If you celebrate Christmas in Amercia, I’m sure you’ve seen at least one cheesy Christmas movie featured on the Hallmark Channel. I’ll start with a list of items that must be present in order for a movie to air on these channels, and then I will begin my rant.
Must-Haves for a Hallmark Christmas Movie:
- A female main character who lives in a big, modern, progressive city with a high-status job in the career field she’s always dreamed about
- A male supporting role character who is the romantic counterpart of the female main character
- A family member of the main character, usually a parent, who passes away and leaves an inheritance in the form of a small-town family business that has supported the emotional morale of the small town for many generations
- A semi-handsome male main character who knows the family business and has been dubbed the interim keeper of the grounds until the female main character moves back home
- A visit home that the female main character swears will be a short one but ends up being longer
- Several meet cutes between the female main character and the male main character that turn into dates and into convincing the female lead that she needs to stay in the small town and run the family business
- A crisis that separates the two main characters
- A happy ending that brings them back together
- So, those are the must-haves for a Hallmark Christmas movie.
Now I begin my discussion of dissatisfaction with these movies.
1. All of these movies hate on the city life. I know that you aren’t supposed to speak in such extremes, using all-or-none thinking, but I have yet to see a Hallmark Christmas movie that celebrates people who live in the city. What’s so wrong about city life? Is it sinful? Is it unbiblical to live in an urban setting? Why is urban life always portrayed negatively in these movies? I don’t get it.
2. None of these movies address the sinfulness that goes on in small towns. In case you’ve never lived in a small town, they thrive on gossip and as much manipulation as big cities do. It’s not the physical location itself that’s the problem. It’s the people who live in it that make up the issues within it.
3. According to the Hallmark Channel, it’s perfectly fine for a Christian woman to date two men at the same time without there being any consequences or without either of the men getting upset about it. Have you noticed this in these movies? I just can’t. And the female lead is never shown as having a backbone or standing up for herself. If she tries to stand up for herself, other characters call her selfish.
4. The female main character always gives up a career that she is passionate about in the city. This is usually because she feels bad about letting other people (whom she barely knows) down, and she can’t stand the thought of doing so. Why can’t one of these movies show a female main character who is joyful as a single woman and pursues a career that she is passionate about, one in which she can use her many talents?
5. Neither of the two men she dates is willing to move to where she can pursue her career, but both of them usually have jobs that are transferable to another state. Hm.
6. The female main character usually becomes underemployed and takes a job that is well below her intellect and skill level. Then she usually makes a stupid decision that her career should have taught against. Why is the female role shown in this light? Does this mean that a Christian woman has to dumb herself down, silence her visions, and settle with underemployment in order to live a godly life? Unfortunately this is a caricature that is often portrayed of women in the Christian world, but women in the Bible are shown as having more courage than this.
I’m not adding a seventh point to this list because the number seven usually indicates completion, and these movies are anything but complete. That’s the end of my rant for now.