tied on the whole thing at the end of 90 minutes.
8. Double Feature: A Charlie Brown Christmas & How The Grinch Stole Christmas
When viewed back-to-back, these two vintage delights are the length of one kids' film. There's something timeless about them, and permanently nostalgic as well. Sure, Peanuts is a little sad, too, and there's a twinge of frustration when you watch the original How The Grinch Stole Christmas and wonder how the heck the Jim Carrey abomination came to pass. They're both important, though. The animated classics deserve the space they take up on your emotional hard drive.
9. A Christmas Story
Never on earth has being a 9-year-old child in small-town Indiana seemed as ludicrous, or as ludicrously funny, as it is in 1983's A Christmas Story.
Stream A Christmas Story here.
10. National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation
Christmas Vacation is a film for everyone that loves the holidays and is driven insane by them in equal measure. It might even make you appreciate being around your own family at the holidays. Might.
Stream National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation here.
11. When Harry Met Sally
No spoilers, but it's the most important Christmas rom-dram-com in history. If you're bored by Love, Actually, but you don't think love is dread, try out When Harry Met Sally. You don't have to tell anyone you love it. They'll already know. Also, Carrie Fisher is so good as adult Sally's best friend. Written by the goddess Nora Ephron, and directed by Rob Reiner, When Harry Met Sally is true cinematic excellence.
Stream When Harry Met Sally here.
12. Office Christmas Party
If Love, Actually is dumb to you because it lacks massive stunts, foul-mouthed comedians, and Courtney B. Vance, then it's likely that Office Christmas Party will be much more your speed.
13. The Nutcracker
This ballet classic, set to Tchaikovsky's iconic composition, has been part of cultural history since Balanchine first choreographed it in the 1950s. Productions large and small take place at theaters across the U.S. every year, but any one of the film adaptations will bring you just as much Christmas cheer. Plus, if your family is one of the lively debate-loving varieties, there's one built into this: Is the star of the story named Clara, or is it Marie? Discuss.
14. Every Christmas Episode From The Office (U.S.) Back-To-Back
Hey, not everyone has the attention span to sit through a full movie. It's worth it to break up the holiday drama with eight gut-wrenching Christmas specials from NBC's The Office. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll want to melt through the floor and into an alternate dimension just to get away from how cringe-inducing these people are. Mix deeply romantic with highly uncomfortable, add a dose of invasive coworkers and sprinkle with a dash of partying at your desk. Ta-da! A new holiday tradition is born.
15. The Holiday
I've actually never seen this one, but people really seem to like it.
16. The Family Stone
If this GIF isn't enough to convince you it's worth the watch, maybe the cast will: Rachel McAdams, Sarah Jessica Parker, Diane Keaton, and Claire Danes are all in it, and that's just a fraction of the cast. It has as many big-name stars as Love, Actually, a more refined sense of humor, and a unique look at complicated family dynamics. At its heart, The Family Stone is a classic holiday rom-com. Just with more nuance. And more Luke Wilson wearing corny scarves.
17. Just The Cracklin' Yule Log On A Loop
Hey, films aren't for everyone. And this fire is safe to start in a cramped city apartment. It even comes in multiple versions, like a holiday music edition, or puppies and presents, or Nick Offerman sitting nearby and drinking.
So, whether you like your holiday films wholesome to the core or brimming with debauchery, there's definitely something on this list for you. Grab your plaid blankets, light a festive candle, and settle in for the marathon of your choice. It's the most wonderful time of the year.