Evenings At The Shore: You Fit In Just Fine

Now we are coming to the end of another season of Chesapeake Shores. With this story complete, I can now give my honest opinion on the season as a whole. This has been one of the strongest seasons in the show’s history! That balance between character and plot driven stories has returned! One of the strengths was the addition of new cast members. Because Robert Buckley was promoted the most, I’ll talk about his character, Evan Kincaid. With new characters, it can be hit or miss. But with Evan, he fit in just fine. In fact, it felt like he was meant to be on Chesapeake Shores all along. Evan was a well written character, with each layer being pulled back as the story went on. Robert also presented a personality that hadn’t been seen on the show before. Despite joining Chesapeake Shores this season, I can’t imagine this story without him. As this chapter of the show comes to a close, let’s re-cap the season finale!

Just a reminder: If you did not see the season finale of Chesapeake Shores, there are spoilers within this re-cap.

Chesapeake Shores Season 5 poster created by Crown Media Family Networks and Hallmark Channel.

Season: 5

Episode: 10

Name: As Time Goes By

Abby’s story: Abby comes back home from her business trip in Cleveland. She is surprised to discover Evan waiting for her at the airport. Afterwards, they agree to have lunch at Sally’s Café. During their meal, Evan confesses how he might have romantic feelings for Abby. She turns down this possibility at first, as she and Evan are business partners. But Evan convinces her to, at least, think about the idea of them together. The next day, Evan visits the O’Brien family home to deliver some homemade brownies. Abby is not only amazed by how good the sweet treats are, but how Evan created the brownies so that Caitlyn, who is lactose intolerant, could eat them too. In the middle of this exchange, Evan shares with Abby how he learned to bake from a man who used to date Evan’s mother. When Abby asks Evan if she can meet this man, Evan says he’ll try to locate him, as he is a truck driver. Later in the episode, Jay reveals how every year, he takes a picture for his “Best Moment of the Year” collection. For the previous year, he shows Abby a picture of her, indicating how she was his “Best Moment of the Year”. Jay also confesses how he has romantic feelings for Abby. But he says he has romantic feelings for a female guidance counselor named Cam as well. The information Abby received from Evan and Jay puts her at a fork in the road. After consulting with Bree, Abby calls someone and tells them how she has feelings for them too. But the identity of the receiver is not known.

Mick and Megan’s story: One morning, Mick and Megan share the news that not only are they taking a trip around the world, but Mick is also taking a year off work in order to make this trip happen. While the family is shocked by this news, there are happy to see Megan and Mick move forward with their relationship. While she’s at the location where the art show took place, Carter tells Megan how she has received multiple job offers due to the art show’s success. Megan says she has given up that life, indicating her disinterest in these offers. Then, Carter reveals how a prestigious art gallery in Los Angeles wants Megan to join their team. Because she has always dreamed of working with that particular gallery, she thinks twice about her future. Mick ends up finding out about this job offer from Carter, as Carter is on his way home to New York. When Mick addresses this piece of news with Megan, she says she hasn’t made a decision yet. But, by the end of the episode, she questions if she can have both the job and the trip. This makes Mick wonder if she’ll leave the family again.

Connor’s story: While Luke’s court hearing has received a different judge, the date is scheduled for the very next day. Even though this concerns Connor, he continues to look for a way to help Luke. Meanwhile, Margaret has her concerns about Connor’s well-being. Remembering what Connor said in the previous episode, Margaret brings s’more ingredients to the firm, in an attempt to help Connor relax. Connor likes Margaret’s gesture, which ends up with both of them kissing. But, the following day, Luke and Bree discover Connor slept at the firm. Because of this discovery, Luke reveals how he takes sleep medication. This information gives Connor an idea. He recruits his doctor as an expert witness, in an attempt to show how Luke’s sleep medication could be mistaken for amphetamines. The plan works and Luke doesn’t have to go back to prison. Toward the end of the episode, Margaret visits Connor at the O’Brien family home. While they are kissing, Connor collapses. The cause of his ailments is unknown.

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Kevin and Sarah’s story: At the beginning of the episode, it is revealed Sarah had a miscarriage. Devastated by this latest heartbreak, Sarah tells Kevin to keep it between themselves. But, later in the episode, Kevin shares this information with Mick and Megan. They tell their son how they suffered a miscarriage years ago. Through the interaction, they show their support for Kevin and Sarah. When Kevin tells his wife what he told his parents, Sarah is upset. However, she comes to appreciate Mick and Megan’s support when Megan pays her a visit. Megan tells Sarah how her miscarriage happened after Jess was born. She also tells Sarah how, in time, she will get through this tragedy.

Jess and David’s story: Jess has a lot of thoughts about Mick and Megan getting back together. So, at three in the morning, she decides to write Megan an email, which contains her real thoughts. Later that day, Jess freaks out because she actually sent the email. When David reads it, he thinks it is brutally honest. So, Jess goes to the O’Brien family home to talk to Megan. She apologizes for the email, telling Megan how she’s actually happy for her and Mick. But Megan responds by saying she hadn’t checked her email yet, but appreciated Jess’s honesty. Meanwhile, David discovers his trust fund has been cleaned out. Only his father has access to this fund, but he is nowhere to be found. David goes to Boston to find out more information on his father’s whereabouts. When he returns, David tells Jess his father flew out of the country, with the FBI looking for him.

Money image created by Freepik at freepik.com. <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-vector/bills-and-coins-in-isometric-design_1065328.htm’>Designed by Freepik</a>. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/business”>Business vector created by Freepik</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

Some thoughts to consider:

  • Looking back on the show as a whole, it seems like Kevin and Sarah can’t win. First, they don’t have the wedding of their dreams because season four only contained six episodes. Now, they are dealing with a miscarriage. I understand things do not always go according to plan, in real life and in fictional stories. However, I was hoping the writers would try to make it up to the fans after the omission of a wedding in the previous season. If Chesapeake Shores receives a sixth season, I hope Kevin and Sarah meet happier circumstances.
  • While talking to a family member about this season, I realized injuries and falls seemed to be a common theme. Sarah fell twice, Thomas fell while hiking, and Evan fell in Tae Kwon Do class. There was also Mick’s plane accident, Thomas’ sprained ankle, Evan’s hurt back, and Connor’s medical issues. I’m guessing this was all a coincidence. But, as a fan, I found it concerning how five of the show’s characters were in harm’s way, sometimes on more than one occasion.
  • While I know cliffhangers and season finales can sometimes go hand-in-hand, I thought it was risky for the season to end with four cliffhangers. As of October 2021, there has been no announcements about a sixth season. This means if the show were to be cancelled, several stories would receive no resolution. Personally, I think one or two cliffhangers would have been just fine. Some of these cliffhangers could have been introduced earlier in the season, such as the whereabouts of David’s dad. Had this been the case, David and Jess’s story could have contained more depth.
Evening view from the shore image created by 0melapics at freepik.com. <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-vector/landscape-in-a-swamp-at-night_1042860.htm’>Designed by Freepik</a>. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/background”>Background vector created by 0melapics – Freepik.com</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

What are your thoughts on the season finale? Would you like to see Chesapeake Shores receive a sixth season? Let me know in the comment section!

Have fun in Chesapeake Shores!

Sally Silverscreen

Sunset Over Hope Valley: Second Chances

In When Calls the Heart’s eighth season, the storylines of Henry, Ned, and Florence share one thing in common. Not only have these characters appeared on the show since its beginning, but their stories highlight the theme of second chances. As Rosemary mentioned at the beginning of this episode, it has been years since Ned and Florence have been married. However, they have formed a romantic bond by giving each other a chance. Meanwhile, Henry has reunited with his son, Christopher. He has also come back to work at the petroleum plant. While Henry has had many ups and down throughout his story, it’s been nice to see Henry grow as a character and watch his journey progress. In fact, Henry’s story has been one of the best this season! As of mid-April 2021, there have been no official announcements of a ninth season. However, if When Calls the Heart did receive another season, it would be interesting to see where Henry’s story goes. For now, though, let’s begin this week’s re-cap!

Just a reminder: If you did not see this episode of When Calls the Heart, there may be spoilers within this re-cap.

When Calls the Heart poster created by Crown Media Family Networks and Hallmark Channel.

Season: 8

Episode: 9

Name: Pre-Wedding Jitters

Major stories:

One morning, Rosemary shares with Elizabeth how she is having difficulty finding the right wedding dress for Florence. During this conversation, Elizabeth tells Rosemary what Nathan told her at Bill’s send-off celebration. When Elizabeth asks Rosemary what might have caused Nathan to withhold this information, Rosemary suggests that maybe the information itself isn’t as important to him as it is to Elizabeth. Offended, Elizabeth asks Rosemary why she would say that, with Rosemary telling Elizabeth she was only being honest. In town, Elizabeth notices Ally leaving the saloon. Ally reveals that she had a conversation with Lucas, which was shown in a previous scene. She tells Elizabeth that Nathan and Lucas plan to sort things out. When Lucas visits Elizabeth at the school, she tells him what Nathan told her at Bill’s send-off. Lucas asks if he should talk to Nathan, but Elizabeth refuses the offer. Later in the episode, Elizabeth visits Nathan at his office. When she asks him why he waited so long to tell her about his Fort Clay secret, he says that he felt guilty about what happened to Jack. This caused Nathan to ask for a transfer to Hope Valley, in order to protect Elizabeth and her son. Nathan also tells Elizabeth that he still loves her. Things between Elizabeth and Nathan become even more awkward at Florence’s bachelorette party. During a game Fiona introduces, Elizabeth is blindfolded and asked to identify her true love by holding hands with each male participant. When Elizabeth reaches Nathan, she assumes it is Lucas. She is shocked and embarrassed by her decision. The next day, she apologizes to Lucas for her mistake, with Lucas expressing no hurt feelings. Toward the end of the episode, Rosemary pays her a visit. After learning that Rosemary and Nathan were at the library, Elizabeth asks Rosemary if she said anything to Nathan to keep him interested in Elizabeth. Before Rosemary leaves, she tells Elizabeth she should seek out the truth of what she really said.

Florence’s bachelorette party and Ned’s bachelor party are just around the corner. As soon as Fiona arrives in Hope Valley, she agrees to help Florence fix her hair for the event. While Rosemary and Mollie help Florence choose a wedding dress, Minnie and Clara make baked goods for the party guests. Meanwhile, some of Ned’s friends convince Ned to host a bachelor party. But Ned is not invested in the idea like his friends are. After paying a visit to the dress shop, Clara comes back to the café to discover Mike and Jesse eating near the baked goods. Thinking they were eating the food for the party, Clara yells at Jesse and Mike to stop eating the food. Jesse shares that they were actually eating quiche. Throughout the episode, Bill is still trying to figure out who stole the car from this season’s seventh episode. Ned’s bachelor party turns out to be just as uneventful as Jesse’s bachelor party from last season. After Ned makes a comment about his hair, Bill makes a discovery in relation to the stolen car. With Ned’s help, Bill finds a shoe print inside the car’s removeable hood. During the evening, Lucas tells Henry that he hired Christopher to the petroleum plant in order to keep an eye on Henry. Upset by this news, Henry tells Lucas not to let Christopher know that he now knows this news. Despite these interruptions, the guests decide to combine their parties, just like Jesse and Clara’s party last season. They end up having a better time than when the parties were separate. Clara also apologizes to Jesse for yelling at him earlier, with Jesse forgiving her.

Baking essentials image created by Olga_spb at freepik.com. <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-vector/background-with-elements-of-the-bakery_903718.htm’>Designed by Olga_spb</a>. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/background”>Background vector created by Olga_spb – Freepik.com</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

Minor stories:

Toward the beginning of the episode, Christopher reveals to Henry that the stolen car from this season’s seventh episode was actually stolen by one of Christopher’s friends. Christopher says that even though he only borrowed the car, he plans on leaving that life behind. When Christopher shares that Rachel was the reason for this change, Henry tells his son how Abigail was one of the few people who gave him a second chance. Later in the episode, Christopher asks Henry what happened to Abigail. Henry says she left town to take care of her mother. After the bachelor and bachelorette party, Bill shares the discovery of the shoe print. Henry tells him he will help with the case. Instead, Henry burns Christopher’s shoes. Before this happens, Henry says goodbye to Christopher as he leaves for Bellingham in search of Rachel.

At the café, Clara tells Lee that Joseph has become Hope Valley’s official pastor. She also tells Lee that Joseph is preparing to officiate Ned and Florence’s wedding. After hearing this news, Lee pays Joseph a visit at his home. Even though he notices surveyors on Joseph’s property, Lee doesn’t think much of it because he joins Joseph on a out of town trip. The purpose of this trip is to pick up a church bell from a neighboring town. When explaining to Lee, on this trip, why he chose to become the pastor, Joseph explains that he had to think about what was best for his family. Meanwhile, Carson shares with Faith that he has accepted the John Hopkins offer. This brings Faith and Carson at a crossroads, as they don’t know how to find a resolution to their problem. They talk about this some more at Ned and Florence’s party. Carson suggests he and Faith should get married. While he says they can wait to get married, they do plan to work things out.

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Some thoughts to consider:

  • Ever since Jack passed away, I noticed how Elizabeth has become more unlikable as the show has progressed. In this episode, Elizabeth came across as selfish. The way she talked to Rosemary was, in my opinion, uncalled for, as Rosemary did nothing wrong. If When Calls the Heart receives a ninth season and Elizabeth continues to behave this way, I feel the show will lose a certain amount of viewership.
  • This episode felt like there was context missing, like parts of the story were unintentionally cut out of the show. Joseph’s decision to become a pastor is one example. He had been contemplating this new job opportunity for several episodes. But his final decision seemed to come out of the blue. The audience doesn’t get to witness why and how Joseph came to this decision.
  • On Crown Media Family Network’s website, I saw some promotional photos for the next episode. In at least one of the pictures, the décor at the church looks fall/autumn themed. At the beginning of the season, Elizabeth said that spring had arrived in Hope Valley. With everything said, I find this to be confusing.
Sunset image created by Photoangel at freepik.com <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/background”>Background image created by Photoangel – Freepik.com</a> <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-photo/red-sunset-clouds-over-trees_1254327.htm’>Designed by Freepik</a> Image found at freepik.com

What are your thoughts on this episode? Are you looking forward to Florence and Ned’s wedding? Tell me in the comment section!

Have fun in Hope Valley!

Sally Silverscreen

Take 3: Ruby Herring Mysteries: Silent Witness Review

Though Hallmark Movies & Mysteries doesn’t have seasonal themed line-ups like Hallmark Channel does, they have not wasted any time in starting their mystery movie series for 2019. After two wonderful months of Christmas movies, the mystery movies on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries are such a welcoming sight to see. For the first movie of this new year, Hallmark’s second network decided to premiere the start of, potentially, a brand-new series: Ruby Herring Mysteries: Silent Witness. Last November, in a Word on the Street post, I speculated that Ruby Herring Mysteries: Silent Witness could be a first movie in a new mystery series. As the “Miracles of Christmas” line-up started to wind down, this speculation became a reality as Ruby Herring Mysteries: Silent Witness was, indeed, a Hallmark movie. Because this film’s synopsis shared several similarities with other series from Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, I kept low expectations for this movie. However, since this network has, for the most part, had a good track record when it comes to their movies, I chose to watch this film with an open mind. As this is the first review of 2019 for a Hallmark mystery film, let the Ruby Herring Mysteries: Silent Witness review begin!

ruby herring -- silent witness poster
Ruby Herring Mysteries: Silent Witness poster created by Crown Media Family Networks and Hallmark Movies & Mysteries. Image found at https://www.crownmediapress.com/Shows/PRShowDetail?SiteID=143&FeedBoxID=845&NodeID=307&ShowType=&ShowTitle=Ruby+Herring+Mysteries+Silent+Witness

Things I liked about the film:

The acting: For the most part, I thought the acting in Ruby Herring Mysteries: Silent Witness was good. During her time in the Hallmark community, Taylor Cole has primarily appeared in movies on the Hallmark Channel. This is the first time she has appeared in a Hallmark Movies & Mysteries film. To me, Taylor was one of the strongest actors in this cast! She embodied the character of Ruby Herring with versatility and a well-rounded performance, bringing a sense of believability to her role. Stephen Huszar is no stranger to Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, with Ruby Herring Mysteries: Silent Witness being his fourth film from the network and his second Hallmark mystery movie. Just like Taylor, Stephen embodied this character in a way that appeared very natural and believable! His performance in this film was very enjoyable to watch.

 

The on-screen chemistry: While Taylor and Stephen gave a good acting performance individually, they also gave a good acting performance as a pair. Through-out Ruby Herring Mysteries: Silent Witness, Taylor and Stephen effectively portrayed two people who have feelings of dislike/like between each other. Their banter was not only well-written, but also well-delivered. Taylor and Stephen’s performances complimented one another, which I thought was good to see in this film. I hope they can appear in more Hallmark movies together!

 

The mystery: I thought this mystery story within Ruby Herring Mysteries: Silent Witness was well-written! There were enough clues and suspects to keep the story satisfying. I also liked how the story was written in such a way that it leaves the audience guessing until the end. This makes the story intriguing and engaging. Having a consumer investigative reporter solving murder mysteries is an interesting idea for a mystery series, as it provides a unique perspective to a commonly used type of mystery on the network. It shows that Hallmark Movies & Mysteries is putting in a conscious effort to give their series its own identity.

Journalist Reporter Profession Isometric Banner
News reporter being filmed image created by Macrovector at freepik.com. <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-vector/journalist-reporter-profession-isometric-banner_2875517.htm’>Designed by Macrovector</a>. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/banner”>Banner vector created by Macrovector – Freepik.com</a>, Image found at freepik.com.

What I didn’t like about the film:

The time stamps: In order to break up certain scenes, the creative team behind this film decided to put time stamps throughout the movie. For example, in-between the first and second scene of Ruby Herring Mysteries: Silent Witness, the words “Day Two – Tuesday” appeared against a black background on-screen. At first, I thought this was an interesting concept. But, as the movie went on, it didn’t seem to add anything to the story. Overall, these time stamps felt random within the context of the movie.

 

A drawn-out story: While watching Ruby Herring Mysteries: Silent Witness, I felt that this story was a little too drawn-out. Even though the pace of this film was on the slower side, the story itself seemed like it went on longer than it might have been intended.

 

Lack of subplots: As I’ve already mentioned, I really liked this film’s mystery story. It also served as the film’s main plot. But this plot was the only one within the entire movie. Personally, I couldn’t find any substantial subplots while watching the film. Yes, there was a wedding and a baking convention that was brought up within the film’s narrative. However, it felt like these events only served the main plot and didn’t have their own stories to tell.

OYHKOT0
Newspaper image created by Zlatko_plamenov at freepik.com. <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-psd/newspaper-mockup_1386098.htm’>Designed by Freepik</a>. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/mockup”>Mockup psd created by Zlatko_plamenov – Freepik.com</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

My overall impression:

Ruby Herring Mysteries: Silent Witness was a decent film. However, it was a good start to this particular series. Ruby Herring Mysteries has the potential to be a strong mystery series, like Garage Sale Mystery and the Aurora Teagarden series. Who knows? Maybe there could be a Ruby Herring month! While Hallmark hasn’t made any official announcements yet about any more movies within this series, there are more mystery movies that are on their way on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries! As of January 2019, there are six new mystery movies that have been officially confirmed for Hallmark Movies & Mysteries premieres. While most of these movies are brand new series on the network, only one of these movies is a continuation of an already established series, which is Emma Fielding Mysteries: More Bitter Than Death. As I fan of Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, I am grateful that this network continues to try their best at not only making good mystery movies, but also quality mystery series that are worth celebrating.

 

Overall score: 7.1-7.2 out of 10

 

Have you seen Ruby Herring Mysteries: Silent Witness? Which mystery movie are looking forward to seeing? Leave your thoughts in the comment section!

 

Have fun at the movies!

 

Sally Silverscreen

Take 3: Falling for You Review

With my Truly, Madly, Sweetly review receiving 3 likes and 9 views, I thought I’d continue to keep the interest in “Fall Harvest” alive by reviewing Falling for You! As a Warehouse 13 fan, I was so excited to see Tyler Hynes join the Hallmark family (in case you don’t know, Tyler portrayed Claudia’s brother, Joshua, on the show). Because of Tyler’s appearance in Falling for You, I decided to watch this movie with an open mind and review it on 18 Cinema Lane. This is the third Hallmark movie of Taylor Cole’s that I’ve seen. While I was not a fan of One Winter Weekend, I did enjoy My Summer Prince. Falling for You caught my attention because this is the second Hallmark movie to feature radio within the film’s main plot. This incorporation of story elements that haven’t been told in a while increased my interest in the film. Did I “fall” in love in Falling for You? Keep reading to find out!

Falling for You poster
Falling for You poster created by Crown Media Family Networks and Hallmark Channel. Image found at https://www.crownmediapress.com/Shows/PRShowDetail?SiteID=142&FeedBoxID=845&NodeID=302&ShowType=&ShowTitle=Falling+For+You.

Things I liked about the film:

  • The incorporation of the fall theme: In my review of Truly, Madly, Sweetly, I talked about how the fall theme had a minimal presence in the film. Falling for You, however, was filled with almost all things fall related! While there were lots of fall themed decorations featured in and around various Pleasant Valley buildings, there was also fall themed activities, such as apple-picking, and even Lacey encouraging Zac to incorporate fall-esque flavors into his Bake-Off recipe, like cinnamon and pumpkin. These touches and details made Falling for You truly feel like a “Fall Harvest” film!

 

  • The humor: Falling for You’s humor was light-hearted and good spirited, keeping in line with the humor that’s typically found on Hallmark Channel. There were some moments in this movie that were laugh-out-loud funny. However, the best line in this movie was when Pete, the owner of the apple orchard, responds to Lacey’s question about how he injured his arm by saying, “It was Fall and I fell”.

 

  • The protagonists’ views on technology and radio: When Zac is being interviewed in preparation for the Bachelor Bake-Off, he revealed that he created his new budget app in order to help people become more technologically literate. At the apple orchard, Lacey shares with Zac that she feels radio is all about helping people connect with their community. Zac’s views on technology and Lacey’s views on radio brought a new perspective to two things that affect most people’s lives. I can only speak for myself, but these views made me think about technology and radio in a different way.

Fresh Tasty Red Apples in Wooden Basket on Green Grass
Red apples in basket photo created by Valeria_aksakova at freepik.com. <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-photo/fresh-tasty-red-apples-in-wooden-basket-on-green-grass_1284495.htm’>Designed by Valeria_aksakova</a>. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/background”>Background image created by Valeria_aksakova – Freepik.com</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

What I didn’t like about the film:

  • Lack of on-screen chemistry: While Taylor Cole and Tyler Hynes gave a fine performance in Falling for You, I was never given the impression they had on-screen chemistry. While it looked like Lacey and Zac got along well (for the most part), the build-up to their romantic relationship wasn’t as present as it could have been.

 

  • A prolonged presence of the Bake-Off: In Falling for You, the Bachelor Bake-Off was the most talked about event. In fact, there was so much talk surrounding this event that I was starting to question whether or not this Bake-Off would happen. While this event did make a presence in the movie, the Bake-Off only appeared during the last ten minutes of the film. Even when the Bake-Off was taking place, the entire coverage of the event felt very rushed.

 

  • A slow pace: The overall pace of Falling for You was slow. This made the film feel longer than the typical Hallmark Channel movie. What didn’t help was how drawn out some parts of the film seemed to be. For example, the planning process surrounding the Bake-Off was given a lot more screen time than the Bake-Off itself. This took away from the excitement of seeing this event come to life.

463
Baking essentials image created by Olga_spb at freepik.com. <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-vector/background-with-elements-of-the-bakery_903718.htm’>Designed by Olga_spb</a>. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/background”>Background vector created by Olga_spb – Freepik.com</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

My overall impression:

Falling for You is, at best, ok. While I don’t think it’s as good as Truly, Madly, Sweetly, it’s a much better film than Yes, I Do and Falling for Vermont. Even though Falling for You has its flaws, there are good things that can be found within this film. As I mentioned earlier, Taylor Cole and Tyler Hynes gave a fine performance in the movie. However, I think their performances could have been stronger. While it’s unknown if Taylor will star in any Hallmark Christmas movies this year, Tyler will make his Hallmark Christmas movie debut in It’s Christmas, Eve. Based on the film’s synopsis, it sounds like the movie will be a little more dramatic than Falling for You. I’m hoping that Tyler can pull off a good performance in that movie so he can appear in many more Hallmark movies to come.

 

Overall score: 6.6-6.7 out of 10

 

What are your thoughts on “Fall Harvest” so far? Are you looking forward to It’s Christmas, Eve? Share your thoughts in the comment section!

 

Have fun at the movies!

Sally Silverscreen

Take 3: Truly, Madly, Sweetly Review

With Hallmark’s “Fall Harvest” line-up finally here, I figured I should get started with reviewing some of these films! Since Ron Oliver is directing this year’s Hallmark Hall of Fame Christmas movie, Christmas Everlasting (yes, the movie got a title change) and since I talked about Truly, Madly, Sweetly in a Word on the Street post back in April, I thought reviewing this movie would be a great place to start! In that post, I mentioned that Dylan Neal, one of the stars of the film, hinted at a fall release date for Truly, Madly, Sweetly. Because this movie is the very first movie in this year’s “Fall Harvest” line-up, it looks like it got a fall release date after all. Out of all the Hallmark Channel movies premiering during the fall season, Truly, Madly, Sweetly is the movie I was anticipating the most, especially since the story reminded me of the first All of My Heart movie (which I really enjoyed). Did Truly, Madly, Sweetly meet or exceed my expectations? Let’s keep reading to find out!

Truly Madly Sweetly poster
Truly, Madly, Sweetly poster created by Crown Media Family Networks and Hallmark Channel. Image found at https://www.crownmediapress.com/Shows/PRShowDetail?SiteID=142&FeedBoxID=845&NodeID=302&ShowType=&ShowTitle=Truly%2c+Madly%2c+Sweetly

Things I liked about the film:

The acting: The cast in Truly, Madly, Sweetly was really good! I’ve seen Nikki Deloach’s performance in The Perfect Catch, so I knew she had what it takes, talent wise, to lead a Hallmark movie. Once again, Nikki gave a really good performance, but in her second lead role in a Hallmark movie outside of the Christmas season this time. Her portrayal of Natalie appeared very natural and versatile. I’ve also seen Dylan Neal’s performances in the Gourmet Detective series as well as on Cedar Cove. For his first lead role in a Hallmark Channel movie outside of the Christmas season, I think Dylan gave a really good portrayal of his character, Eric. Dylan brought a good amount of believability to his role that truly added to the enjoyment of his performance.

 

The on-screen chemistry: As I’ve already mentioned, Nikki Deloach and Dylan Neal gave really good performances individually. They also gave a good performance as an on-screen pair. Nikki and Dylan’s on-screen chemistry came across very believably in the film. Because of this, it truly felt like Natalie and Eric’s relationship was growing. I definitely would like to see Nikki and Dylan star in another Hallmark movie together!

 

The story: Before I saw Truly, Madly, Sweetly, I knew there was going to be similarities between this movie and All of My Heart. As I was watching Truly, Madly, Sweetly, I noticed there were more differences than similarities between these movies. For instance, Eric and Natalie are enthusiastic about the idea of working together to restore the bakery within the first half of the movie. Meanwhile, in All of My Heart, it takes Brian and Jenny the entire movie to figure out what they are going to do about Emily’s house. There are other things within Truly, Madly, Sweetly that made the story feel unique from other Hallmark movies with a similar story, such as Natalie’s cupcake food truck and the inherited business being a bakery.

 

“Easter Eggs” from the director: On social media, Ron Oliver has mentioned that he likes to put “Easter Eggs” in his films that relate to his dog, Crawford T. Manchester. In Truly, Madly, Sweetly, the daughter’s school was named ‘Crawford T, Manchester Elementary’. In another scene, there was a wine bottle with Crawford’s picture on the label and the wine was called ‘Straight Outta Palm Springs’ (a location Ron mentioned in an Instagram post featuring Crawford). Small details like these add character and a unique touch to the film, giving audience members who are familiar with Ron’s directing work something to look forward to.

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Cupcake with hearts image created by Freepik at freepik.com. <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-vector/delicious-cupcakes-illustrations_779154.htm’>Designed by Freepik</a>. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/food”>Food vector created by Freepik</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

What I didn’t like about the film:

A slower pace: In Truly, Madly, Sweetly, the pace was slower than in most Hallmark Channel movies. Because of this, it made the story feel longer than it might have been intended. For example, it took more than half the movie for the characters to start renovating the bakery. Personally, I think the bakery renovation should have happened at the film’s half-way point.

 

Minimal use of the fall theme: Even though Truly, Madly, Sweetly is a part of Hallmark’s “Fall Harvest” line-up, it felt like the fall season theme didn’t have as much of a presence as it could have had. While there were fall inspired decorations within the film as well as a fall festival at the daughter’s school, the overall theme of fall appeared as an extra in the movie. None of the characters in Truly, Madly, Sweetly seemed to pay much attention to what season was supposed to be portrayed throughout the film. If this story were placed in any other movie line-up from Hallmark, it wouldn’t have made a difference.

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Bakery image created by Freepik at freepik.com. <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-vector/facade-bakery-shop_845112.htm’>Designed by Freepik</a>. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/vintage”>Vintage vector created by Freepik</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

My overall impression:

Truly, Madly, Sweetly was a good start to this year’s “Fall Harvest” line-up! Excluding the Christmas line-up, because it hasn’t premiered yet, the start of the “Fall Harvest” line-up is the strongest out of all the seasonal line-ups that have premiered on Hallmark Channel this year! While there were little references to the fall season in this movie, the film has more merits than flaws. Truly, Madly, Sweetly has gotten me even more excited for Christmas Everlasting because of Ron Oliver’s involvement in this film! From the “Easter Eggs” to the dialogue, everything felt like it has handled with great care and effort. I’m definitely looking forward to the rest of the “Fall Harvest” films and it will be interesting to see which one ends up being my favorite.

 

Overall score: 7.8 out of 10

 

Did you see Truly, Madly, Sweetly? Are you enjoying “Fall Harvest” so far? Please tell me in the comment section!

 

Have fun at the movies!

Sally Silverscreen

Take 3: The Sweetest Heart Review

Now that spring is here, I wanted to celebrate by reviewing a spring themed movie. There are several options that I could have gone with for this particular post. However, I decided to review The Sweetest Heart because I haven’t reviewed a Hallmark movie since last month. Hallmark has made several good spring themed movies over the years, from last year’s The Perfect Catch to one of my favorites, Hearts of Spring. But ever since Hallmark started their “Spring Fever” line-up in 2016 (originally called “Spring Fling”), the first movie to start off the line-up has been, in my opinion, very mixed. I really liked All Yours, but I thought Love at First Bark was just decent. Where does The Sweetest Heart rank? Find out in my review of this movie!

The Sweetest Heart poster
The Sweetest Heart poster image created Crown Media Family Networks and Hallmark Channel. Poster image found at https://www.crownmediapress.com/Shows/PRShowDetail?SiteID=142&FeedBoxID=845&NodeID=302&ShowType=&ShowTitle=The%20Sweetest%20Heart&IsSeries=False

Things I liked about the film:

  • The acting: In The Sweetest Heart, the acting from the cast was good. But there are two actors that were the stand-outs: Julie Gonzalo and Andrea Brooks. Julie has shined on the Hallmark Channel since her debut in Pumpkin Pie Wars! Even when a movie isn’t that good (Falling for Vermont, in my opinion), Julie still pulls off a great performance. Her performance in The Sweetest Heart did not disappoint as it was one of the highlights of this film! Andrea becoming a regular cast member on When Calls the Heart is one of the best things to happen to that show. Since she guest starred on When Calls the Heart in 2015, she has also appeared in several movies for the Hallmark Channel. Andrea’s acting talents have impressed me every time I’ve seen her films. It makes me wish that she would get a lead role in a Hallmark movie.

 

  • The on-screen chemistry: I really liked the on-screen chemistry between Julie Gonzalo and Chris McNally! In fact, their on-screen chemistry was better than Julie’s and Victor Zinck Jr.’s on-screen chemistry. The relationship between Maddie and Nate seemed real as well as believable. Their interactions were well written and well-acted! From humorous to endearing, watching Maddie and Nate’s story was very entertaining.

 

  • Focus on the cupcakes: The last time we got a Hallmark movie that was either centered around cupcakes or a business that creates cupcakes is Operation Cupcake from 2012. I really liked how Hallmark took a story element that hasn’t been told in a while and incorporated it into one of their newer films. This allows for more stories to be shared as well as more creativity to be adopted by Hallmark. As a fan of Hallmark, I always get excited when Hallmark brings new ideas to the table. While the concept of a cupcake bakery is not new, it is a story point that is getting re-purposed.

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Cupcake with hearts image created by Freepik at freepik.com. <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-vector/delicious-cupcakes-illustrations_779154.htm’>Designed by Freepik</a>. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/food”>Food vector created by Freepik</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

What I didn’t like about the film:

  • A pace that was inconsistent: Though this didn’t happen throughout the entire movie, there were a few times when scenes felt longer than they were originally intended. Also, there were a few scenes that seemed a little too fast-paced.

 

  • Too many storylines: The Sweetest Heart had six plots during the course of two hours. However, two of these plots, the story of Maddie and Alex’s relationship and the community center fundraiser, were simply pointless. In fact, if these two plots were excluded from this movie, it wouldn’t have any impact. Also, the story of Tammy Gillis’s and Clayton Chitty’s characters, Sarah and Luke, could have been made into its own movie.

 

My overall impression:

The Sweetest Heart was a decent film. While there were good things about the movie, there were also not-so-good things about it. Looking back on this movie, I noticed a pattern. I’ve now seen all three of the Hallmark movies that started off each Hallmark movie line-up (Love on the Slopes, My Secret Valentine, and The Sweetest Heart) and, in my opinion, they all have been decent. It’ll be interesting to see how I feel about the rest of the starting films in the upcoming movie line-ups, especially for Christmas. I also wonder which movie from the “Spring Fever” line-up will end up being my favorite. Until then, I will watch each movie with an open mind and I might review some of them for 18 Cinema Lane!

 

Overall score: 7 out of 10

 

Have you seen The Sweetest Heart? What did you think about the film? Please let me know in the comment section!

 

Have fun at the movies!

Sally Silverscreen