Christmas on the Couch

If you find yourself home alone this Christmas Day – whatever the reason – take advantage of the peace and quiet with our list of heartwarming holiday films. Any one of these classics are bound to fill up the lonely spaces in your heart and home. These films will boost your spirits and put everything into perspective. So heat up a cup of cocoa, nuke some butter flavored popcorn and fill your soul with love, laughter and joy. Merry Christmas!

A jolly good laugh
If a little romantic comedy is up your alley, try The Holiday. Two women burned by love switch homes around the holidays and find that a change of scene cannot only mend a broken heart but it can change your fate. Iris travels to Los Angeles and Amanda to London – the two learn a great deal about themselves, as well as the fact that soulmates come in different packages – and live in different places. Plus, you meet them when you least expect it!

If you need to put a smile on your face, these movies will leave you chuckling well past New Year’s Eve. Will Ferrell is hilarious in Elf. Accidentally finding his way into Santa’s bag one night, Buddy grows up on the North Pole with elves. As an adult, he ultimately realizes he is human and travels to New York… “through the seven levels of the Candy Cane forest and then… through the Lincoln Tunnel” to find his real father. With astounding child like awe, Buddy parades through Manhattan in his elfly garb and saves his family Christmas in a truly elfish way.

Not just for kids, the animated film Ratatouille takes you on a delightful romp through The City of Lights. Remy the rat has an unusual knack for cooking, after realizing his discontent with rummaging through garbage with the rest of the pack. He soon pursues his aspiration for being a French chef. You might cringe at the thought of rats in the kitchen but this animated piece is bound to increase your appetite for food and life!

Character counts
If you need a break from the holiday theme and are looking for a story that’s full of inspiration, try these spirited flicks. In Last Holiday, Queen Latifah plays salesclerk Georgia Byrd who has been stuck in a rut for sometime, until she is diagnosed with less than one month to live. Withdrawing her savings and embarking on a lavish European vacation, Georgia gains back the momentum she was losing in her life and then some! Queen Latifah is a powerhouse and you will certainly enjoy a hysterical cast that includes Gerard Depardieu and a very charming LL Cool J.

Speaking of powerful women, Mrs. Henderson Presents, starring the much admired actress Judi Dench, is an impressive, provocative film. In a time of war and personal grief, the recently widowed Mrs. Henderson, unwilling to spend the rest of her days playing cards, purchases and renovates an old theatre. Lavish entertainment and eventually shelter from bomb raids, make this playhouse and its players courageous and controversial. Based on true events, you can’t help but find strength in the stories that came before us.

The Pursuit of Happyness is the hope-filled true story of Chris Gardner, a man struggling in his job when his wife leaves him and he is left to raise their child alone. He lands an unpaid internship at Dean Witter, yet works relentlessly pursuing a better life. Chris Gardner, played by Will Smith, eventually rises to the top but not without hitting rock bottom first.

Classy classics
Auntie Mame is a very merry movie best known for the motto: “Life is a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death!” When young Patrick’s father dies, the boy is left in his eccentric aunt’s care in Manhattan and under the supervision of a more conservative Mr. Babcock. Mame is an intelligent, whirlwind of a woman who wants to open every door and window for her impressionable young nephew. Through it all, she falls in love, survives the Great Depression and never abandons her dear nephew. A spirited feminist before her time, Auntie Mame is a classic feel-good film about living life to the fullest – no matter what it brings you!

If the true Christmas spirit is what you’re after, pop It’s a Wonderful Life on and fall in love with Jimmy Stewart and his wonderful world of struggle. You’ll revel in his character’s salvation. It will make you remember that even when you feel very much alone, there are always people who care for (and rely on) you more than you may know. Even if you’ve seen it before, this old standard is always a holiday treat that will leave you in glorious tears.

Another holiday mood enhancer is The Sound of Music. Beyond the glorious Julie Andrews and the young and handsome Christopher Plummer singing the memorable tunes of Rodgers & Hammerstein, we are again shown the beauty of strength and courage and staying true to oneself. Maria is a nun sent to be a governess who soon becomes the wife of a widowed naval officer. Based on a true story set on the brink of World War II, with a little help from unexpected places, this family manages to survive a very turbulent time.

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