Now that we’re halfway through Hallmark’s “Summer Nights” line-up, I can give you my honest opinion about this collection of movies. For the most part, the “Summer Nights” line-up has put style over substance. The first three movies; Love on Safari, A Summer to Remember, and Love at Sea (which I just reviewed last week) have all featured amazing locations (South Africa, Fiji, and a Royal Caribbean cruise) where Hallmark filmed for the first time. However, each film’s plot felt sub-par at best. When these movies were first announced, I immediately picked Pearl in Paradise as the “Summer Nights” movie I was looking forward to the most! The idea of a Hallmark Channel movie incorporating a mystery into one of their film’s main plots instantly caught my attention. Having Fiji as the backdrop to this particular story raised my level of excitement for the movie! But, I kept my expectations for Pearl in Paradise low because I didn’t know if I would enjoy the movie. Do you want to solve the mystery of what score I gave this film? Read my review of Pearl in Paradise in order to close this case!
Things I liked about the film:
The acting: I thought the cast of Pearl in Paradise was talented! Jill Wagner’s and Kristoffer Polaha’s performance was very well executed and believable, with both of their talents complimenting each other! Not only did I like each of the lead actors’ performances, I also liked the performances of the secondary and side characters. One of my favorite characters in Pearl in Paradise was Daniela, portrayed by Naomi Sequeira. Daniela was such a positive and joyful character whose on-screen presence was a pleasant addition to this story! Naomi’s acting abilities were showcased great in this film and I hope she can appear in more Hallmark productions in the future!
The on-screen chemistry: Jill and Kristoffer are great actors together and individually! They also have what it takes, talent wise, to lead a Hallmark project. Pearl in Paradise really does highlight that, as their delivery of well-written banter was spot-on! To me, Jill and Kristoffer’s on-screen relationship felt authentic and believable, making it seem like they were truly getting along and becoming better friends. For their first time starring in a Hallmark movie together, I think they both pulled off a great performance!
The story: In my introduction, I mentioned that the film’s story excited me the most about Pearl in Paradise. This story was not only a highlight to this film, but it also helped set Pearl in Paradise apart from the other films in the “Summer Nights” line-up! The plot surrounding the mystery of the pearl and the journey to find it was engaging and intriguing! Pearl in Paradise’s story made me feel like I was watching a Hallmark Movies & Mysteries film, where the film’s mystery kept me guessing until the reveal. Pearl in Paradise’s story was also well-written from start to finish!
What I didn’t like about the film:
An inconsistent pace: Before the main characters’ hike to find the pearl started, the film’s pace felt inconsistent. Because of this, some scenes lasted longer than other scenes, making these longer scenes feel slower and a little too drawn out. Once the journey to find the pearl started, the overall pace became more consistent.
Too much build-up: As I’ve just mentioned, the pace of the film became more consistent when the character’s hike started. Before this journey begins, however, there is about 40 minutes of build-up leading to the event. Though the build-up was a necessary component to the story, it didn’t add any excitement to the journey within the film.
Loads of exposition: Exposition is always needed in a story. Too much exposition in a certain part of a movie can affect someone’s enjoyment of a film. In Pearl in Paradise, there was a lot of exposition in about the first 15 minutes of the film. This made the beginning of the film feel slower than intended.
My overall impression:
Pearl in Paradise is, so far, my favorite movie from this year’s “Summer Nights” line-up! While the first three movies in this line-up have chosen to focus more on the setting than the story, Pearl in Paradise found a way to balance the beauty of Fiji and the compelling nature of the film’s plot. Because mystery stories are a rarity in Hallmark Channel movies, it was a treat to find such a good mystery story in this movie! If Hallmark decided to give Pearl in Paradise a sequel, I would like to see a cross-over between this movie and A Summer to Remember, especially since both movies were filmed in Fiji and have at least one character who is passionate about photography. Though I already gave my opinion on the “Summer Nights” line-up so far, there is still one more movie left to premiere: Season for Love. After I watch that movie, I can see if my opinion on this line-up remains the same or changes in any way.
Overall score: 8 out of 10
Have you seen Pearl in Paradise? What is your favorite “Summer Nights” movie so far? Share your thoughts in the comment section!
Have fun at the movies!