A number of romantic comedies use special occasions and holidays as their backdrops. In doing so, they establish a fun and eventful atmosphere for their stories. For instance, the escapist feel of the yuletide season allows a movie to exude a celebratory mood as it presents its light and fun rom-com story. Each year more and more Christmas- and New Year's-set films add to the long list of enjoyable romantic comedies. Yet, a handful of them remain some of the most memorable choices for their timeless appeal.
"Holiday Inn" (1942)
Fred Astaire, Bing Crosby, and Marjorie Reynolds star in "Holiday Inn," a musical film about a crooner who is in love with an up-and-coming performer and a stepper who wants her as his new dance partner. The story mainly takes place at the latest inn in town called the Holiday Inn, which gets its name for being open only during holidays.
Filled with great music and dancing, this holiday romance from director Mark Sandrich is notable for its Oscar-winning song "White Christmas." "Holiday Inn" also received two other nominations for Best Musical Score and Best Writing, Original Story at the Academy Awards.
"The Apartment" (1960)
The story of "The Apartment" revolves around a man's realization that the fast way to climb the corporate ladder is by lending out his apartment to company executives so they can use it as a place to spend time with their mistresses. However, in trying to advance his career in such an absurd way, complications arise as he gets snarled up in these entangled affairs and office politics. In another arrangement set on New Year's Eve, he has to make an ultimate decision after being torn between love and career.
This film starring Jack Lemmon, Shirley MacLaine, and Fred MacMurray won five Oscars, including Best Director for Billy Wilder, along with five more nominations for a handful of acting and technical awards.
"When Harry Met Sally…" (1989)
"When Harry Met Sally…" is a charming movie about two longtime friends seeking romance. Although they seem to find themselves somehow attracted to each other, they fear sex would ruin their friendship.
This film features a touching New Year's Eve scene which becomes a deciding moment for their confusing romance. The chemistry of onscreen talents Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal, along with supporting roles from Carrie Fisher and Bruno Kirby, allowed this Rob Reiner film to set a new standard for romantic comedies during its time. Its engaging script also received an Oscar nomination for Best Original Screenplay.
"About a Boy" (2002)
Based on the Nick Hornby novel of the same title, "About a Boy" by director brothers Chris Weitz and Paul Weitz features the story of a rich and irresponsible English bachelor who starts meeting a string of single mothers for a series of flings without the burden of a committed relationship. In between his escapades, he meets a 12-year old boy, leading to an unlikely friendship. This allows both the problematic adult and boy in them grow up.
"About a Boy" features a New Year's Eve party that becomes a critical turning point for the adventurous man to meet somebody thawho t might just change his romantic convictions forever. An Oscar-nominated film for Best Adapted Screenplay, this rom-com classic stars Hugh Grant, Toni Collette, Rachel Weisz, and Nicholas Hoult.
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