With the holiday season fast approaching, Hallmark movies are beginning to pop up everywhere. It is hard to imagine the holiday season without sitting with your family and watching the Hallmark channel. I know that I have seen my fair share of Hallmark movies.
They're all sweet and fun-loving. Even though the plots for all their movies are almost the same, people can't help but love them. They provide a sense of warmness while also getting you into the fall and Christmas season. However, as I sit and watch Hallmark movies, I can't help but notice one common theme in all of them.
Whether the protagonist is a boy or a girl, they always teach us that the characters need to be in a relationship in order to be happy. In fact, the whole plot rests on the fact that they need to fall in love.
Hallmark movies start with the protagonist living their life and they are either stuck in a rut, a workaholic, or have been hurt by someone in the past. Each of these factors contributes to the fact that they are not currently in a relationship. Everyone who is in the protagonist's life makes that fact known.
The common lines you hear include, "I just want you to be with someone so you can be happy," "I don't want you to be alone," or have the joking line "I just want some grandkids." There is something wrong with all of these statements.
There is a presumption with the first line. You are already assuming that person is not happy with their life the way it is. Yes, I know the character may not be "truly happy," but being in a relationship isn't going to fix that. In fact, getting in a relationship for the sole purpose of trying to be happy is bound to end dreadfully. But it's only a movie, right? Wrong, Hallmark is subconsciously putting in people's heads that being in a relationship will make them happy. There is so much more to life than being in a relationship.
When it comes to the second line, it is understandable that the supporting characters want the protagonist to no longer be alone, however, the protagonist isn't actually alone. They usually have friends or family. Sometimes it is better to be surrounded by friends than to be in a false relationship. There are some people who are not meant to get married for whatever reason, and that is OK. It is OK to never want to get married or be in a relationship.
Society has made people think there must be something wrong with us if we are not in a relationship or aren't actively seeking one. I am here to tell you that if you don't want to be in a relationship then you don't have to be.
Finally, there is so much wrong with the last line. I know it is mostly a joke, but when you think about it, it is truly wrong. Not only is it selfish, but you are pressuring someone you love to do something that maybe they aren't ready for. In addition, you are setting them up to fail in their relationships. If they have the mindset of being in a relationship simply to appease those around them, then they are setting themselves up for a toxic and painful relationship.
Now don't get me wrong, Hallmark movies are fun and entertaining. They get us rooting for two people to fall in love. I just think we have to think about the messages these movies are sending. There is more to life and happiness than falling in love. Hallmark movies, as sweet as they are, have sold the message that people can't be happy unless they find "the one" and everyone has bought into that.
You may think I am being harsh or that I am taking these light-hearted movies and making them into something it's not, but that is how people get to you. They are subtle and fast-growing and next thing you know, you have bought into lies.
Follow Swoon on Instagram.