As more of a sports enthusiast than mushy movie master, I was surprised to be chosen to review the Original Hallmark Christmas movies. I can only assume that someone noticed my fine taste in reindeer sweaters and assumed I’m somewhat of a Yuletide expert (darn this impeccable style of mine). But between you, me and this blog, I confess I’d never even tuned into the Hallmark Network until this year. Not once? Who am I, the Grinch?
So, with a latte in hand and a carol in my heart, I set out to watch as many of these Hallmark winter wonders as possible. And I must say, this syrupy nonsense wrapped up in unbelievable plot lines of love and life -- are ADDICTING! I mean, can one really come to terms with the past, mend broken relationships, get a career back on track, and find true love... all in the space of 2 hours? The answer is a resounding YES. And, it happens every day on the Hallmark channel from Thanksgiving to Christmas.
About Hallmark Christmas Films:
The 5 Hallmark movies we review below are only a tiny part of the original movies that Hallmark produced this year.
Hallmark movies are something of a small wonder. They are usually filmed in about 2 weeks, for the paltry sum of 2 million dollars. Most weekly TV episodes cost more!
Despite the low budget and short filming time, whatever they’re doing is working. More than 72 million viewers tuned in for Hallmark Christmas movies in 2017. In 2010, Hallmark produced 6 original holiday movies, in 2014 they produced 12 original movies, that increased to 21 new movies in 2015, 28 new movies in 2016 and a whopping 37 in 2018.
So, grab that eggnog and gingerbread because we’re reviewing 2018’s 5 Best Hallmark Christmas movies.
Hallmark Queen Candace Cameron Bure stars as Noelle, a brilliant photographer who takes a job in a department store to pay her bills (silly girl). While Noelle is intently performing an HR task in an inner file room, a dangerous snowstorm prompts the department store to close early and lock up, unknowingly locking Noelle in. When Noelle finds herself locked in the dark, empty store, she’s visited by a stranger, who takes her back to the past to nudge her to make better decisions... and shove her toward her firefighter neighbor, Jake. Noelle and Jake are chosen to head the year’s Christmas gala together. All is going well, but nagging questions persist: is Jake the one for her? Will Noelle return to photography? Will the strange lady in the bad sweater ever leave her alone? You could cut the suspense with a knife!
Candace Cameron Bure - Noelle
Luke Macfarlane - Jake
Notable Quote: Everyone should have someone in their life who looks at them the way you look at shoes. (wow. really?)
Lori Loughlin stars as fashion designer Maddie, who heads to her childhood home for Christmas after quitting her job (in Hallmark movies you go home for Christmas if you’re in a crisis and you’ve exhausted all other options). Upon arrival, she is flustered to see her old highschool sweetheart Carter, with whom she still has some obvious chemistry. When Maddie’s mother and sister need help with the family business, career girl Maddie jumps at the chance to volunteer, only to be told she’d be most helpful working with Carter on the Christmas dance. Whaaaaat? But what if they fall in love again? Will Maddie and Carter be able to put the past behind them? Will the Christmas dance be a success? Will Lori Loughlin ever look her age?
Lori Loughlin - Maddie
Victor Webster - Carter
“I’ll be home for Christmas, but only because I have no other options.”
The mayor of a quaint town hires his old college crush Elizabeth to plan the town’s Christmas festival (oh the perks of politics). When the festival’s original venue doesn’t work, Elizabeth is forced to ask the town billionaire, William Darcy, to conduct the Christmas festival on his property named -- you guessed it -- Pemberley. After looking deeply into her sparkling green eyes, he eventually and reluctantly agrees to help, but with many conditions. After awhile he starts to feel the spirit of Christmas and really gets into it. But then William realizes that the funny feeling in his tummy isn’t Christmas spirit or too much eggnog after all -- it’s love. Joy to the world! But will Elizabeth love him back? Will he whisk her away to a winter wonderland? Will she get motion sickness on his private helicopter?
Elizabeth Jessica Lowndes - Elizabeth
Michael Rady - William
After losing a major business deal and being left by her boyfriend of 2 years, career focused Ameila returns to her adorable hometown of Christmas Creek (once again proving my theory that you never go home in a Hallmark movie unless you’re desperate). There, her uncle Harry runs the family owned inn (because is it really a Hallmark Christmas movie if someone doesn’t own an inn?), which is the subject of bad blood between Uncle Harry and her father. As she participates in the town’s Christmas traditions, with hunky childhood friend Mike, she begins to feel the Christmas spirit. But when her father unexpectedly shows up at the inn, the miracle reconciliation between her dad and her uncle she dreams of ends in a quarrel. Will her family ever be restored? Will she marry Mike and have tiny santa babies? Will there be a Wings reunion starring Steven Weber?
Tori Anderson - Amelia
Steven Weber - Uncle Harry
Stephen Huszar - Mike
Conflicted soul and Interim School Superintendent Eve must shut down the local school’s music program. She’s torn between her objective to trim the budget and keeping her neighbor Liam and his daughter happy. Liam, a teacher at the local school, sees the music program as invaluable and tries to fight for it. Why? Mainly because “the course of true love never did run smooth”... Or something like that. Can love blossom between these neighbors with conflicting agendas? I’m not sure, but if it’s possible, it would only happen on the Hallmark channel!
LeAnn Rimes - Eve
Tyler Hynes - Liam
Our Final Verdict:
If you need a pick-me-up, feel-good kinda movie with good looking actors who you totally recognize, but can’t quite place, check your guide for the Hallmark channel. You will find, like I did, that their movies, while somewhat predictable, are nevertheless irresistible.