My life as a Hallmark Movie
by Holly Varni
September 26, 2013

A young woman lying on her couch watching television

Boy meets girl. Boy and girl feel a spark but an obstacle stands between them. Boy can’t stop thinking about girl. Boy and girl keep running into one another. Boy and girl spend time solving the problem. Boy and girl fall in love and live happily ever after.

I am a Hallmark movie junkie.

Cuddled up on the couch with a blanket, cup of cocoa, munchies and one of my favorite movies marked with the gold crown and I. Am. In. Heaven. There are fewer decadent pleasures than zoning out to a make-believe reality, which I like to believe is reality.

I love it and feel it’s time well spent. Unfortunately, my husband says he can’t “stomach” the storylines, so it is a solitary indulgence. Not that I mind. Nothing could diminish my loyalty to the “feel good” dramas.

I have the ability or rather stamina to watch them repeatedly. My boys walk through the room and groan, “How can you keep watching these? They’re all the same. It always ends happy.”

Hmm. It got me thinking. There is a common thread that runs through all Hallmark movies. But maybe, that’s the point. That’s why they’re so popular with a certain audience.

Why are so many like me drawn to this sentimental mush? How is it that we keep watching and collecting all them?

Because they do indeed offer a predictable but perfect recipe for happiness. Here is the equation: Life + a bit of struggle always = things working out like they should.

In a world that so often jades our view of what is possible, Hallmark is there to remind us of the good deeds and people of character that go unnoticed. They slip under the radar because they helped things along rather than hurt. Instead of the terrible, tragic, violent and sad events that are news worthy, Hallmark shines its light on the simple and often taken for granted happenings.

Don’t get me wrong, life is not all roses and even Hallmark knows that. As in our life, every movie plot has its struggles, but with work and a little hope, it all comes together in the end.

I figured out the reason I love these movies so much, is that aspect of hope. When schedules are crazy and I spend my life driving kids around, dinner is burned, one of the boys fails his Spanish test, my laundry pile resembles Mount Kilimanjaro, I forgot about a commitment to volunteer at school, and the dog throws up on the carpet, I hold out hope that everything will work out eventually.

Hallmark is there to remind me of the fundamental truth in life that things won’t be easy. True love is possible only after you work at it, relationships work only with forgiveness, loneliness can be filled only if you reach out, and happy endings come only after a lot of messy middles.

So here’s another scenario:

Boy meets girl. Boy and girl get married and have kids. Life is hectic and nothing like what they expected. There are challenges beyond what they imagined with laughter, tears, sickness, and health. Boy buys girl flowers on his way home from work for no particular reason. Girl makes his favorite chicken dinner and it doesn’t burn it. Boy and girl spend evenings helping kids with homework. At the end of every night, boy gives girl a kiss telling her that he loves her. Girl smiles and the next day begins again.

My life as a Hallmark movie?

I’m living it every day and hoping for a really great ending.