RANKING THE 2021 HALLMARK CHRISTMAS ROMANCE MOVIES: SO FAR! Talking through the Hallmark 2021 Countdown to Christmas movies I've seen. Text © Rissi JC

RANKING THE 2021 HALLMARK CHRISTMAS ROMANCE MOVIES: SO FAR!

December 24, 2021 7 Comments

Every year I do this think where I go into ranking Hallmark Christmas romance movies I’ve been watching. Or at least I do in a “so far” sense. This year I haven’t been watching Christmas movies with the same kind of enthusiasm as prior years, something that has probably reflects in the content here. Partially this is for personal reasons and also because, to be frank, there’s simply too many Christmas movies anymore. It takes away some of the magic, but that’s a publication for another day, something I also intended to write on. Irrespective of these feelings, I did film a video earlier on my “so far” rankings and since I did have the good intentions of following that up with some additional titles and see how the rankings change, here we are. Better late than never? That’s the adage we’ll roll with.

LIST | 8 OF THE PRETTY CHRISTMAS MOVIE ROMANCE SCENES

To be transparent, I almost decided against even publishing this. I mean, it IS the 24th, and no one is going to be interested at this point. But the small part of me that still loves these rankings and a challenge couldn’t let the year pass without doing this. Plus, who knows! If I’m THAT ambitious, maybe I’ll share another post if I see a certain number additionally. Since I pretty much said all there is to say in the above opening… we may as well jump into the list.

Note: again, as I say above, I do have a video ranking the movies I’d seen up until that point. For this year, I will go through those again here, but in no great detail. If you want to hear my thoughts, you can check that out in the video.


RANKING THE 2021 HALLMARK CHRISTMAS ROMANCE MOVIES

As always, this is from least to most favorite!


14: MAKING SPIRITS BRIGHT

My instinct for this one said it wouldn’t be one I loved which is why I put it off. I finally did watch it only to be proven right. There’s some production flubs, and I also don’t like it’s subtle women-are-better message. There’s just something missing from this one about the children of former and now rival Christmas décor company owners. Taylor Cole and Carlo Marks star.

13: YOU, ME AND THE CHRISTMAS TREES

This one is average. Nothing really overtly wrong with it, but also nothing I love. I’m particularly annoyed by the message of doing Christmas without all of the traditional trappings (a gag gift exchange, handmade ornaments, etc) means you aren’t doing Christmas “right.” Just because we have different traditions doesn’t mean they don’t still matter to the person. If you’re a fan of Danica McKeller, you’ll probably enjoy this one.

12: THE SANTA STAKEOUT
RANKING THE 2021 HALLMARK CHRISTMAS ROMANCE MOVIES: SO FAR! #RANKINGHALLMARKMOVIES #CHRISTMASMOVIES #HALLMARKCHRISTMASMOVIES #COUNTDOWNTOCHRISTMAS Click To Tweet

Cute, and a different concept for Hallmark, but it’s not great. The film, like many others, has more of a good friend vibe going than “like.” However, on the one hand this is good given the SHORT timeframe these films run, and on the other, we all like a bit of romance. Tamera Howry-Housley co-stars with Paul Campbell.

11: OPEN BY CHRISTMAS

I suspect I’m in the minority in not loving this one. It’s cute and the concept is fun (finding a letter you never saw), but I just didn’t fall head over heels.

10: COYOTE CREEK CHRISTMAS
‘COYOTE CREEK CHRISTMAS’: ALL THE TRADITIONS WIN IN THIS ROMANCE. Janel Parish and Ryan Paevey co-star in this 2021 title. All text is © Rissi JC

I’m not sure why I have this one down so far, but if I had guess, it’d be the repeated plot. I’m really over the whole-misunderstanding-and-getting-mad trope. However the cast makes up for this with Janel Parish and Ryan Paevey, and fun fact, Janel starred in one of my most favorites of 2020, Holly and Ivy.

9: CHRISTMAS AT CASTLE HART

Don’t love this one, but also don’t not like it. Does this make sense? It’s fun to see another 2021 title set in Ireland but the mistaken identity trope is way overdone.

8: A CHRISTMAS TREASURE

Didn’t get this one watched in its entirety, but it was pretty good. There’s still a small town (which isn’t my favorite), but it also allows for the reality that sometimes, no matter how someone loves the people, we want and should be able to have, change. Plus, Jordin Sparks is good in the lead role.

7: CHRISTMAS CEO

Fans of Paul Greene will love this one. I think, when it comes to a concept about CEO characters, I still prefer the one from years ago, Christmas Incorporated, but this one is fun, too.

6: NANTUCKET NOEL

This one isn’t “the best” going by plot, but it takes a few different cues through the acknowledgment of firsts during a Christmas season and also its setting helps to set the film apart.

5: CHRISTMAS SAIL

This one is one that pleasantly surprises me. I like the different storyline about boats, and decorating boats, and it’s fun to see Katee Sackhoff in a Hallmark after seeing her in 24 (years ago) and Longmire. The ending does get a little cheesy with the whole “declaration” bit, but it’s still good.

4: A ROYAL QUEENS CHRISTMAS
‘A ROYAL QUEENS CHRISTMAS’: A BETTER ROYAL ROMANCE ADDITION. Review of the 2021 comedy with Megan Park. All text is © Rissi JC

Fun and lighthearted, and probably one of the better “royal romance” tropes from the network for a while. This one uses the prince-comes-to-America angle, and while there’s flaws (don’t love one of the leads, accents slip, the get-mad-and-be-over scene), it does have charm, too.

3: THE CHRISTMAS CONTEST
‘THE CHRISTMAS CONTEST’: EXES BATTLE FOR THE MOST FESTIVE SPIRIT. Candace Cameron Bure stars in this 2021 Hallmark rom-com. Text © Rissi JC

Finally watched popular Christmas “queen” Candace Cameron Bure’s and aww, it’s cute! I love that even though she’s played the consummate professional career woman before, this go round “feels” different and it’s fun to see her reunite with her Fuller House co-star, too. Additionally, I feel like the script allows for more honesty in this would-be romance rather than the let’s-dance-around-everything-and-anything scenario.

2: NEXT STOP, CHRISTMAS
‘NEXT STOP, CHRISTMAS’: REMEMBERS THE PAST TO FIND HAPPY PRESENT. Lyndsy Forseca stars in this 2021 Hallmark rom-com. Text © Rissi JC

Don’t think this one will stay in the “top spot” overall (note: wrote this back 4-5 movies), but this one is fun! Lots of nostalgia for the character and while I cannot remember the title, it reminds me almost mirror exact of another Christmas movie. Part of my enjoyment of this one is Lyndsy Forseca who co-starred in Nikita.

1: A VERY MERRY BRIDESMAID
‘A VERY MERRY BRIDESMAID’: THE REALLY VERY GOOD ONE. Emily Osment (Hannah Montana, Young & Hungry) stars in this 2021 rom-com. Text © Rissi JC

This one is just all kinds of darling. It may not end up being my most favorite of the year given I plan to watch a few more, but it’s cute and fun, and the leading couple? THEY. ARE. FABULOUS. At least I think so, but perhaps that’s my bias showing for finding Emily Osment a good actress. I mostly love how easy and natural everything feels between the leads.

What about you??? As always, I’d love to chat with you all on how YOU’D rank these or if you have already! Or, do you agree or disagree with my rankings? Which of these did you love best? Which ones do I absolutely HAVE to watch still? Comment all the best advice (or disagreement) down in the comments below! Let’s chat.

Also, I’ve barely watched any Lifetime movies this year; which ones are THE must see titles?

RANKING THE 2021 HALLMARK CHRISTMAS ROMANCE MOVIES: SO FAR! #RANKINGHALLMARKMOVIES #CHRISTMASMOVIES #HALLMARKCHRISTMASMOVIES #COUNTDOWNTOCHRISTMAS #GOODMOVIES #FEELGOODMOVIES Click To Tweet

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RANKING THE 2021 HALLMARK CHRISTMAS ROMANCE MOVIES: SO FAR! Talking through the Hallmark 2021 Countdown to Christmas movies I've seen. Text © Rissi JC

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Photos: Hallmark Channel / Crown Media Press

About Rissi JC

amateur photog. #bookblogger. downton abbey. inspys. internet-photo-shy. writer. the aspiration is to someday write professionally. a girl can dream, right?

Rissi JC

amateur photog. #bookblogger. downton abbey. inspys. internet-photo-shy. writer. the aspiration is to someday write professionally. a girl can dream, right?

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7 Comments

  • Judy December 27, 2021 at 10:05 PM

    Love the list. Some I saw. Some I need to see. I think my top two would be 1. Next Stop, Christmas and 2. Boyfriends of Christmas Past. I did really like the male lead of A Very Merry Bridesmaid. I wish the two leads of Santa Stakeout would have had more chemistry.

    • Rissi JC December 29, 2021 at 2:14 PM

      I didn’t see “Boyfriends of Christmas Past.” Glad to know it’s good as I don’t think anyone talked about that one either way. :) I’ll have to see if I can get a watch in. “Next Stop, Christmas” is LOTS of fun. Plus I love that it’s a mostly-new-to-Hallmark cast. That always seems to give the film new energy. Someone else said that about “Santa Stakeout” too. For some reason I’ve never *loved* Paul Campbell as a leading man. Not sure “why” exactly, I just haven’t so to be fair, that could cloud my opinion of them together. Either way, the plot is LOTS of fun. :) Happy you came and shared your thoughts, Judy!!

  • Chanel M. December 28, 2021 at 10:31 AM

    I have a few of these recorded, but I didn’t watch as many Hallmark movies this year. My favorite so far is One December Night. I really liked the connection between the leads. It also had a similar vibe to Lifetime’s A Christmas in Tune with Reba McIntire, which I enjoyed as well (though this one was a bit over-the-top in places). I definitely want to check out A Very Merry Bridesmaid, and the one with Rachel Leigh Cook and Travis Van Winkle since I like both actors. Thanks for sharing your list!

    • Rissi JC December 29, 2021 at 2:32 PM

      Same. I didn’t watch as many either. I’ve heard good things about “One December Night,” but weirdly I haven’t watched any from HMM. “A Very Merry Bridesmaid” is so cute and same! I really want to watch Rachel’s too. I always seem to love hers. :) Happy you shared your thoughts, Chanel. I enjoy reading what everyone else thinks.

  • Lydia December 28, 2021 at 1:56 PM

    This was delightful! I’m impressed that you’ve seen all of these films.

    • Rissi JC December 29, 2021 at 2:50 PM

      I am too… but what’s worse still is I haven’t watched NEARLY as many Christmas movies this year. Normally by this time I’d have also watched enough on Lifetime to create a “ranking” post for them. I only just watched my second movie from Lifetime last night. *shrugs* It’s what worked for me this year I guess. :D Thanks for the comment, Lydia! Appreciate this.

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