Hallmark Christmas movies, to many, are a staple of theholiday season. Over the years, millions of people have warmed up a cup of hotcoffee, 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 theysee fit, but seriously if they are that enamored with “Guy Chasers” why notwatch football? Look, I get it, people scroll through their T.V. guides lookingfor holiday movies to get into the Christmas spirit. But, I don’t think mostindividuals take a step back and truly examine how The Hallmark Channelpresents their actresses.
I have recently view three Hallmark Christmas moviesand took note of the rolls, goals and overall presentation as far as women wereconcerned. Don’t get me wrong. I am not saying these movies have nosalient value whatsoever. In fact, they put me into the Christmas spirit. I amsaying if one viewing this movie happens to be a radical feminist, they’ll mostlikely need to scrap up some extra money for anger management classes.
Its asif the writers at the Hallmark Channel are stuck in the Early 1900s or relatedto Harvey Weinstein. In the channel’s defense, I honestly don’t think Hallmarkhas anything against women or looks at them as less than. I think its been moreof the writers being out of sync with how things are. The first movie I watched was Hallmark Channel’s 2011Christmas flick “A Christmas Kiss.” Right off the bat, one can infer that this title in a romantic one andthey would be correct.
The movie takes place in Boston, Massachusetts. Itfollows the life of Wendy Walton, a beautiful girl who works as an assistantfor a very bossy and wealthy woman. (She is the type of boss that expects youto 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 assemi-depressed. Wendy seems to be missing something in her life. She iswell-liked by her peers, gets high praise in her field and is on the rise, anaverage girl in every way, but being lonely this Christmas just brings herdown. Luckily for her, while at a costume party all of that wouldturn around. That night she put on her Sunday best and was looking stunning.Her before was unrecognizable compared to her after. After the party, Wendyenters an elevator and there he was.
The two instantly hit it off. Just likethat, off Wendy’s issues went away. She seemed like the happiest woman on theplanet. Everything was going well until the elevator broke. The nice gentlemancomforted the weak and frail woman and assured her that everything would bejust fine. When things settled, the man, a stranger to Wendy goes in for thekiss. Instead of slapping him and calling him rude, she obliges. Wendy was so caught up in the moment she didn’t even get theman’s name and number.
When questioned as to why she didn’t obtain her “futurehusband’s” information, she answered as a naïve teenager would. “If we were meant to be together, I’llfind him again or — he’ll find me.”- A grown woman. She goes on to tellher best friends and they couldn’t help but point out how much happier sheappeared. She found he lost smile. She turned her frown upside down. She foundher 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 thisman’s girlfriend. The man did not recognize Wendy due to the drastic change ofattire. This creates an awkward situation for Wendy as she has to be around theman 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. Iwouldn’t be surprised if she inspired the hit Kanye. In fact, Priscilla’scharacter admits she is only with Adam for his looks and money and does nottruly love him. Wendy and Priscilla constantly butt heads. It comes off astwo 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 inthe face with a decorative item while redecorating which in turn causesPricilla to take a long trip away for surgery. Meanwhile, Wendy was given theopportunity to bond with Adam and she took full advantage that time.
WhenPriscilla returns from her trip she fires Wendy on the spot. Wendy was heartbroken. Not only had Pricilla taken her man, but she had also takenher dream job. Shortly after Adam reluctantly proposed to his girlfriendPriscilla. Just before their engagement party takes place Wendy finally grows abackbone 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 furiouslystorming off into the elevator. After thecandid 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 thewealthy man she was chasing.
It reminded me of a “gold-digging” episode of Tomand Jerry. Cat chase mouse. The focus once again shifts to the fairy talecouple as the two finishes off the movie the way it began. With a spontaneouslyblissful smooch. The End.
The man wins either way. Sure, one of the women gotwhat they wanted, but the other was left without her dignity. The second Hallmark movie I watchedwas Holiday Engagement (2011). The thumbnail for this movie shows a guy kneelingproposing to a woman.
This leads one to believe that the man would chasing thewoman in this movie. I asked myself, will they send the message that the womanis the prize this time? Or will it be more or the same? In this film the focusis on a newspaper writer named Hillary, a woman looking to have a Thanksgivingdinner at her hard to please mother Meredith’s house. Being 30, she feels as ifher time is running out, so to speak. Luckily for her, she finally finds agreat guy named Jason to bring home for the holidays. Jason presented as a stud; Hilary’smom should be satisfied.
Yet, a couple of days before the dinner, Jasonbreaks-up with Hillary. (I was surprised) He has been offered a promotion inPittsburgh, away from the East Coast where her family lives, and she has been procrastinatingmoving. 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 anactor, (David) to play Jason’s role, with the promise of airline tickets Hillwon in a contest.
Yet, when they make it to Meredith’s house, all goes at firstwell. David aka Jason charms Meredith and gets along well with Dad and Hill’ssisters. But, small strange qualities do burst forward.
David and Hilary neverseem to click, that was sort of weird, and David makes a few small mistakes inhis new role. To complicate things even more, the actual Jason comes on the dayof the holiday. After all the hysterics, Hilary falls in love with thestruggling actor. Once again, the man wins. Though this man wasn’t looked at as perfect and he was not being chasedby the woman.
The roll of the woman still seemed passé. The one line that stoodout to me while watching was Hilary’s “I will do anything for a man thisThanksgiving, 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 hardlyknew. Not exactly family friendly. Not exactly something to show your youngdaughter. The Hallmark Channel Christmas movies are typically family oriented,but after viewing these movies one can see a pattern of edge content.
At timesit makes a viewer wonder what demographic these movies are geared towards. Thisis very confusing for the consumer. There are shirtless tattooed me inunderwear.
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 inalmost every other Christmas movie I’ve viewed. The last movie watched was a very uniquemovie. The movie was call “Annie clause is coming to town.” I selected thismovie because the title had a nice ring to it, it sounded intriguing and leadactress was attractive. That’s how Hallmark hooks the viewer in. The movie isabout the legendary Santa Clauses biological daughter he so fittingly namedAnnie, 29.
Annie has spent her entire life on Santa’s village and suddenly getsthe urge to venture outside of ole St. Nicks domain. Now, Annie has two choiceseither: A. go outside the village build her own normal life or B. Carry on herfather’s legacy and become the new Santa when her father retires. Annie excels at her father’s workshop, but feels like she is missingsomething. You guessed it, her Santa hat and her man.
(Hallmark channel does itagain.) Her goal was to find her true love move back to the north pole and pickup where her parents left off. In reality women have real goals like endingworld hunger, stopping global warming, and feeding the homeless. In these Hallmarkmovies 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 shiningarmor. It is important to know that as all ofthis is happening her father and an evil elf is keeping a close eye on her.
Herfather is concerned with her safety and the elf wants her inheritance. The elfimpersonates the man Annie has fallen in love with her and she must correctlychoose between naughty and nice. We are now in the 21st century.
Womentoday are trailblazers. They were once looked at as only fit to be housewiveswho stayed at home while their husbands were out working. Wake up, take care ofthe children, cook, clean, and wash. Point blank, cut and dry.
Nothing more. Nowthey are viable candidates for presidency. Times have changed.
Even Hollywoodhas began to place women into more lead rolls and no longer treating them asstrictly eye candy. Women are being taken more seriously. With all that beingsaid, the Hallmark channel elected to stay the same. I do have a few solutionsto fix the issues I see in their presentation of the ladies. No more money hungry women. Not all women arelooking for a man to pay their way through life.
Women this day in age takepride in being independent. Last time I checked, many women are the breadwinners in their respective households. If the director is going for arealistic movie, then having a woman lead the household on screen would be agreat start into fixing this problem.
Or maybe even create a level playingfield presenting both the male and female together with a common goal. Thestatus quo just doesn’t cut it today. If there has not already been backlashtowards the repetitiveness I have a feeling it is soon to come.
All in all, themovies were surprisingly entertaining. Scooping the current landscape if T.V.and movies as a whole, I truly believe that women are very close to levelingthe playing field and finally reaching their goal of on-screen justice.