Wednesday, 12 December 2018

Hallmark Christmas Movies

I'm trying to understand the strange attraction of schlocky Hallmark Christmas movies. They're all the same (they even recycle the same actors over and over, but in different combinations). There's always a snowball fight, a tree lighting or Christmas fair the whole town turns out to, ice skating, a sleigh ride, snow angels, a thwarted kiss, and a small argument or misunderstanding that's wrapped up within five minutes. None of these people work 9 to 5, ride subways, catch head colds, or live in dim and dreary apartments. No one bundles up to the eyeballs in scarves and balaclavas in spite of all this winter wonderland. They never show the hero scraping an inch of ice off his windshield. The houses are stunning, the views breathtaking, the townsfolk quirky and welcoming, the protagonists are always in their late thirties and fit as race horses, and the whole thing is so quaint and sweet your teeth ache. And who in their lives has actually gone to a town Christmas fair or a public tree lighting?

But still I watch them, one or two a night, and record the ones I have to miss so I can watch them later when no one else is at home. I live with four males, and I feel I need to defend myself if I'm caught watching these things on TV. I can feel them lowering my IQ as I watch. But still I devour them like chocolate.

What is it about them that appeals so much? The simplicity? The warmth? The knowledge that life will always work out in a happy ending for these people no matter what? The amazing mountain vistas? (I found out a lot of them are filmed in British Columbia. Well, no wonder!) I curl up on the couch with the dog and a bowl of popcorn and listen to the ice pellets ping off the window and imagine myself into these glowing, golden scenes. And wonder if I could write one...

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