Over the last few years, I have made many observations about Hallmark romance movies, including the same four basic plots:

  1. Girl from big city breaks up with longtime boyfriend and travels home to her small town Americana to lick her wounds (and reconnect with old boyfriend).
  2. Girl from big city loses her job and travels home to her small town Americana to lick her wounds (and reconnect with old boyfriend).
  3. Girl from big city travels to her small town Americana to save the family farm/business, etc. from a big bad developer and falls in love with the big bad developer (or old boyfriend) who sees the error of his ways.
  4. Girl from big city travels to small town Americana for a business deal/job assignment or as part of a big bad development group to take over sweet unmarried guy’s family business/farm, etc. and ends up seeing the error of her ways and falling for him.

Let’s see. Have I missed any? Oh, yeah, lowly working-class girl meets a handsome stranger who falls in love with her and turns out to be a prince in disguise.

Now, what is the other element all these Hallmark romances have in common? It’s the girl’s best friend. Here is the breakdown of the best friend (BF):

  1. The BF has no interests of her own. Her sole purpose in existing is to be a constant source of support and cheerleader for the leading lady (LL).
  2. The BF apparently has no job because it is never discussed (except in the movies where she works for the LL. It is never the other way around). Yet she is intensely interested in the LL’s career and continually pushes and encourages her to go for her dreams.
  3. The BF can always take off at any time to go anywhere with the LL.
  4. The BF has no love interest of her own, but always works unselfishly to bring about the relationship of the LL and the LL’s love interest. Never, ever is she jealous and never, ever would she resort to attempting to steal the LL’s love interest.
  5. The BF generally has no family of her own, except on the rare occasions in which her family is useful to serve needs of the LL. The family, likewise, has no other purpose.
  6. The BF never has any problems of her own. She has no dreams of her own. She has no ambition of her own. Her entire life is altruistically wrapped up in serving the LL. Her life is never ever discussed.

I don’t know about you, but in my friendships, there is usually a certain degree of give and take. I find it immensely odd that in Hallmark movies the LL never enquires about anything in the BF’s life.  What a selfish, self-centered character! It’s all about her! I’m not sure I’d want to be friends with her, let alone be her BF.

The other thing that drives me crazy is that in so many of these movies, they just end without any kind of resolution. Girl goes back to big city, realizes she misses boy in small town Americana, and comes back. They come together and kiss (usually at the Founder’s Day dance or the county fair or the town’s squash festival). That’s how you know the movie is over. But they never discuss how they’re going to work this long-distance relationship out. Did she quit her job? If so, how, exactly, is she going to earn a living now, as we know the guy’s meager income will never support both of them. Are they going to split their time between big city and small town Americana? We know the guy is not going to move to the big city. That’s a given. But the two hours are up and we know they’re going to live happily ever after, even if the little details of exactly how that is going to transpire are left out. The BF is thrilled for them.