While your friends at Harvard spend their winter vacation with the impending doom of finals, you, as a Yalie, can sit back and relax. As we enter reading period this week, know that it will soon be over. And what better way to celebrate the end of the semester than a jaunt to your local movie theater? For those of you disappointed by what Thanksgiving had to offer, here is a look at the two best new releases as the 2002 holiday-movie season draws to a close.

“Analyze That,” the sequel to the 1999 hit “Analyze This,” opens Dec. 6. Billy Crystal stars as Dr. Ben Sobel, psychiatrist to mob boss Paul Vitti (Robert De Niro). Vitti has landed himself in Sing Sing, and when his behavior turns erratic, Dr. Sobel is brought in to see what’s up. It turns out that Sobel has some issues of his own and could probably use some therapy himself. Like its forerunner, “Analyze That” is sure to be a comedic crowd-pleaser.

If you’re in the market for something more serious, “About Schmidt,” debuting Dec. 13 in New York and Los Angeles, looks like your best bet. From director Alexander Payne (“Election”), the film stars Jack Nicholson as Warren Schmidt. Schmidt, a 67-year-old newly retired insurance actuary from Omaha, Neb., reexamines the meaning of his life and deplores the status of his relationship with his family. An imminent marriage between his daughter and a buffoon provokes Schmidt to drive cross-country to save her from entering into an unbearable marriage. Critics have already acclaimed Nicholson’s performance as one of his best, and pre-release speculation indicates an Academy Award Nomination for Best Actor.

So those are your two top bets for the winter holiday. Other new releases, all debuting Dec. 13, include: “Maid in Manhattan,” a romantic comedy starring Jennifer Lopez; “The Hot Chick,” a teen comedy starring Rob Schneider; “The Guys,” a historical drama about 9/11 starring Sigourney Weaver; and, finally, a gift for the “trekkies” with “Star Trek: Nemesis.”