Hallmark Holiday Movies: The Debate of the Decade

For over 21 years, Hallmark movies have been going strong and appealing to American culture, but what makes these movies so appealing to the average viewer?


Sofia Boughton

‘Tis the season to watch Hallmark movies! According to Fox News, over 2.38 million people tune into Hallmark movies to get their fill of Holiday goodness.

Sofia Boughton, Staff Writer

For the past 21 years, Hallmark movies have been a staple to American culture when celebrating for the holidays. With the stories gaining a peak appeal in 2009, these movies have been hitting peoples screens with a bang for years on the Hallmark Channel. With over 41 new Hallmark movies coming out this year from the channel, what brings the appeal to these movies?
The history of Hallmark movies dates back to the year 2000, with their first ever holiday film, titled ‘Flight of the Reindeer’, which would shape the Hallmark movie formula for years, and still does.
Most Hallmark movies revolve around a story of a woman, or the protagonist, living in a big, bustling city, wanting to move out to a quiet, smaller area. The woman eventually meets a man, who later turns into the love interest of the movie. The protagonist finds herself in a troubling situation in Christmas, and creates a way to ‘save’ the holiday for the small town, and falls in love with the man who was introduced earlier in the film.
While Hallmark movies can be repetitive for some viewers, a number of people seem to enjoy the repetition of the formula. One person who enjoys Hallmark movies is Ms. Foust, the academic monitor of PHS. “I like love stories, the Christmas ones are my favorite,” she said.
Hallmark’s Christmas movies are the most appealing to the general audience not only for the Holiday theming, but for its very own formula as well. “I usually turn on the Hallmark Channel when I can’t find anything else to watch,” Ms. Foust.
The repetition can allow any person who falls asleep easily on the couch watching the channel’s films to catch up on what’s occurring in the film, since the film’s plot is so easy to follow. However, many Hallmark movies can seem a bit cheap to some of the people who enjoy the films, Ms. Kasicki, SSD teacher, said, “Sometimes they [Hallmark Movies] can be a bit cheesy, and the acting is not always the best.”
A big number of film watchers see through these flaws, and tend to dislike the film’s premises. “They are carbon copies of the last one. They are the same thing over and over again, they have barely any difference in plot from movie to movie, do people find that appealing?” freshman Hayden Gust said.
For Hallmark movies, the repetition in the films plot can be unbearable, but there can be some enjoyment out of picking out the ridiculous parts of the films, and maybe even enjoying the genre they are in. “I like romantic movies, so the genre choice is nice… I just wish there was more plot in the films,” Gust explained.
Even if a person does or does not enjoy the Hallmark Holiday films, there can still be enjoyment found in the movies. Be it through lighthearted critique or genuine enjoyment, people can come together for the holidays and experience a genre that has shaped American culture.
“I like that they are wholesome shows with happy endings. You always know that things are going to work out for the characters. Sometimes we just need that goodness,” Ms. Kasicki said.