5 Ways The Holiday Is The Perfect Christmas Movie (& 5 Ways Love Actually Is Better)


Both Love Actually and The Holiday are very popular Christmas movies, especially with adult audiences, and they have a lot of similarities. Both provide a more realistic story surrounding the festive period, unlike some of the more over the top Christmas movies, and they’re both rely heavily on being romantic comedies.

Each movie has multiple storylines going on at the same time which weave in and out, intertwining at certain points to connect the characters. But while they’re both festive favorites for people during the holiday period, bringing great comedy, romance, and emotion, which of them is the superior Christmas movie to watch?

10 The Holiday: It Has More Heart

Love Actually is certainly a heartfelt movie with a lot of great moments, but because there are so many stories, it doesn’t quite have the same amount of heart that The Holiday has. This movie is just incredibly warm, with each storyline being very positive overall.

It’s the type of thing that people want to see in a Christmas movie, as this is what folks tune into them to see, with the idea of bringing some positivity and happiness, which The Holiday certainly manages to do.

9 Love Actually: Links The Characters Better

Both The Holiday and Love Actually eventually link many of the characters together at the end of the movie, but out of the two, it is Love Actually which does it best. This movie makes sensible links between many of the characters who appear throughout.

Their connections are different, whether it’s being friends, having children who attend the same school, or being related. There’s a variety of connections, and seeing them link together at different points is a lot of fun, especially in an ensemble cast.

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8 The Holiday: Better Score

Love Actually features some good music, a lot of which sees real bands and singers being involved. However, while that does create some good moments, such as when Hugh Grant begins dancing around 10 Downing Street, it is The Holiday which has a better score.

This movie features music from Hans Zimmer and it a really beautiful score that is certainly a memorable one. It feels festive and the music does suits the Christmas movie genre, adding a big element to things on the whole.

7 Love Actually: It’s Iconic

Put simply, Love Actually is one of *the* iconic Christmas movies. It’s one that people go to every year and is well-known around the world for being one of the best.

While The Holiday is a great film, it is often quite underrated, and the fact that Love Actually is better known does give it an edge. The fact that it’s still so popular today says a lot about the movie, with this being a classic that will stand the test of time.

6 The Holiday: Less Cheesy

A lot of this will depend on someone’s personal taste. For some people, a movie featuring cheesy and hokey moments could be perfect, yet for others, that isn’t always the case. The Holiday is more serious and it really benefits from that throughout.

Love Actually goes through more of the stereotypes that are placed onto these types of movies, and while it absolutely nails all of them in an entertaining manner, The Holiday just feels more fresh and enjoyable because of it’s slightly more serious moments.

5 Love Actually: It’s Funnier

While both movies have a lot of comedy put into them, it is Love Actually that comes out the best in this situation. The movie has some hilarious scenes, with certain storylines such as Colin’s journey to America, and the rock and roll plot of Bill being put into the movie purely for comedic reasons.

Having specific comedic moments is something that really works for the movie, making it vibrant and easy to watch, which is the type of content that people want from a Christmas movie when they’re looking to relax.

4 The Holiday: Better Relationships

Love Actually provides a variety of different romances throughout, some which showcase couples falling in love, others which see them going through struggles. However, in The Holiday, the relationships that are created are a lot more engaging because more effort is put into them.

There are only two relationships for this movie to work with, and it benefits from that, giving them both a lot of time and focus. It might be a little predictable that they end up together, but the movie does a good job of making it charming as they get there.

3 Love Actually: More Relatable

Both of these movies are good because the stories that the characters are going through are relatable. However, out of the two, it is Love Actually which just tips things in the relatable category. The characters have serious flaws in Love Actually, and not all of the storylines end perfectly and happily.

While people are often looking for happy moments in Christmas movies, sometimes having that relatability does make the movie that much more fun to watch. The fact that there are genuine ups and downs just makes the movie feel more realistic, which is always a good thing.

2 The Holiday: More Detailed Characters

Love Actually thrives on having an ensemble cast, which is something it does better than most. However, even though some stories get a lot of focus, others do fall by the wayside, which isn’t the case for The Holiday, which features just two real core storylines.

The movie follows Iris and Amanda as they look to get back to having a more positive outlook after some tough situations with love. Being able to firmly focus on just a few characters allows them to become more detailed, which makes them more memorable overall.

1 Love Actually: It’s More Christmas Centric

Each of these classifies as a Christmas movie, but when it comes to The Holiday, there are points where it feels very much like a romantic comedy that is just set around Christmas time. Christmas is the excuse for both Iris and Amanda to travel, whereas in Love Actually, the plot of almost every storyline is based around Christmas.

Each story has a theme based around Christmas, with the holiday season being the big link between them all. This makes the movie stronger overall. Both are pushed and marketed as Christmas movies, so the fact that Love Actually focuses more on that just gives it the edge.

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About The Author

Matthew Wilkinson (968 Articles Published)

Matthew Wilkinson is a Senior Writer with Screen Rant and has been part of the team since 2019. In addition to his work as Screen Rant, Matthew is also a writer of pieces at The Sportster. Matthew has a major passion for movies and television, enjoying a variety of genres from animation and horror to fantasy and thrillers.

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