Hallmark Christmas movies, to many, are a staple of the
holiday season. Over the years, millions of people have warmed up a cup of hot
coffee, slipped on their favorite pajamas, gathered around their loved ones,
sat on the couch and watched women be portrayed as “Guy Chasers.” People have the right to watch whatever they
see fit, but seriously if they are that enamored with “Guy Chasers” why not
watch football? Look, I get it, people scroll through their T.V. guides looking
for holiday movies to get into the Christmas spirit. But, I don’t think most
individuals take a step back and truly examine how The Hallmark Channel
presents their actresses. I have recently view three Hallmark Christmas movies
and took note of the rolls, goals and overall presentation as far as women were
Don’t get me wrong. I am not saying these movies have no
salient value whatsoever. In fact, they put me into the Christmas spirit. I am
saying if one viewing this movie happens to be a radical feminist, they’ll most
likely need to scrap up some extra money for anger management classes. Its as
if the writers at the Hallmark Channel are stuck in the Early 1900s or related
to Harvey Weinstein. In the channel’s defense, I honestly don’t think Hallmark
has anything against women or looks at them as less than. I think its been more
of the writers being out of sync with how things are.
The first movie I watched was Hallmark Channel’s 2011
Christmas flick “A Christmas Kiss.”
Right off the bat, one can infer that this title in a romantic one and
they would be correct. The movie takes place in Boston, Massachusetts. It
follows the life of Wendy Walton, a beautiful girl who works as an assistant
for a very bossy and wealthy woman. (She is the type of boss that expects you
to answer her calls at 4am.) On the side she works as a theater designer.
Although content, at the beginning of the movie Wendy comes off as
semi-depressed. Wendy seems to be missing something in her life. She is
well-liked by her peers, gets high praise in her field and is on the rise, an
average girl in every way, but being lonely this Christmas just brings her
Luckily for her, while at a costume party all of that would
turn around. That night she put on her Sunday best and was looking stunning.
Her before was unrecognizable compared to her after. After the party, Wendy
enters an elevator and there he was. The two instantly hit it off. Just like
that, off Wendy’s issues went away. She seemed like the happiest woman on the
planet. Everything was going well until the elevator broke. The nice gentleman
comforted the weak and frail woman and assured her that everything would be
just fine. When things settled, the man, a stranger to Wendy goes in for the
kiss. Instead of slapping him and calling him rude, she obliges.
Wendy was so caught up in the moment she didn’t even get the
man’s name and number. When questioned as to why she didn’t obtain her “future
husband’s” information, she answered as a naïve teenager would. “If we were meant to be together, I’ll
find him again or — he’ll find me.”- A grown woman. She goes on to tell
her best friends and they couldn’t help but point out how much happier she
appeared. She found he lost smile. She turned her frown upside down. She found
her man and now she has no worries.
But there was only one problem.
Remember that bossy woman Wendy works for? That just so happened to be this
man’s girlfriend. The man did not recognize Wendy due to the drastic change of
attire. This creates an awkward situation for Wendy as she has to be around the
man while working. Although, Wendy is presented as the somewhat timid, shy,
introvert, towards the man; her boss is shown as the opposite. Priscilla
(Wendy’s boss) is the typical money grabbing, beautiful, gold digger. I
wouldn’t be surprised if she inspired the hit Kanye. In fact, Priscilla’s
character admits she is only with Adam for his looks and money and does not
truly love him.
Wendy and Priscilla constantly butt heads. It comes off as
two women vying for the same man. The man seems to have it all together and,
yet the women need the man to complete them. Wendy accidently hits Priscilla in
the face with a decorative item while redecorating which in turn causes
Pricilla to take a long trip away for surgery. Meanwhile, Wendy was given the
opportunity to bond with Adam and she took full advantage that time. When
Priscilla returns from her trip she fires Wendy on the spot. Wendy was heartbroken.
Not only had Pricilla taken her man, but she had also taken
her dream job. Shortly after Adam reluctantly proposed to his girlfriend
Priscilla. Just before their engagement party takes place Wendy finally grows a
backbone and reveals to Adam that she was the girl he kissed in the elevator.
She even gives her former boss Priscilla a piece of her mind before furiously
off into the elevator. After the
candid conversation, Priscilla was once again accidentally hit in the face.
Adam, rather than coming to her aid,
decided to take off the ring the used to propose and rushes after Wendy.
Priscilla was made out to look like a fool, trying and failing to capture the
wealthy man she was chasing. It reminded me of a “gold-digging” episode of Tom
and Jerry. Cat chase mouse. The focus once again shifts to the fairy tale
couple as the two finishes off the movie the way it began. With a spontaneously
blissful smooch. The End. The man wins either way. Sure, one of the women got
what they wanted, but the other was left without her dignity.
The second Hallmark movie I watched
was Holiday Engagement (2011). The thumbnail for this movie shows a guy kneeling
proposing to a woman. This leads one to believe that the man would chasing the
woman in this movie. I asked myself, will they send the message that the woman
is the prize this time? Or will it be more or the same? In this film the focus
is on a newspaper writer named Hillary, a woman looking to have a Thanksgiving
dinner at her hard to please mother Meredith’s house. Being 30, she feels as if
her time is running out, so to speak. Luckily for her, she finally finds a
great guy named Jason to bring home for the holidays.
Jason presented as a stud; Hilary’s
mom should be satisfied. Yet, a couple of days before the dinner, Jason
breaks-up with Hillary. (I was surprised) He has been offered a promotion in
Pittsburgh, away from the East Coast where her family lives, and she has been procrastinating
moving. Then, too, with Hillary talking about children while Jason is trying to
(focus mental and physical effort), the break-up seems unavoidable.
With a friend’s help, Hillary finds an
actor, (David) to play Jason’s role, with the promise of airline tickets Hill
won in a contest. Yet, when they make it to Meredith’s house, all goes at first
well. David aka Jason charms Meredith and gets along well with Dad and Hill’s
sisters. But, small strange qualities do burst forward. David and Hilary never
seem to click, that was sort of weird, and David makes a few small mistakes in
his new role. To complicate things even more, the actual Jason comes on the day
of the holiday. After all the hysterics, Hilary falls in love with the
struggling actor. Once again, the man wins.
Though this man wasn’t looked at as perfect and he was not being chased
by the woman. The roll of the woman still seemed passé. The one line that stood
out to me while watching was Hilary’s “I will do anything for a man this
Thanksgiving, anything!” line when she was desperately searching for a fake mate.
I mean, the woman was in bed posing for an inmate picture with a man she hardly
knew. Not exactly family friendly. Not exactly something to show your young
daughter. The Hallmark Channel Christmas movies are typically family oriented,
but after viewing these movies one can see a pattern of edge content. At times
it makes a viewer wonder what demographic these movies are geared towards. This
is very confusing for the consumer. There are shirtless tattooed me in
underwear. Just listen to that. Its sounds like the description for the movie
“Magic Mike”. A woman still comes of as a stereotypical “diva” as have in
almost every other Christmas movie I’ve viewed.
The last movie watched was a very unique
movie. The movie was call “Annie clause is coming to town.” I selected this
movie because the title had a nice ring to it, it sounded intriguing and lead
actress was attractive. That’s how Hallmark hooks the viewer in. The movie is
about the legendary Santa Clauses biological daughter he so fittingly named
Annie, 29. Annie has spent her entire life on Santa’s village and suddenly gets
the urge to venture outside of ole St. Nicks domain. Now, Annie has two choices
either: A. go outside the village build her own normal life or B. Carry on her
father’s legacy and become the new Santa when her father retires.
Annie excels at her father’s workshop, but feels like she is missing
something. You guessed it, her Santa hat and her man. (Hallmark channel does it
again.) Her goal was to find her true love move back to the north pole and pick
up where her parents left off. In reality women have real goals like ending
world hunger, stopping global warming, and feeding the homeless. In these Hallmark
movies they’d rather spend their entire lives trying to find that special guy.
This again is the portrayal of a lonely woman seeking her knight in shining
It is important to know that as all of
this is happening her father and an evil elf is keeping a close eye on her. Her
father is concerned with her safety and the elf wants her inheritance. The elf
impersonates the man Annie has fallen in love with her and she must correctly
choose between naughty and nice.
We are now in the 21st century. Women
today are trailblazers. They were once looked at as only fit to be housewives
who stayed at home while their husbands were out working. Wake up, take care of
the children, cook, clean, and wash. Point blank, cut and dry. Nothing more. Now
they are viable candidates for presidency. Times have changed. Even Hollywood
has began to place women into more lead rolls and no longer treating them as
strictly eye candy. Women are being taken more seriously. With all that being
said, the Hallmark channel elected to stay the same. I do have a few solutions
to fix the issues I see in their presentation of the ladies.
No more money hungry women. Not all women are
looking for a man to pay their way through life. Women this day in age take
pride in being independent. Last time I checked, many women are the bread
winners in their respective households. If the director is going for a
realistic movie, then having a woman lead the household on screen would be a
great start into fixing this problem. Or maybe even create a level playing
field presenting both the male and female together with a common goal. The
status quo just doesn’t cut it today. If there has not already been backlash
towards the repetitiveness I have a feeling it is soon to come. All in all, the
movies were surprisingly entertaining. Scooping the current landscape if T.V.
and movies as a whole, I truly believe that women are very close to leveling
the playing field and finally reaching their goal of on-screen justice.