Great Debate

Which is better: Hallmark channel or Nicholas Sparks rom-coms?

More stories from Rebecca Mennecke

More stories from Julia Van Allen

Seeking Solace
May 13, 2019

Nicholas Sparks movies are a waste of time

If you think Hallmark movies are bad, you should see a Nicholas Sparks movie.

Okay, I get it. I just wrote an entire article about why Hallmark movies maybe aren’t the best (found here). But, honestly, Nicholas Sparks movies are so much worse.

First off, they don’t even have that guaranteed happy ending. Let’s talk about “The Notebook” for a hot second. (Which, by the way, is supposedly the best Nicholas Sparks movie. So, I’m just saying.) Spoiler alert: The entire story is about a guy who writes down his relationship with his wife because she has Alzheimer’s and she dies.

It’s tragically depressing.

In Hallmark channel movies, you never have to deal with this kind of emotional trauma. There’s always a happy ending, and there’s always that happily-ever-after appeal. Sometimes they even add cute animals into the mix, like super adorable puppies.

Plus, like, half of the characters in Nicholas Sparks movies are annoying.

Oh, poor you. You have tension with an ultra-hot guy but you keep trying to ignore it and it’s hard. Life is so rough. I really feel bad for you. Here’s the world’s tiniest violin playing a sad, sad song. Can you hear it?

Another added bonus of Hallmark Channel movies is they’re rated PG. I mean, isn’t it adorable how there’s all this buildup just for them to kiss? It makes the relationship seem so much more adorable and dreamy. When I’m in my room bundled up in a blanket eating ice cream out of the pint, that’s the kind of vibe I’m looking for.

So, if you’re looking for a good movie to snuggle up to this Valentine’s Day, go with the Hallmark Channel ones. I’m serious.

Mennecke can be reached at [email protected].

— Rebecca Mennecke, Currents Editor


Hallmark movies are predictable and lazy

Now, some people around here like to think they know what the best genre of romantic comedy is.

By some people, I, of course, mean the incomparable Rebecca Mennecke. While I love and respect Becca endlessly, I can’t fathom why she chooses Hallmark movies over Nicholas Sparks books and movies.

My brain is broken, and so is my heart.

Nicholas Sparks books and Hallmark movies are both staples in the Van Allen household. From Thanksgiving on, my mother, sisters and I watch hours of Hallmark movies to get into the Christmas spirit. But this is also where I draw a line.

Hallmark movies, in my professional and totally expert opinion, are for Christmastime only. Meanwhile, Nicholas Sparks books and movies have no specific season. Nicholas Sparks books and movies can be enjoyed at any time.

While Nicholas Sparks books and Hallmark movies have a lot of the same characteristics, I acknowledge that a trademark of the modern romantic comedy involves a plot that is fairly predictable.

My dad and I try to guess the plot of entire movies within the first five minutes, and much to my mom’s chagrin we’ve been correct more than once. This romantic comedy genre is hopelessly predictable, and the Hallmark channel is partly to blame!

I will admit that Nicholas Sparks tends to lean on the dramatic, often horribly sad, side of plotlines, but hey, at least they don’t follow the prescribed formula that every film on a certain channel lives by.

I don’t want to label this dependence “laziness,” but does having a set formula for how two people are just destined to meet, fall in love, experience some major setback and eventually end up married in some small town in Vermont exude anything else?

I don’t pretend to be right in every area of my life, but at least I don’t fool myself into believing that the Hallmark Channel movies somehow surpass Nicholas Sparks’ mastery of language and emotion.

Van Allen can be reached at [email protected].

— Julia Van Allen, Op/Ed Editor