Hello, my name is Emily, and I am NOT a fan of Hallmark Channel’s collection of holiday films.
Is it because I’m a cynic? Is it because the movies are boring and predictable? Is it because I’m not making out with a firefighter in the midst of a small town, away from the stress of the essays I have to do before finals? There could be many reasons for these strong emotions I feel towards the universe that each Hallmark Christmas movie takes place within.
But, let me make a point to you: which of these below is a real Hallmark Christmas movie?
A.) Fir Crazy
A woman has to sell Christmas trees in the big city to make money for her family, and finds a Christmas romance along the way! Whoop dee doo.
B.) Santa Jr:
Santa’s son, Chris Kringle Jr., gets arrested for trying to deliver presents (they said he was trespassing, but his father’s never been arrested) and has to fight for himself and his family in court to save Christmas.
C.) It’s Christmas, Carol!
A high-powered businesswoman- a particular favorite career for characters in Hallmark films- is visited by the ghost of Carrie Fisher on Christmas and finds love, somehow?
D.) A Boyfriend for Christmas:
A young girl asks Santa, as a child, for a boyfriend for Christmas, and gets a certified man wrapped (bound up and gagged, much like any other traditional kidnapping) under her tree as an adult. They celebrate Christmas as the girl finally has her Christmas wish come true.
Well, here’s the kicker- these are all real movies. And these are the more unique ones! If I had a dollar for every female character who’s both a bakery owner and a widower in these movies, I’d have enough to pay off at least my room and board this semester, I swear. Falling in love with your childhood friend? A high-powered business exec? An old man who may be Santa, but isn’t? A young boy who wants nothing more than a new mom for Christmas? I wouldn’t be offended if this happened once or twice, but every year is a little much.
Don’t get me wrong- I truly enjoy making fun of these plots every year on Twitter, with only information relayed to me from my grandmother over the phone. Yet, to garner the attention of me and other cynical young audiences, we need a Hallmark renaissance. I think the movies have potential to garner the attention of stars and can be fun holiday watches. I love romcoms! I watch Love, Actually (also problematic, but fun?) every year. There’s potential here.
Maybe we need more realistic movies. What if high-powered business exec Sarah got HPV from Santa’s son and had to travel to the North Pole and learn about the spirit of Christmas to confront him? Maybe Isabelle and Nick, childhood friends, could meet up on a train, wistfully decide to give dating a try, and leave the train broken up, realizing that they both aren’t willing to give up the lives they’ve made for themselves. Are these too pessimistic?
Fine- they’re too cynical. But could we could throw in a movie like this amongst the sappy, lovely ones and still have those romantic films. There would just be more variety. I’m calling for a reform of what we consider a romantic holiday film. Let’s party? Is that Martin Short playing an elf, I see? Fantastic! We need a renaissance- what are we waiting for