The holiday season has officially begun. Arguably the best season for film lovers, this year’s offerings include plenty of prestige dramas, psychological thrillers, comedies and three-Kleenex adaptations to make dinner and a movie the ideal night out. So secure your sitters and save the date for these potential date-night picks. Rather stay home? We’ve also included a few streaming selections to make your “movie night in” memorable.
Why couples will love it: What better way to celebrate love? Ruth Negga and Joel Edgerton play Mildred and Richard Loving, the black woman and white man who married, were forced out of their home state of Virginia, and eventually took their case to the Supreme Court to end the laws prohibiting interracial marriage.
Who should see this film: Couples who love history – and each other. (PG-13; Opens Nov. 4)
Why couples will love it: Casey Affleck stars in director Kenneth Lonergan’s gut-wrenchingly beautiful exploration of grief, loss and love. After his older brother (Kyle Chandler) dies, Affleck is forced back to his hometown of Manchester to take care of his teen nephew.
Who should see this film: Couples who appreciate heartbreaking family dramas or who want to win their Oscar pool. (R; Opens Nov. 18)
Why couples will love it: Based on a story, this tear-jerking drama chronicles how a five-year-old Indian boy (played beautifully by child actor Sunny Pawar) ends up separated from his family, lost in the streets of Calcutta, and adopted by a caring Australian couple. Twenty-plus years later he (Dev Patel) obsessively searches Google Earth to find his home and family.
Who should see it: Couples who don’t mind crying big fat tears at the movie theater during an excellent but emotional film. (Not yet rated; Opens Nov. 25)
Why couples will love it: One of the few rom-coms of the season, this one stars Shemar Moore and focuses on the opposites-attract hate-to-love story between an author/relationship expert (Moore) and a skeptical therapist (Nadine Velazquez) who thinks his book is ridiculous.
Who should see it: Couples looking for a romantic comedy to break up the many heavy weepfests in theaters this holiday season. (PG-13; Opens Dec. 9)
Why couples will love it: Jennifer Aniston and Jason Bateman (The Switch, Horrible Bosses) are back together again for this Christmas-themed comedy about a curmudgeonly CEO (Aniston) who tries to close a branch of her company. Hijinks ensue when her brother (T.J. Miller) decides to throw a massive booze-filled holiday party in desperate attempt to save the office.
Who should see it: Couples who want to laugh aloud at the talented comedic cast: Aniston, Bateman, McKinnon and T.J. Miller. (Not yet rated; Opens Dec. 9)
Why couples will love it: Director Damien Chazelle’s (Whiplash) new magnum opus is a perfect blend of swoon-worthy romance (Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone!), larger-than-life song-and-dance numbers, and homage to the lovers and dreamers that inhabit Los Angeles.
Who should see it: Couples that understand the magic that is a reunion of Crazy, Stupid, Love costars Gosling and Stone. (PG-13; Opens Dec. 16)
Why couples will love it: This futuristic sci-fi romance takes place aboard a spacecraft transporting more than 5,000 humans to a distant planet. After two hibernation pods open 90 years early, the awoken man (Chris Pratt) and woman (Jennifer Lawrence) realize they’ll not only be living together for decades but that something’s wrong with their spaceship and only they can fix.
Who should see it: Couples who think Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt are out of this world. (Not yet rated; Opens Dec. 21)
Why couples will love it: In this poignant drama based on Patrick Ness’ award-winning young-adult novel, 13-year-old Connor (Lewis MacDougall) struggles with the idea that his terminally ill mother (Felicity Jones) may die as he’s visited by a storytelling tree monster (voiced by Liam Neeson) with mysterious intentions.
Who should see it: Couples who love adaptations, coming-of-age stories, and mother-child dramas. Don’t forget to bring tissues. (PG-13; Opens Dec. 23)
Staying at home instead?
Why couples will love it: Perpetually hailed as the “ultimate romantic comedy,” this British holiday flick chronicles interweaving Christmassy storylines, most of them romantic. Plus, it stars an A-list ensemble, from Emma Thompson, Hugh Grant, Martin Freeman and the late Alan Rickman to a young Keira Knightley, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Andrew Lincoln.
Who should see it: Couples who want a reminder that “all you need is love.” (PG-13; FandangoNOW)
Why couples will love it: Sometimes broad comedy is the best comedy, and that’s the case with the absurd shenanigans in this holiday entry in the National Lampoon’s Vacation franchise. The plot is secondary to the physical-comedy bits, but it’s basically about Chuck Griswold’s (Chevy Chase) misguided determination to make his family’s Christmas the best ever at all costs.
Who should see it: Couples in the mood to laugh aloud or nostalgic for the holiday comedies of their youth. (PG-13; FandangoNOW)
Why couples will love it: Bill Murray’s comedic genius is on full display in this 1980s modernization of A Christmas Carol, starring Murray as Frank Cross, a cruel and selfish Ebenezer Scrooge-like television executive.
Who should see it: Couples looking for a holiday comedy that’s a little edgier than the wonderful but earnest Elf or A Christmas Story. (PG-13; Streaming)