’Tis the season when Greg turns into The Grinch.
That’s how some mates and colleagues confer with me this time of 12 months, attributable to my behavior of greeting the vacation season with folded arms. Whereas they’re spreading cheer round homes and places of work and shopping for Christmas timber in early November, I’m extra apt to be a bit grumpy till about Dec. 23.
Making an attempt to offer my spirit a jump-start this 12 months, I got here up with an thought. An terrible thought. An exquisite, terrible thought.
I might undertake a daylong marathon of Hallmark Channel Christmas motion pictures, these cinematic chestnuts that pop up yearly with holly-covered titles like “Marry Me at Christmas,” “Christmas Subsequent Door,” “Miss Christmas” and “With Love, Christmas” and “The Mistletoe Inn.”
Yearly, beginning in late October and persevering with till late December, the cable channel presents a virtually nonstop parade of authentic holiday-themed motion pictures.
The programming stunt has turn into a well-liked vacation staple for Hallmark, which this 12 months added 21 new authentic motion pictures to its lineup. The movies usually function acquainted faces from classic exhibits like “Full Home,” “The Surprise Years” and “Beverly Hills 90210.”
The youngsters are all cute. Not less than one key character — grownup or youth — is going through the lack of a liked one, however their grief is healed by the vacations. Hugs are plentiful, and joyful endings are a given.
The picks have been:
“Christmas in Evergreen”: Ashley Williams stars as Allie, a veterinarian in small-town Vermont who’s getting ready to maneuver to Washington, D.C., to start out a brand new life together with her hunky boyfriend. (We all know he’s the unhealthy man as a result of he works in an workplace high-rise, seems like Tom Cruise and flies in a helicopter.) However her plan is (merrily!) foiled after assembly a touring, not too long ago widowed man and his younger daughter who turn into enchanted by the city’s all-consuming Christmas fever and a magical, wish-granting snow globe.
“Christmas at Holly Lodge”: Sophie (Alison Sweeney) owns a picturesque mountain lodge the place a “Christmas miracle” happens every year, nevertheless it has fallen on arduous instances. She forgets her monetary woes when she turns into interested in a good-looking customer, Evan (Jordan Bridges), however is dismayed to find he’s been dispatched by a grasping developer to buy the property.
“The Christmas Practice”: Dermot Mulroney is Tom Langdon, a journalist who takes a cross-country prepare journey at Christmas. Passengers embody film director Max Powers (Danny Glover) who’s accompanied by an aspiring screenwriter — and Tom’s ex — Eleanor (Kimberly Williams-Paisley, sister of Ashley of “Evergreen” fame above). The previous flames battle earlier than their love slowly re-ignites.
“Switched for Christmas”: Hallmark Channel MVP Candace Cameron Bure (”Fuller Home”) — “We name her one in every of our queens of Christmas,” stated a spokesperson — pulls double obligation as estranged twin sisters. Divorced single mother Chris and hard-driving never-married government Kate swap lives to prepare their respective Christmas par-ties. Mayhem and romance ensue.
So did a day of Hallmark motion pictures make my coronary heart develop three sizes?
I’ll reply that in a minute, however right here’s what I can inform you.
In Hallmark motion pictures, subtlety takes a vacation. The tones are upbeat, plots are predictable, dialogue is tacky, characters are one-dimensional and performances undistinguished. The relentless concentrate on the restorative energy of vacation celebrations will be heavy-handed.
The movies additionally happen in a universe that’s predominantly white. Not one of the leads on this season’s new movies are performers of colour, and ethnicities aside from black are all however invisible.
The first purpose of the flicks, regardless of their flaws, is to be uplifting and inspirational. There have been instances through the marathon once I did really feel a tug on the coronary heart or a tear in my eye. Resistance was futile.
Together with extra layered characters and scenes displaying the ability of true human connection would go a great distance towards making the slate extra related and relatable.
Did my coronary heart develop three sizes? I don’t find out about that. However, because of Hallmark, maybe one or two.
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