By Daley Wilhelm
Hallmark is going to extremes counting down to Christmas, boasting twelve new movies that amp up the cheesy, cheery, cliché goodness for the holiday season. Prepare for overused one-liners and predictable plot lines.
1. One Starry Christmas
Already a Hallmark classic for its inclusion of horseback riding, One Starry Night tells the story of Luke, a sensitive and classically romantic cowboy, who falls for a studious astronomer/Christmas enthusiast, Holly. When Holly’s practical, businessman boyfriend prioritizes a meeting over their Christmas plans, Holly is left in prime condition to fall for Luke on a long bus ride home.
2. The Nine Lives of Christmas
Cats and firemen. Firemen cuddling cats. This is a movie I’m definitively going to DVR. The Nine Lives of Christmas is about commitment-phobe fireman Zachary. His eyes are opened to love and the true romance of the holiday season through his cat, Ambrose. Marliee, the veterinarian who is new to town, helps him to take care of his new best friend. The characters say, “you can’t decide not to fall in love with someone,” and although I tried not to fall for this one, the cats captured my heart.
3. A Cookie Cutter Christmas
Rivalry and romance run awry in A Cookie Cutter Christmas where the stakes are stacked high as two arch rivals gear up for the Christmas Cookie Bake-Off. Our heroine Christie is charmingly hopeless in the kitchen, however, and appears all but doomed until a handsome, sweet, and very available single dad, James, who cooks and runs a homeless shelter, intervenes. In the end Christie’s real prize is, you guessed it, love.
Santa and his elves always find themselves in some kind of peril. The North Pole is now Northpole, a massive, glittery, elf-inhabited city. It’s powered by the cleanest energy of all – Christmas cheer. But now that world is preoccupied with cell phones, texting, and careers and such, no one has time to spend the holiday with their families, thus creating a new kind of energy crisis. It will take a daring elf, Clementine, and a lonely ten-year-old, Kevin, to save the day.
5. Angels and Ornaments
Talented and heartbroken musician, Corrine, is in for a surprise this holiday season. Little does she know that her new friend Harold is a divine matchmaker in disguise. It takes an angel for Corrine to realize she’s always loved her childhood friend Dave. With the clock ticking down to Harold’s Christmas Eve deadline, there’s sure to be snow-dusted shenanigans.
6. A Royal Christmas
Emily has it great: she’s got a gorgeous, doting boyfriend with an accent, Leo. Then Leo drops a bomb – he’s a prince of a small, European country. The prince’s family is less than enthused about Leo dating a commoner and scheme against her as she tries to enjoy the holiday in a cold castle. Still, it’s hard to complain when there’s a rich guy with an accent in love with you.
7. The Christmas Shepherd
Dog lovers fear not. The Christmas Shepherd tells the story of a widow who consoles herself with Buddy, the dog her late husband had brought home from his tour of duty. Disaster strikes when Buddy runs away and finds himself in an animal shelter, where his adorable face wins the hearts and heals the souls of a widower and his daughter, who run the shelter. Conflict arises when the two broken families must decide where Buddy will make his home – with the widow or the widower? This movie proves what we’ve all known all along, that dogs fix everything.
8. Christmas Under Wraps
Lauren dreams of becoming a prestigious doctor like her father, but her plans are derailed when she is forced to take a head doctor position in middle of nowhere, most festively named Garland, Alaska. The locals warm to her, especially the handsome Andy who wants to show her the importance of adventure and living in the moment. Is her cozy new community only temporary? Will she pursue her dream? Will she survive the Alaskan winter?
9. Debbie Macomber’s Mr. Miracle
An inexperienced angel, Harry, is sent to earth to save Christmas and has to learn to help himself before he can help others. Harry’s mission is to help Addie, who is waffling about finishing her degree and desperate to forget her past. Why not add in a bumbling but endearing angel to that mix?
10. Christmas at Cartwright’s
Struggling single mom Nicky is trying to give her daughter a great Christmas. She applies to work as holiday help at the local department store, but is rejected because the senior VP is threatened by her earnestness and beauty. In a whimsical turn of events, she manages to be hired as the store Santa Claus. It’s a great job eating cookies and sitting all day, but danger is always lurking. Will she be able to keep her job if people find out that she’s a woman? Isn’t there some kind of legal mess with that? Tune in to find out.
11. Best Christmas Party Ever
Young party planner Jennie wants to throw her retiring boss the best. Christmas. Party. Ever. Jennie does it out of the kindness of her heart in the hope that her boss leaves her New York’s best party planning service. However, the job goes to the boss’s chiseled and charming nephew, Nick. Still wanting to prove herself, and crushing on Nick, Jennie tries to throw the best Christmas party. EVER.
12. The Christmas Parade
Hailee is set to have the worst Christmas ever. She’s a big shot entertainment reporter and everyone knows about her fiancé’s affair before she does. Trying to escape the humiliation by driving recklessly, she plows over a Christmas display and is sentenced to community service by the small town judge who slaved over said Christmas display. Enter Beck, the hunky artist that supervises her as she builds the town’s annual Christmas float. Hailee eventually cares about the float when she learns that the Christmas Parade cash prize is the only way to save the town’s art center. Her Christmas bonus alone could probably save the art center, but we don’t talk about that.