Hallmark holiday hatred, a review on popular holiday movies

Lia Koski, Reporter

    Hallmark movies are quite the holiday controversy: people either love or hate them, and rarely is there an in-between. While some people may refer to them as cringy and repetitive, others may like them for the warm and festive feelings that they generate.

    Hallmark movies tend to be hard to avoid during the holiday season, for they are always playing on some television channel. Mundelein High School students like Sophomore Gracie Greenfield and Freshman Amelia Willis, as well as English teacher Ryan Buck, all have unique yet strong opinions regarding Hallmark Movies. 

    Greenfield will generally watch Hallmark movies “in the days leading up to Christmas.” Greenfield also noted how she watches them with her dad. According to her, these movies don’t “suit his personality, but [she] thinks he finds [them] funny.” 

    Willis and Buck also watch the movies with their families. Buck explained how his wife and daughters watch Hallmark movies. “I usually don’t last long watching them, however,” Buck said. 

    One of Greenfield’s favorite “cheesy Christmas movies” to watch is Back to Christmas, a holiday love story that involves time travel. “It is one of the more original and funny ones that they have,” she stated. 

    Nonetheless, Greenfield, Willis, and Buck all agree that these movies often have a repetitive plotline. 

    “I’m pretty cynical when it comes to Hallmark movies. The one with the prince who doesn’t tell anyone he’s a prince, the one with the girl who is in the business world and has to return back to her small, quaint mountain town. These two examples probably describe about half of those movies,” Buck said.

    Greenfield also described these movies following the plot of a “Big city workaholic who comes home to visit her family, reunites with her small town best friend, and discovers the magic of Christmas. Then she quits her job and moves back to the small town because love is more important than success.”

    Hallmark movies not only follow similar plot lines, but they also portray unrealistic examples of life which can be harmful to their viewers. 

    According to Willis, one way that they are unrealistic is in the way that they display relationships. “You would never fall in love in three days let alone with someone you have nothing in common with and the stereotypes are amplified to a cringeworthy level. If people believed that the plot of these movies was real life they would be in a lot of trouble. Lots of times the characters treat each other badly and don’t think about their actions, and if people believed they could do this in real life without any repercussions or to be glorified for it, it would be a problem, to say the least,” Willis said.

    Greenfield also agreed by stating how, “typically in those unrealistic expectations for relationships, [producers] make it seem like fighting isn’t normal and that arguments shouldn’t happen often. One big argument will happen, but then the characters kiss and live happily ever after.”

    Buck also finds fault in Hallmark movies for being “white-washed.” “They tend to examine a fairly privileged existence in general,” he stated.

    However, Hallmark movies are not all bad. They can still be watched joyfully as long as the viewers can think critically about what they are taking in. 

    “In a world full of chaos, uncertainty, and division, having an escape into a world that is fairly simple may be appealing,” Buck said. 

    The predictability of these movies can be a comfort for some viewers. Willis stated, “When you know what happens, it gives you an escape from the stresses in your life for an hour or two.”