Ranked in no particular order, and wholly subjective to my taste.
Love Actually tends to polarise people, but I love it in deep, inappropriate ways – especially the story of the Prime Minister and his deep, inappropriate attraction to his outspoken, down-to-earth housekeeper. When they finally get past their inauspicious beginning, the US President, a metric Christmas-ton of carolling, and one awkward limo ride with an octopus to finally get to snog backstage at a Christmas pageant, it’s fun and sexy and imperfect and everything that a good kiss should be when it’s the beginning of something special.
While we’re talking Christmas-themed romantic comedies, we should definitely talk about While You Were Sleeping, the movie that cemented Sandra Bullock’s ongoing, girl-next-door appeal. In case you missed it, Sandra plays Lucy, an employee of the Chicago transit system in love with a mysterious (if very handsome) regular passenger. One Christmas day, her crush falls on to the tracks, and Lucy saves him. In order to accompany him in to the hospital, Lucy lies and says she is his fiance. What follows is a delicious comedy of errors that features in prominence, Mr Dream Guy’s hot, beta brother who introduces Lucy to the joy of leaning.
Romantic? Not so much. Comedy? Well, that depends on your taste. But if you’ve ever had inappropriate thoughts about Santa (and, clearly, everyone who ever covered Santa Baby has), then this is your movie. And, possibly, even if you’ve never had inappropriate thoughts about Santa, but like your comedy black, then this is also your movie.
There is a lot going on in White Christmas, including some pretty impressive logic leaps, but who cares when they’re all this much fun? From World War II Europe, to night clubs, to Broadway, to a Vermont ski lodge – this movie dances and sings along to an iconic soundtrack, ending on a lovely make-up kiss with snow falling in the background. This is the ultimate in feel good Christmas.
Working in the industry that I do, I generally like my Christmas kisses to be followed by Christmas happy-ever-afters, but I do make an exception for this romantic fantasy that provides an origin story for snow. To be fair, I’m not entirely sure how happy an ending would have been for any love interest of a man with scissors for hands. But where there’s love, there’s a way.
There’s nothing like a grand finale kiss, especially when it comes with a side of forgiveness and a touch of humility. IN Tim Burton’s Nightmare Before Christmas, When Jack finally recognises his arrogance and follows Sally to the graveyard and admits he feels the same way, well there’s nothing nightmare-ish about it.
Okay, wow. I thought I had more power than that. Fine. Don’t watch it. Your loss. Especially in the play-by-play of Val Kilmer and Robert Downey Jr and one heck of a distraction kiss. Also really sexy-creepy reindeer.
What’s not to love?
Finally, the kiss that tops all the other Christmas kisses, because it’s all about hope and forgiveness and recognising what’s really important. It’s about recognising mistakes and moving on, about accepting and celebrating the world as it is and not just as it could be. It’s about counting your blessings and forgiving trespasses and all the good things that Christmas is supposed to represent, whether your celebration is religious or secular, in December or at any other time of the year. This is the kiss that reminds us that It’s a Wonderful Life, if we have the courage to see it through.