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Are Hallmark Movies Overrated?

Hearing the word, “Hallmark” triggers holiday thoughts and feelings, but is this sensation valid? Do Hallmark movies really live up to their name? From just a glimpse of the movies, they all appear very basic, with names like Christmas Joy or The Sweetest Christmas. Not to judge a book by its cover, but I can assume that the plot lines of these movies aren’t the most creative.

A fellow classmate of mine shared her opinion on the movies, saying, “They are so bad, it’s funny.” Personally, I prefer Christmas movie classics. Although to properly judge a Hallmark movie, I had to watch one in the present. I watched If I Only Had Christmas starring Candace Cameron Bure and Warren Christie. This movie is about a publicist from Kansas City named Darcy. She ventures to the Emerald Education Trust for the job of a lifetime, helping Glen Goodman and his team find the courage and heart to help a charity in need for Christmas. Darcy and Glen begin to realize that they share many interests, and their relationship grows. Although the main actors are famous, the way the script is written makes the acting feel inauthentic. The plotline is simple - there is a big event followed by the conflict between the characters, which leads to an overblown emotional reaction and ends with a sudden solution. Throughout every Hallmark movie, however, there is always a happy ending. Each movie is either a romantic love story or a family-oriented story, with a paucity of new ideas and similar character development strategies throughout most. What you are left with is a movie that hijacks the Hallmark feeling of family and home, and turns it into a predictable conclusion with no tears or laughter.

Compared to other movies, Hallmark movies are wannabe holiday classics. Although Hallmark is a popular channel, it lacks the “X” factor of typical holiday movies. For example, the movie Elf is a quintessential holiday movie - known by many and rewatched over and over again by viewers. I don’t think Hallmark provides the same satisfaction as watching a classic holiday movie such as Elf. Additionally, as a young child, I recall Hallmark movies being exciting. It is hard to believe that the sophomore eye is more critical of the unsuccessful attempt to introduce modern-day slang or ideas. This attempt to modify classic plot lines to 21st Century themes just doesn’t work. You don’t often see movies that include 21st Century ideas because when included, they don’t provide the feeling of holiday cheer and spirit.

Overall, Hallmark movies are overrated. I would prefer to watch a classic holiday movie like The Grinch or Home Alone, rather than watching a Hallmark movie that leaves you with an empty feeling of dissatisfaction. Nonetheless, if you are looking for unimaginative, predictable plot-lines that lack suspense but include cheesy Holiday themes, then Hallmark is the way to go. I, for one, will not waste my cup of milk and freshly-baked chocolate chip cookies on a Hallmark movie.

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