Hallmark Movies Offer Comfort and Joy

Reid Rizk, Staff Writer

Movies are meant to make us feel. The emotions that movies elicit aren’t always good, like Joker, where people reported feeling depressed afterward. Movies also don’t always do the best job of eliciting the right emotion or any at all, like a bad thriller that makes you fall asleep, but Hallmark movies regularly achieve this goal. Hallmark movies are far from the pinnacle of film making; usually, the acting isn’t great, the dialogue is cheesy and the story is full of tropes, but there’s something about these cheesy dumb movies that make you feel great.

Almost all of them are romances, and usually, they have that “happily ever after” ending. Many of them include a small theme of the magic of Christmas or holiday magic. This all paints an idealistic view of the world and relationships that we often don’t see in movies and in life. A 24-hour news cycle and social media algorithms have tricked us into thinking that the bad stuff is the only stuff that exists. Hallmark movies are this little slice of paradise, without a pandemic or any of the toxic politics that seems to infect everything that happens, to remind us that there is good in the world.

Hallmark movies are this little slice of paradise, without a pandemic or any of the toxic politics that seems to infect everything that happens, to remind us that there is good in the world. ”

There is also something comforting about these movies. Knowing what’s going to happen next makes the movie seem more familiar. Every main character is a walking, talking copy of the main character in another Hallmark movie. Sometimes they even copy the plot of an older movie and just update it with some newer graphics or make it a little more current. The familiarity that we have with this movie is a part of its attraction. There aren’t any surprises. In two of the new holiday movies, a career-driven woman bumps into some slow-moving man who convinces her to slow down, and eventually they fall in love. It’s a formula. Also, usually there are holiday-themed names, lots of snow and lots of wreaths. We know what is going to happen the second the characters appear on screen. It is a comfort, actually, the predictability allowing us to relax, unafraid of any surprises happening.

Image by Naomi Scully-Bristol.

The other great thing about Hallmark movies is that they are cheap. With a budget of about $2 million, the return for Hallmark is big, allowing them to make many more of these movies. In 2016 Hallmark made 33 Christmas movies and made about $390 million. There are a lot of movies and plenty of time to watch them around the holidays. This makes Hallmark movies an iconic part of the holiday season.