January has been very challenging for me. I’ve been suffering withdrawal after binge-watching Hallmark Christmas movies. I am not alone. The Hallmark Channel movies were consistently at the top of adult TV ratings all month. Obviously, I am not the only person in America with this problem.
Every Hallmark movie follows a formula. My favorite one begins with two good friends. One is a Miss America look-alike. The other is only 10th runner-up material or possibly Miss Congeniality. Miss A, as we will call her, is on the verge of a most fabulous career as a:
3. Champion ice skater
4. Wedding planner
However, her love life is empty because:
1. Her boyfriend of six years will not commit to marriage and is clearly more devoted to his career than to Miss A.
2. Her heart was broken by her first love 10 years ago and now her heart is hardened to romance.
3. She has devoted too much time to her career as a chef, ice skater, wedding planner, etc.
Miraculously, her first love returns and Miss A discovers that he is:
1. The groom of the bride for whom she is the wedding planner.
2. The construction manager who has been hired to demolish the historic building where her restaurant, ice rink or theater are located.
3. Divorced or widowed with the world’s most adorable 7-year-old child who bonds with Miss A immediately.
Miss A insists that she has washed her first love right out of her hair, but it is only an act. She looks at him the way I look at a hot-fudge sundae.
First love has a girlfriend but it is clear from the beginning that she is:
1. Two-timing him.
2. A manipulative hussy.
3. A professional model only using Mr. Wonderful as a stepping stone to meet a professional athlete.
The male star, Mr. Wonderful, is secretly the prince of a teeny, tiny country that no one has ever heard of. Miss A cannot become his princess because his mother, the queen, believes an American wife would insist on bringing in Walmart and IKEA to their teeny, tiny country.
This plot is further complicated because for at least half of the movie, Miss A has no idea that Mr. Wonderful is a prince, even though he has a very thick European accent, wears blazers monogrammed with HRH (his royal highness, in case you don’t follow the royals), and has a man servant.
Miss A and Mr. Wonderful would be much better adjusted if they had both sets of parents to guide them. Sadly, mom and dad died in a:
1. Car wreck
2. Plane crash
3. A teeny, tiny country no one ever heard of
When it appears that all obstacles to love have been overcome to unite Miss A and Mr. Wonderful, one of them will overhear only part of a conversation and completely misinterpret it. All is not lost, clarity will come, but only in the last four minutes of the movie when for the first time, their lips finally connect and you can breathe a sigh of relief.
Yes, Hallmark movies are predictable, but like the hopeless romantic that I am, I continue to watch and rejoice that possibly somewhere, in a teeny, tiny country that no one has ever heard of, true love and happily ever after still exist – there and on the Hallmark Channel.