Like, I'm crushing sooooo hard. I can't get enough of them (and in Australia, it's actually hard to feed this craving). We (and by we, I mean my family, not Aussies in general) didn't have Pay TV (have since been exposed to Netflix), and catching a Hallmark movie on Aussie free-to-air television is pretty near impossible.
I discovered them in January 2016 when my husband and kids were away for Christmas school holidays, and I was home writing, and rewarding myself after a hard slog at words during the day with some wine and various Ben & Jerry tubs of ice cream (and I wish I could say they were the small tubs, but, well, they weren't) in the evening, and a fuzzy feel-good romantic movie. Double feature. Marathon. Whatever.
I stumbled across them by accident on Youtube, and then I tried to see if I could purchase/download online (couldn't), and then purchased via Amazon (and still can't figure out how to get multi-zoning on my DVD player!) - but, well, I guess what I'm trying to say is that I LOVE Hallmark movies so much/hard/badly, that I'll pretty much hunt down one at any opportunity, no matter how impossible, because I'm not afraid to earn my Hallmark HEA - they're all the sweeter for the effort.
There. I've said it. I 💖 Hallmark Movies. So much so, that I will research the bejeebus out of a movie I've enjoyed, and if it's adapted from a novel, I will track that sucker down and consume the crap out of it. And yes, those books are thoroughly enjoyable, too! And I've been introduced to a few new love-to-read authors as a result. The Hallmark Movies and Mysteries - oh, boy, think of how much I 💖 the romance movies, and multiply it by a zillion for how much I crush those mystery series (and yep, I'm purchasing DVDs wherever I can for those, too, and the associated books).
It's an addiction - but I'm not sure I can/want to do something about it. I feel like a leprechaun drowning in a vat of whisky, and determined to fight off any rescue efforts.
I think the appeal is that they're just soooo super ... NICE. Sweet. Positive. Heartwarming. Cute. Dreamy - and any other superlative you can think of that would also describe those Ben & Jerry flavours.
From what I've seen, the commonalities in these movies and books are that people are actually nice and respectful toward each other. That even a villain is basically a person with a hurt heart and bad experience/s, and can be redeemed, and that all characters - whether it's the small town setting or the city apartments, farms, etc. contribute to the community/family feel.
Some may call them schmaltzy. To tell you the truth, with what we see happening in the news, with politics, religion and crime, sometimes you need schmaltzy, and I can't see any occasion where excessive sentimentality is a negative, particularly in these times.
So, if you're interested, check your cynicism at the door, grab yourself your favourite comfort snacks and drinks, and settle in for a date with heart-melting romance. Here are my (to-date, but can change because I'm trying to watch as many as I can) Romantic Hallmark Movies Top 5 (Mysteries, Christmas and other holidays, and Series Movies, love-crush heroes, heroines-to-adore, etc. will be other posts!):
Romantic Hallmark Movies Top 55.
Unleashing Mr. Darcy
A Country Wedding
All of My Heart
So, if you have a favourite that isn't listed here, please let me know what it is in the comments below, and I'll add it to my to-be-watched list!