Reflection 013: Joy of predictable movies

This Christmas, I’ve unplugged from my usual “go, go, go” schedule to spend quality, chill time with my family. We’ve had a lot of great meals with friends and extended family members, but we’ve also had a few good movie-watching moments.

If you follow me on Instagram, you probably know that I really like movies, especially award-season movies. Sure, my palette may not be as deep or knowledgable as I’d like it to be, but I do enjoy the many aspects of storytelling needed to pull off an Oscar-worthy film.

However, I also really love the movies on Hallmark. And while one could certainly make an argument for (or against) their caliber, one cannot argue against their predictability (just as my dad). And you know, at least during this Christmas season, there’s something pretty great and surprisingly refreshing about that fact.

In short: boy meets girl. Boy’s friend, coworker or family member somehow works in tandem with girl’s friend, coworker or family member to ensure that said boy and girl at least give it a go. There may be a twist (or two!) along the way, but let’s face it, the movies are too short to fully bake those twists. The ending is always the same: some magical moment that gives you the warm fuzzies.

Now, I won’t sell this as something to overly long for in one’s own real life, but it is pretty great to see unfold on the screen. For those short moments, viewers are immersed in a story (usually one that begins in a big city and then meanders its way into a beautifully snowcapped, small town, say in Montana!) and are able to experience the wonder of possibility.

Why do I say wonder of possibility? Well, I say this because the movie never shows what happens after that spark. It’s a “Kiss and then cue the curtain” type of ending.

I’m a romantic, so this is all fine by me. But again, I realize that harm that overemphasizing this can bring, but I do think there is some “magic” in the unknown of “whatever happens next.” Don’t you think?

Before I start typing another paragraph about this and risk convoluting these thoughts, let me close with a few notes on how this could be applied to your life:

  • Next time you have down time, watch a Hallmark movie. Any one will do, really!

  • Know that it’s going to be one of the most predictable films you’ve ever seen, and that’s a-ok.

  • When it ends, think about what enters your mind. Is it a happy or sad thought?

  • Then, using your imagination, create the next chapter of the main characters’ stories.

  • Finally, for those wanting to date, take someone out, and think about ways to implement what you watched into the date. Sure, it may not be a tangible activity, but I bet you can find something to use (even if it’s just a little bit of courage, knowing the date might not be Hallmark perfect but you’re still up to try).

Thanks for reading, y’all. No, I didn’t originally intend for this post to lead to “dating tips,” but I guess that’s where we’ll close. However, I stand by my thought: there is joy in predictable (and I’ll add here “romantic”) movies.

Maybe in another post I’ll talk about the possible harms, but I’ll leave that for then. Speaking of, though, it’s probably unlikely that your life will mimic whatever unfolds on that Hallmark screen, but I do believe there can still be learnings (or takeaways) from watching it, even if it’s just joy (or courage!).