For you non-traditionalists who forgo "It's a Wonderful Life" and are looking for something less formulaic than the common holiday romances, consider "While You Were Sleeping" starring Sandra Bullock and Bill Pullman.
The film takes place during the holidays, Christmas kicking off the plot and New Years being an excuse for the gathering of family and a mistletoe incident, but it doesn't follow the traditional romance trajectory. Bullock's character, Lucy, works as a public transit employee who saves the life of her imagined Prince Charming, Peter, on Christmas day. Peter is in a coma during the majority of the film. (Did I mention this doesn't follow the usual trajectory?) When meeting Peter's family, a misunderstanding about Lucy being his fiancée spirals out of control.
Unlike many comedies, Peter's family members aren't caricatures. They seem like a real family which is what Lucy is missing. The dialog throughout is wonderful, and especially funny when Lucy asks her boss for advice and he tells her to "pull the plug." Bullock's talent is evident when she has one-sided and bittersweet conversations with Peter while he's in a coma. This is also in the running for Bill Pullman's best acting. His natural charm shines through since he's given good lines and a three dimensional character. Capturing the true meaning of Christmas while still inducing laughter, "While You Were Sleeping" is worth watching any time of the year.
--Cindy F., Headquarters