This article might be upsetting both to regular viewers of Hallmark movies (if such people really do exist) and to children who still believe in Santa Claus. To the latter group, I offer my sincerest apologies.
Ah, Christmastime—the season for caroling, hot cocoa, and…bad Hallmark movies. Why humanity must suffer through that last one is a mystery. Yet here we are: the filmmakers (one uses that term VERY loosely) behind these cinematic travesties are at it again.
Technically, they were at it again long before now. Hallmark’s chief executives seem to believe that Halloween marks the first day of the Christmas season. Forget waiting until after Thanksgiving; forget about waiting until the first of November. These people have managed to outdo those infamous radio stations that play Christmas music 24/7 from November to January. Ugh. Doesn’t Hallmark have any sense of shame?
Now, if the movies were halfway decent, maybe some of this shove-it-down-your-throat-until-you-die-in-a-Christmas-induced-coma consumerism could be forgiven. But alas, trying to find a halfway decent Hallmark movie is like trying to catch Santa Claus on Christmas Eve. Where does one even begin? How about with the filmmakers’ complete lack of effort? Seriously, do they care about what they are doing, insofar as it is not bringing them a paycheck? Don’t they understand that snow on someone’s clothes will melt after a few minutes, as opposed to staying there for an entire scene? And don’t they understand that people generally swallow after drinking coffee? If you ever have the displeasure of watching some of these movies, you will be able to find countless other egregious errors like these. It does not take a Francis Ford Coppola or a Martin Scorsese to get these things right.
Then there’s the incessant presence of hot chocolate, cookies, and bake-offs. The bake-offs in particular irk me: I have never seen nor been to a bake-off in my life, yet somehow they always manage to be a central plot point of Hallmark’s Christmas programming. They would make you think that bake-offs are a fixture of the average American’s life. They have to keep up that small-town aesthetic.
This brings up another falsely represented aspect of Hallmark movies: their inane platitudes about small-town life. To be sure, I don’t hate small towns, nor do I hate people who like small towns. Living in a big city is not paradise on Earth. Yes, big cities have pollution, traffic, and, worst of all, people. But must their messaging be so clumsy and obvious? By the way, where are the homeless people in these small towns? Where is the trash? Most people have been to enough small towns in their lives to know that they have not eradicated poverty and garbage.
And don’t get me started on those corny love stories or that stupid derivative rom-com music that plays whenever the main love interests of the stupid plot first meet in the stupid way that they always do. Couldn’t these writers come up with a better way for the true loves to meet, without the clumsily concocted pratfalls? Hallmark characters appear more accident-prone than even the worst of klutzes.
But why bother getting so upset about this? Because I am upset for you, dear reader. I am upset that you must be subjected to this for the next three months or more. As the great writer Ralph Ellison said, “who knows but that, on the lower frequencies, I speak for you?”
Or maybe not. In that case, try to develop better taste in movies.