With no social events this holiday season, I’ve found myself watching more Christmas movies than I usually do and what I’ve noticed is that the genre has moved almost exclusively from comedy to romantic comedy. If you watch older movies, they are full of silly, almost slapstick humor: Christmas Vacation, Elf, The Santa Clause, Home Alone, etc. But today’s features are Hallmark variety: A Country Christmas, The Princess Switch, The Christmas Inheritance – well, you get the idea.

I wonder when and why the category evolved. It’s not that the funny ones weren’t successful. In fact, Home Alone is the highest-grossing comedy in movie history ($477 million in 1990). Many of the other titles spun off sequels or even a Broadway play. But now we are relegated to multiple variations of the same plot: guy and girl meet, don’t like each other at first, but fall in love by Christmas.

While it may be tempting to binge-watch a series of modern holiday films, make some time in your schedule to appreciate the classics and to share them with younger generations. Romance is wonderful but everyone could use a good ho-ho-ho belly laugh, especially this year.

2 comments

  1. Hi beth, I agree! I wish the comedy genre would return to holiday movies. Perhaps, if the Academy Awards would recognize comedies as worthy as other movies for Oscar contention there would be more directors rushing comedies out there. One good but very overdue change to the Hallmark & Lifetime Holiday movie scene is that the tired old formula of white female needs to be saved by white male over the holidays is at least changing to be a bit more equitable and inclusive. This year viewers can be exposed to a wider lens to include female and female love, male and male love and even other non-white couples! While Happiest Season is being celebrated for having gay people both behind and in front of the camera, some USA Today critics argue that the rom com verges on horror for those recalling the horror of being trapped in the closet. Hopefully, one day storytellers from all walks of live will be able to be included to share their winter celebration stories. Take care, Rich

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