A Ranking of Hallmark's Most Iconic Holiday Movies Based on How Problematic They Are

We hereby present to you, the Snowflake Scale.

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Hallmark

Look at any given Hallmark holiday movie poster, and you'll see the same thing: a woman dressed in an unbuttoned winter coat with a flowing scarf loosely draped around her neck. Her long hair is perfectly styled in loose curls, and the charmingly rugged man holding her is gazing at her adoringly.

But along with the saccharine story lines and meet-cutes, these movies are almost completely lacking in diversity—with couples typically white, heterosexual, and younger than 30. Meanwhile, at a time when intersectionality is more important than ever, Hallmark is the only non-news channel in the top 15 whose viewership increased in 2016. In other words, more people are tuning in to watch these movies than ever. In the immortal words of the internet: y tho?

What is it that lures us in? Is it the idea of happily ever after for an unbelievably photogenic couple? The thought of a perfect first kiss on Christmas Eve? The thrill of leaving big city life for a small town devoid of real issues? Or is it pure despair at the state of the world and a need for escapism? In an effort to find out, we selected 12 Hallmark films—one for each day of Christmas—and rated them on a scale of diversity, gender roles, and romantic comedy cliches. We hereby present to you, the Snowflake Scale.

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1 'Moonlight & Mistletoe'

Plot summary: This 2008 film stars Candace Cameron Bure as Holly, a woman who left the small town where she grew up. Now a busy career woman, Holly is called back to run Santaville (her family's Christmas theme park) when her father is injured, and she finds that the local holiday spirit is dwindling. By joining forces with her father’s handsome employee Peter, Holly reignites her own love for Christmas. Yay!

Stray observations: First of all, of course her name is Holly. Second of all, the bad guy is a brunette, and the good guy is blonde. Also, if you're wondering what Holly’s all-important job is, we never find out. Must have not been that important after all, given she abandons it so quickly.

Heterosexual relationships: All.

Homosexual relationships: None.

People of color: None.

People with disabilities: None.

A woman who is successful in her career but unlucky in love: Yes.

Stereotypes of a busy career woman, such as eating Chinese food straight out of the carton while wearing a sleek, tightly-tied ponytail: Yes.

She’s in a relationship at the beginning of the movie, but it’s obvious they’re all wrong for each other: No.

A goofy father or overbearing mother: Yes. Her father, played by Tom Arnold, is extremely goofy. Disturbingly so.

A kindly supporting character who offers wise advice about relationships: Yes.

An obnoxious, demanding boss who has no regard for personal lives: Well, yes, in that Holly is the overbearing, demanding boss.

A career woman who suddenly realizes that work isn’t everything: Yes.

An obligatory supporting character romance that we saw coming a mile away: Yes (Holly’s father and his employee, Ginny, are clearly going to get together).

A romance budding after two opposites reluctantly find themselves attracted to each other (bonus points if they were childhood friends or sweethearts): Yes—Holly and Peter met as kids and end up falling in love after reuniting as adults.

Frustrating heteronormative qualities exhibited by each and every character: Yes. The moment she arrives at his house, Holly’s father expects her to get in the kitchen and cook meatloaf. And at the end of the movie, she is married and pregnant.

Someone who hates the holiday comes to love it: Yes. Holly the Workaholic Suddenly Learns That Work Isn’t Everything and Focuses On What’s Important In Life! In other words, she marries a man who, despite having several college and graduate school degrees, built his entire life around a five-minute conversation with a girl he met once.

A grand, public gesture close to end of film: Yes. Holly’s boss leaves his family on Christmas Eve to rush to Santaville and save the day.

The long-awaited kiss between the two main characters is incredibly chaste and not at all sexy: Yes.

The main character’s “naturally” perfect soft curls never getting wet or frizzy despite prolonged makeout sessions in the snow: Of course.

A long-held grudge between two family members that is solved with one heartfelt conversation that ends with tears: Yes. Holly and her father fix everything from their past while looking at a box of memories from Holly’s childhood.

SCORE: 18/19. (Full-on blizzard.)

2 'Window Wonderland'

Plot summary: Sloan, an ambitious department store employee, is determined to be promoted to head window dresser. But she finds herself in unexpected competition with her colleague Jake, a lackadaisical man whose carefree attitude clashes with her organized efficiency. But as the two work against each other, they learn to work—and more!—together.

Stray observations: Wow, she’s a brunette! And has short hair. Maybe this is Hallmark’s idea of diversity. Unfortunately there are insulting gender stereotypes—i.e., the woman who works hard and takes everything too seriously is paired off with the happy-go lucky man who is actually a genius and will teach her how to enjoy life. When they get locked in the store overnight, he lies and tells her she’s can’t get out when she actually could have, and she’s only mad at him for a few minutes! He basically traps her and that’s really creepy, but opposites attract!

Heterosexual relationships: All.

Homosexual relationships: None.

People of color: One.

People with disabilities: None.

A woman who is successful in her career but unlucky in love: Yes.

Stereotypes of a busy career woman: Yes. Sloan is shown working at home morning and night. She just never stops thinking about windows!

She’s in a relationship at the beginning of the movie, but it’s obvious they’re all wrong for each other: Yes. He’s wealthy, elitist, snobby, and aloof.

A goofy father or overbearing mother: Yes. And said overbearing mother is played by Naomi Judd.

A kindly supporting character who offers wise advice about relationships: Yes. The window-washer. He can see they are falling for each other long before they do!

An obnoxious, demanding boss who has no regard for personal lives: Yes.

A career woman who suddenly realizes that work isn’t everything: Yes. She’s willing to blow everything she's worked on to goof off in public, because her annoying colleague is showing her how to have fun for the first time ever!

An obligatory supporting character romance that we saw coming a mile away: Yes.

A romance budding after two opposites reluctantly find themselves attracted to each other (bonus points if they were childhood friends or sweethearts): Yes, of course. They’re shown in in the opening montages, both getting up and ready for work. Their paths are destined to cross!

Frustrating heteronormative qualities exhibited by each and every character: Yes. Her mother tells her, “Sleep is crucial for women like us. You know—the unmarried.”

Someone who hates the holiday comes to love it: Meh. She didn’t hate it, but she was pretty apathetic.

A grand, public gesture close to end of film: Yes. Making out in the window in font of everyone, including their boss and her mother, seems pretty grand.

The long-awaited kiss between the two main characters is incredibly chaste and not at all sexy: Yes.

The main character’s “naturally” perfect soft curls never getting wet or frizzy despite prolonged makeout sessions in the snow: No.

A long-held grudge between two family members that is solved with one heartfelt conversation that ends with tears: No. But she does acknowledge that she’s been ashamed of her upbringing and her mother!

SCORE: 16/18

3 'A Christmas Kiss'

Plot summary: Wendy is an aspiring designer working for the demanding Miss Hall. After being trapped in an elevator and sharing a spontaneous kiss with a handsome stranger, she is distraught to learn the man is her boss’ boyfriend Adam—who doesn’t seem quite right for such a steely career woman.

Stray observations: Of course, Wendy is a naturally pretty girl. “You know I don’t like getting glammed up,” she protests when her friends put makeup on her. And when she’s not styled for a night on the town, she wears glasses. So she must be wholesome and down to earth, too! Side note: If Wendy's spending her day decorating a house from top to bottom, why is she wearing high heels all the time?

Heterosexual relationships: All.

Homosexual relationships: None.

People of color: Wendy's roommate.

People with disabilities: None.

A woman who is successful in her career but unlucky in love: Meh. Wendy is not successful yet, but her friends would say she is MUCH too focused on work and no fun at all. That said, her boss fits the description perfectly.

Stereotypes of a busy career woman: Yup. Wendy's boss has the sleek hair, the icy voice, and the biting dialogue.

She’s in a relationship at the beginning of the movie, but it’s obvious they’re all wrong for each other: No.

A goofy father or overbearing mother: No. But she does have two roommates who live in an insanely large loft, and provide the obligatory background chatter/advice about whether she should tell Adam the truth or not while eating ice cream straight out of the carton.

A kindly supporting character who offers wise advice about relationships: Yes. A dude named Charlie advises Adam about “flutters” and “knots” with relationships. Apparently, you should base your choice of a life partner on your levels of indigestion.

An obnoxious, demanding boss who has no regard for personal lives: Yes. Miss Hall, the calculating ice queen.

A career woman who suddenly realizes that work isn’t everything: Yep. Wendy loses her job because of Adam, but doesn’t seem to care.

An obligatory supporting character romance that we saw coming a mile away: No.

A romance budding after two opposites reluctantly find themselves attracted to each other (bonus points if they were childhood friends or sweethearts): Yes. Wendy and Adam are from different economic backgrounds.

Frustrating heteronormative qualities exhibited by each and every character: Yes. Miss Hall is so desperate to marry Adam that she takes the ring from his coat and basically blindsides him with it before he even proposes. If her career is so amazing and she’s so successful, why is she so obsessed with marriage? Plus, Wendy’s roommates deliver lines like, “He’s a guy. Guys can’t figure things out. They need things spelled out for them. Like Hooked On Phonics spelled out.”

Someone who hates the holiday comes to love it: No. Wendy and Adam both love Christmas. That shows that they’re supposed to be together—because they are the only two people in the world who love Christmas!!!!

A grand, public gesture close to end of film: Yep. Wendy tells her boss off in front of Adam, backstage at the ballet.

The long-awaited kiss between the two main characters is incredibly chaste and not at all sexy: Actually no. The kiss happened early and, thank goodness, had at least a little chemistry given that the entire movie is based around it.

The main character’s “naturally” perfect soft curls never getting wet or frizzy despite prolonged makeout sessions in the snow: No.

A long-held grudge between two family members that is solved with one heartfelt conversation that ends with tears: No. And her parents are actually never mentioned in the movie.

SCORE: 11/19

4 'The Spirit of Christmas'

Plot summary: Kate is a single lawyer who is tasked with getting a bed and breakfast appraised and sold following the death of its owner. But the job isn’t as simple as it sounds. The inn is haunted by Daniel, the ghost of a man who died almost 100 years ago but has no idea why he died or who was involved in his death. As she tries to solve the mystery of Daniel’s murder and get the inn on the market, Kate ends up falling for the handsome ghost.

Stray observations: Seriously, Hallmark? Is this your idea of diversity? I haven’t seen a single LGBTQ person, and I can count on one hand the number of people of color in these movies, but you cast the undead as your romantic lead? Also, when Daniel comes back from the dead to be with Kate, he never explains how he managed to do so. And how is their relationship going to work? He lives in this rustic inn, and she lives in the city. He’s a Prohibition-era bootlegger and she’s a workaholic lawyer. He’s from almost 100 years ago and she has an iPhone.

Heterosexual relationships: All.

Homosexual relationships: None.

People of color: None.

People with disabilities: None.

A woman who is successful in her career but unlucky in love: Of course.

Stereotypes of a busy career woman: No sleek ponytail this time, but Kate is Much Too Focused On Her Career.

She’s in a relationship at the beginning of the movie, but it’s obvious they’re all wrong for each other: No.

A goofy father or overbearing mother: Neither. Her parents are never mentioned except that they’re divorced and she is “collateral damage.”

A kindly supporting character who offers wise advice about relationships: Yes. Walter, the inn manager who is somehow unfazed by Daniel’s presence, sees the romance developing between him and Kate. The fact that they're in an interspecies ghost/human relationship doesn't seem to bother him.

An obnoxious, demanding boss who has no regard for personal lives: Naturally.

A career woman who suddenly realizes that work isn’t everything: Yep. She’s willing to give up her entire career after spending about a week with a ghost. Yes, I just wrote that.

An obligatory supporting character romance that we saw coming a mile away: Yes, between Walter and Molly, the nice local woman.

A romance budding after two opposites reluctantly find themselves attracted to each other (bonus points if they were childhood friends or sweethearts): Is being alive and dead opposite enough?

Frustrating heteronormative qualities exhibited by each and every character: The guy who breaks up with her at the beginning of the movie says, “I knew when we met, the man who won you would be beyond lucky. That man just isn’t me.” Um....won her? Seriously? This movie was made in 2015. Meanwhile, before Daniel departs for the afterlife, he tells Kate, “Let this be my Christmas gift to you. You will remember what it means to love and be loved deeply in return." How wonderful for a man to teach her how to love and decide when she is ready for it!

Someone who hates the holiday comes to love it: Kate didn’t hate the holidays, but she didn’t care either way.

A grand, public gesture close to end of film: Not public, but there is a running-through-the-snow-sans-coat scene.

The long-awaited kiss between the two main characters is incredibly chaste and not at all sexy: Yes. You would think Daniel could have put all this extra time he has to use and perfected his skills, but apparently not.

The main character’s “naturally” perfect soft curls never getting wet or frizzy despite prolonged makeout sessions in the snow: Yes!

A long-held grudge between two family members that is solved with one heartfelt conversation that ends with tears: Well yeah, but between two ghosts, over the murder of one of them.

SCORE: 16/19

5 'Sleigh Bells Ring'

Plot summary: Divorced single mom Laurel has been tasked with organizing her city’s Christmas parade, and has to find a sleigh for the local Santa. If the parade is a success, she’ll be promoted to City Manager—and she wants to give her daughter a fun Christmas break. Laurel stumbles across the perfect sleigh, owned by the mysterious Mr. Winter. But the sleigh seems to have a life of its own, and it keeps bringing her in contact with her high school sweetheart Adam, who’s in town visiting from New York. Miracle on 34th Street this is not.

Stray observations: The protagonist is a divorced, working, single mom, so naturally there will be lots of comments about how uptight and stressed she is. At least we know what her job is in this one. Progress! Her almost-fiancé Alex is a Patrick Dempsey wannabe who manages to say lines like, “You know I know woodworking” with a straight face. In other news, this time it’s the man who left the small town for the big city and discovers what’s really important in life!

Heterosexual relationships: All.

Homosexual relationships: None.

People of color: One, her boss, the mayor. Thumbs up for that.

People with disabilities: None.

A woman who is successful in her career but unlucky in love: Yes.

Stereotypes of a busy career woman: Surprisingly, no. More the aforementioned mom stereotypes.

She’s in a relationship at the beginning of the movie, but it’s obvious they’re all wrong for each other: No.

A goofy father or overbearing mother: No.

A kindly supporting character who offers wise advice about relationships: Of course! Aunt Audrey, the bearer of advice and hot tea.

An obnoxious, demanding boss who has no regard for personal lives: Well, her boss is demanding, but he also lets her bring her daughter to work, so he’s kind of cool.

A career woman who suddenly realizes that work isn’t everything: This time it’s the man who this happens to!

An obligatory supporting character romance that we saw coming a mile away: Not a romance, but a romantic surprise between two people who are already together.

A romance budding after two opposites reluctantly find themselves attracted to each other (bonus points if they were childhood friends or sweethearts): Yep, Laurel + Alex 4Eva.

Frustrating heteronormative qualities exhibited by each and every character: No, shockingly.

Someone who hates the holiday comes to love it: No.

A grand, public gesture close to end of film: Not this time, and it really threw me for a loop! I had to rewind a few scenes to make sure I hadn’t dozed off and missed something.

The long-awaited kiss between the two main characters is incredibly chaste and not at all sexy: Yes.

The main character’s “naturally” perfect soft curls never getting wet or frizzy despite prolonged makeout sessions in the snow: No.

A long-held grudge between two family members that is solved with one heartfelt conversation that ends with tears: No.

SCORE: 10/19.

6 'Christmas Festival of Ice'

Plot summary: Emma is an aspiring lawyer waiting on the results of her bar exam. While she helps her mother at the family law firm, she also tries to revive her town’s annual ice sculpting competition. Can she raise $20,000, get to know Nick (the handsome stranger selling Christmas trees), and decide what she wants to do with her future?

Stray observations: I’m just going to say it, it’s weird that Emma's so obsessed with ice sculpting. And how cold does it have to be for ice to remain solid? Because Emma never has a hat on, even when she’s working on the sculpture. But she does put on eyeliner. Priorities! Oh, and in case you were wondering, she decides to not be a lawyer. After going to law school.

Heterosexual relationships: All.

Homosexual relationships: None.

People of color: None.

People with disabilities: None.

A woman who is successful in her career but unlucky in love: Career is TBD.

Stereotypes of a busy career woman: No.

She’s in a relationship at the beginning of the movie, but it’s obvious they’re all wrong for each other: No.

A goofy father or overbearing mother: Yes. Her mother is weirdly obsessed with her daughter joining the family law firm.

A kindly supporting character who offers wise advice about relationships: Surprisingly, no.

An obnoxious, demanding boss who has no regard for personal lives: Yes. Her mother.

A career woman who suddenly realizes that work isn’t everything: Yes. She decides to give up on being a lawyer even though she went to law school, passed the bar and is working at a law firm.

An obligatory supporting character romance that we saw coming a mile away: Oh, yes. Her best friend and Nick's best friend immediately fall for each other.

A romance budding after two opposites reluctantly find themselves attracted to each other (bonus points if they were childhood friends or sweethearts): No.

Frustrating heteronormative qualities exhibited by each and every character: Happily, no.

Someone who hates the holiday comes to love it: No.

A grand, public gesture close to end of film: No.

The long-awaited kiss between the two main characters is incredibly chaste and not at all sexy: Yes.

The main character’s “naturally” perfect soft curls never getting wet or frizzy despite prolonged makeout sessions in the snow: Nah. She has short, straight hair.

A long-held grudge between two family members that is solved with one heartfelt conversation that ends with tears: Yes. And in freezing cold weather.

SCORE: 10/19

7 'My Christmas Love'

Plot summary: Hopeless romantic Cynthia is returning to her childhood home for her sister’s wedding. Dumped just before she leaves, Cynthia brings her friend Liam as her plus one. While visiting her recently widowed father and sister, Cynthia begins receiving elaborate, anonymous gifts—one for each of the 12 days of Christmas. Cynthia becomes convinced that they are coming from one of her former boyfriends.

Stray observations: Were the writers just lazy when they wrote this title? Possibly, but not as lazy as Cynthia, who is supposed to be a popular author but spends literally six seconds on the book she and Liam are working on. Also, Cynthia has no attention span. Does she even remember to feed the partridge, turtle doves, French hens and calling birds that she’s given by the anonymous admirer? I’m worried about them.

Heterosexual relationships: All.

Homosexual relationships: None.

People of color: One.

People with disabilities: None.

A woman who is successful in her career but unlucky in love: Yes, even though we never learn anything about Cynthia’s writing at all other than the name of one of her characters.

Stereotypes of a busy career woman: No. In fact, we get the exact opposite. Curly hair, bubbly personality, and lots of cupcakes.

She’s in a relationship at the beginning of the movie, but it’s obvious they’re all wrong for each other: If the guy breaking up with her days before her sister’s wedding means they’re all wrong for each other, then yes.

A goofy father or overbearing mother: They got a little crazy with this one! She actually has an overbearing father who threatens Liam.

A kindly supporting character who offers wise advice about relationships: Also her father. Multitasking!

An obnoxious, demanding boss who has no regard for personal lives: Cynthia is this, too. She just assumes Liam has no Christmas plans and can come with her to her sister’s wedding.

A career woman who suddenly realizes that work isn’t everything: It didn’t seem like work was much of anything to her to begin with.

An obligatory supporting character romance that we saw coming a mile away: Yes, Cynthia’s ex and Liam’s ex, and Cynthia's dad and Esther (the local pet store employee).

A romance budding after two opposites reluctantly find themselves attracted to each other (bonus points if they were childhood friends or sweethearts): Yup, Cynthia and Liam.

Frustrating heteronormative qualities exhibited by each and every character: We never see any of the men doing anything in the kitchen. And at one point, Cynthia finds her mother’s wedding dress in her closet and tells Liam how she used to “think about my perfect wedding, perfect romance, perfect husband.”

Someone who hates the holiday comes to love it: No.

A grand, public gesture close to end of film: Cynthia chases Liam to the bus stop in the snow to stop him from leaving and declares her love.

The long-awaited kiss between the two main characters is incredibly chaste and not at all sexy: It was better than a few others I’ve seen.

The main character’s “naturally” perfect soft curls never getting wet or frizzy despite prolonged makeout sessions in the snow: No.

A long-held grudge between two family members that is solved with one heartfelt conversation that ends with tears: I don’t think this family fights. I don’t think Cynthia knows how to fight. She only knows how to be bubbly and distracted. But Cynthia and her sister do have a heart-to-heart while chugging champagne straight from the bottle.

SCORE: 13/19

8 'Crown for Christmas'

Plot summary: After Allie—a maid at a fancy hotel—is fired, a mysterious British man offers her a job as a governess in Europe. The good-natured aspiring artist bonds with the rebellious princess and brings some life into the lonely castle, as she finds herself falling for her employer, the king.

Stray observations: Of course there’s a ball at the end, and of course Allie has to borrow a gown, and of course it fits her perfectly. There are also some good makeup cues here: Countess Celia wears dark red lipstick so she must be a villain, while Allie has on natural-colored makeup so she must be wholesome and sweet. Also it should be noted that when the King says he’s in love with Allie, he’s known her for maybe a week. She never even says, “I love you” back. He just assumes she feels the same way and wants to marry him and be a queen. Kay.

Heterosexual relationships: All.

Homosexual relationships: None.

People of color: One.

People with disabilities: None.

A woman who is successful in her career but unlucky in love: She is successful in neither.

Stereotypes of a busy career woman: No.

She’s in a relationship at the beginning of the movie, but it’s obvious they’re all wrong for each other: No.

A goofy father or overbearing mother: Neither. Their parents are dead.

A kindly supporting character who offers wise advice about relationships: Yes.

An obnoxious, demanding boss who has no regard for personal lives: Yes.

A career woman who suddenly realizes that work isn’t everything: No.

An obligatory supporting character romance that we saw coming a mile away: No.

A romance budding after two opposites reluctantly find themselves attracted to each other (bonus points if they were childhood friends or sweethearts): She and the King are from different backgrounds. He’s reticent while she’s outspoken. He’s formal while she’s goofy. But they’re clearly meant for each other!

Frustrating heteronormative qualities exhibited by each and every character: She is a maid and then a governess. Very stereotypically feminine, subservient roles.

Someone who hates the holiday comes to love it: No.

A grand, public gesture close to end of film: Yes. The King chases after her. On a horse.

The long-awaited kiss between the two main characters is incredibly chaste and not at all sexy: Yup.

The main character’s “naturally” perfect soft curls never getting wet or frizzy despite prolonged makeout sessions in the snow: Yes.

A long-held grudge between two family members that is solved with one heartfelt conversation that ends with tears: No.

SCORE: 10/19

9 'A Perfect Christmas'

Plot summary: Cynthia and Steve are newlyweds celebrating their first Christmas together. She wants everything to be perfect for his visiting family, including his intimidating mother. But they both receive life-changing news just before the holiday, and the moment their first guest arrives, things begin to go wrong.

Stray observations: They met only 14 months ago and are already married. That was fast! Her doctor never asks her how she feels about her pregnancy or offers to discuss any options. She just assumes Cynthia will have the baby. I didn’t really expect “abortion” to be said in a Hallmark Christmas movie, but I thought a euphemism like “options” might be referred to. The doctor doesn’t even ask her how she feels about being pregnant. She just says, “You can add having a baby to your very long to-do list” and asks her, “Do you want to call your husband with the good news?” Maybe it’s NOT good news, Doctor. Also, Cynthia's husband just lost his job, but they don’t talk about money and the cost of a baby at all.

Heterosexual relationships: All, of course!

Homosexual relationships: None.

People of color: Get ready...two! Her colleague and her doctor.

People with disabilities: None.

A woman who is successful in her career but unlucky in love: No.

Stereotypes of a busy career woman: No.

She’s in a relationship at the beginning of the movie, but it’s obvious they’re all wrong for each other: No.

A goofy father or overbearing mother: She has the father, her husband has the mother.

A kindly supporting character who offers wise advice about relationships: No.

An obnoxious, demanding boss who has no regard for personal lives: Yes.

A career woman who suddenly realizes that work isn’t everything: She and her husband have The Plan for their lives and are initially upset when The Plan is thrown off track. But at the end of the movie say, “Who cares about the old plan? We just locked into a much better one.”

An obligatory supporting character romance that we saw coming a mile away: No.

A romance budding after two opposites reluctantly find themselves attracted to each other (bonus points if they were childhood friends or sweethearts): No, they’re already married.

Frustrating heteronormative qualities exhibited by each and every character: Again, the complete lack of discussion about abortion.

Someone who hates the holiday comes to love it: No.

A grand, public gesture close to end of film: No.

The long-awaited kiss between the two main characters is incredibly chaste and not at all sexy: They are married, so they kiss early in the film. But it’s not that sexy.

The main character’s “naturally” perfect soft curls never getting wet or frizzy despite prolonged makeout sessions in the snow: Yes. Her hair looks perfect the entire film.

A long-held grudge between two family members that is solved with one heartfelt conversation that ends with tears: She and her mother in law seemingly resolve a lengthy period of tension by talking about a locket.

SCORE: 10/19.

10 'Fallen Angel'

Plot summary: Terry is estranged from his widowed father who spent Terry’s childhood obsessed with work. After his father dies, Terry returns to his hometown in rural Maine to settle the estate. But when he meets the beautiful Katherine and her adorable daughter, he is inspired to address the ghosts from his past.

Stray observations: WTF are Gary Sinise and Joely Richardson doing in this movie? Gary was in Forest Gump! And Apollo 13! And The Green Mile! And Joely is the daughter of Vanessa Redgrave! She’s played everyone from Lady Chatterly to Emily Dickinson! That being said, it’s good to see characters who are a little older than the usual protagonists.

Heterosexual relationships: All.

Homosexual relationships: None.

People of color: One.

People with disabilities: None.

A woman who is successful in her career but unlucky in love: No. This time it’s a man.

Stereotypes of a busy career woman: No.

She’s in a relationship at the beginning of the movie, but it’s obvious they’re all wrong for each other: No.

A goofy father or overbearing mother: No.

A kindly supporting character who offers wise advice about relationships: No.

An obnoxious, demanding boss who has no regard for personal lives: No.

A career woman who suddenly realizes that work isn’t everything: No.

An obligatory supporting character romance that we saw coming a mile away: No.

A romance budding after two opposites reluctantly find themselves attracted to each other (bonus points if they were childhood friends or sweethearts): Yes.

Frustrating heteronormative qualities exhibited by each and every character: Yes. After Terry kisses Katherine and she pulls away, they have this exchange:

Katherine: “I shouldn’t have done that.”

Terry: “It was the right thing to do.”

Katherine: “Are you sure?”

Girl. Shouldn’t you be the one who decides if kissing someone is the right thing to do? Why is she asking him for affirmation?

Someone who hates the holiday comes to love it: No.

A grand, public gesture close to end of film: He quits his job, flies across the country to be with her, and surprises her.

The long-awaited kiss between the two main characters is incredibly chaste and not at all sexy: Yup.

The main character’s “naturally” perfect soft curls never getting wet or frizzy despite prolonged makeout sessions in the snow: No.

A long-held grudge between two family members that is solved with one heartfelt conversation that ends with tears: Yes. But one of them is already dead, so.

SCORE: 11/19

11 'Falling for Christmas'

Plot summary: Claire is a figure skater determined to compete in the national championships, but she is sidelined by an unexpected injury. While staying at a rehab clinic in the mountains, she meets a retired hockey player named Luke and his young daughter, and begins to question her life choices. But her coach won’t let her go that easily.

Stray observations: Naturally, Luke saves her life when she goes skating on cracked ice. And in other news, her coach shows up at the clinic, uninvited, and follows her around trying to keep her from spending time with anyone else. Stalkerish, much? Also if you're wondering, yes, Claire abandons her lifelong dream to be with a man she’s never even kissed. Practical!

Heterosexual relationships: None.

Homosexual relationships: None.

People of color: Four!

People with disabilities: None.

A woman who is successful in her career but unlucky in love: Yep, Claire has no life outside of training.

Stereotypes of a busy career woman: No. Claire is the first character I’ve seen who should actually wear her hair in a sleek ponytail but she never does.

She’s in a relationship at the beginning of the movie, but it’s obvious they’re all wrong for each other: Does her trainer count? He’s incredibly possessive and creepy.

A goofy father or overbearing mother: No, her mom seems pretty cool, TBH.

A kindly supporting character who offers wise advice about relationships: No.

An obnoxious, demanding boss who has no regard for personal lives: Yes, Julien her coach.

A career woman who suddenly realizes that work isn’t everything: Yes.

An obligatory supporting character romance that we saw coming a mile away: Yes, Luke’s best friend and Claire’s mom.

A romance budding after two opposites reluctantly find themselves attracted to each other (bonus points if they were childhood friends or sweethearts): Yes, Claire and Luke couldn’t be more different.

Frustrating heteronormative qualities exhibited by each and every character: Not so much here, unless you count GIVING UP EVERYTHING SHE WORKED FOR TO FIT INTO A MAN’S LIFE.

Someone who hates the holiday comes to love it: No.

A grand, public gesture close to end of film: Yes. Claire surprises Luke at the local ice rink.

The long-awaited kiss between the two main characters is incredibly chaste and not at all sexy: Yes.

The main character’s “naturally” perfect soft curls never getting wet or frizzy despite prolonged makeout sessions in the snow: Yes, and it drives me crazy!

A long-held grudge between two family members that is solved with one heartfelt conversation that ends with tears: No

SCORE: 14/19

12 'Christmas Belle'

Plot summary: Belle works with her father when she is hired to make an expert inventory of a large estate’s library. Hunter, the grieving man who inherited the estate, is rude and off-putting to her at first. But Belle’s optimism helps him open his heart—until her local suitor shows up at the estate with an unexpected offer.

Stray observations: “Belle loves books"—what a line! I wonder how long it took them to come up with this dialogue. Also Belle's friend Toby is obsessed with her and definitely qualifies as the Creepy Stalker Guy Who Thinks He’s Being Romantic When He Should Actually Be In Therapy. Also important: The main characters kiss before the final scene of the movie with tongue. Out of 12 films, this is the first one that has shown a kiss with tongue. #Progress. And finally, this film's public proposal comes with a disclaimer: “I know it sounds crazy. We’ve only known each other a few days. They’ve been the happiest days of my life. I know you’re probably going to say no, but it’s Christmas.” What does Christmas have to do with legally binding yourself to someone for the rest of your life?!

Heterosexual relationships: All.

Homosexual relationships: No.

People of color: The actor who plays Hunter is Latino.

People with disabilities: None.

A woman who is successful in her career but unlucky in love: Yes.

Stereotypes of a busy career woman: No.

She’s in a relationship at the beginning of the movie, but it’s obvious they’re all wrong for each other: No, but she is being pursued by someone.

A goofy father or overbearing mother: Very goofy, inept father who doesn’t know what he’s doing and expects her to do all the work.

A kindly supporting character who offers wise advice about relationships: Yes. Angie, the housekeeper tells Hunter, “You belong together” when Belle has been there for just a few days.

An obnoxious, demanding boss who has no regard for personal lives: Yes. Her father.

A career woman who suddenly realizes that work isn’t everything: Yes. She abandons her life, career, and family to go live at some random estate in the middle of nowhere. Though, to my happy surprise, this movie has the strongest female character I’ve seen throughout my marathon. Belle stands up for herself and tells Hunter when he’s being rude.

An obligatory supporting character romance that we saw coming a mile away: Yes. Angie and Belle’s father.

A romance budding after two opposites reluctantly find themselves attracted to each other (bonus points if they were childhood friends or sweethearts): Yes. They clash at the beginning but fall in love.

Frustrating heteronormative qualities exhibited by each and every character: Belle knows how to cook and the one time Hunter tries to do so, it turns out horribly. But even more disturbing is Tony attempting to woo Belle through her father—as if he has to give his permission for them to be together.

Someone who hates the holiday comes to love it: No.

A grand, public gesture close to end of film: Of course! The most grand of them all—a public proposal of marriage.

The long-awaited kiss between the two main characters is incredibly chaste and not at all sexy: Nope. This movie had the most tongue of all. And the kiss happened before the final scene!

The main character’s “naturally” perfect soft curls never getting wet or frizzy despite prolonged makeout sessions in the snow: There’s no snow, but Belle's hair is distractingly perfect in every scene.

A long-held grudge between two family members that is solved with one heartfelt conversation that ends with tears: Yes. She tells off her father, saying he expects too much of her. The next day he appears to have a complete change in personality and tells her everything will be different.

SCORE: 15/19

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