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SNL’s Hallmark Movie Parody Starring James Franco Is Almost As Ridiculous As the Real Thing

Lydia leaves her big city job and her big city fiancé to run her grandmother’s Christmas tree farm, where she falls for her hometown sweetheart, Young Santa. Michelle is a struggling single mother/baker (because of course she is) who finds herself stuck in a snow globe after a Christmas wish gone wrong. Sarah is supposed to compete for the Christmas ice-skating prize, but she hits her head, gets amnesia, forgets her routine, and accidentally becomes a princess.

In a cut sketch starring James Franco as Chris Bearstick, a “Canadian handsome” actor who stars, unpaid, in not one but two Hallmark Christmas movies, the writers perfectly capture the greeting card company’s signature holiday movie formula, which appears to be to design a movie around a combination of the words winter, Christmas, prince, princess, wife, wedding, Santa, holiday, and wish. Bring on Prince Santa!

Saturday Night Live’s parody Hallmark Christmas movies are utterly ridiculous—and yet somehow they’re still not quite as ridiculous as actual Hallmark Christmas movies, as Zachary Jason recently discovered while bingeing the network’s 21-movie countdown. As the sketch points out, these movies are very white and very repetitive, reliant on a limited set of tropes like “Christmas as a vocation,” “Beefy current boyfriends of the female leads who live in the Big Liberal City,” not to mention a besotted clumsy blonde female lead. And they even seem to use the same settings over and over.

But you’ll have to forgive the Hallmark channel for the endless barrage of Christmas content. After all, says the peppy voice of Christmas non-stop present, “this is our Super Bowl!”

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