As a young kid, one of my favorite parts of Christmas was snuggling with my mom on the couch while watching the Hallmark channel. Covered in a big blanket, I’d hold onto my marshmallow-filled mug of hot chocolate, ready for the movie to begin. I couldn’t wait for the two characters to finally meet and fall in love. At the time, I thought the worst part of the Hallmark channel was the commercials. Specifically, my favorite movie was A Bride For Christmas which follows a man who bets that he could get a woman to marry him before Christmas and a 3-time runaway bride. This movie was such a classic in our house that my aunt bought the DVD as my birthday present. Some other favorites of mine included The Most Wonderful Time of the Year, On the Twelfth Day of Christmas, A Very Merry Mix up, The Christmas Secret, and Just In Time For Christmas. Over time each new movie began to sound all the same with subtle differences and I specifically remember complaining about it. My dad just laughed while claiming they had always been boring and predictable. Eventually, I outgrew this Hallmark obsession and haven’t watched a movie from the channel in 4 years. My mom still watches them, but I can never find myself interested enough to sit and stay.
So here’s the test: I’ve chosen two of my favorite Hallmark movies to watch from when I was a kid. Although they seem cheesy and oversimplified now, I once had a definitive love for Hallmark. My question is, are these movies enjoyable for teenagers today or are they just not good enough? Let the marathon begin!
For my first viewing, I chose the once preeminent A Bride For Christmas which was made in 2012. The movie starts off with our main character, Jessie who is questioning her mom about love while in her wedding gown. As she walks down the aisle, she stops and turns around, the ultimate runaway bride. It switches to Aiden playing cards with his friends from work. This card game, after a discussion about relationships, ultimately turns into a bet since they don’t think Aiden is “marriage material”. (I wonder who he’ll set his sights on to marry..hmmm could it be the 3-time runaway bride?) Overall, this movie was entertaining (although I did stop it to do other things after getting a little bored.) Watching it now, the plot is very similar to a ton of other movies out there. Although the acting wasn’t the best, it wasn’t horrible either. There were some awkward lines but in total, the movie wasn’t unbearable. Something that I realized was this all happens in a matter of weeks so…they got married after weeks of knowing each other? Yikes. Also, when Jessie figures out Aiden placed a bet, it wasn’t as emotional as I assumed it would be. I feel this movie was pretty cheesy but it’s not necessarily bad. However, I wouldn’t say my obsession with it reigns true.
For the second movie, I watched On the Twelfth Day of Christmas from 2015. This follows a journalist named Maggie who decides that she wants to help a radio announcer that she used to know to find his Christmas spirit again. She decides to follow the 12 Days of Christmas song and send him on a task each day. After he speaks about this on his show, Maggie’s boss asks her to write about it. (Which screams trouble.) With this movie, the quality seems to have improved. The acting is better than the last one, but the script still appears a little forced and awkward. The plot is definitely original compared to A Bride For Christmas and I found myself more intrigued than the last. I’m going to break my younger selves’ heart, but I enjoyed this one more.
In conclusion, Hallmark Christmas movies aren’t the worst, but I wouldn’t run to my television to watch them like I used to. In my opinion, they’re very hit or miss so you’ll have to search for an interesting one if you want to watch something from this channel. What I believe I enjoyed the most about the second one vs the first was the originality of the plot. I also liked that it felt like a Christmas romance rather than a knock off How To Lose a Guy In 10 Days. If you’re looking for an easy, Christmas romance to waste your time with then I’d definitely recommend these movies, but if not just watch a popular rom-com! Even better, if you’re looking for a little Christmas and romance, then I’d direct you towards While You Were Sleeping or The Holiday.