By Colleen Meosky
As we settle into the new year, we move away from the holiday festivities and look forward to the winter classics the Hallmark Channel has to offer. That’s right; the Hallmark Channel never stops. From New Year’s resolutions to snowball fights, there are plenty more opportunities to relax with some hot cocoa and enjoy the best made-for-TV movies the business has to offer. Here are five classics you won’t want to miss:
One Winter Weekend
Following a New Years’ Eve heartbreak, Cara looks forward to having a fun January getaway with her best friend Megan. When the two arrive at their ski resort, they meet two men in their chalet and discover the rental service double-booked the reservation. Cara, Megan, Ben, and Sean eventually agree to make it work since there are no available rooms at the resort, giving the audience two romances for the price of one. This movie was so successful that it earned two sequels in two years!
Taking a Shot at Love
Ryan Cooper(Luke Macfarlane) faces a high ankle sprain, forcing him to take a leave from his NHL career with the New York Rangers. Ryan’s agent has a sister named Jenna(Alexa PenaVega) who had dealt with the same injury in her professional ballet career, so he encourages him to rehab under her instruction in Connecticut. When Jenna’s plan works, Ryan is able to return to the ice, but they must decide what to do when he moves back to New York.
At first, I was afraid the movie would contribute to the gendering of sports. However, I was relieved to see how the movie made it clear that Jenna was as devoted an athlete as Ryan, and it showed boys in her dance classes. I still would have appreciated seeing a female hockey player, but with Ryan’s injury, the film did not spend much time at the rink.
Released in 2019, Winter Castle is a wonderful story about a couple falling in love at a destination wedding. Emilie Ullerup and Kevin McGarry play Jenny and Craig, the maid of honor and best man. Meg, Jenny’s sister, and the groom announce their plan to wed at the Hôtel de Glace, an enchanting ice hotel in Québec. Meg plans to set Jenny up with the groom’s best friend, a widowed father. When the wedding party arrives, Jenny and Craig collaborate to set up the arrangements and get to know one another in the process. Meg’s plan is disturbed when Craig brings another woman, a close friend, as his plus one.
Love in Winterland
Ally(Italia Ricci) decides to participate in a dating show to gain publicity for the hotel she works at, thereby earning her a promotion. As the show advances, Ally unexpectedly starts falling for the show’s bachelor, Tanner(Jack Turner). Soon, it’s time for the hometown visit, so she returns to Maine from her life in LA alongside Tanner. However, matters quickly become complicated when Ally stays at the hotel Brett Hollister(Chad Michael Murray) – her high school sweetheart – manages. Ally has to decide between her new-found connection with Tanner and the rekindling romance of the past with Brett. I highly recommend this one because Jack Turner and Chad Michael Murray are two of Hallmark’s best actors, and Brett’s sassiness provides laughter throughout the film.