10 Movies to Stream After You've Marathoned Love Actually Yet Again This Holiday Season
Though the internet remains divided over how we collectively feel about it, Love Actually is most definitely a classic when it comes to holiday rom-coms. With a stacked cast that includes beloved actors such as Hugh Grant and Emma Thompson, it’s easy to see how the 2003 film has carved a place for itself during the season of yuletide cheer. Even after nearly two decades (seriously, Thomas Brodie-Sangster is a grown man now), it’s a movie that we return to every year. Ahead, we’ve rounded up the best movies to stream if you’re looking for something with similar mishaps, romance, and holiday cheer to enjoy after your umpteenth time pressing play on Love Actually.
Bridget Jones's Diary
With a screenplay also penned by Love Actually‘s rom-com connoisseur Richard Curtis, Bridget Jones’s Diary will give you your fill of naughty British Christmas vibes. Perfectly imperfect just as she is, book publicist Bridget Jones (Renée Zellweger) finds herself in the midst of a Pride and Prejudice-esque love triangle with her sketchy boss (Hugh Grant) and a stoic barrister (Colin Firth).
Let It Snow
Based on Maureen Johnson, John Green, and Lauren Myracle’s young adult novel of the same name, Netflix’s Let It Snow follows the Christmas romances of an interconnected group of high school students. If you’re looking for the more tame teen version of Love Actually, this is the pick for you. Shameik Moore (aka Miles Morales from Into the Spider-Verse) also portrays a rising pop star, so expect to hear some bops!
If you’re dreaming of a raunchy Christmas, get ready for Bad Santa, which stars Billy Bob Thornton, who coincidentally plays the unsavoury President of the United States in Love Actually. In Bad Santa, Thornton stars as a professional thief who fronts as a department-store Santa and robs shopping malls.
If you’ve had your fill of Richard Curtis rom-coms, you can’t go wrong with a Nancy Meyers pick. The Holiday shares a similar premise to Love, Actually – the film hones in on multiple romances over Christmastime. Both heartbroken and jilted, English columnist Iris Simpkins (Kate Winslet) and Californian producer Amanda Woods (Cameron Diaz) decide to swap homes during the holidays and find romance brewing abroad.
For a Christmas rom-com that marries dry humour with heartwarming moments, Happiest Season will give you your fix. Mackenzie Davis plays Harper, a queer woman who returns home for the holidays with her girlfriend, Abby (Kristen Stewart) – the rub is that Harper hasn’t come out to her family yet. A comedy of errors unfolds, with a few Love Actually-esque side plots as well.
The lovely Emilia Clarke plays Kate, a cynical – one could even say little bit messy – woman who works as an elf at a year-round Christmas shop for Santa (Michelle Yeoh). Over the course of the film, a mysterious man named Tom (Henry Golding) teaches her the true meaning of Christmas. Last Christmas shares those cheeky yet heartwarming holiday vibes with Love Actually and also stars (and is cowritten by) Emma Thompson, who starred in the 2003 holiday flick.
About a Boy
About a Boy isn’t strictly a Christmas movie, but it does have holiday vibes, and the protagonist Will (Hugh Grant) lives off of his father’s Christmas song royalties. Will starts out as a meandering bachelor without much ambition until he finds himself striking up a friendship with a young boy named Marcus (Nicholas Hoult) and his mother (Toni Collette). The friendship between Will and Marcus is definitely reminiscent of Daniel (Liam Neeson) and his stepson, Sam (Thomas Brodie-Sangster), in Love Actually, albeit About a Boy is a bit more cheeky.
Like Love Actually, Valentine’s Day follows multiple interconnected romances, except, as its title suggests, it unfolds during the February holiday devoted to love. The all-star cast includes Julia Roberts, Jennifer Garner, Anne Hathaway, and yes, Taylor Swift.
Four Weddings and a Funeral
Before Love Actually, screenwriter and director Richard Curtis put his name on the map with Four Weddings and a Funeral, a heartfelt rom-com starring Hugh Grant and Andie MacDowell. Terrified of commitment, Charles (Grant) begins falling in love with a charismatic American named Carrie as they cross paths at several weddings and, well, a funeral. After watching the original film, you can tune into Mindy Kaling’s sweet modernised Hulu version, which stars Nikesh Patel and Nathalie Emmanuel as the romantic leads.