Have a Hallmark Holiday

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By Brianna Gracia

Hallmark Binge//Christmas with a Prince plays on Netflix. Hallmark’s cheesy rom-coms have wiggled their way into many hearts during the holiday season. (Photo by Brianna Gracia)

It’s the holiday season. Hang up your stockings, spread that cheer, and… binge Hallmark movies? Hallmark has a knack for bringing out its stash of holiday movies every year. Despite what the Scrooges say about these films, viewers actually come back for more. Judging by the fanbase, Hallmark movies might not be as bad as some make them out to be.

Let’s start with the “Hallmark Formula.” Don’t deny it – Hallmark has a secret recipe for crafting their holiday specials. It’s the same plot recycled over and over. A random person ironically named Sheryl moves back to her small town for the holidays to take up a new job, inherit something, or move back in with her parents – you name it. Random Sheryl meets Random Dave, and the two magically fall in love. But plot twist – something gets in the way, whether it’s the aforementioned job, an old flame, or some other antagonizing force. In the end, “Holiday Magic” saves the day. The formula itself is rather goofy, but let’s face it, watching Random Sheryl chew out her no-good ex is rather satisfying.

Having said that, what makes them so appealing? Many say the plots and dialogue are so cheesy you could put them on pizza. Here’s the thing though: people like happy endings. Whether that be the main character getting their dream job, saving the world, or confessing to the cardboard love interest, we all want to be left satisfied by the end of the movie. The holidays are all about forgetting the weary conditions of our present news cycle by indulging in sugar plums, decorated trees, and talking snowmen. Hallmark movies, no matter how cheesy, contribute to this effect. 

There’s a strange joy we find in watching cringey films – sometimes it’s just so bad it’s good. That’s the case for some Hallmark movies. Sure, nothing makes sense, realistic expectations don’t exist, the love interest always has that same heartthrob haircut, and the craziest of scenarios occur, but oddly enough, it’s enjoyable. It’s kind of like reality TV – it’s absolute garbage, but we love to see the drama that’s almost always predictable. 

Some stories aren’t meant to be taken literally. Sure, is it realistic that a random lawyer and her dance instructor fall in love and tango the night away? Probably not…but their chemistry and dramatic personalities get you to root for them anyway. Maybe the point of these movies is to just enjoy them for what they are. Don’t be the party pooper that points out all of the flaws. The holidays are about being jolly and filled with good cheer – maybe these cheesy love movies do just that. 

Whether you are a fan or not, there’s no denying it – Hallmark holiday movies add their own spark of cheer to the winter season. Some watch these films as an integral part of their holiday traditions; others may just watch them for kicks. Who knows – maybe you’ll find your random Sheryl or Dave over winter break.