The worst kept secret in fairy tales is that they conform to a formula. There’s something comforting in that, if a bit predictable. A modern-day equivalent is a Hallmark movie. They are predictable and comfortable, like worn-in shoes. Not great, not bad—just a pleasant way to spend an afternoon (or a holiday season). A bit of warmth when the world feels distinctly chilly. And this isn’t a dig. I have a strange and abiding love for Hallmark movies despite their slow, if well-intentioned, move to include diverse representation (a post for another day).
But I think they could be even better, or better yet, interactive. Remember drinking games from college? What better way to pass the time (hopefully with friends and loved ones) than a nice day with soppy romances and a few shot glasses?
For those who don’t do shots, sips of wine work just as well! And for those who don’t imbibe, chocolate pieces are a nice alternative!
Here’s my game:
Part I. Challenge shots—this is where you make predictions based on the title and picture. If you win the prediction, you choose who takes a shot.
Part II. Shots taken based on the action in the movie and are pretty self-explanatory
Part III. Edition Additions—for subset of movies like holidays or ones regarding royalty.
- Challenge shot: if you can guess the setback for hour 1:40*
- Challenge shot: if protag is trying to live up to a deceased parent
- Challenge shot: one each for every MWD** sighting
- Challenge shot: guess if a piece of handiwork or a baked good brings the couple together
- 1 shot for the meet-cute
- 1 shot for the scene that shows a woman who is overworked and awaiting a much-deserved promotion (1 extra if someone else is undermining her; 1 extra shot if that person will be her love interest; 2 extras if both are shown in the same scene)
- 1 shot for Cleaning*** moment (challenge shot if you know who will clean whom; another challenge if you know what will be cleaned off)
- 1 shot for the almost kiss (challenge if you know what/who will interrupt it)
- 1 shot each time a Type A lets go because of love interest
- 1 shot each time the SBF**** reminds the protag she needs to get a man
- 1 shot each time the love interest tells the protag to relax, slow down, etc.
- 1 shot each time someone’s “city-ness” is commented on by love interest
- 1 shot for stock shots of major cities in which the characters are never found
Holiday Edition Additions
- (HE) 1 shot for each product placement; 2 if it’s specifically for Christmas
- (HE) 1 shot for each Santa sighting
- (HE) 1 shot for Happy, the Hallmark rescue dog, is on screen
Royal Edition Additions
- (RE) 1 shot for royal reveal
- (RE) 1 shot for royal “down to earth” stories
- (RE) 1 shot for each “American-ness” comments by disapproving parent
Wedding Edition Additions
- (WE) 1 shot for each wedding setback
- (WE) 1 shot if the main wedding spawns another wedding/engagement
- (WE) 1 shot each time a family member laments the single status of the protagonist
In the end, no matter how much may say otherwise, a Hallmark movie is all we really need for a good time. ¡Salud!
*The incident that causes the last-minute wrench in the romance
**Minority Window Dressing: visible, but voiceless; usually found in large scenes, like weddings, coffee shops, etc.
*** The Cleaning moment is the first time the protag and love interest touch because someone has something on their face or in their hair. The two lock eyes and then turn away, embarrassed.
****Sassy Best Friend