The Absolute Best And Worst Hallmark Movies Of 2022

In an interview about the 2022 Hallmark movie "Perfect Harmony," Hallmark star James Denton said, "[Hallmark movies] are fun. You know what you're going to get, you know it's going to be happy. They're — I won't say predictable, that sounds negative or pejorative — safe."

"Safe" is certainly one way to put it; formulaic, predictable, and squeaky-clean are other ways that people describe Hallmark movies. However, only some of the beloved network's movies veer into the too-safe, predictably boring territory; others push the boundaries (well, Hallmark's boundaries, at least) and offer unique stories, impressive acting, and heartfelt messages. In 2022, Hallmark released movies representing plus-size and LGBTQ+ characters, featured stories about difficult topics like mental illness and loss — and, as always, put out plenty of feel-good vibes. However, the channel also released some duds in 2022. Below, we'll let you know which of this year's Hallmark movies are worth the watch — and which to avoid at all costs.

Best: The Wedding Veil

Starring three of Hallmark's most beloved actresses — Lacey Chabert, Autumn Reeser, and Alison Sweeney – "The Wedding Veil" is about friendship, love, and a touch of magic. When three best friends get together for their annual girls' trip, they go shopping and find an antique bridal veil with a compelling history: The girls are told that whoever is in possession of the veil will find their true love. As you can probably guess, the veil ends up working its magic, and Avery (Lacey Chabert) ends up in the midst of a new romance.

"The Wedding Veil" is the pinnacle of what a Hallmark movie is supposed to be: IMDb reviewers say it's witty, romantic, and the "perfect Hallmark movie." As a bonus, "The Wedding Veil" is just the first in this trilogy — you can also enjoy "The Wedding Veil Unveiled" and "The Wedding Veil Legacy" after watching the original.

Worst: Where Your Heart Belongs

"Where Your Heart Belongs" has a cool and unique premise: A big-city influencer, Mac, comes home to help with her best friend's wedding and reconnect with her family, but things don't go quite as planned. In fact, Mac reveals herself to be a shockingly unlikable character and a selfish friend ... which is precisely why many people disliked the movie. A character who goes through ups and downs can be relatable and enjoyable to watch, but in this case, it's difficult to enjoy a movie when the main character is as self-absorbed as Mac.

By the end of the movie, Mac has learned some lessons, and the viewers are supposed to find her redeemed, but the damage has been done. One IMDb review reads: "No redeeming features about this movie — no coherence in the story, nothing likable about the characters, nonsensical storyline, no chemistry, not fun — just plain awful." Unfortunately, many of the other reviews echo the same sentiments, and with a 5.4 rating, this one comes in as one of the worst Hallmark movies of 2022.

Best: Perfect Harmony

This is what a rom-com is supposed to be. "Perfect Harmony" is undoubtedly a feel-good Hallmark movie, but it's so much more than that. Unlike some Hallmark movies that feel rushed or formulaic, "Perfect Harmony" takes its time developing its characters and their stories. Starring James Denton and Sherri Saum, the movie shows how the two main characters, Jack and Barrett, learn to get along for the sake of their best friends' wedding. Despite their history of not quite meshing, the two learn they actually have quite a lot of chemistry, and their unfolding romance feels real, engaging, and believable. The movie also centers around music, which adds another layer to the story.

In an interview with TV Insider, Denton — who starred in and was a producer of the film — said that with "Perfect Harmony," the aim was to make a movie that was "really unique." He said the storyline was perfected over the course of three or four years, which explains the thoughtful plot and writing. As a bonus, Denton's son in the movie, Teddy, is also his son in real life, making the movie family-oriented in true Hallmark fashion.

Worst: Butlers in Love

A common problem in Hallmark movies is that they're too squeaky-clean — whether it's unrealistic dialogue, too much sappiness, or a plot that gets tied up without a single loose end. Unfortunately, this is one of the major issues with "Butlers in Love" — it's just not believable. The movie is about Emma (Stacey Farber) and Henry (Corey Cott), who are aspiring butlers at a prestigious, competitive academy where individuals go for training to become royal butlers. The characters, while charming at times, fall flat and come across as one-dimensional. The dialogue is hokey and the chemistry is hard to come by, even in the more romantic scenes.

We also have to address the elephant in the room and say that a movie that focuses on a girl who's dying to be a butler is just really absurd, if not one of Hallmark's most ridiculous storylines of all time. "Butlers in Love" also tries to be funny at times — it is a romantic comedy, after all — but fails pretty miserably. One IMDb reviewer described the movie as "two hours of my life I will never get back" — and, well, that pretty much says it all.

Best: Nikki & Nora, Sister Sleuths

"Nikki & Nora: Sister Sleuths" is a fun departure from the typical Hallmark romance movie, focusing on two estranged twin sisters who re-enter each other's lives in order to solve a mystery. Hunter King plays Nikki, a struggling actress who doesn't quite have it all together, while Rhiannon Fish plays Nora, a successful, high-profile lawyer. The two stumble upon a gruesome crime scene and must work together to solve a murder. In the process, they learn to appreciate their differences, as that is what helps them look at the case from all angles.

Among IMDb reviewers, this one was pretty well-received. Many agree that the two leads are convincing, relatable characters, and the mystery aspect is engaging and well done. One reviewer wrote, "The chemistry between the two main characters was a 10 — and the ending was an unexpected surprise — which makes this new Hallmark Mystery series a winner in my book. ... This is a breath of fresh air and I am looking forward to the next mystery in this series."

Worst: Road Trip Romance

The only thing worse than being on a dysfunctional road trip is having to watch a badly acted, badly written Hallmark movie about a dysfunctional road trip. "Road Trip Romance" focuses on two former high-school rivals, Margo (Natalie Hall) and Alden (Corey Sevier), who run into each other and end up taking a last-minute road trip back to their hometown when their flights get canceled.

This may sound like a cute premise, but the level of dysfunction in this movie is distractingly absurd. There's an airport shutdown, a lack of rental cars, theft, a lack of phone chargers, a car accident, and to top it all off ... a Renaissance fair in the middle of nowhere? It's almost impressive that, with so many different problems, so little happens in the plot and character development department. One IMDb reviewer said, "Honestly could go to sleep [during the movie], wake up and feel nothing of relevance was missed," while another said, "I have nothing positive to say about this movie. It was truly awful and should never air again. Ever." We'd recommend skipping this one.

Best: The Journey Ahead

This is a road trip movie we can get behind. "The Journey Ahead" is a fun, unexpected feel-good movie that reviewers appreciated for its interesting plot and engaging main characters. It centers around a demanding, older Hollywood actress (Holly Robinson Peete) and a young, free-spirited wilderness expert (Kaylee Bryant). When the two end up on the same road trip together, they end up learning a lot about each other — and themselves. And while the movie is funny and lighthearted, it also does a good job of dealing with more difficult themes, like infidelity and adoption.

"The Journey Ahead" really is a journey for the characters, who are a joy to watch evolve throughout the course of the movie. Ultimately, the movie's unique plot, relatable themes, and great acting make it stand out as one of the best Hallmark movies of 2022. An IMDb reviewer even drew parallels to HBO's hit series "Hacks," and mentioned that they "cried more than a few times throughout the movie, which is a good sign."

Worst: The Perfect Recipe

A movie about a romance between a restaurant owner and her chef seems like it has a lot of potential, but unfortunately, "The Perfect Recipe" was all over the place. The movie could have focused on the food element and how it brings the characters together, or there could have been more time spent on developing the chemistry between the leads — but instead, "The Perfect Recipe" just skirts around different themes, preventing any real engagement or character development.

Diehard Italian food fans may enjoy the movie since there's some tiramisu and Chianti involved, but for a movie about a restaurant, it's pretty sparse on the cooking scenes, and many reviewers found it to be dull overall. One IMDb review (aptly titled "Welcome to boring") says, "No chemistry ... It didn't have a clear storyline ... Fine to play in the background while doing other things, but not worth watching with your full attention." Ouch.

Best: Romance in Style

"Romance in Style" is a refreshing and inclusive romance that revolves around a fashion designer who convinces a high-profile publisher to include her plus-size designs in his magazine. Jaicy Elliot (of "Grey's Anatomy") plays Ella, a plus-size designer who is passionate about creating designs to not just fit all women, but to empower them, too. Her romance with Derek (played by Benjamin Hollingsworth) is a feature of the movie, but not the main point: As Elliot told TV Insider, "I love that ['Romance in Style'] opens up with her working on her craft rather than looking for love. Love comes as a cherry on top of the cake sort of situation, but the main focus is her and her own growth, which I think is very exciting to see on a Hallmark movie."

Not only does the movie feature a unique and uplifting storyline, but it's also well-acted and there is believable chemistry between the leads. Overall, this one "makes a statement without being preachy," according to an IMDb review.

Worst: Girlfriendship

"Girlfriendship" seems so promising from the outside — it's a chick flick about three friends who take a week-long trip together to rediscover their "passions, their purpose, and romance," per Hallmark. It stars Tamera Mowry-Housley, Krystal Joy Brown, and Lyndie Greenwood — a great, talented cast who have good chemistry. However, the chemistry between the characters is one of the only good things about "Girlfriendship."

It would be so refreshing to see a Hallmark movie about friendship (rather than romance) that's done well — one that allows the viewer to understand each character and their emotional connection to one another. But that's not the case with "Girlfriendship." While we commend the network for creating a movie focusing solely on the lives and experiences of Black women, the movie itself didn't live up to its potential and kept things too shallow instead of diving deep into the characters. One IMDb reviewer wrote, "The storylines weren't really all developed. I never got invested in any of the characters too much. I needed more in order to care."

Best: Presence of Love

Starring Eloise Mumford as Joss, a literature professor in the midst of grieving her mother's death, "Presence of Love" is about love, loss, sadness, anxiety — and how to navigate all of those feelings at once. When Joss takes a trip to England to visit her late mother's farm, she meets Daniel (played by Julian Morris), and the two begin to form a deep connection that helps Joss heal as she deals with her grief.

What really makes "Presence of Love" succeed is that it avoids the overly formulaic plot of many Hallmark romance movies and offers a new, refreshing storyline that viewers can really relate to. The fact that the movie was filmed on location in Cornwall means viewers get to see stunning scenery throughout, which really adds to the mood of the movie. IMDb reviewers note that this one "broke the mold" of predictable Hallmark movies and that it was a "wonderful change of pace."

Worst: Fly Away with Me

Just when aspiring writer Angie (Natalie Hall) finally finds a nice condo in Chicago to call her own, she's shocked to find that her home already has a resident: a parrot. But her new condo has a strict no-pets policy — at least, that's what Angie thinks, until she meets her cute neighbor, Ted (Peter Mooney), who secretly has a dog. As you've probably come to expect with Hallmark movies, romance blossoms between Angie and Ted as they bond over their secret pets.

While the plot may sound okay and even funny, "Fly Away with Me" is a stunningly bad movie. The acting is iffy at best, but the main problem is the poorly written script that makes the dialogue feel forced. IMDb reviewers also say that it's boring, the characters are impossible to connect with, and the story doesn't make sense. One IMDb reviewer wrote, "[Hallmark,] please hire writers with at least one original thought. ... I couldn't finish watching it. It made me cringe." Because of all that, "Fly Away with Me" may be one of the worst Hallmark movies of 2022.

Best: Mid-Love Crisis

"Mid-Love Crisis" is about a single mom named Mindy (Teri Hatcher) who is turning 50 and having a bit of a crisis about it. Despite the support from her therapist/best friend, Mindy's just not sure who she really is or what she really wants out of life. This uncertainty leads her down a fortuitous path of forging new connections — and rekindling old flames.

Admittedly, "Mid-Love Crisis" has mixed reviews, but we appreciate Hallmark's take on a midlife crisis. It's relatable, funny at times, and also features a lesbian storyline in the form of Mindy's daughter, Rita, who is bringing her girlfriend home to meet the family. The LGBTQ+-friendly plot gives some much-needed representation from Hallmark and ultimately creates a more inclusive story. One IMDb reviewer wrote, "It's a fun and poignant fall rom-com with great actors and beautiful scenery. Some may call the premise cliché, but this movie captures the sense of loss when marriages end, kids leave the nest, and careers change. ... I'll add it to my list of favorite seasonal movies."

Worst: Campfire Christmas

It's always tragic when a Hallmark Christmas movie fails, but "Campfire Christmas" was especially disappointing. It's a Christmas-in-July movie that focuses on a group of friends who reunite at a Christmas-themed gathering at Camp Evergreen, a summer camp they had all previously attended. The friends spend time catching up, and the main character, Peyton (Tori Anderson), finds that sparks fly with Thomas (Corbin Bleu), who was her first love.

While the plot is a bit different than usual Hallmark movies, "Campfire Christmas" ultimately comes in with a 5.5 rating on IMDb, and it appears there are very few redeeming qualities about this movie. Many reviewers note that the movie is boring and that the lead characters lack chemistry. One reviewer on IMDb wrote, "This was a tough one to finish. The immaturity level was cringe-worthy; these are adults in their 30s still acting like teenagers. The storyline was boring, and the chemistry was just off. Plus, it was predictable — every aspect of it."