Despite the trials and tribulations of 2020’s global pandemic situation, the festive season always presents a time of year to unwind, celebrate with loved ones, and look to the future. If you’ve been fortunate enough to have connected with someone special via a dating site, perhaps you’re anticipating getting together over a glass or two of mulled wine beneath some strategically-placed mistletoe? There is always an excellent choice of romantic winter movies to be enjoyed with a partner on a first date. Here are five of the most recommended according to dating experts from the Cupid platform.
Let it Snow (2019)
Although this Christmas film is based on the bestselling young adult novel of the same name by Maureen Johnson, it would be suitable for romantics of any age at this time of year. The story centers on a bunch of high school seniors living in a small town in Illinois in the midwestern USA, who find themselves cut adrift in various ways when a snowstorm strikes on Christmas Eve. The cast includes Isabela Merced, Shameik Moore (as a popstar passing through town), Odeya Rush, and Joan Cusack. It does cover many familiar Christmas topics but it is done with verve and enthusiasm as it details their intertwining friendships and romantic attractions.
The Grinch (2018)
Based on the well-known festive tale by Dr. Seuss, this is a classic Christmas fable concerning the titular anti-hero, determined to ruin the festive spirit of his community by acting the self-centered spoilsport at every possible opportunity. Jim Carrey excelled as this grumpy character in the live-action version from 2000, but this vibrant animated version is guaranteed to provide laughs and pathos as the townspeople of Whoville get to grips with the yuletide stick in the mud.
Love Actually (2003)
Written and directed by Richard Curtis, the successful English screenwriter behind numerous other romcom classics, the plot focuses on eight different couples as they cope with the twists and turns of their varying love lives in the run-up to Christmas in London. Unashamedly sentimental, the stellar cast includes Hugh Grant as the Prime Minister who falls for a young assistant (Martine McCutcheon), Liam Neeson as a widower whose young stepson has fallen for a cute girl in his school choir, and Colin Firth as a writer drawn to his Portuguese housekeeper despite an occasionally insurmountable language barrier that leads to hilarious mistranslations. A more poignant sub-plot concerns an American whose crush on a work colleague is continually impeded by her care requirements for her mentally ill brother. This movie offers the perfect rollercoaster of emotions for your date night.
Directed by Chazz Palminteri, a more familiar face in US gangster films, this is another festive title featuring an ensemble cast. The main performer is Rose (Susan Sarandon) who is struggling to cope with a mother afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease. Various arresting storylines, often interlinking, include Mike (Paul Walker) and Nina (Penelope Cruz), a young couple on the verge of splitting due to the former’s jealousy. Robin Williams has a cameo as a mysterious Charlie.
Paul (Martin Freeman) is a teacher at St Bernadette’s, a Catholic primary school in Coventry, England. His dreams of being a successful producer/director were quashed when life got in the way, and his ex (Ashley Jensen) left to work in Hollywood. When a local (private) Protestant school competes to perform the best nativity, his bunch of enthusiastic but occasionally dysfunctional kids rises to the occasion. They create a wonderfully over-the-top celebration of the Christmas story, set against the atmospheric backdrop of the ruins of Coventry Cathedral.