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Holiday Movies That Are Perfect For Quarantine

As the COVID-19 crisis continues to rage across the globe, many cities and countries throughout Europe and the United States are re-instituting widespread lockdowns, and travel has been impossible for most of 2020. As different locales do their best to stem the spread of the coronavirus — an incredibly contagious airborne virus which first struck the world in a big way in March 2020 — masks and social distancing are now the norm, which means that new film and television projects are in short supply.

Unfortunately for avid travelers, passage across the world — particularly between the European Union and several COVID-stricken countries, including the United States — has been impossible since early 2020, and many people are canceling long-awaited vacations or choosing not to see their families for the holiday season. As a result, the 2020 holiday season may look incredibly different from previous, more festive times, and if you're hunkering down until a COVID-19 vaccine becomes available, you might need a distraction.

Whether you're missing international travel or unable to spend time with family during this holiday season, there are a few holiday flicks you'll definitely want to queue up for a safe, festive celebration. Here are some holiday movies that are perfect for a quarantined Christmas.

The Holiday will transport you across the world

In Nancy Meyers' sweet, heartfelt 2006 romantic comedy The Holiday, the writer and director sets her story throughout the Christmas and New Year's holidays, showing what you can accomplish with a huge leap of faith and by putting your trust in other people. The film stars Kate Winslet and Cameron Diaz as Iris and Amanda, respectively, who are both floundering in their personal lives; Amanda is a successful movie trailer producer in Los Angeles, but always dates the wrong men, and Iris, a newspaper columnist in London, is pining after her now engaged ex-boyfriend.

To remedy their situations, the two women both discover a website that gives people the opportunity to swap houses for a short period of time. Amanda heads to the wintry English countryside and Iris touches down in sunny Los Angeles, and before long, their lives are transformed, especially when Amanda meets Iris' handsome and widowed brother Graham (Jude Law) and Iris finds herself spending a lot of time with a Hollywood composer, Miles (Jack Black). In the end, both women get to explore different parts of the world and find themselves in the process, so if you can't travel during this holiday, The Holiday might just satisfy your wanderlust.

Love Actually tells every kind of love story

Whether you're quarantined at home with your family or doing a gift exchange with your friends over Zoom, it's important to celebrate all kinds of love during the holiday season, which is the main focus of the 2003 romantic comedy Love Actually. Crafted by director and writer Richard Curtis (known for Four Weddings and a Funeral, Notting Hill, and Bridget Jones' Diary), Love Actually tells several stories all at once which eventually overlap, whether it's the story of a single Prime Minister who falls for his office assistant, a man pining for his best friend's wife, a sister taking care of her ill brother, or two long-time best friends spending the holidays together.

Whether you're watching Love Actually for the first or tenth time, you'll definitely get swept up in the film's romantic spirit, which celebrates all kinds of relationships. If you want to watch a sweet story with tons of moving parts that will make you think of your friends, family, and loved ones, Love Actually is the perfect choice.

Elf will keep you laughing from beginning to end

If you just need a distraction during a potentially difficult holiday season, there's no better choice than Elf. This 2003 Will Ferrell flick casts the comedy legend as Buddy the Elf, an adult man raised by an adoptive father (Bob Hope) at Santa's home in the North Pole. However, as Buddy gets older, he realizes he wants to find his real father, and heads off to New York to meet his biological dad, stern children's book publisher Walter Hobbs (James Caan). At first, Buddy has difficulty forming a relationship with his cold, unyielding father, but thanks to Walter's kindhearted wife Emily (Mary Steenburgen), their son Michael (Daniel Tay), and Buddy's new friend Jovie (Zooey Deschanel), Buddy wins over his father in the end.

Ferrell tones down his weirder instincts for Elf, throwing himself fully into the joyful, effervescent character of Buddy, and as a result, Elf is a pure, easy holiday delight. If you need a good laugh and want to lose yourself in a comedy with plenty of heart, Elf is definitely the best choice.