This year, after Thanksgiving, I made a very conscious decision to watch as many Hallmark Christmas movies as possible. Most shows are on mid-winter breaks and there is always one on, so it made sense to me. Prior to this year I had seen a couple of Hallmark movies here and there in between naps on Sunday afternoons, so I’m not sure I really knew what I was in for.
What I found upon the first couple of viewings is that each and every movie has the exact same plot line with a few key ingredients swapped out. For example, in one movie a character may have a deceased mother, but in the next, there may be a deceased father. Rarely are there two sets of parents.
Also, most movies star people who look a lot like a super famous person. There’s almost always an actress who looks like Amy Adams, Reese Witherspoon, Sandra Bullock or just Lacey Chabert is in it.
And there are very few jobs in these movies– law, real estates, chef, baker, journalist, teacher, small town shop owner, small town hotel owner. However, the economy is always bustling. It’s quite baffling. (FYI: Hallmark is producing and releasing upwards of 30 new movies a year, with about half of these being Christmas-oriented.)
1. Deceased Parent Leads to Other Parent Needing Help From Child, Which Leads to a Love Connection
Never before has the true meaning of Christmas actually meant– finding your one true love to spend Christmas with. What’s most surprising about the parents in these Hallmark movies is that they always own some sort of Christmas-themed business. It’s shocking how many Christmas themed business there are.
2. Over-Worked Child Plans to Skip Christmas, But Gets Fired and Must Return to His/Her Parents, Which Leads to a Love Connection
The movie always starts with the employee day-dreaming at their desk, looking at the resort they’re going to visit and immediately getting fired. Because these people have no savings, friends or coping mechanisms, they must return to the small town from which they came to help out mom/dad.
3. Big City Man Travels to Small Town Christmas Place to Destroy It In The Name of Big Business, Falls in Love Instead
Classic boy meets girl over evil business plans. The big bad developer comes in to swoop up the family land from Uncle Earl, but falls in love with the niece and decides Christmas is much more important than the big, bad development he was planning.
4. Cold-Hearted Man Hates Children/Animals, But is Forced to Care for Children/Animals at Christmas, Needs Help from Neighbor/Co-Worker, Which Leads to a Love Connection
These Hallmark men are kind of the worst, until they’ve been caring for a kitten or a child for a half a movie, but first– they need help and they can’t get help from their girlfriend, they must seek out the girl next door or their co-worker that is suddenly pretty.
5. One Down-On-Their-Luck Person Receives a House/Land from a Distant Relative, But So Does A Real Estate Developer/Lawyer and Though They Don’t See Eye-to-Eye, They Will Learn Love Through Re-Modeling This Free House
Who knew people actually had distant relatives that would leave random nieces and nephews land upon their death? But, they can only have the land if the high-powered lawyer/ real estate developer approve.
6. Bad Attitude Non-Christmas Person Reunites With Old Flame Through Very Unlikely Circumstances and Falls in Love, Because Christmas
Most reunions happen at hometown bars over Christmas, but not in Hallmark land. These miracles are everyday occurrences for lawyers and real estate developers forces to interact with a low-level journalist, chef or teacher.
7. A Person Going Through a Bad Breakup Must Also Keep the Breakup From Their Parent/s, Which Leads to Hiring Someone to Play Their Former Flame
If you think the holidays are bad in your family, imagine not being able to tell your family you and your boo broke up, so much so that you must hire someone to play the part of your former flame. But, don’t worry– you’ll fall in love.