Does anybody actually watch all of those Hallmark Christmas "movies?"

Good summary, Lightray. :slight_smile:

Though, there are a few other important factors in these movies:

  • They’re usually centered in a small town, where the heroine grew up. Often, she’s moved away from that town for her career, and part of the plot is her coming back to town for some reason (usually not willingly, or intending to only be back for a few weeks), and falling back in love with the small town.
  • The heroine nearly always comes into the story with some emotional baggage preventing her from being happy – bad break-up, too career-focused, has forgotten about the magic of Christmas, etc.
  • There’s often a subplot around a business in her small town (often her family’s business) which is struggling, and needs help to survive. Bonus points if the business is Christmas-centric.
  • There is usually some two-dimensional “villain” which is working to prevent the couple from getting together, and / or prevent them from saving the business. This is usually either a Scrooge-like figure (often the heroine’s boss from her big-city job), or a romantic rival for the man’s affections (though, if the latter, she always gracefully bows out when she realizes that the two leads are meant to be together).

I watch them! Some of them are good, some crappy, most are cheesy and they all have crummy fake snow. My husband and I (yep, he likes to watch too!) like to pick out the ridiculous things we see and predict what’s going to happen next. At the hour and 1/2 point of ALL of the movies what we call “The Great Misunderstanding” happens. This is when one of the 2 (sometimes both) main characters having a romance will overhear something or see something that makes them doubt the romance. This, of course, is reconciled within the last half hour. There are always a couple of times when the couple is moving in for the first kiss and are interrupted right before their lips meet. There is usually a snowstorm so flights are canceled and/or cars can’t be driven. Or cars break down in a small town and won’t be repaired until after Christmas. There is always a town Christmas dance, ball, or festival on Christmas Eve. Apparently, no one celebrates Christmas Eve at home with family.

So they’re very predictable but they get me into the Christmas spirit. And it’s nice to watch something for a change where no one is using foul language, half undressed, beating and/or killing someone.

My wife watches them most evenings A majority of them are pablum, but there are few that are more heartwarming and/or more fun than the usual fare and seem to work on a different level:

Christmas with Holly (2012) – three cohabiting brothers are left to raise their 6-year-old niece, Holly, after the passing of their sister. Holly struggles to adapt to the trauma of her mother’s passing and to her new living situation. One of the brothers falls for Eloise Mumford (Ana’s blonde friend from 50 Shades of Gray), the proprietor of a local toy shop, who has a role in helping Holly come out of her shell.

The Nine Lives of Christmas (2014): Zach’s (Brandon Routh) bitchy girlfriend gets Marnie fired from her job at the pet store over an imagined slight. Firefighter/home-flipper Zach feels awful, clumsily tries to offer help, and eventually finds his way to Marnie in the end. There’s two subplots of Zach’s interactions with the firehouse gang (led by an understated Gregory Harrison), and of the movie’s namesake: the friendship between the lead’s respective feline companions.

A Princess for Christmas (2011): Yes … it is a prince-and-the-pauperess story. But it’s done a lot better than the slew of subsequent riffs on the same theme. Prince Ashton (Outlander’s Sam Heughan looking positively baby-faced) is not concealing his title or anything like that – things are more aboveboard and honest. Prince Ashton and his father Duke Edward (007 Roger Moore’s last role) take in the prince’s niece and nephew (Edward’s grandchildren) after his brother’s passing. The children’s nanny, Jules (the sublime Katie McGrath) joins the kids at Edward’s estate. Prince Ashton demurely shrugs off a title-seeking annoyance of an entitled pseudo-girlfriend, and gradually falls for Jules. Endearing subplots include (a) Duke Edward dealing with the sadness of the holidays after his son’s death, and how his grandkids help him come around, and (b) Edward’s house servants taking Jules under their wing. In the end, everyone gets their just desserts, for good or ill.

My sister is like this. When we visit her place during Holidays, the TV is invariably set to Hallmark.

Same for my mother. My wife will do this, but more infrequently. Honestly, if I was just doing some house chores I could tolerate them as white noise. These aren’t movies anyone is heavily invested in.

Yes, absolutely! The formula has to contain at least one instance of kissus interruptus.

And, it being the squeaky-clean Hallmark channel, there might be two kisses, total, in the movie. And, certainly, nothing racier than those kisses.

I know we’re all thinking the same thing, so let me be the first to say it.

Christmas Prince vs. Sharknado

It’ll make millions.

Yeah, I know it was Netflix. So shoot me.

Here’s the summary of all the movies this year:

Nearly everyone starts with “big city (insert job) goes to small town/returns home”

As bordelond alludes to, anything that shakes up the by-the-numbers formula would be a vast improvement.

Maybe the Sharknado can chomp down on whichever interchangeable blond/brunette/dyejob is the lead, then the hapless love interest can hook up with Ian Ziering and everyone learns a heartwarming Christmas lesson about living outside of their bedamned Privilege Bubble before the zombie apocalypse sets in.

I saw recently that this year they’re branching out a bit and showing two movies with a Hanukkah theme. Really! I’m not making this up. I’m sure they’ll be exactly like the Christmas movies with just a few very specific changes.

I’ve noticed that the better ones are from a few (or several) years ago. These days, they’re churning out something like 24 new Christmas movies every fall. I wonder if that commitment to sheer quantity necessarily compromises the general quality of the productions.

I know a great number of happy, sentimental dullards (even if they’re nuclear physicists) who watch this glurge, with a glass of wine, a small hanky to dab away tears, wearing fuzzy bunny slippers. What a cliche! I seem to lack the ‘Awwwwwww!’ gene and remain unenthused, preferring a marathon of The Walking Dead … There’s a drinking game somewhere online about these movies. One requisite: the heroine has to have a name like ‘Noelle’ ’ or ‘Holly’ or ‘Chris’.

Once I was stuck at a co-worker’s house for two and a half hours of pure hell before a Christmas party where there was nothing for me to do except watch those god awful movies with the co-worker’s husband on 60 inches of hi-def. He was astounded that I had never watched one before. I was astounded that he had never even heard of a Christmas Story or a Christmas Carol. Never again.

The big downer: We will have to avoid them all again when they do the Yearly phenomenon of “Christmas in July”! Ugh!!!

Same thing here, girlfriend likes to “watch” them but doesn’t seem to pay much attention.

People seem to watch TV/movies differently. Some just have it on and may or may not pay attention to it. When I watch something I either hear every word or I turn the TV off.

Seen on the Internet:
The plot of every Hallmark movie ever is about a career woman who is too busy for love but has to move to a small town where a handsome local bachelor teaches her about the true spirit of the holiday. It starts snowing and they kiss. There is also a dog.

Absolutely not accurate. My late wife used to watch those and there was at least one with a cat.

The hero and heroine will have dark hair. One will be secular oriented and one somewhat religious. Any holiday decorations will be white and blue, not red and green. That’s allthe changes, right?

We have got to write this movie!

I just spent a week at my Mother’s house over Thanksgiving. Her DVR is full of nothing but crime procedurals and Hallmark Christmas movies.

All of them, no.

But I used to watch them as background when I was doing other stuff. You never have to worry that you might have missed a plot point when you go to put the laundry in the dryer or start vacuuming. You can catch up pretty easily.

I stopped watching because Hallmark seemed to find it impossible that a woman of color could discover that the big city is not for her and that she’d find true happiness when she quit her high paying job, moved to the country, and fell in love with a nice guy she had previously overlooked (or a prince - who inexplicably lives in the country. There are two options for a love interest. She has to quit her high paying job either way though.)

This year, they finally, finally have begun to remedy that - so I’m specifically watching those movies so that the ratings will be higher and they’ll make more (maybe next year, it might be possible for an Asian woman to follow the formula!)

Also, even while they are formulaic, some of them are better than others.