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Matchmaker Santa is only one of many cornball films in which Santa (Donovan Scott) helps a woman (Lacey Chabert) find a boyfriend (Adam Mayfield). This is the one where the vanilla extract was key. (Hallmark Channel)

The High And The Low In Holiday Movies

Nov 30, 2012 (Weekend Edition Sunday)

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Why yes, this is a promotional image for a real holiday Hallmark movie called Annie Claus Is Comin' To Town. That's Annie Claus, Santa's daughter, inside the snow globe being stared at by her father.

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My well-documented weird affection for Hallmark movies brings me — along with NPR.org movies editor Trey Graham — to Weekend Edition on Sunday to talk to NPR's Rachel Martin about the high-profile theatrical holiday film as well as the corny basic-cable incarnations that are appropriate to this season.

Trey was in charge of the high parts.

It's my duty, meanwhile, to tell you all about All About Christmas Eve and other punning titles that suggest that you, too, may fall in love with the assistance of Santa Claus. Speaking of which, I must say I'm a little heartbroken that I didn't have time to explain the great moment in Matchmaker Santa where a woman realizes that Santa may be real because he knew the "secret ingredient" she and her mother used to put in their cookies: something called "extract of vanilla bean." EXOTIC! SECRET! HOW DID SANTA KNOW?

I'm not proud of watching these. I just admit it.

Trey brings things up a little bit with the sprawling, excellent cast of Love Actually, a film that brings together that very cast with a mix of happy stories and sad ones. (I know he'd also want me to tell you he's a big fan of last year's Arthur Christmas, even though it doesn't come up in the piece.) And asked what his annual holiday viewing ritual is, he goes with A Lion In Winter, which is about as high as one's brow gets, no?

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