Sta Hungry Stay Foolish

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

A blog by Leon Oudejans

Hallmark Christmas films

8 November 2022

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I’ve been watching Hallmark Christmas films again on Amazon Prime Video. Yes, these films are entirely predictable. Yes, some actors are out of their depth. Nevertheless, I love watching those scenic locations (eg, countryside, snowy mountains), and their cosy, farm, and/or majestic houses.

Hallmark films usually show rural America which is indeed quite different from urban USA (eg, LA, NYC, SF). I suppose my preference for villages over cities might explain my taste for Hallmark films. This is also why I love the 1991 rom-com Doc Hollywood (#6.3 in IMDb) so much, apart from its humour.

The average Hallmark film has a quite simple message: in small-town America, people are still friendly, honest, cooperative, and have family valuesunlike in cities. Their Christmas films amplify those messages on friendship. honesty, cooperation and values. It’s like being rubbed into it, nose first.

Slowly, Hallmark introduced additional elements for gaining a broader audience, (eg, non-white actors, an occasional gay couple). However, those elements never distract from the key Hallmark messages (see above).

I contemplated using a different title: does the Hallmark version of American life still exist?

I haven’t visited the USA for nearly two decades. Before, I made quite some vacation visits because the country is sheer beautiful (eg, beaches, mountains, national parks, Redwood trees, swamps, small-towns, valleys). I suppose that the Hallmark version of rural America should still exist.

It’s intriguing that those popular Hallmark films do not appear to have a European equivalent. British country life is often used for stories on aristocracy and/or crime (eg, Downton Abbey, Midsomer Murders). European films often glorify urban life, and/or ridicule country life (eg, Bienvenue chez les Ch’tis).

An explanation might well be that America is much more conservative than Europe. In the American view, liberalism is left-wing, while European liberalism is center-right. European liberalism is also accountable and/or responsible for many social freedoms that (would) shock Americans.

Hallmark (Christmas) films may show us a Back to the Past (eg, IMDb, Wiki)

Doc Hollywood (1991)
IMDb, trailer, Wiki

Note: all markings (bolditalicunderlining) by LO unless in quotes or stated otherwise.

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