Last year, I filmed a video for Finding Wonderland’s booktube channel that was quite fun. Or I had fun putting it together. On a kind of whim, I decided to film a “Ranking the Hallmark Christmas Movies (So Far).” It led to videos for other campaigns like their Valentine’s Day, June Weddings, and so on. Much fun as I had with it, I didn’t take the time to film an actual Ranking the 2019 Hallmark Christmas Movies (So Far) video this go-round. Instead I just rank Hallmark Christmas romance here instead.
But because it’s fun to talk all of the hallmark things, I did want to still share my thoughts on what I’ve seen this year, at least until this point. What’s the next best thing? Publishing a post on this very subject, of course!
Here’s a list of the films I’ve seen this year:
1: Christmas at Dollywood | 2: Christmas at Graceland: Holiday Homecoming | 3: Christmas at the Plaza | 4: A Christmas Duet | 5: Christmas Town | 6: Christmas Under the Stars | 7: Christmas Wishes and Mistletoe Kisses | 8: Christmas Scavenger Hunt | 9: Merry & Bright | 10: The Mistletoe Secret | 11: Picture a Perfect Christmas | 12: Write Before Christmas
Below, I ‘rank’ them. I’ll be going backwards, so up first is my “least favorite” all the way down to favorite. Like I say every time I rank these movies, just because they aren’t a favorite doesn’t mean they aren’t still sweet. It’s just that, for various reasons, they didn’t work for me.
(Those that have reviews will be linked in the titles.)
How I Rank Some of the 2019 Hallmark Christmas Romance
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12: Merry and Bright
Pretty sure this is only the second time I’ve ranked a romance with Andrew Walker so low. While this one is cute, it feels too similar to others I’ve seen, and I didn’t really love the way everyone plays their characters. The plot follows a failing candy cane company. Find digitally on Amazon Video
11: A Christmas Duet
Another one that just doesn’t work for me. The plot reunites former bandmates, and is cute enough (also the best friend is hilarious), but the actors don’t seem to have any or much of connection which makes the story less sweet, and more, “do they really still like each other?” Check local listings for encore showings
10: Christmas at Dollywood
Just not a “for me” kind of story. Sweet, yes, but it feels too “sudden,” and not all that fleshed out, although as a leading man, I do usually like Niall Matter’s Hallmark movies. Still, this one isn’t a favorite. Check local listings for encore showsings
This one was ranked quite a bit higher when there were a lot less on this list. It’s cute, and I like that the concept is less repetitive (exes are forced together for an annual seasonal scavenger hunt), but it’s also not going to be a favorite of 2019 story. At least not for me, but it does star a favorite Hallmark actor, Kevin McGarry. Find digitally on Amazon Video; or check your local listings for encore showings. Find digitally on Amazon Video
This is one I really wanted to like. It has all the makings of a charmer, old-fashioned romance. I don’t think I can say that I don’t like this one, but it’s so opposite of what I anticipated. Plus, for me, there were too many subplots going on in an already condensed time frame, a restraint that needs the time for a romance to feel genuine. It’s a costly error. That said, I suspect I’d watch it again, and knowing what it is, I’d enjoy. PS: did I mention teen heartthrob Chad Michael Murray stars!? Find digitally on Amazon Video
7: Christmas at Graceland: Holiday Homecoming
I will say, one of the actresses does overplay her role a little bit in places, but this one has that Southern charm that helps to make it a 2019 favorite. Plus, even though its already been done (at least once) in this year’s roundup of originals, I must say, I do like the temporary-nanny trope. I blame this on the oldie romance Au Pair from the then ABC Family (now Freeform) channel. Check local listings for encore showings
Speaking of that “nanny” trope, here’s the second one of the year. What I like best about this one is that it promotes a woman who loves what she does (rather than a character in a career they loathe), but also recognizes she’s missing the good things that make life important. It’s charming, sweet and fun. Check local listings for encore showings
I mean, it’s Jill Wager, and she’s one of Hallmark’s most charming returning leading ladies, so how could we not like this one? Find digitally on Amazon Video; or check local listings for encore showings.
4: The Mistletoe Secret
Went into this one with low expectations, but goodness, it’s cute! Kellie Pickler isn’t the best actor, but the roles she plays “fit” her nicely, and she’s really impossible not to like. It also hurts nothing that Tyler Hynes plays opposite her. Check local listings for encore showings
One of fan favorite Candace Cameron Bure’s more emotional Christmas movies, this one is pure delight. Not to mention, its one I didn’t anticipate liking as well as I do (same can be said of Candace’s 2018 original A Shoe Addict’s Christmas). Check local listings for encore showings
2: Christmas Under the Stars
I’m not sure many people liked this one, but I think it’s darling. Perhaps this is my bias speaking since I love that Jesse Metcalfe and Autumn Reeser re-team, but it’s so sweet. Plus, if you like more than a “romantic-comedy” story, I’d say this one offers a little more weight. Check local listings for encore showings
1: Christmas at the Plaza
Funnily enough, this is another of the ones I’ve seen some “meh” thoughts for this one on social media, but I’m sorry… it’s darling. I think in part the setting is what makes it so endearing. Who can go wrong with a story set at the dazzling plaza!? Check local listings for encore showings
What I’m Still Anticipating
We’re nearing the end of the 2019 Countdown to Christmas roundup (you can see what’s to come in Finding Wonderland’s “preview”), but I’m looking forward to Double Holiday and It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas (Eric Mabius) plus I have A Gift to Remember 2 on my DVR! Which ones do you recommend I still need to make time for?
Do you have a “ranking” list of the Hallmark Christmas movies of 2019? Have you seen all of these… or none? How would you rank Hallmark Christmas romance of 2019? Do you, like me, watch 1-3 of these each weekend? Comment all your thoughts below. I look forward to chatting with you all.How I Rank Some of the 2019 Hallmark Christmas Romance. Talking about how I rank the Hallmark Christmas romance of 2019! #Hallmarkies #CountdowntoChristmas #CleanRomance Click To Tweet
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Photos: Hallmark / Crown Media Press