On the weekend of April 27th, Avengers: Endgame was not the only movie that premiered. While I did give a little more priority to Marvel’s latest film, I also wanted to see the new Hallmark Hall of Fame movie, Love Takes Flight. To give both films the attention they deserve, I decided to publish my spoiler-free review of Avengers: Endgame on the 27th and my review of Love Takes Flight today. When I found out about this Hallmark Hall of Fame movie last month, I knew that this was a movie that I had to review. Last year, I reviewed both of Hallmark Hall of Fame’s movies, with those reviews being well-received. However, when I learned more about this year’s film, I started to have doubts about it. It also didn’t help that Love Takes Flight was given one of the worst marketing campaigns in Hallmark movie history. In my opinion, the film’s poster looked worse than the one for The Beach House and Love Takes Flight’s trailer looked like a haphazard and rushed tv spot. However, I still wanted to give this film a chance. Last year, I wasn’t impressed with the marketing for The Beach House. But the movie itself ended up being better than its marketing campaign. Keep reading this review if you want to find out if Love Takes Flight had a similar fate.
Things I liked about the film:
- The acting: In Love Takes Flight, the acting was the driving force of this story! All of the acting performances felt so believable, that every character appeared as if they were real-life individuals experiencing realistic situations! Even though I had my doubts about Nikki’s incorporation in this cast, she proved me wrong by bringing the emotional versatility that is usually required for Hallmark Hall of Fame projects. In fact, she was one of the strongest actors in this film! Another actor that I was impressed with was Tom Thon. His portrayal of Walter Allen was emotionally effective, as his journey throughout this film seemed very believable. Tom’s acting talents brought some depth to his character’s narrative.
- The scenery: Love Takes Flight was filmed in Savannah, Georgia, the third Hallmark Hall of Fame movie in a row to be filmed in the Peach State. The natural landscape of this location was showcased really well throughout the film. The foliage of the trees, flowers, and plants added a serene feeling to the overall atmosphere. This helped the story maintain its sincerity and thoughtfulness, as the natural surroundings brought a sense of peace when it seemed like the characters needed it the most. Walter’s property was absolutely gorgeous, its on-screen presence reminding me of architecture of past Hallmark Hall of Fame films! While the house itself was very cozy and elegant at the same time, the grounds surrounding the house are a scene stealer! The waterfront appeared so peaceful, complimenting some of the emotional moments that took place in that area. The creative team behind this movie made the right decision to choose Savannah as their filming location!
- The exploration of grief: In some Hallmark movies, the protagonist or someone that the protagonist knows loses a loved one. However, because movies on Hallmark Channel are primarily light-hearted, the topic of grief is briefly touched upon. Since Hallmark Hall of Fame is historically known for addressing topics that are darker and more serious, the creative team behind this movie used this to their advantage to explore the concept of grief. In Love Takes Flight, Walter was dealing with the loss of his wife. The way this narrative was written made it feel like a story that would have been incorporated into Hallmark Hall of Fame movies from years past. The story of Walter and the protagonist’s daughter, Quinn, forming a friendship was a very thoughtful and interesting way to show how one moves forward from such a saddening situation.
What I didn’t like about the film:
- The editing: While watching this movie, I noticed that some scenes felt shorter than others. When these scenes would play out, they ended a little too abruptly. As I wondered why this was happening, I realized that this had to do with the film’s editing. To solve this problem, each scene should have run their course and been at an equal length. That way, every part of the story could have had a chance to be developed.
- A little too predictable: When it comes to Hallmark Channel movies, the story is inevitably going to be predictable. However, Hallmark Hall of Fame movies are meant to be separate from the typical Hallmark Channel material. In Love Takes Flight, there were a few plot elements that were more predictable than I’d hoped. Because of this, it blurred that line between Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Hall of Fame. In some of these moments, it made the movie feel like a glorified Hallmark Channel film.
- Too many plots: Love Takes Flight had seven plots that played out throughout the story. While some of these plots were well explored, other plots were undeveloped. As I watched this film, I felt that at least two or three of these plots could have cut from the overall narrative. I think that this movie should have had one main plot with two or three subplots. While this main plot is played out, the subplots could be equally developed.
My overall impression:
Despite the poor marketing campaign that was given to this movie, Love Takes Flight was a good film! Yes, there were things about the project that could have been better. But, for what it was, I found the movie to be enjoyable. Once again, Hallmark Hall of Fame has had a consistent track record, since 2017, of creating films that are good. While I would like the films to become consistently great, I realize that it’ll take time for this to happen. I have a feeling that this can come to fruition one day. But the most important thing is that Hallmark is making the right steps for this to occur. Just like last year, the next movie for Hallmark Hall of Fame wasn’t advertised during the end credit commercial after the film. But whatever that film is going to be about, I just hope that it can take the Hallmark Hall of Fame to a whole new level.
Overall score: 7.8 out of 10
Have you seen Love Takes Flight? What would you like the next Hallmark Hall of Fame movie to be about? Please let me know in the comment section!
Have fun at the movies!