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50 of the Most Romantic Seasonal Winter Movies

Want to curl up with something romantic and seasonal on cold winter nights? Look no further: here is a list of the 20 most romantic winter movies.

romantic winter movies

When it comes to the season of romance, winter has a lot of competition. There is spring, with its bursting greenery and blossoms; summer with its lakeside skinny-dipping and city park picnics; and autumn with its scarlet and crimson canopies.

Even with this intense competition, winter holds a special place in the soul of the romantic—the starkness of a white winter backdrop almost seeming to highlight the warmth of human emotion.

Not without reason, then, the season has produced some of the most classic and heartwarming cinematic offerings. Of these, the following twenty are what we consider the absolute best.

50 Best Romantic Offerings For Winter

1. Groundhog Day *1993*

“Groundhog Day” has a strong opening score for what is, essentially, a comedy—mainly due to Bill Murray’s masterly performance as a cynical weather reporter who keeps reliving the same day over and over again.

During his repeated days, he is shown falling in love, over time, with the female TV producer who has accompanied him.

Our winter romance rating: 7/10

2. The Holiday *2006*

Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet’s characters do a holiday home swap to escape the winter blues and the men who have ruined their lives… both accidentally falling in love with the friend/brother of the other. [Read: Things I learned about love from watching The Holiday]

Our winter romance rating: 8/10

3. Friends with Kids *2011*

An independent film with a killer cast, this romantic comedy offers a more contemporary view of winter romance, as well as a beautiful, well-rounded, and real-world grittiness.

Our winter romance rating: 6/10

4. Bridget Jones’ Diary *2001*

This most famous of female farces plots the efforts of one singleton to make a decision over the right man for her: either the charming womanizer, played by Hugh Grant, or Colin Firth’s surly gent.

Our winter romance rating: 7/10

5. White Christmas *1954*

There’s little more to be said about this 1954 Bing Crosby movie than this: if you haven’t seen it yet, then you need to do so-immediately. This film is the king of the Christmas romance classics.

Our winter romance rating: 8/10

6. Love Actually *2003*

This film scores so highly, as it offers not just one romantic plot, or even two, but a dozen beautifully crafted tales—from the hilarious story of the English guy who travels to the US to let his accent do the hard work, to the genuinely striking romance between Colin Firth’s character and the Portuguese maid who wins his heart.

Look out for a couple of cameo appearances by Rowan Atkinson, of Mr. Bean fame, as a modern-day Christmas spirit.

Our winter romance rating: 9/10

7. Winter’s Tale *2014*

A supernatural fantasy romance, this film might have been a box office flop, but won us over. “Winter’s Tale” explores the relationship between the spirit world and the real world against the backdrop of a beautiful New York winter.

Our winter romance rating: 7/10

8. Edward Scissorhands *1990*

Remember the scene with the ice sculptures? Now is the time to renew your relationship with Depp’s outlandish character and the young, estranged girl who falls in love with him.

Our winter romance rating: 7/10

[Read: 20 unromantic movies with surprisingly romantic twists]

9. Love Story *1970*

“Love Story” is a beautiful tale, which explores the classic theme of a man giving up his wealth and inheritance to be with the woman he loves. The conclusion is epically tragic but, set against a running winter’s theme, a timeless romantic classic.

Our winter romance rating: 9/10

10. Dr. Zhivago *1965*

A little heavy for some, this story of a man and woman’s love for each other, set to a backdrop of a snow-laden winter in revolutionary Russia, is regarded as not only one of the best romantic movies, but one of the best movies ever made.

Our winter romance rating: 9/10

11. The Empire Strikes Back *1980*

This is the second of the original Star Wars franchise, set on the snowy planet Hoth. Action packed sci-fi though it may be, Leia’s blossoming romance with cocky Han is actually quite touching… especially at the end, when he is captured.

Our winter romance rating: 6/10

12. Serendipity *2001*

Two people shopping at Bloomingdale’s for their respective partners start a chain of events revealing that destiny has plans for them to be together. The clue is in the title. [Read: Accidental love – 12 love lessons from Serendipity]

Our winter romance rating: 8/10

13. The Office *2005-2013*

Not strictly speaking a movie, but a two-part Christmas special from the UK’s “The Office” series. Easily as good as the U.S. counterpart, if not better, the relationship between Dawn and Tim that has proved so desperately fruitless throughout the series, finally blossoms in a scene that is one of the most touching and heart-warming that this writer has ever seen. This is comedy at its beautiful best.

Our winter romance rating: 9/10

14. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind *2004*

A stunning piece of art, as well as an amazing winter tale of romance, this movie plays with the traditional concept of love overcoming all in an untraditional manner, and is possibly Jim Carrey’s strongest performance to date.

Our winter romance rating: 9/10

15. Just Married *2003*

A newly-married couple take a winter holiday in Europe, which ends the honeymoon period with sudden and violent rapidity. Of course, love conquers all and the happy ending is never far away. [Read: 8 famous romantic moves that teach really bad lessons about love]

Our winter romance rating: 6/10

16. The Gold Rush *1925*

Once again, comedy shows itself to be a great facilitator of romance, and in the hands of the master, Charlie Chaplain, we are presented with the first true winter romance.

Our winter romance rating: 7/10

17. Beauty and the Beast *1991*

Disney does romance undeniably well, and with a little sprinkling of winter in its tale, this entry definitely deserves both its place and its rating. [Read: 30 famous movie lines you can use to woo any guy or girl]

Our winter romance rating: 8/10

18. It’s a Wonderful Life *1946*

Officially the most popular Christmas film of all time, this entry is ostensibly a retelling of the classic Scrooge theme. The numerous flashbacks to the protagonist’s days of courting the woman destined to become his wife win this movie a place on the seasonal romantic hit list. It boasts a wonderfully charming performance by Jimmy Stewart.

Our winter romance rating: 9/10

19. Elf *2003*

Will Ferrell as an Elf in New York might not seem a typically romantic theme, but the relationship he strikes up with the dry and cynical female lead, slowly converting her to his joyful ways, really is quite sweet.

Our winter romance rating: 6/10

20. Titanic *1997*

Not typically considered a Christmas or winter movie, its inclusion is solely by merit of it entering icy arctic waters. That, and the fact that it has entered the annals of movie history as the most successful romance of all time.

Our winter romance rating: 8/10

[Read: 14 warm movies you should watch for a good cry session]

21. The Family Stone *2005*

The Stone family’s annual Christmas gathering is a mixer of comfort and chaos, where the eldest son brings his straight-laced girlfriend home, hoping to get his family’s blessing for marriage. The cold winter air is thick with tension as her attempts to fit in chill the holiday warmth.

Miscommunications and personality clashes lead to humorous encounters, but as the frosty barriers melt away, unexpected bonds form, showing that love can be as unpredictable as a winter storm.

Our winter romance rating: 7.5/10

22. While You Were Sleeping *1995*

It’s a winter’s tale as old as time in Chicago, where a transit worker, Lucy, pines for a handsome stranger she knows only from afar. After rescuing him from the tracks, she’s mistakenly identified as his fiancée while he’s in a coma, and she’s welcomed into the warm embrace of his family during the holiday season.

The situation becomes comically complicated when she falls for his brother, which makes her question everything as she stumbles through the snowflakes of deceit.

It’s a heartfelt journey that proves love can be found in the most unexpected places, even amid the frosty muddles of a wintery mix-up.

Our winter romance rating: 8.5/10

23. The Shop Around the Corner *1940*

Set against a snowy Budapest backdrop, two shop employees constantly at odds with each other live for the letters they receive from their dear anonymous pen pals.

Little do they know, their correspondents are much closer than they think—just a counter away. As they navigate the busy Christmas rush and their personal animosities, the cold winter serves as a foil to the warmth of their growing feelings for their pen pals.

This movie is a charming reminder that sometimes love is hiding in plain sight, wrapped in winter scarves and misunderstandings.

Our winter romance rating: 9/10

24. The Best Man Holiday *2013*

Years after their college days, a group of friends reunites over the Christmas holidays, only to find that time doesn’t always change old feelings.

The snowy holiday setting is perfect for rekindling old flames and stirring up old rivalries, with plenty of laughter and tears along the way. As they navigate the complexities of their relationships, the characters learn that the warmth of friendship can thaw even the longest-held grudges. [Read: True friendship: 37 Real friend traits & what it takes to be a good, loyal one]

This winter romantic movie is a testament to the enduring power of love and friendship, especially around the holidays.

Our winter romance rating: 7/10

25. Happiest Season *2020*

In this holiday comedy, a woman plans the perfect Christmas to propose to her girlfriend at her family’s party, only to discover that her partner hasn’t yet come out to her conservative parents.

The wintry setting heightens the tensions of a family striving for perfection during the holidays, leading to a comedic cascade of secrets and revelations.

Amidst the festive lights and yuletide cheer, the movie explores the complexities of love, family, and the courage to be oneself.

This winter romantic movie wraps up the message that the best gift of all is being true to who you are and whom you love. [Read: 25 perfect gifts to get your girlfriend for Christmas]

Our winter romance rating: 8/10

26. Carol *2015*

In the frost-bitten New York City of the 1950s, an elegant and sophisticated woman finds herself in a chance encounter with a young, bright-eyed shopgirl.

The winter chills are soon forgotten as they embark on a journey of self-discovery and forbidden love that defies the era’s norms.

As the snow gently blankets the city, their bond deepens, challenging the societal expectations that seek to divide them. “Carol” is a beautifully crafted winter romance that speaks to the timeless nature of love and the courage it takes to follow one’s heart against the blizzards of adversity.

Our winter romance rating: 9/10

27. Last Christmas *2019*

A heart like a snow globe, full of whimsy yet shaken by life, Kate meanders through London, making a mess of her life and her job at a year-round Christmas shop.

Enter Tom, a man who seems too good to be true and challenges her cynical world view, bringing a touch of magic to her mundane life. As the city transforms into a winter wonderland, Kate learns to put the pieces of her life back together in ways she never expected.

Full of holiday cheer and unexpected twists, “Last Christmas” is a love letter to the joys and trials of the season.

Our winter romance rating: 7/10

28. The Age of Adaline *2015*

Adaline Bowman has a secret—due to a rare occurrence, she’s remained 29 years old for nearly eight decades, never allowing herself to get close to anyone who might reveal her truth.

During a particularly snowy season, she meets Ellis Jones, a charismatic and endearing philanthropist who ignites the spark of life and romance she’s been avoiding.

As the winter deepens, so does their relationship, forcing Adaline to make a decision that could change her life forever. This film weaves a magical tale of love that stands the test of time, set against the backdrop of a world in the constant flux of seasons.

Our winter romance rating: 8/10

29. The Longest Ride *2015*

In the winter white of North Carolina, two love stories intertwine when a college senior and a bull-riding cowboy fall in love, and an older man reflects on his past romance after a car crash. Through the old man’s memories, the young couple learns about the sacrifices and rewards of enduring love.

As they face their own trials, the couple finds inspiration in the winter-bound tale of an enduring past romance, discovering that love can be as resilient as the evergreens under the snow. [Read: How to face relationship challenges & overcome them as a couple]

“The Longest Ride” offers a poignant look at the many facets of love, with the winter setting serving as a stark, beautiful metaphor for life’s trials and triumphs.

Our winter romance rating: 7.5/10

30. The Holiday Calendar *2018*

A talented but struggling photographer inherits an antique holiday advent calendar, which may or may not be predicting the future and pointing her toward love.

As the winter days pass, each door she opens leads to unexpected encounters and takes her one step closer to finding a love she didn’t even know she was seeking. Amid the snowy backdrop of the season, the calendar is a source of wonder and mystery, and her heart must decide if she’s willing to take a leap of faith.

This winter romantic movie is a sweet reminder that sometimes, the path to love is lined with the twinkling lights of possibility and a bit of holiday magic.

Our winter romance rating: 7/10

31. You’ve Got Mail *1998*

In this quintessential winter romantic movie, the frosty streets of New York City set the scene for a complex love affair between two bookshop rivals.

Online, they are anonymous email confidantes sharing their lives and growing close with every ‘You’ve got mail’ chime, unaware of their real-world enmity. The chilly weather pushes them into cozy cafes and the warmth of heartfelt conversations, fostering a digital romance that eventually forces them to confront their offline personas.

“You’ve Got Mail” showcases the complexities of modern love, reminding us that the heart often knows before the mind catches on.

Our winter romance rating: 9/10

32. When Harry Met Sally… *1989*

Can men and women ever just be friends? This question lies at the heart of a winter romantic movie that follows Harry and Sally through years of chance encounters in New York City.

As the seasons change and the two navigate the complexities of friendships and relationships, the cold winter backdrop mirrors their evolving connection. [Read: 40 secret signs a friend likes you romantically even if they’re hiding it]

With witty banter and iconic scenes, the film captures the humorous and often messy nature of love and friendship.

Our winter romance rating: 9/10

33. The Lake House *2006*

Time itself seems to pause for winter in this romantic drama where an architect and a doctor exchange letters through a magical mailbox, connecting them across years.

The frost-covered lake house serves as the nexus for their growing bond, which develops into love despite the barrier of time.

The movie delicately explores the threads of fate and timing in relationships, all set against the reflective stillness of the winter season.

Our winter romance rating: 7.5/10

34. The Princess Switch *2018*

A cozy winter romantic movie that takes ‘trading places’ to a heartwarming level, featuring a duchess and a commoner who are identical lookalikes.

The holiday season serves as the perfect backdrop for a switch that leads to unexpected romances for both women. With the festive spirit in the air and a sprinkle of royal charm, they navigate their new lives while finding love in the most surprising of circumstances.

Our winter romance rating: 7/10

35. About Time *2013*

As the winter chill sets into the English countryside, a young man discovers he can travel in time and uses this extraordinary ability to improve his future and find love.

The movie is a heartfelt journey through the highs and lows of family, love, and the essence of time, emphasizing the beauty of the mundane moments that make up a life.

It’s a romantic tale that encourages viewers to savor every minute, especially those winter moments that seem to hold time still.

Our winter romance rating: 8.5/10

36. Pride & Prejudice *2005*

The biting cold of an English winter fails to stifle the warm embers of romance in this classic tale of misunderstood intentions and the prideful dance of love.

As Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy navigate the social mores of the time, their initial frigid relations thaw into something much deeper and more tender.

With winter’s touch accentuating the period’s stark beauty, their journey reminds us that love often resides beyond first impressions.

Our winter romance rating: 9/10

37. The Notebook *2004*

Not typically categorized solely as a winter movie, this iconic romantic drama features pivotal scenes that unfold against the backdrop of a South Carolina winter.

The stark, leafless trees and the chilling cold mirror the obstacles faced by the young lovers, whose summer passion is as intense as their winter separation. [Read: Fear of losing someone you love: Why you feel it & ways to get over it]

This tale of enduring love moves through the seasons of life, showcasing that true love can weather any storm, be it the scorching sun or the freezing rain.

Our winter romance rating: 8.5/10

38. Sweet November *2001*

A unique take on love blossoms during the chill of winter, as a man learns that he is part of a woman’s monthly ritual—taking in a new lover each month.

November brings a poignant and transformative love story that defies conventional boundaries and timelines.

As the winter progresses, so does their unconventional romance, revealing the depths of connection and the bittersweet nature of their arrangement.

Our winter romance rating: 7/10

39. A Christmas Prince *2017*

A wintry European kingdom is the setting for this fairytale romance, where a young journalist finds herself entangled with a handsome prince during the holiday season.

The snowy landscape and regal festivities add to the enchantment, making it a perfect addition to any winter romantic movie list.

As they navigate royal duties and personal desires, the movie wraps viewers in the cozy blanket of a Christmas love story.

Our winter romance rating: 6.5/10

40. Let It Snow *2019*

This film interweaves the lives of a group of high school seniors in a small town during a Christmas Eve snowstorm. Each character discovers that love and friendship can bloom in the chilliest of times.

As they overcome teenage angst and the struggle to find their identities, the magic of the winter season acts as a catalyst for their romantic entanglements and personal revelations.

Our winter romance rating: 7/10

41. The Christmas Chronicles *2018*

While not a romantic movie in the traditional sense, this holiday adventure weaves together themes of family love and the spirit of Christmas.

When two siblings team up with Santa Claus for a night of high-flying holiday hijinks, they learn about trust, family bonds, and the joy of giving.

The warmth of the holiday season radiates through the frosty winter escapades, making it a modern classic for all ages to appreciate the love that defines the holiday spirit.

Our winter romance rating: 7/10

42. Cold Mountain *2003*

This epic tale of love set against the backdrop of the American Civil War follows a wounded Confederate soldier as he journeys through a winter-ravaged landscape to return to his love. [Read: What it’s like being a military significant other]

The harshness of the winter mirrors the brutality of the war, yet the flame of love remains unextinguished, guiding him home. This winter romantic movie captures the endurance of love amidst the bleakest of circumstances.

Our winter romance rating: 8/10

43. Last Holiday *2006*

When a shy cookware saleswoman learns she has only a short time left to live, she decides to spend her last holiday in luxurious style, at a posh European resort.

Through a winter landscape straight out of a snow globe, she embarks on a journey of self-discovery and finds romance in the most unexpected places.

This movie is a celebration of life and a reminder to embrace every moment with passion and love.

Our winter romance rating: 7.5/10

44. The Knight Before Christmas *2019*

This Netflix original brings together medieval magic and modern romance when a 14th-century knight, Sir Cole, is transported to present-day Ohio during the holiday season.

He crosses paths with Brooke, a kind-hearted science teacher who’s lost her faith in love. As Brooke helps the disoriented knight navigate the modern world, their shared quest to fulfill his mysterious quest before Christmas Day leads to unexpected romance.

This movie wraps up chivalry, time-travel, and yuletide cheer in a snowy bow, making it a lighthearted addition to the winter romance genre.

Our winter romance rating: 7/10

45. The Before Trilogy *Before Sunrise (1995), Before Sunset (2004), Before Midnight (2013)*

These films, although not exclusively winter-themed, capture the romantic journey of two individuals who meet serendipitously on a train to Vienna and spend a night *and eventually a lifetime* together.

As they wander through European locales, the changing seasons, including the starkness of winter, serve as a backdrop to the evolution of their relationship.

The trilogy is a profound exploration of connection, conversation, and the bittersweet nature of passing time.

Our winter romance rating: 9/10

46. Dash & Lily *2020*

While technically a miniseries, “Dash & Lily” captures the essence of winter romance across its eight episodes.

Set in a snowy New York City during the holiday season, a cynical Dash finds a mysterious red notebook at The Strand bookstore, containing dares and dreams written by the optimistic Lily.

They exchange messages and dares without meeting, leading to a heartwarming and whimsical romance that explores whether opposites can truly attract.

Our winter romance rating: 8/10

47. Holidate *2020*

In this holiday-themed romantic comedy, two strangers, tired of being single during the holidays, agree to be each other’s “holidate” for a year, committing to accompany each other to festive gatherings.

With no romantic strings attached, they navigate a year’s worth of celebrations, but as they spend more time together, they find that they might be developing real feelings amidst the faux pas and festivities. [Read: 23 signs your friend has a crush on you & can’t wait to date you!]

It’s a modern take on the romantic genre, offering laughs and love with a side of seasonal charm.

Our winter romance rating: 7/10

48. A California Christmas *2020*

Set amidst the rolling hills and vineyards of California, this movie gives a twist to the classic city-meets-country romance trope.

With his mother’s company on the line, wealthy charmer Joseph is tasked with convincing a hardworking farmer, Callie, to sell her family’s land. As the holiday season progresses, his quest is complicated by unexpected feelings that arise between them.

The film offers a sunny backdrop to the typically snowy winter romantic movies, providing a warm holiday spirit that defies the colder settings of its genre contemporaries.

Our winter romance rating: 7.5/10

49. Little Women *2019*

Although not strictly a romantic movie, this adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s classic novel is woven with threads of romance, family, and the pursuits of four sisters growing up during the Civil War era.

The changing seasons serve as a backdrop to their evolving lives and relationships, with winter’s chill highlighting the warmth of their bonds.

It’s a tapestry of love, loss, and the enduring power of family, beautifully wrapped in the coziness of a New England winter.

Our winter romance rating: 9/10

50. Holiday in the Wild *2019*

In this seasonal Netflix film, Kate Conrad, played by Kristin Davis, embarks on a solo second honeymoon to Africa after her husband ends their marriage right before the trip.

The majesty of the African winter landscape and the company of a rugged elephant conservationist, Derek, played by Rob Lowe, lead her on an unexpected journey of self-discovery and a new romance. [Read: 25 self-discovery questions to bring you closer to learning who you are]

The film is a picturesque safari of the heart, demonstrating that sometimes the best gifts are the ones you didn’t know you needed.

Our winter romance rating: 7.5/10

Don’t let the cold of winter get you down. Use it as an excuse to watch some of the most romantic seasonal movies ever made to warm your heart, as well as your fingers and toes.

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David Cullen
David Cullen
David Cullen is frequently described as erudite, insightful and witty – but only by himself and only after several large glasses of Rioja....