7 Feel-Good Hygge Romance Movies and Shows
If you’ve had your first snowfall of the year, lit your first fire, and you’re starting to see entire streets twinkling with holiday lights (or at least dreaming of these wintry delights as someone who lives in a perpetually warm location), then it could only mean one thing: it’s hygge season. “Hygge” is a Danish word meaning “a quality of coziness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being.” In other words, all you want to do is wrap yourself up in a soft, warm blanket, sip hot cocoa, and watch feel-good movies and shows, preferably with an uplifting romantic angle. We’ve got you—at least for the feel-good programming part, although we’d happily wear snuggly socks and sip hot beverages with you any day. This year, expand your holiday viewing list beyond “Love Actually,” “The Holiday,” and “The Family Stone” with these seven titles that will swaddle you in hygge.
Like “Love Actually” meets “This Is Us,” but set in Sweden, this romance dramedy has everything you want for your holiday bingeathon: a beautiful winter wonderland setting, relatable family dynamics, and even more relatable multigenerational characters all looking for love. After suffering a major loss, three members of the Matsson family, each at a very different stage in life, must tread precarious paths towards happiness. Patriarch Sten finds himself dating again for the first time in decades. Twenty-something Aron is confused by who he thought was his soul mate. And 37-year-old Clara is on the verge of giving up on dating when she meets a handsome stranger who seems far too good to be true. If you already feel yourself rooting for them, that is precisely the correct reaction.
It’s Christmas Eve, 1969, and Norway is about to discover something monumental. With the help of some American oilmen, divers from the tiny, struggling fishing village of Stavanger discover a large oil field off the coast. Not only will this forever change Norway and cement the country as one of the largest oil exporters in the world, but it is also life-changing for a group of people caught in the middle. To satiate your romance craving, there’s a love triangle between Anna, an ambitious young woman; her oil diver fiancé, Christian; and Jonathan, a handsome young lawyer from Texas. Will she give into Jonathan’s irresistible rugged cowboy swagger or stay with her longtime love, whose family has accepted her as their own? Plus, the classic ‘60s soundtrack makes this hopeful story a rollicking good time.
Want a refreshing twist on the traditional rom-com? Meet the most awkwardly mismatched couple in London. Maybe they’ll be more compatible if they go elsewhere? Billy and Crispin can’t seem to agree on anything when it comes to their relationship, but instead of confronting their issues, they decide to ignore them by going out of town. But will Paris reignite their romance? Perhaps another couple’s summer wedding will remind them of their own commitment? Could they at the very least enjoy a round of tennis together at a country retreat? Their relationship issues come to a head at a very revealing New Year’s Eve party, but there’s nothing like the turn of the year to start fresh.
Twenty short films set in Paris featuring a slew of our favorite actors, by some of the most renowned filmmakers in the industry—is this a dream? While the vignettes are wildly diverse, the anthology has an overall common theme: finding love in the City of Love. Featuring actors from Natalie Portman to Steve Buscemi, and directors including Alfonso and the Coen Brothers, the stories range from quirky vampire romance, to heartbreaking immigrant experiences, to falling in love with the city itself.
Love and family are often inextricably connected in romantic movies, but in this case they’re more like a head-on collision. The documentary follows Ravi Patel as he searches for a wife, with the help of two very demanding dating coaches: his parents. Like a real-life “My Big Fat Greek Wedding,” the film not only provides plenty of endearing moments between the Patel family, but it also examines India’s traditional dating culture, which is centered around arranged marriages. Judging by how happy his parents are, whose marriage was arranged, Ravi might be in good hands.
This series opens with a painfully relatable scenario: Donna wakes up one day to find that her husband has left her without a word. We’ve all experienced rejection of some sort, and we’re probably all familiar with the dreadful depression that follows. Not Donna. She’s not going to waste a single minute feeling depressed, not when her dream man is out there waiting to be found. And though Donna is blind, her visual impairment is never the focal point, nor is she defined by it. She’s just a woman who’s had her heart broken and is trying to find love against unique odds. Follow Donna through the streets of stunning Helsinki as she goes on Tinder dates, navigates one-night stands, and tries to turn her ex into ancient history.
Like a sip of latte—or a dart in your butt—this short film delivers a jolt of warm coziness. Raymond Goodfellow is a lounge singer and champion darts player who throws bullseyes while he croons. Every day he prays to God to make his love interest fall in love with him, but she only has eyes for his best friend. When he gets gifted a box of love darts, he has the chance to play God himself. If you want a story that’s short and sweet, “God of Love” really hits the mark.