The Hallmark Movie: I Nail It Again!
The movie has been on about ten minutes when I walk into the room. Oh dear God no, Spike is watching another Hallmark flick. The woman in the movie is about to go meet her boyfriend for dinner. She is very excited, because she thinks he is going to propose. After all, they’ve been going out for eight months and a girl can’t, you know, wait forever.
I sit quietly for a bit and then proceed, in my usual delightful way, to announce what would be happening over the next nearly two hours of the film.
“He’s going to dump her,” I say, and thirty seconds later the boyfriend, who was too serious and pasty-faced to be an actual love interest in a Hallmark movie, does just that. Breaking up with a woman, and not appreciating her general wonderfulness is, of course, the second worst crime a man can commit in a Hallmark movie. The third is not listening to her and the first is the unspeakably monstrous act of…cheating. This is a transgression so heinous that, while perhaps not all will admit it, there’s not a single woman in the viewing audience who would not recommend a punishment of lethal injection for any offender. And a good many of them wouldn’t mind pushing the plunger on the syringe, either.
The woman, the aforementioned Dumpee, is also a doctor, and she later that same night finds out that her fellowship to a fancy-pants Boston hospital has fallen through. She runs home to Daddy, who it turns out is also a doctor. After enduring some recreational whining from his daughter, Daddy promises he’ll make a few phone calls and find an equally prestigious position for her. Those poor, suffering white people and the problems they must endure!
And suddenly I felt the need to again step in with my updated predictions:
“Okay, so she’s going to go to some cabin in the snow for a month to ‘get away from it all.’ She’ll meet some guy who’s handsome in a non-threatening way, and who wears flannel shirts, owns a dog or a kid that he loves more than anything and, eventually, will teach her the true meaning of life and love.”
In actuality, she gets a fellowship to a small town w-a-a-a-y up in Alaska. It’s all that’s available, and so she goes. At this point I leave the room for a few minutes and when I come back she is riding into the tiny Alaskan town with some guy in a truck. He’s young, mildly good-looking and is (Bingo!) wearing a flannel shirt. He takes her to the place of residence that the town folk are providing for her. It is, of course, a glorious cabin in the snow.
“She’s going to fall for this guy, and for the town itself. When Daddy calls with a new fellowship in some upper-crust hospital she’ll decide to stay in the small town and with the flannel-shirted guy, having learned the real meaning of success and happiness.”
And an hour and fifteen minutes later that’s exactly what she does. Daddy calls and tells her the original fellowship in Boston has again become available, but by now she has treated an endless number of the local yahoos, and kissed the flannel guy several times. (Closed mouthed—no tongue.) In one scene she even went so far as to hold his hand. Without gloves! She turns Daddy down, and tells him she’s staying right where she is, in Moosepoop, Alaska, or whatever the hell that town was called.
By this time I’m more than a little impressed with myself and the accuracy of my predictions. My celebration is a tad tempered by the fact that the flannel guy turned out to have neither a cute dog nor kid, but he produced something better: his loveable old elf of a dad, who is played by the always endearing Brian Doyle-Murray. How much cuter can you get than that?
Two hours later I was watching a movie I had already seen several times. Spike entered the room and I explained that the fellow in the front seat talking dirty with the pretty woman was indeed married to someone else. His wife, however, was back at the house, where she was getting stoned and about to make love with her own mother-in-law.
“This isn’t a Hallmark movie, is it?” asked Spike.