Now that I’m back from my week-long hiatus, it’s time for me to get back to doing what I love: talking about movies! As the first order of business, I will review Signed, Sealed, Delivered: To the Altar, my first post since jumping back into blogging after my temporary break. The first time I talked about Signed, Sealed, Delivered’s latest installment was back in May, when Hallmark Movies & Mysteries gave the film an official movie page on their website. I also talked about Signed, Sealed, Delivered: To the Altar in two June Word on the Street posts: when the film’s synopsis was released and when I shared my thoughts on the movie’s trailer. As I’ve mentioned before, Signed, Sealed, Delivered is a series that I find to be very hit-or-miss. But, like I do with every movie I watch, I gave it a fair chance and watched it with an open mind. With that said, all I have to do now is put a stamp on this review and send it out to my readers!
Things I liked about the film:
The acting: An element to this series that has remained consistent is the quality of the acting performances! Whether it is the main cast or guest supporting actors, everyone involved in these movies brings out the best in their acting abilities. Specifically, in Signed, Sealed, Delivered: To the Altar, two actresses that really stood out to me were Kristin Booth and Jessica Sipos! Ever since the very beginning, Kristin has always been one of the strongest actors in the Signed, Sealed, Delivered series. Especially in this latest film, Kristin effortlessly brought the versatility and emotion to the multi-dimensional role of Shane McInerney. For her very first Hallmark movie, Jessica pulled off a great performance! I have also seen Jessica’s performance on Chesapeake Shores, where she has proven to be a great addition to the series!
The on-screen chemistry: Throughout this series, the characters of Oliver, Shane, Norman, and Rita have grown as individuals and in their respective relationships. This particular movie focused a lot on Norman and Rita’s relationship, as they were the engaged couple who were about to get married. Geoff Gustafson and Crystal Lowe always appear as if their characters truly love each other. Each of Norman and Rita’s quirks complement one another and their relationship comes across as sweet and genuine. Kristin and Eric Mabius also had great on-screen chemistry! Both of them effectively gave a convincing performance of two people in a growing, as well as blossoming, relationship. What helps is each of these on-screen couples has consistently appeared and worked together throughout the lifespan of the series, giving each actor the time to truly get to know their characters and the significance they have in the lives of the others characters.
The messages and themes: The Signed, Sealed, Delivered series is known for delivering (no pun intended) messages and themes that are inspirational and uplifting. That was prevalent in Signed, Sealed, Delivered: To the Altar. Some of the messages featured in this film deal with inner strength, the foundations of a happy marriage, and the various displays of love. These messages and themes are shared in a way that can make the audience feel good about the program they are watching. The messages and themes are effortlessly woven into the story, making it feel like they are not delivered in a preachy or overbearing way.
What I didn’t like about the film:
A slow pace: Most Signed, Sealed, Delivered movies have drawn out stories, as to flesh out creative ideas and character development. Signed, Sealed, Delivered: To the Altar, however, felt like the stories were drawn out for too long. Because of this, it made the movie feel longer than intended.
The POstables owning the spotlight: Anyone who knows anything about the Signed, Sealed, Delivered series would know a good portion of the movies revolve around the four main characters (Oliver, Shane, Norman, and Rita). But last month, I shared one of my biggest critiques of this series, which was more screen and story time being devoted to the POstables than to the film’s respective mystery. In Signed, Sealed, Delivered: To the Altar, I felt there was an imbalance between the story of the POstables and the mystery surrounding the wedding dress. Because Norman and Rita were finally getting married, their story took the most precedence out of all the plots in the movie. The mystery of the wedding dress was well-written, but it, ultimately, ended up getting overshadowed.
The under-utilization of Carol Burnett and Keb’Mo’: In my blog post about the Signed, Sealed, Delivered: To the Altar trailer, I said that not only was Keb’Mo’ featured at the beginning of the trailer, but that Carol Burnett’s appearance was also mentioned. However, I was really disappointed by their lack of screen time. In Carol’s case, her character spent the majority of her time in the movie interacting with the other characters via video-chat. As for Keb’Mo’, his character, Gabe, only appeared in one scene to sing a song. Also, Gabe’s story from Signed, Sealed, Delivered: Higher Ground was shared by a secondary character to other minor characters, denying Gabe the opportunity to express his gratitude and appreciation to the POstables.
My overall impression:
As decent as Signed, Sealed, Delivered: To the Altar was, I can’t say it was anything worth writing home about (again, no pun intended). Because of the things I didn’t like about the movie and having the mystery of the film spoiled for me by a video on the official movie page for Signed, Sealed, Delivered: To the Altar, I couldn’t enjoy the film as much as I had wanted to. Just like how the trailer made me feel, the movie itself also made me feel like this could be the last Signed, Sealed, Delivered movie. My feelings about the potential finale to the series are based on things like what some of the characters said in the film and the montages during Norman and Rita’s wedding. I have not heard of any official news about new movies coming in the Signed, Sealed, Delivered series, but anything is possible. Whether this series stays or goes, it really doesn’t matter to me, as I think Hallmark Movies & Mysteries have movie series that are stronger than Signed, Sealed, Delivered.
Overall score: 7 out of 10
Have you seen Signed, Sealed, Delivered: To the Altar? Do you want the Signed, Sealed, Delivered series to continue? Let me know in the comment section!
Have fun at the movies!