I am a movie snob normally. But sometimes you just want a sweet romantic story to watch. Hallmark, while not a bastion of great writing or acting, has pulled on my heartstrings more than once. So I present a list of my favorite Hallmark romance movies. These are ones where the acting isn’t bad, the script is pretty cute and the leading guy is actually good-looking.
These are not in any particular order!
Anything for Love
Two lonely people find love on an internet dating site. But he thinks she’s an executive assistant and she thinks he’s a doctor. It comes down to the high-powered CEO and the male nurse to decide if the white lies their friends told to get them together is enough to break them apart.
I love this one because even though the drama of the white lies is a little weak – how can you be mad at him for telling you he’s a doctor when you’ve been telling him all along you’re
an executive assistant? – but it’s the progression of the love story arc is what makes it fun. They’re not rushing to do anything but get to know each other, which is refreshing.
The relationship between Katherine and her father is touching because you see their love for each other despite their differing expectations. And that works because it happens all the time in families.
A Gift Wrapped Christmas
A personal shopper helps a single dad see the joy and importance of Christmas, while exploring their growing attraction for each other.
One of the things that make this movie super cute is the actress who plays Gwen, Meredith Hagner. She is a joy to watch. Her Gwen is funny, friendly and light-hearted in contrast to Travis Milne’s Charlie, who is still reeling from the death of his wife. His insistence on throwing himself into his work has
affected his young son more than he thought until Gwen comes into their lives.
I love this movie because it’s a cute take on enemies to lovers. That’s probably too strong a phrasing. People who annoy each other to lovers – how about that? But it’s a relatively slow burn to romance so that by the time they get to know each other really well, their coming together feels inevitable instead of forced.
Quite honestly, my favorite of the Christmas movies.
A single mom trying to finish her college degree interns at a tech company for the summer. Being the hot mom has benefits when both heads of the company take an interest.
This one spoke to me. As an older student it’s hard to come into an environment where you could easily be everyone in the room’s mother.
One of the great things about this movie is that her choice between the drop-dead gorgeous and hyper CEO and
the more quiet CFO is not an easy one. First, she shouldn’t be interested in either of them. She’s their employee. And second, they’re long time friends and colleagues which makes the love triangle that much more awkward for her.
The ending is a bit disappointing. When she makes her choice, it feels like the right one, but it’s not much of a choice. It’s sort of a no-brainer when the alternative is someone who did something totally unethical and selfish.
A girl that is always the bridesmaid and never the bride is bridesmaiding for one of her last remaining single friends. At the reception, she meets a cute and friendly wedding photographer who dreams of being a documentary film maker.
I love the immediate chemistry and friendly banter between the two right off the bat. New friends to lovers is a bit of a trick that you don’t make the scenarios feel forced or rushed.
The conflict comes in the form of
each other’s dreams. While he wants to be a filmmaker, he seems too unsure of himself to submit his work to a film festival. She works for her family at their insurance firm but makes handmade jewelry in the mean time. They support each other in their dreams but ultimately, it’s what creates the tension and drama of the climax. Clever and cute.
Falling for Vermont
A famous writer of middle grade adventure novels gets into a car accident while trying to escape the pressures of her crazy life. When she comes to, she realizes she has no idea who she is or where’s she’s from. The kind doctor of this small town takes her under his wing to see if he can help get her memory back. But sparks fly and she suddenly finds herself wondering if she wants to go back to her old life, or stay with the handsome single dad of two.
I really liked this one not just
because I’m a writer myself (it didn’t hurt). I liked it because even though the amnesia trope can seem sort of soapy, the progress of her gaining her memories back seemed at least somewhat realistic.
I like how she not only slowly bonded with the dad but also fell in love with his kids as well.
This one is a cute jaunt down trope lane that actually ends up being pretty darn good, regardless.
Spirit of Christmas
A real estate lawyer goes to a bed and breakfast near the border of Canada to sell the house of a deceased client so they can settle her estate. She finds more than she bargained for when she realizes that everything everyone has been telling her is true – a ghost of a young man haunts the house. And he has no intention of leaving or letting anyone move into the house.
A paranormal Christmas romance?
Sign me up. Let’s put aside the fact that the ghost is smoking hot. The chemistry between the lawyer and ghost is fantastic. They really come to care for each other. And it’s not even the leads that make this story good. This a true spooky ghost story with a mystery to solve. The mystery is a true mystery and will keep you guessing to the end.
Unleashing Mr. Darcy & Marrying Mr. Darcy
It’s a two-fer! I admit. I am nerd for all things Jane Austen. Pretty much the only thing that got me to watch the first movie was because it said “Mr. Darcy” in the title. I was pleasantly surprised. The first one is loosely, and I mean loosely, based on Pride and Prejudice. A young woman clashes with the judge at a dog show competition when she shows her King Charles Cavalier spaniel at his show. But as P&P usually progresses they come to appreciate the other and deal with family and expectations when a middle class girl meets a rich boy.
This theme is extended when Marrying Mr. Darcy starts. The two are engaged and the pressures of planning a wedding, dealing with Mr. Darcy’s obtrusive and critical aunt, and the fact that her fiance seems to be busy all the time take a toll on their once amazing love. In it of itself, it’s a cute stand alone movie that you don’t necessarily need to see the first one to enjoy. This one suffers from the usual “If you just stopped being a dork and tell her what’s going on when she’s obviously on the edge and is ready to end the engagement” silliness but otherwise it’s a cute show.
The Perfect Catch
A single mom’s famous baseball player ex-boyfriend comes back to their hometown to escape scandal. As they get to know one another again, seems the flame hasn’t quite been extinguished by the time apart.
First reason I liked this one. It’s all about priorities. And in life, priorities are important especially if your life
isn’t going the way you want it to. What’s more important – career, family, love? It’s a theme explored quite well in this movie.
The second is the relatively slow burn of the romance between the two. Both have been in bad relationships and neither wants to repeat the past. But the past is the key to what they find in the present. They take a chance and without giving the way the ending too much let’s just say that taking the leap of faith can sometimes have wonderful consequences.
So how did I do? Did I forget any? What’s your favorite Hallmark romance movie? Let’s discuss it in the comments!
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