If the deluge of holiday rom-coms from the likes of Hallmark, Lifetime, and more recently Netflix are to be believed, the city is no place for love.

Take Lauren Gabriel, heroine of the new Hallmark Channel holiday movie Christmas Town. She hits a dead end in Boston with her self-absorbed boyfriend and also the city’s white-hot job market. So she leaves the big city in search of the simple life (on a train!) and gets stuck in picture-perfect “Grandon Falls,” a small town so serious about Christmas it’s nicknamed after the holiday. And there—spoiler alert!—she finds the perfect guy.

You don’t have to watch many of these movies to see the bad rap that cities get. Before our protagonist (usually a single woman) gets enchanted by twinkling lights and prop Christmas trees, she must first flee the grey, cold-hearted metropolis that leaves her feeling some combination of lonely, overworked, and grumpy. And leave it to the residents of some weirdly Christmas-obsessed small town that she finds herself in for some reason—a baking contest! a secret inheritance! supernatural forces!—to teach her the True Meaning of Christmas.



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