Take 3: Easter Under Wraps Review

Because I was participating in Easter festivities, I didn’t get around to reviewing Easter Under Wraps over the weekend. However, I was able to watch the movie on the Monday after Easter. When I discovered that Hallmark was creating their first Easter movie, I was so excited! I even talked about the film in a Word in the Street story last month. As I shared the movie’s official synopsis in that post, I expressed my feelings of disappointment about how it sounded. To me, the premise felt like it would focus more on the corporate side of Easter than the holiday itself. But I still chose to watch the movie with an open mind and give it a fair chance. Did Easter Under Wraps disappoint or triumph? I’m glad you hopped on over to this review, as we’re now about to find out!

Easter Under Wraps poster
Easter Under Wraps 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=Easter%20Under%20Wraps&IsSeries=False.

Things I liked about the film:

  • The acting: The cast of Easter Under Wraps is, so far, the strongest I’ve seen in any Hallmark movie this year! Every actor and actress did such a great job at portraying their characters, making them feel like real-life individuals. From the lead stars to even the only prominent child actor in the cast, all of the performances seemed so natural and genuine. This helped the characters maintain a sense of likability. It also helped me stay invested in what was happening to the characters. The acting was one of the things that made my movie-viewing experience so enjoyable!

 

  • The on-screen chemistry between the characters: In most Hallmark films, the on-screen chemistry between the lead characters is emphasized. This is partly the case with Easter Under Wraps. Fiona Gubelmann and Brendan Penny’s on-screen chemistry was really good! What helped make this on-screen relationship feel so genuine was the quality of Fiona and Brendan’s performances. A pleasant surprise in Easter Under Wraps was the on-screen chemistry between all of the characters. The various relationships in this film were not only portrayed well by the actors, but they were also well-written. This component helped make the story that much more interesting.

 

  • The writing: In Easter Under Wraps, the writing was such a great element to this narrative! Through the movie, conversations amongst the characters felt like real-life conversations. The comedic timing in this film was perfect, making the funnier moments feel effective. All of the sub-plots blended in really well with the main plot. Easter Under Wraps was an engaging movie because of how good the writing was. This component elevated the story into a truly memorable narrative!

 

  • The messages and themes: Like any Hallmark movie, Easter Under Wraps was filled with good messages and themes! These pieces of the story added to the relatability of the movie. Characters learning about personal growth, incorporating important traditions, and effective problem solving can be found in this film. Something that I found interesting was how chocolate was included in Easter Under Wraps. While the main plot revolved around a chocolate factory, the characters found ways to attach interesting messages to the candy itself. It, honestly, made me think about chocolate in a different way.
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Cute Easter image created by Freepik at freepik.com. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/background”>Background vector created by freepik – http://www.freepik.com</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

What I didn’t like about the film:

  • Lack of Easter specific messages and themes: Because this is Hallmark’s first Easter movie, I kind of figured this would be an issue. While Easter Under Wraps had good messages and themes, they really didn’t correlate directly with the Easter holiday. A few of these messages and themes were sprinkled into the story, but they weren’t explored as thoroughly as I had hoped. If Hallmark continues to create Easter themed movies (which I hope they do), I hope they take the time to explore the messages and themes that the Easter holiday has to offer.
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Easter egg painting image created by Jcomp at freepik.com. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/background”>Background photo created by jcomp – http://www.freepik.com</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

My overall impression:

For their first Easter themed movie, Hallmark did a really good job with Easter Under Wraps! While there were a few “Hallmark movie clichés” in this film, the overall quality of the other components made me overlook them. There was so much about this movie that I liked, from the acting to even the festive decorations. This is, so far, the best Hallmark movie I’ve seen this year! I really hope that Hallmark continues to make Easter themed movies, as there are some interesting stories that can be told. I also wouldn’t mind if this movie got a sequel, since it definitely has the potential for another chapter. There’s no doubt that I had an egg-cellent time watching Easter Under Wraps!

 

Overall score: 8.6 out of 10

 

Which 2019 “Spring Fever” movie was your favorite? Would you like to see more Easter themed movies from Hallmark? Let me know in the comment section!

 

Have fun at the movies!

Sally Silverscreen

Take 3: Yes, I Do Review

Now that Hallmark’s “June Weddings” line-up has come to an end, it’s time for me to offer my opinion on this particular collection of films as well as my review of the “June Weddings” finale, Yes, I Do. Last month, I shared the synopsis for this movie and said that it sounds too ridiculous for my liking. But since there was interest expressed in that Word on the Street post (it received 3 likes), I decided to review Yes, I Do. I also saw the trailer for the film and I was as unimpressed with it as I was with the film’s synopsis. Despite these less-than-stellar pieces of advertising, I chose to watch this movie with an open mind. In my review of The Beach House, I said that my expectations for the film were lowered because of the weak marketing campaign. Because of my lowered expectations, The Beach House ended up being such as pleasant surprise for me! Did I feel the same way about Yes, I Do? If you want find out, keep on reading my review!

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

Things I liked about the film:

The acting: Yes, I Do had a good cast! The three stars that stood out to me were Marcus Rosner, Jen Lilley, and Jessica Lowndes! The first time I had ever seen Jen perform in a movie was when I saw Lifetime’s The Spirit of Christmas. After I saw that movie, I realized just how talented Jen is! I have seen most of Jen’s Hallmark movies and even though they haven’t been my favorite movies, she still finds a way to give a good performance. As I’ve mentioned in the Word on the Street post about the Yes, I Do synopsis, Marcus has proven that he has what it takes to be a leading actor in a Hallmark movie. He certainly proved that he can lead a Hallmark movie, as he gave a very good performance in Yes, I Do! Because of this, I hope that he gets more lead roles in Hallmark movies! Jessica gave a good performance as well, especially for her first supporting actress role in a Hallmark movie and her first Hallmark movie that was not Christmas themed!

 

Diversity of occupations: In my Word on the Street post where I shared Yes, I Do’s synopsis, I mentioned that I liked how the job of a chocolatier was being highlighted in a Hallmark movie, especially since that occupation has never been featured before. This movie did a good job in not only highlighting a chocolatier’s job, but also showing the different components of that job. I also liked how the job of a helicopter mechanic, another occupation that has never been featured in a Hallmark movie before, was showcased in this film. It was nice to see both protagonists have unique occupations that are rarely seen on Hallmark.

 

The marriage aspect of a wedding: When it comes to these wedding themed movies, the important component of marriage is usually glossed over in favor of the wedding itself or for the preparation of the wedding. This is because the pretty aesthetics that are shown in these movies can sometimes get in the way of the moral and symbolic aspects of a wedding. I liked the scene where the priest is talking with Jen’s character, Charlotte, about the seriousness and importance of making that decision to marry someone. It was a breath of fresh air to have at least one character remind some of the other characters in the film, as well as the audience, about the reason for a wedding.

Delivery Stickers Set
Helicopter sticker image created by Macrovector at freepik.com. <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-vector/delivery-stickers-set_1539060.htm’>Designed by Freepik</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 plot: Last month, I confessed that the synopsis for Yes, I Do sounds, to me, too ridiculous for my liking. When this synopsis was played out on-screen, it still seemed ridiculous to me. This movie felt like it was more about an adolescent trying to catch the attention of their crush and less about two businesspeople choosing to take the next step in their relationship. The incorporation of the planning-a-wedding-in-an-unrealistic-time-period cliché (one of my least favorite Hallmark movie clichés) into this story didn’t add any enjoyment. Also, Jessica’s character, Nicole, didn’t provide any explanation for why she wanted to date James again, making that aspect of Nicole’s story seem very random in the movie overall.

 

The character of Charlotte: While Jen gave a good performance in Yes, I Do, I was not a fan of her character. Charlotte, the protagonist of the film, was very unlikable. She never really gave any explanations for choosing to not get married, but, instead, provided excuses. There was one moment of the film where she seriously contemplated if she was allergic to weddings (I’m not making this up). Speaking of allergies, the part about Charlotte’s chocolate allergy was poorly written to the point of appearing very unrealistic. Charlotte is more “book smart” than “street smart”. However, this character’s lack of “street smarts” doesn’t come across as charming, but rather annoying.

 

Lack of on-screen chemistry: In Yes, I Do, Jen Lilley and Marcus Rosner didn’t have any on-screen chemistry, even though both of them gave good performances in the movie. It seems like their characters spent more time apart than together. I thought that Marcus had better on-screen chemistry with Jessica Lowndes than with Jen. Until after I saw Yes, I Do, I never realized how much I wanted to see a Hallmark movie starring Marcus Rosner and Jessica Lowndes.

 

Too many plots: There were five major plots in Yes, I Do. Because of this, some stories felt like they were more overshadowed than others. An example of this is James trying to find his grandfather’s beloved car. I thought this was the best story in the movie (I would have wanted to see a Hallmark movie with that particular story as the main plot), but it didn’t receive as much attention as some of the other stories in this film. Also, there were stories that were never resolved, such as Charlotte’s attempt to win a chocolate contest from a renowned magazine.

Counter of sweets
Chocolates and sweets shop image created by Bearfotos at freepik.com. <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-photo/counter-of-sweets_1328775.htm’>Designed by Freepik</a>. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/food”>Food image created by Bearfotos – Freepik.com</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

My overall impression:

Yes, I Do was not a good movie. It was so bad, I chose to fast forward through a few moments of the movie just to get through it. This is the second year in a row that the “June Weddings” line-up has ended with a movie I didn’t like (I was not a fan of My Favorite Wedding). Speaking of the “June Weddings” line-up, this year’s collection of movies is, to me, weaker than last year’s. I think Hallmark relied too much on sequels to previously released films that had a strong fan following. For me, each of those sequels were disappointing to a certain extent. Love at First Dance was decent, but it felt like it was missing something and seemed to get overshadowed by the “June Weddings” sequels. Hallmark will start their “Summer Nights” line-up in late July, which I’m hoping is stronger than not only the “June Weddings” line-up, but the other seasonal line-ups that have premiered on Hallmark Channel so far.

 

Overall score: 4.3 out of 10

 

What are your thoughts on Hallmark Channel’s “June Weddings” line-up? Are you excited for the “Summer Nights” line-up? Let me know in the comment section!

 

Have fun at the movies!

Sally Silverscreen

Word on the Street: Hallmark releases official synopsis for Signed, Sealed, Delivered: To the Altar and Yes, I Do

As Hallmark’s “June Weddings” line-up continues to be in full swing, Hallmark recently released a synopsis for two upcoming, wedding themed films! These films are Signed, Sealed, Delivered: To the Altar and Yes, I Do. Last month, I talked about how the newest Signed, Sealed, Delivered installment received an official movie page on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries’ website. Now, with the synopsis being incorporated into that page, it looks like all the important elements of Signed, Sealed, Delivered: To the Altar’s movie page are falling into place very nicely. Back in April, I wondered if a movie called “I Do” could replace “Dream On” in Hallmark’s “June Weddings” line-up. Well, “I Do” became Yes, I Do and it is definitely a part of the “June Weddings” line-up! With this latest movie news, keep on reading and see what I think about each synopsis!

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Bride and Groom image created by Freepik at freepik.com  <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-vector/nice-couple-wedding-invitation_841530.htm’>Designed by Freepik</a> <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/wedding”>Wedding vector created by Freepik</a> Image found at freepik.com

Two days ago, Hallmark released a synopsis for Signed, Sealed, Delivered: To the Altar on both the Crown Media Family Networks’ and Hallmark Movies & Mysteries’ website. Here is the synopsis featured on the movie’s official pages from each website:

 

From the website of Crown Media Family Networks:

“Just a week before Rita and Norman’s long-awaited wedding day, the POstables go beyond the call of duty when, after completing their postal mission, they attempt a much bigger reunion – that of a mother and daughter separated by the years”.

 

From the website of Hallmark Movies & Mysteries:

“When plans for Rita and Norman’s long-awaited wedding begins falling apart days before their nuptials, their challenges inspire changes that make their wedding more meaningful. Meanwhile, Shane convinces Oliver that the team should urgently focus on finding clues to deliver a package containing a wedding dress”.

 

Personally, I find the Signed, Sealed, Delivered series to be very hit-or-miss. Even though I plan on watching this movie with an open mind, both of these movie descriptions don’t really add any excitement or anticipation for me. One of these reasons is how “on-the-nose” some of the story elements sound. I’m not a fan of the title of this film because it doesn’t have a creative, double meaning like the other Signed, Sealed, Delivered titles (an example: Signed, Sealed, Delivered: Lost Without You; where the title is not only about the military veteran and his K-9 companion, but also about the POstables themselves). From a creative perspective, I think the package could have contained a wedding memento that didn’t feel so obviously connected to the POstables’ story, such as a flower girl’s basket. The specific story associated with this basket could have been relatable to all the POstables, not just the engaged couple (maybe the story behind the basket could be about childhood dreams vs. grown-up expectations). Both of these movie descriptions also make it sound like Hallmark will, once again, adopt the planning-a-wedding-in-an-unrealistic-time-period cliché. I am curious about something that was mentioned in the synopsis from Crown Media Family Networks. It was mentioned that a “mother and daughter” were “separated by the years”. In the previous Signed, Sealed, Delivered installment, Shane revealed that she has a sister who, Shane feels, tore her family apart. Maybe the POstables’ “mission” will involve helping Shane and her family heal? We’ll have to wait until July 15th to find out.

 

Link to the official movie page for Signed, Sealed, Delivered: To the Altar on Crown Media Family Networks’ website: https://www.crownmediapress.com/Shows/PRShowDetail?SiteID=143&FeedBoxID=845&NodeID=302&ShowType=series&ShowTitle=Signed%2c+Sealed%2c+Delivered+To+the+Altar

Link to the synopsis on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries’ website: http://www.hallmarkmoviesandmysteries.com/signed-sealed-delivered-to-the-altar/about-signed-sealed-delivered-to-the-altar

Signed Sealed Delivered To the Altar poster
Signed, Sealed, Delivered: To the Altar 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=302&ShowType=series&ShowTitle=Signed%2c+Sealed%2c+Delivered+To+the+Altar

Yesterday, Crown Media Family Networks released the synopsis for one of their “June Weddings” movies, Yes, I Do, on their website. This movie is about the following:

 

“Busy chocolatier Charlotte has left her boyfriend James at the alter three times and now she needs to prove to him that she really does want to marry him. Things are complicated when James’ ex-girlfriend Nicole, who is also the owner of Chocolate Monthly Magazine, arrives on the scene and says she wants him back”.

 

Honestly, I think the majority of this synopsis sounds too ridiculous for my liking. Also, I’m not a fan of this title either, as it doesn’t sound very creative. However, I like how Hallmark is highlighting an occupation that hasn’t been featured in a Hallmark movie before (a chocolatier). I’m also happy that Marcus Rosner has finally gotten a lead role in a Hallmark movie! Ever since he first appeared on When Calls the Heart in 2015, he has proven that he has what it takes to be a leading actor on Hallmark Channel. The question is: will he put all the talent he has into this role like he has in his other supporting actor roles? We’ll have to watch Yes, I Do to find out.

 

Link to the official movie page for Yes, I Do on Crown Media Family Networks’ website: https://www.hallmarkchannelpress.com/Shows/PRShowDetail?SiteID=142&FeedBoxID=845&NodeID=302&ShowType=&ShowTitle=Yes%2c+I+Do

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

What are your thoughts about these movie descriptions? Are you looking forward to any of these films? Let me know in the comment section!

 

Have fun at the movies!

Sally Silverscreen