Some nights call for staying in with a big bowl of popcorn and a Hallmark movie playing on the TV screen. Though the storytelling can get lost in clichés, I find their branding delightful. Thanks to the productions that result from that brand, these stories remind us that there is still wholesome storytelling out there.
I’ve collected the 15 romances that are commonly re-watched in my house. After all, who doesn’t enjoy a fun chick flick on a Saturday night in?
Known for their annual string of Christmas programming, the network also produces romantic-comedies that are lighthearted fun with messages of faith, family, truth and best of all, there are always happily-ever-afters. I don’t know about you, but leading into Valentine’s Day, that is exactly what I look for.
15 Favorite Hallmark Channel Romances
#1. Be My Valentine
Sweet story about a single father, whose profession as a firefighter makes him the perfect candidate for the bachelor auction at the annual fireman’s ball. Of course, when Dan and the florist Kate meet, a very different kind of sparks fly.
#2. Bridal Fever
A lonely romance novelist decides to find the perfect guy for her editor. Cute, snappy and mixing in some nice classic literature references, this film is definitely a chick flick.
#3. Chance at Romance
Wishing his father would find love again (following the death of his mother), a boy represents his well-known photographer father and replies to one of his emails. The woman on the other end of the letter – who just so happens to be a fan of Heath’s work, is invited out to their home unaware it isn’t Heath inviting her. Bad weather, baking and cupid work in harmony to bring these two together.
#4. Come Dance at My Wedding
This is probably the only film on this list that places the romance as a secondary afterthought, but it’s too sweet not to include. It’s about a father and daughter who reunite just prior to her wedding. Plus, I love the element dance plays in the story.
#5. Fixing Pete
Re-imagined as a My Fair Lady story, this one puts the guy in the makeover chair and the leading lady as the teacher.
#6. How to Fall in Love
Starring Royal Pains Brooke D’Orsay, this is possibly my favorite romantic comedy ever to air on Hallmark. It’s not hard to love the characters and the story. While not unique, it is lovely. It’s about a geeky guy who hires his high school crush to be his dating “coach.” This is all sorts of cute.
#7. June in January
This one tells the story of a bride (again played by Brooke D’Orsay) whose soon to be mother-in-law is determined to prove she’s not good enough for her son. All sorts of shenanigans ensue, but ultimately, it’s a sweet story that never goes over-the-top ridiculous.
#8. Love by the Book
Though there is no royalty in this film, it’s very much a modern fairytale. Its heroine, Emma is obsessed with fables – which her quaint bookstore can attest to, and all she wants is to find Prince Charming. When her silent investor sends his son to ensure the business stays afloat and Emma meets the man who sweeps her off her feet, things get complicated.
#9. Lucky in Love
Following an April Fool’s wish list, Mira’s plans for the future begin coming true – dream promotion, new house… and the perfect guy.
Nearlyweds tells the story of three recently married couples who all find out they weren’t legally married. Naturally, it not only causes complications in the lives of the couples, it also makes them reevaluate and ask themselves if they made the right decision. Interestingly, fans of The Flash will recognize Dr. Caitlin Snow as one of the almost-brides.
#11. The Seven Year Hitch
Two best friends – Jennifer and Kevin, are still rooming together, seven years after Jennifer allowed Kevin to move in following college. Now with Jennifer working in a successful job and about to be married, it’s time for Kevin to leave. But afraid of losing his best friend, Kevin finds a loophole to challenge Jennifer’s plans. Though the hero is sometimes a bit too “childish” for my liking, again, this is another one I enjoy when wanting some lighthearted “fluff.”
Concerned for her single mother (played by Kellie Martin), a young girl kisses a frog hoping he’ll turn into a prince. When she finds a man who cannot remember who he is – in a pond, no less! – she takes the frog prince home with her. Love follows and what unfolds is a sweet contemporary fairytale.
#13. So You Said Yes
Part Monster-in-Law, this romance is one of THE most darling films in Hallmark’s originals. It stars favorite Kellie Martin as a vintage bridal shop owner whose main competitor turns out to be her new boyfriend’s mother.
#14. Surprised by Love
High school friends coincidentally run into each other again leading to a perfect solution to Josie’s problem. With her parent’s anniversary party coming and a boyfriend her parent’s don’t like, she brings home her friend as her “plus one,” hoping his free-spirited personality will make her corporate boyfriend all the more appealing. Maybe not my favorite on this list, this film deserves kudos just for incorporating a cake made of Twinkies.
#15. A Wish Come True
A recent original premiere to air on Hallmark, this story has a great message about realizing that our wishes aren’t exactly “real.” The fantasy world its heroine Lindsay lives in (through her wishes) leads her to discover the easy life isn’t what she wanted.
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Are any of these your favorites? If not, which Hallmark Channel Romances are on your favorites list?
Photos: Crown Media Press / Hallmark