Chaos Attraction

Less Interesting Hallmark Movies I Saw This Year

2017-12-28, 9:47 a.m.

First, some links:

Hallmark Christmas Drinking Game.
2017 Is the Year of the Campy Christmas Movie
Cut SNL Sketch Stars James Franco in a Bunch of Cheap Hallmark Movies You Would Still Watch
We can’t take any more of 2017, so we’ve turned to the Hallmark Channel in desperation.
The Hallmark Channel’s 21-movie fusillade in the War on Christmas is a ratings sensation. I’m watching it all to find out why.

Less Interesting Hallmark Movies I Saw This Year:

"With Love, Christmas" and "The Mistletoe Promise" were probably the dullest Hallmarks I caught in full this holiday season.

"With Love, Christmas," features a personable lady named Melanie who works at an ad agency that enforces Secret Santa on the employees with a $50 limit. She draws Donovan, who's maybe not quite the world's dullest human but might make the top ten. He's handsome but boring as fuck and his only personality trait seems to be "avoid other humans at all costs at all times." Oh yeah, and he doesn't eat sugar. In a Hallmark movie?! When he's told he has to design a cell phone ad campaign that appeals to the heart, he rattles off phone statistics.

Melanie is completely stumped as to what you give the man who wants nothing and has no personality. She ends up having to work with him on some Christmas campaign* because presumably Donovan doesn’t have the people skills, and working with him isn’t giving her any ideas either. So she gets some anonymous e-mail account and starts e-mailing Donovan at work asking about what he wants for Christmas. Which turns straignt into the plot of "The Shop Around The Corner/Crazy For You/You've Got Mail." Turns out that once you prod him enough over e-mail, Donovan starts to like, have actual feelings and stuff. So I’ll give them credit for making him talk, anyway.

* just a thought: why are they designing a Christmas ad campaign during December? Unless it’s for next December, this seems late.

Anyway, added complication: Melanie and Donovan are both told they’re up for the creative director promotion. Donovan is specifically told that Melanie is personable and gets to know people and otherwise has social skills, so maybe he should like, work on that and go to office parties. So that happens. Donovan briefly suspects Melanie’s friend of being his Secret Santa but eventually deduces who it is. Donovan also attemtps to have some bonding with his distant daddy.

At the end of the movie, Melanie gets the job and she ended up buying Donovan...a reindeer tie and basketball tickets. I think I was expecting something more exciting than that. However, Melanie doesn’t get a gift! Oh no, not another shitty Secret Santa.... oh, no, but look outside! There’s a horse drawn carriage ride as her present! Because of course Donovan was her Secret Santa as well!

Someone else besides me was thinking of the cost-- “Definitely over $50,” the boss says. And then it occurred to me: uh, isn’t she gonna be his boss now? Doesn’t that mean they can’t date? As they kiss, the camera pans away to reveal that the entire office party has now somehow disappeared to not see this. “Where’d they all go?” Mom asked. Good question.

I have even less to say about the similar movie "The Mistletoe Promise," a movie in which two dull businesspeople agree to fake date for the holidays for business reasons. The dude stood out not at all and the lady reminded me of Portia di Rossi circa Ally McBeal with her icy blonde hair pulled up so tight it was crying to be let down into something less uptight. I zoned out watching it.

"Sharing Christmas" is around the same plot as my beloved "A Very Merry Mixup," at least the part where the girl's about to lose her beloved Christmas store that she just inherited from her retirng parents. The guy in this one gets hired to work on mowing down "Trolley Square" and once he meets her and her store, feels bad about it. He actually tells his boss no a few times, but that works about as well as you'd expect. Eventually they discover some secret will clause that allows the shop owner to try to buy it at fair market value and then they find an investor or something, so the store is saved! Sadly, the small Hallmark budget on this one made this "magical" Christmas store just look kinda empty. I've seen far fancier stores IRL.

"Christmas in Evergreen" was all right, I guess, by comparison. It features a vet named Allie who lives in Evergreen and has decided to leave it because she's having an LDR with a guy in DC. However, in true George Bailey style, she somehow can't ever leave the place due to weather, snowing in, her old truck refusing to start, what have you. She meeets a dad and child who were trying to head to Florida, except the child likes Evergreen and wanted to stay there, so she wished on the magical snowglobe about it.

Yes, there's a magical snowglobe that grants Christmas wishes. So that happened.

Anyway, Allie hangs out with dad and kid, her boyfriend gets helicoptered in and she doesn't care, etc. Uh huh, the usual.

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