Second only to Valentine’s Day, the Christmas holiday season always sounds like a good time for romance. All that snow and cold makes for good cuddling time. Walking in the snow holding mittened hands, building snowman pastors (for marrying purposes), popping corn in the fireplace… stuff like that (and songs like that). And let’s not forget kissing under the mistletoe (which is probably either plastic or a sprig of parsley in reality). Hey, it’s the thought (and the kiss) that counts.
And just like Valentine’s Day, women always seem to get at least one gift of fancy lingerie from Victoria’s Secret or La Senza from husbands or boyfriends. (A note to hopeful guys: wives/girlfriends are just like Santa, it’s better to be on their nice list, not the naughty one, if you’re wishing for some heavy breathing under the mistletoe or by the Christmas tree. And the nice list includes watching— without complaints or audible yawns— that genre of film known as the “chick flick”.)
Opening December 12 is a cheery romance called “The Perfect Holiday”. A girl decides to play matchmaker between her struggling divorced mom and the mall Santa. All Mom wants is a nice compliment from a man for Christmas (boy, is she easy to please!) It’s a sure bet she’ll get her wish and more. Starring Gabrielle Union, Morris Chestnut and Queen Latifah. Rated PG (for brief language and some suggestive humor).
On a less (much less) cheery note is “Atonement”, opening in wide release on December 14. Rich girl Cecilia and housekeeper’s son Robbie fall for each other. But a wrongful accusation by jealous younger sister Briony splits lovers and lives apart for decades. This movie has already screened at the Toronto and Venice International Film Festivals to much praise. Starring Keira Knightley and James McAvoy, and based on the acclaimed 2002 novel by Ian McEwan. Bring a box of tissue or grab a wad of serviettes from the concession dispenser before the show starts. Rated R (for disturbing war images, language and some sexuality).
And finally, on December 21, there’s “P.S. I Love You”. When her handsome and loving (but seriously ill) husband Gerry dies, Holly doesn’t know how she can go on. Luckily, Gerry was a long-range thinker. His first letter to her after his death comes on his wife’s 30th birthday, along with a cake. After that, Holly begins to get regular letters from her deceased husband, all aimed to help her get over her loss and rediscover life again. Starring Hilary Swank, Gerard Butler, and Gina Gershon. Tissues may come in handy here too. Rated PG-13 (for sexual references and brief nudity).