Hallmark Christmas movies: comforting or repetitive?

Sofia Hara, Editor

As soon as the clock strikes 12 on Halloween night, millions of Christmas lovers start to prepare for their favorite season of the year. This can include decorating their house to planning gifts or even blasting Mariah Carey’s 1994 hit, “All I Want for Christmas Is You.” For many people, the easiest way to get in the holiday spirit is to watch their favorite Christmas movies.
Most notably and without fail the Hallmark company produces a large number of holiday movies every year during the holiday season. However many have started to point out the apparent formula that each Hallmark holiday movie follows: A woman from a big city goes to a small town in the countryside, in which she meets a man who helps her understand “the true meaning of Christmas.” This formula has become an inside joke with winter holiday lovers as each movie has become more and more predictable. Even the comedy skit show “Saturday Night Live” (SNL) has made several running gags involving this formula in recent years. This joke raises the question of whether or not watching these movies is worth your time since they have become so predictable. Despite the jokes surrounding Hallmark movies, many people continue to watch and enjoy them each year. But why?
The answer is simple: people enjoy watching these Hallmark movies because they are predictable.
Different genres of films exist for different audiences. For example, people who watch horror movies want to be scared or disturbed. People usually do not watch horror movies to calm themselves down or to feel safe. This is the goal however with most romantic comedies, which is the genre that Hallmark holiday movies fall under. Rom-coms usually have a happy ending and are lighthearted throughout the film. Some may want to watch romantic comedies whenever they want something that is not serious and makes them happy.
“Comfort movies” exist to fit that desire. Not everyone wants to watch super serious movies or even well-made movies all the time. Sometimes people will want to watch movies that they can put on in the background while they work or to watch something that will help them escape from reality.
The same idea goes for Hallmark Christmas movies. People want to feel relaxed (as much as they can) during the holiday season so watching Hallmark movies, where they don’t sit on the edge of their seats, can help provide that sense of comfort. It offers comedic relief and a typical love story that some people don’t get tired of seeing.
“I honestly enjoy watching Hallmark movies during the holidays because it’s just a nice break from anything serious in my life. These films aren’t the best but since the plot is so typical, me and my friends try to predict what’s going to happen next. It’s an easy way to laugh and just enjoy my time with others,” said sophomore Jayelene Santos.
Hallmark films sound ideal with their easy watching and stress free experience and while the younger generation do have fun watching these films, the movies also appeal to the older generation.
“I personally don’t like [Hallmark movies] because they’re so cheesy and predictable. My grandpa is probably the only person I know who loves watching them. I agree that [these movies] appeal more to older generations. However I think they’re fun to laugh at,” said senior Aidan Koehler.
A possible reason for the difference in the appeal is due to a generational difference in genre preference. Younger generations tend to watch more exciting genres like action and drama whereas older generations tend to enjoy milder genres like romance or historical fiction. This is likely due to the differing popularity of genres throughout generations.
Either way, Hallmark movies are enjoyable to people of all ages. Whether it’s providing a laugh for the younger generation or just more relatable for the older generation, these films can create memories during the holidays and that’s what makes them so great. Sometimes a film doesn’t have to have an amazing plot or great actors to bring something into a viewer’s life. In the end, Hallmark movies create sentimental value by being able to create special moments.