Hallmark Movies: Distilled Mediocrity

Luke Perrett ’24

Contributor

I’m sitting in my living room on Christmas Eve, chowing down on food and enjoying the company of my family. All is not calm however, as onto the television came the bane of my Christmas existence: Christmas Hallmark movies. Quite possibly the worst “genre” of films ever made, with plot plagiarism and the overuse of forgotten 2000’s actors, Christmas Hallmark movies have a myriad of issues, yet in my home, they are constantly on the TV. I understand that these movies are not targeted towards teenage boys, but it boggles my mind how even the so-called target audience can bear to watch them all the way through. Below I have listed some of the key problems of the genre.

  1. There is little to no diverse casting. 94% of all the actors/actresses in Christmas Hallmarks are Caucasian, even though they make up only 76.3% of America’s population. The first Christmas Hallmark staring an African American couple, Christmas Everlasting, was screened in late 2018, sparking outrage from fans as the black actors were no longer just supportive friends to Candace Cameron Bure or Lacey Chabert. The taboo subject of LGBTQ+ relationships was explored by Hallmark in 2020, with two movies: The Christmas House and Mix up in the Mediterranean. These films were promoted as starring LGBTQ+ couples, this was false advertising. The LGBTQ+ characters are not the main couple of the movie, rather side characters pushed into the shadows by their straight counterparts. By having more diverse casts, the company could grow their audience and portray a more accurate and wide-ranging depiction of the Christmas romance.
  2. Hallmark often uses the same actresses and actors for different films. I often look over from the dinner table and say to my sister: “didn’t you watch this yesterday?”, and she always responds with something along the lines of: “What do you mean? This is a completely different movie!”. Maybe it’s just me, but it is quite easy to mistake one film for another due to the same faces and performances popping up over and over again.
  3. There is only one continuing storyline in all the Hallmark Christmas movie chronology. A chronology which has now come to a halt (Christmas in Evergreen, 2017-2020). You would think with the absurd number of movies they produce, there would be more then one series lasting longer than four years. This lack of an overarching narrative adds to each new Hallmark movie feeling the same as the last with slight differences.
  4. Plot. The worst part of Hallmark films. By far. A big-city guy/girl comes back to their hometown for some reason (usually a family emergency) and magically falls in love with someone of the opposite sex. After a minor misunderstanding between the couple (usually due to an ex-partner or a job opportunity in the city), everything is fixed, and a kiss seals the deal at the end of the movie. This is the plot for over 50 movies. There is always a family business, the “red truck”, and Christmas festival of some sort. Hallmark Christmas movies have a rage-inducing level of uniformity.

Many of these movies are filmed in Winnipeg, a perfect setting for a “White Christmas”. But that we have these below average, milquetoast, redundant Christmas movies filmed here should not be a point of pride for our city.

Image Source: IMDb