From a young age, I gathered that Hallmark Christmas movies were not the greatest storytelling in the world. My grandmother would have them playing in the background, and every time someone made a flat joke, or the two love interests were flirting with each other, I’d want to hide from the awkwardness. Now, I can’t even scroll past the Hallmark channel without cringing internally.
It’s been a well-known fact for years now that Hallmark Christmas movies are bad, but just how horrendous are they? We’re here to dive into the depths of what makes Hallmark movies so offputting. If you want to know more, keep reading! Bookstr has five reasons why Hallmark Christmas movies make the most wonderful time of the year a little less wondrous.
1. They’re All the Same
You’d think that since Hallmark has a wide selection of holiday movies, there would be unique stories to browse through. But you’d be wrong. Hallmark seems to use the same template for all of its movies. Let me give a brief description of all Hallmark holiday movies ever.
A young, successful businesswoman has to suddenly move from the big city to a small town, where she then meets a “handsome bachelor” (almost always wearing flannel.) The two dance around their obvious feelings for the entire movie. They then have a minor disagreement which gets blown way out of proportion, and they “break up.” That is, until it starts snowing or there’s a Christmas party, and then they magically make up, kiss, and get married. The end. Now that I’ve described the plot of every Hallmark Christmas movie, you can save yourself the disappointment of watching them! You’re welcome.
2. Unrealistic Love Stories
I’ll start by saying this, I’m not a fan of romantic comedies in general. They can be overdone and a little too sappy for my taste. But Hallmark Christmas movies really do take the cake in the unrealistic realm. None of the stories they depict would actually happen in real life. The idea of love at first sight sounds nice, but it just doesn’t happen. It really should be called attraction at first sight.
Like, I’m sorry, if I had a successful business in the city, and a man I only met a week ago asks me to marry him, I’m saying, “absolutely not!” It’d be one thing if the characters went on a whole adventure and discovered worlds they never knew (like Disney movies), but all they’re doing in Hallmark Christmas movies are going to a tree farm, getting an oil change, and going to a coffee shop. Certainly not enough to suffice falling in love.
3. The Genre Is Oversaturated
Because the Hallmark channel has basically made copies of all its Christmas movies, the holiday romance genre has become extremely oversaturated. And it’s not like they’ve stopped making movies, either. Every year, the company pumps out more and more tasteless Christmas movies, to the point where if you do find a diamond in the rough, it’ll quickly become overshadowed by the hundreds of shoddy films.
In 2022 alone, Hallmark released 40 new Christmas movies. If you really want to watch a nice rom-com before Christmas, watch something like The Holiday. With its starstudded cast of Cameron Diaz, Kate Winslet, Jack Black, and Jude Law, the Hallmark movies you watched will just feel like a bad fever dream.
4. Very Little Representation
If there’s one element of Hallmark Christmas movies that stays consistent over the decades, it’s the lack of diversity in their films. Only in recent years have they tried to include more actors of color and queer storylines. Since the company’s start in 1992, they are just now airing their first LGBTQ+ friendly movie, The Holiday Sitter. It just took them nearly 30 years to get there. But for the most part, the studio likes to settle for straight, white, cis-gendered actors.
The company came under fire in 2019 for its lack of representation, after they pulled an advertisement off the air for featuring a gay wedding. If they can’t even promote a 30-second ad, I’m not surprised that they wouldn’t want to include whole movies that depict the love lives of people of color and queer people more often. It’s just another reason why Hallmark Christmas movies are on Santa’s naughty list.
5. Just on the Side of Cringey
Low-budget movies can be true treasures in the film industry, but Hallmark movies are not one of those. Because the company has told the same story 100 times over, they’re really reaching the bottom of the barrel to find new ways to make money off their films. But most of the time, they end up coming out cringey and awkward for most young people.
The flirtation isn’t cute, the jokes aren’t funny, and the story lacks conviction. Mix those together, and what do you get? A movie that makes everyone uncomfortable. Seriously, I still get second-hand embarrassment whenever I see a commercial for these movies come on TV. The cringe even extends down to the promotion pictures. If you aren’t paying close enough attention, the images look a little too similar to stock photos. The only silver lining out of all of this? These movies are so bad that they’re funny. If you’re with friends over the holidays, crack open a bottle of wine and get to laughing at the cringiness in HD.
Now that you know the truth about Hallmark movies, there are only two things you can do now. Run as fast as you can from the Hallmark channel, or take my warnings as a challenge. If you think you can handle all of that, and still want to give Hallmark Christmas movies a try, have at it! But don’t say we didn’t warn you.
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