Forget the violence, the long car chase scenes, the F-word, blowing up people and things -Turn immediately to either of the two Hallmark TV channels. (One is a mystery channel.) I say this knowing that the men that follow this blog just groaned and clicked off. Such a shame, since Hallmark movies, regardless of the theme, give us a world we wish were still true.
Take the Christmas movies: You can count on Carol singers at the door, gingerbread houses made in the kitchen, a Christmas tree with ornaments that go back to a Santa popsicle stick made in the first grade. There is fresh and fluffy snow on the ground and a Main Street that looks like a fairyland. Of course, there must be a problem, perhaps the Christmas Tree farm will have to close, the very one that provides the tree for the town’s annual tree lighting ceremony in the square. We must have a high powered woman who comes to town from New York or someplace equally far from this idyllic setting. My favorites are when the roads are closed and she can’t leave. Then there is a wonderful family with a handsome son who is widowed, raising a charming child. Of course, this beautiful woman is in a committed relationship, or worse, is engaged. I mean, these movies are wonderful! You can absolutely count on the fact, that in the end, they KISS. Ah, happily ever after!
Hallmark movies are a grand escape from things like the advertisement that is running about the one you love smelling up the bathroom. Really? They are a throwback to the movies I watched growing up in Evanston, IL. at the Varsity or Valencia movie theaters — Doris Day and Rock Hudson, twin beds, with a nightstand between. Robes carefully laid at the end of the bed. The truth is I love a good movie. I don’t count these Hallmark movies in the same category as my favorites: Anthony Hopkins in 84 Charing Cross Road, Russell Crowe in A Good Year, Diane Lane in Under the Tuscon Sun. Except that you mix up the Hallmark actors occasionally because they are interchangeable, playing one part here, and another in the next, you can shed a tear, find yourself smiling, and saying, “Nice!”