Unapologetic recommendation: Hallmark movies

Kate Wolfkill, Editor

A vaguely familiar actress appears on screen. She is recently single, owns her own bakery and is busy preparing for the annual Christmas festival in her small town of Snow Falls . . . or White Deer . . . or Holly Brook . . . or something like that. 

Cut to a big-city business executive who is forced to pay a visit to said town in order to inherit the position of Chief Executive Officer from his father. 

And, by some calamity (being lost without a map or a slip on the ice), the two are brought together. 

The businessman realizes that small-town life with the baker is more valuable than any high-paying job. On Christmas day, they share a kiss and the rest is history.

The plot above sounds like it could be one of any number of Christmas movies produced by Hallmark Channel. They always seem to use the same sets, the same actors and even the same scripts.

And I love it. 

Throughout my life, I have heard people complain about the lack of originality and quality acting in these mass-produced films.

In fact, some people laugh when they find out I love these Hallmark Christmas movies because they think I am joking.

My enjoyment of Hallmark movies, however, is unaffected by their incredulity. I think that their dogmatic refusal to watch these movies is only a detriment to themselves, as they miss out on all of the cheer that can be sparked by … cliché. 

Hallmark Christmas movies seek only to evoke joy and to entertain. They always end happily, and, best of all, they are predictable.

A little predictability, especially around the holidays, is worth cherishing. 

Our lives are chaotic. Tests, quizzes, extracurriculars and due dates seem to dominate every corner of our lives. During the holidays, that tumult is amplified by exams, celebrations, traditions and all the feelings that this special time can resurface. 

This time of year, I often find myself longing for a shallow, mindless escape to block out my hectic reality. I find it in Hallmark movies.

The cringe-worthy acting makes me laugh, and the cliché provides comfort and familiarity that so often seem to be lacking in the December disorganization. The ever-expected happy ending is so impractical and unrealistic that it is basically a joke. 

And yet, I have never walked away from a Hallmark movie feeling sadder or more stressed than I was before. Quite the opposite. I always feel refreshed and spirited. 

In the words of what I am sure is one of many Hallmark movies called “Christmas in Love,” “sometimes you gotta look beneath the surface.” If you can see past the surface of the laughable acting, cliché plots and illogical ending, you can understand my love for them: Hallmark movies – or just any cliché movies – provide a delight and comfort that is unmatched during a hectic holiday season.