Take 3: High Society Review

I interrupt my Youth-Led Film Double Feature to bring you my review for The Wedding Bells Blogathon! One day, as I was searching Turner Classic Movies’ (TCM’s) schedule, I came across a film called High Society. Through its description, I learned it was a musical remake of The Philadelphia Story. Since I have enjoyed that movie, I figured there was a good chance I might like this picture from 1956. In my review of Marriage on the Rocks, I mentioned I would be reviewing the movie later this month. I also said in that review that I did not like Marriage on the Rocks. High Society is now the second film of Frank Sinatra’s and Grace Kelly’s that I’ve seen! While I knew that Frank and Bing Crosby had musical talents, it would be interesting to see what Grace had to offer to a movie musical. Now, as you’re waiting for the wedding to start, please take a moment to read this review of High Society.

High Society poster
High Society poster created by Sol C. Siegel Productions, Bing Crosby Productions, and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Image found at http://www.tcm.com/tcmdb/title/78008/High-Society/#.

Things I liked about the film:

The acting: It’s no secret that Grace Kelly is one of the most versatile actresses to ever exist! Her performance in High Society helps her maintain that reputation. Grace has the ability to adapt her emotions to any scene. When Grace’s character, Tracy, is talking with her father by the pool, she can go from angry to crying with sadness within a matter of minutes. Because of her experience working with various actors and actresses, Grace never had difficulty keeping up with her co-stars. Speaking of co-stars, I have seen Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby in at least one film prior to watching High Society (Frank in Marriage on the Rocks and Bing in scenes from White Christmas). Similar to what I said in my Marriage on the Rocks review, both Frank and Bing appeared at ease in their respective roles. This allowed them to bring a natural charm to their characters, C. K. Dexter-Haven and Mike Connor. What also helped was how their singing talents complimented their acting talents. Even though he portrayed himself in the film, Louis Armstrong did a good job with the material he was given. He had a delightful on-screen personality and great musicality. These things made me enjoy Louis’s presence in the movie!


The sets: In High Society, the sets were absolutely gorgeous! Not only did they fit the environment the film’s creative team wanted to create, but these sets also looked magnificent on film! The great part about them are the textures, colors, and materials that were used in each space. In one of the Lord family’s sitting rooms, the sea green walls worked really well with the white wood paneling and crown molding. Another great set was Tracy’s uncle’s library. While the dark wood walls and bookshelves were beautifully crafted, it’s the hidden bar within the bookshelves that steals the show. The sets in High Society certainly made the movie visually appealing!


The musical numbers: For the most part, I enjoyed the musical numbers in High Society. They sounded pleasant and were, more often than not, lively. My favorite musical number is “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?”, as it was one of the funniest scenes in the movie. In this number, Frank and Celeste Holm, the actress who portrayed Liz Imbrie, had really good on-screen chemistry and comedic timing. Frank and Celeste’s singing voices also sounded great together. I was pleasantly surprised by Grace’s singing abilities in the duet, “True Love”. She sounded excellent alongside Bing Crosby and the song itself sounded nice. I’m not sure how much singing experience Grace had prior to being cast in this movie. But it’s nice to see her trying different things and going out of her comfort zone.

Jewels sparkle in the golden wedding rings lying on the leather
Fancy jewelry image created by Freepic.diller at freepik.com. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/wedding”>Wedding photo created by freepic.diller – http://www.freepik.com</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

What I didn’t like about the film:

Unacknowledged commentary: In my Rich Kids review, I shared that one of the film’s messages was how wealth didn’t equal invincibility. This message can also be found in High Society, as Tracy shows Mike various houses in her neighborhood that are either boarded up or for sale due to homeowners no longer affording them. While this commentary added something interesting to the story, there was no room in the script for it to be explored or discussed. I understand there’s only so much you can do in an hour and fifty-one minutes. However, it was disappointing to see this commentary get ignored.


Few dance numbers: When I learned that High Society was a musical remake of The Philadelphia Story, I was excited for the song-and-dance fest that would take place. But, as I was watching the movie, I discovered it only contained two dance numbers. These numbers were a short solo performed by Frank and a short duet performed by Frank and Grace. Since White Christmas premiered two years prior, I’m surprised Bing wasn’t given at least a waltz with Grace, especially since that film featured both singing and dancing. Personally, I had expected more dance sequences in High Society. But I’m guessing there was no room in the budget to recruit a choreographer.


Dialogue-heavy scenes that felt a little drawn out: Within musicals, dialogue-heavy scenes are meant to give the audience a break from the high energy that can sometimes come from the musical numbers. However, in the case of High Society, these scenes felt a little drawn out. The scene where Mike and Liz meet the Lord family is one example. The pace of the scenes feel slower than I hoped. It also caused the film’s overall pace to seem uneven. Issues with pace and length of scenes are some reasons why I think this script was weaker than it could have been.

Wedding Bells Blogathon banner
The Wedding Bells Blogathon banner created by Annette from Hometowns to Hollywood. Image found at https://hometownstohollywood.com/2020/01/03/the-wedding-bells-blogathon/.

My overall impression:

High Society is a fine, enjoyable film! While it’s not one of my favorite musicals, I certainly liked it for what it was. It was also far more entertaining than Marriage on the Rocks! Because High Society is a remake of The Philadelphia Story, there are bound to be similarities between the two. However, there are also differences that give each movie their own identity. For the 1956 picture, this was the incorporation of the message that even wealthy people can experience hardship. Combined with the song, “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?”, the film tells its audience to count their blessings and to focus less on what they don’t have. This shows that the film’s creative team not only wanted to bring something new to the story, but also respect the source material that came before it. As I end this review, I’d like to quote Louis Armstrong by saying “end of story”.


Overall score: 7.2 out of 10


Which movie musical is your favorite? Are there any you’d like me to review? Let me know in the comment section!


Have fun at the movies!

Sally Silverscreen

Take 3: Holiday for Heroes Review

Because of several blog related projects, I haven’t gotten around to reviewing any of the Christmas movies. But now that I’ve completed those projects, I can finally start talking about some of these films! Since I didn’t review A Veteran’s Christmas last year, I thought I’d make up for that by reviewing Holiday for Heroes. I love Operation Christmas, a Hallmark Movies & Mysteries film that premiered in 2016. But since then, I’ve felt that the military related Christmas movies from Hallmark’s second network haven’t been as good as the aforementioned film. While I liked Home for Christmas Day, it was released during Hallmark Movies & Mysteries’ “Christmas in July” marathon. When Holiday for Heroes was first announced, I had to lower my expectations in order not to become disappointed. It also didn’t help that the story reminded me of The Christmas Card, a movie that I found to be just ok. But I hoped for the best as I gave this movie a fair chance. Was I pleasantly surprised or was the film as expected? It’s time to report for duty and read this review!

Holiday for Heroes poster
Holiday for Heroes poster created by Hallmark Movies & Mysteries and Crown Media Family Networks. Image found at https://www.crownmediapress.com/Shows/PRShowDetail?SiteID=143&FeedBoxID=845&NodeID=307&ShowType=&ShowTitle=Holiday+for+Heroes.

Things I liked about the film:

The acting: I’ve seen all of Marc Blucas’ Hallmark films. In these movies, Marc has always taken his roles seriously and presented the best of his acting abilities. This was no different in Holiday for Heroes, as Marc brought his character to life with believability and charm. While this is the second time where Marc has portrayed a member of the military, his performance was different in Holiday for Heroes. Marc’s character, Matt, was more light-hearted. He also had a more playful and fun personality. This was Melissa Claire Egan’s first Hallmark movie. Despite this, she did a great job portraying her character, Audrey. Her performance was very expressive, allowing the audience to witness the well-roundedness of her acting abilities. It was also emotional at dramatic moments, making those scenes effective. Both Marc and Melissa worked well with all of their co-stars, helping this cast become strong as a whole.


The on-screen chemistry: As soon as Audrey and Matt met in person for the first time, I knew that Marc and Melissa were going to have good on-screen chemistry! Throughout the film, the audience got to watch their relationship grow over the course of the Christmas season. Even though their reunion was inevitable, because that’s how Hallmark movies work, I liked seeing everything work in their favor. It was a joy to see Melissa and Marc come together to make this on-screen relationship a reality. Because their acting styles were similar, it allowed their characters to adopt similar personalities from one another. Out of all the Christmas movies I’ve seen this year, so far, this is one of the best on-screen pairs of 2019’s Christmas season!


A sense of reality: In my review of The Christmas Card, I said that the unrealistic nature of the titular card was one of the things I didn’t like about that film. This aspect of that story asked me to suspend my belief more than I wanted to. In Holiday for Heroes, the letter writing that took place between Audrey and Matt felt realistic. Because Audrey’s brother happened to be in the same division of the Army as Matt, their acknowledgement of one another makes sense. This movie featured other elements that also seemed realistic. One example is when Audrey and her friend, Jade, found out that their family members in the military would not be coming home for Christmas. When they both received the phone call, the look on their faces and the tone of the voices say everything that the audience needs to know. This was the result of good acting and good screenwriting.


A good level of sincerity: When it comes to Hallmark Christmas movies, there are some that try too hard to be sincere. For Holiday for Heroes, the sincerity in the story felt genuine. What worked in this movie’s favor was how the primary focus was placed on, simply, telling a good story. It also put emphasis on finding the right people to help tell this story, both in front of and behind the camera. The overall project gave me, as an audience member, the impression that the creative team’s heart was always in the right place. By watching the film, I could tell that there was a lot of care and effort that was put into it. These are the things that, I think, not only make a great Christmas movie, but also a great movie in general.

United States Army Monument image created by David Resseguie at freeimages.com. “FreeImages.com/David Resseguie.”

What I didn’t like about the film:

The “red herring” love interest: In some Hallmark films, there will be a “red herring” love interest placed in the story in an attempt to trick the audience into thinking the protagonist won’t fall in love with the other protagonist. In the case of Holiday for Heroes, this role was given to a character named Luke, who was portrayed by William Rubio. While the character himself was fine, I don’t think Luke needed to be a love interest. Because Hallmark movies almost always have the male and female protagonist fall in love, the idea of featuring any “red herring” love interest just doesn’t feel necessary. This creative tactic might be effective for audience members who don’t watch a lot of Hallmark projects. But for people, like myself, who consume a lot of Hallmark content, this could insult their intelligence.


The “it’s not what you think” cliché: In my list of The Top 10 Worst Clichés from Hallmark Movies, I talked about how the “it’s not what you think” cliché is hit or miss. This cliché’s inclusion in Holiday for Heroes was not needed. In the movie, Matt was led to believe that Audrey and Luke were falling in love based on their interactions he witnessed. Because of this, Matt automatically made assumptions instead of immediately addressing his issues. As I already said, Luke was the “red herring” love interest and most Hallmark movies feature the male and female protagonist falling in love. This makes me believe that Holiday for Heroes would have better off without this cliché.

christmas envelop 3 preview
Santa stationary image created by Freepik at freepik.com. <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-vector/creative-christmas-letter-and-envelope-template_3281562.htm’>Designed by Freepik</a>. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/christmas”>Christmas vector created by Freepik</a>. Image found at freepik.com. 

My overall impression:

Holiday for Heroes was a genuinely good film! Instead of reminding me of The Christmas Card, the movie reminded me of Operation Christmas more than I expected! What is great about this film is how it doesn’t rehash the story of the 2016 project. Holiday for Heroes tells a story that happens to share some of the same themes. There were several components that worked in this movie’s favor, from the acting to the film’s sincerity. These things added to my enjoyment of the movie! Even though we’re not half-way through the Christmas season yet, Holiday for Heroes is my favorite Christmas movie from 2019, so far! It was heart-warming without trying too hard to be and I think it’s a good movie for both Hallmark fans and casual viewers of Hallmark.


Overall score: 8.6 out of 10


What are your thoughts on Hallmark’s Christmas line-ups this year, so far? Which movie has been your favorite? Please tell me in the comment section!


Have fun at the movies!

Sally Silverscreen

Word on the Street: Exciting news about upcoming Hallmark movies!

Last month, I talked about several movie titles that belong to either confirmed Hallmark movies or potential Hallmark movies. A few days after I published that post, there were some details revealed about three of the movies I mentioned! There was also a movie that was recently discovered on Hallmark Channel’s website! In this post, I will talk about these details and what they mean for these specific movies. I will also share my thoughts on these pieces of movie news. So, now let’s talk about these movie details, the moment you, my readers and followers, have been waiting for!

Popcorn and movie ticket image created by Freepik at freepik.com. <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-photo/cinema-tickets-in-bucket-with-popcorn_2303439.htm’>Designed by Freepik</a>. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/layout”>Layout image created by Freepik</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

In my aforementioned Word on the Street story, I listed several movie titles that could belong to potential Hallmark movies. Two of these titles are “Flip That Romance” and “Picture Perfect”. When I revisited the website, What’s Filming, I noticed that there were names of cast members listed who are now attached to these projects! For “Picture Perfect”, the stars of this film are Arielle Kebbel, Alexa PenaVega, and Carlos PenaVega! After making this discovery, I wondered if this could be the movie that Hallmark was talking about last year. At their Winter TCA Event last January, Hallmark announced that Alexa and Carlos PenaVega would receive their own mystery movie on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries. Within their announcement, Hallmark shared that Alexa’s character would be a photographer. Based on this information, the casting, and the title, I wouldn’t be surprised if “Picture Perfect” ended up being the movie that Hallmark talked about all those months ago. For “Flip That Romance”, Crystal Lowe has now been attached to the project, according to What’s Filming. The chances of this movie being a Hallmark film are, right now, 50/50. On the one hand, Crystal has been in several Hallmark films, including the Signed, Sealed, Delivered series. On the other hand, Crystal’s involvement does not guarantee that this will be a Hallmark movie. As of early February 2019, Hallmark has not confirmed or denied that “Flip That Romance” is their movie. We’ll just have to wait for more information to be revealed about this project.

If you want to check out the sources for this movie news story, here’s the link:

http://www.whatsfilming.ca/inproduction/ (after February 6th and 15th, “Flip That Romance” and “Picture Perfect” will be taken off the “In Production” page)

https://www.crownmediapress.com/PressReleaseList/?SiteID=142&NodeID=144&page=18 (the announcement can be found in the article titled “ALEXA PENAVEGA AND CARLOS PENAVEGA IN DEVELOPMENT WITH NEW MYSTERY MOVIE FOR HALLMARK MOVIES & MYSTERIES”)

Retro camera image created by Brgfx at freepik.com. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/banner”>Banner vector created by Brgfx – Freepik.com</a>. <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-vector/camera_1552643.htm’>Designed by Freepik</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

While on Hallmark Channel’s official website, I stumbled across a title for an upcoming Hallmark film! The movie is called Lost & Found and it’s scheduled for a March 23rd release. Nikki DeLoach and Michael Rady will star in the film. An official synopsis was also posted on the website, which is the following:

From the website of Hallmark Channel:


“Two single parents come head to head when their kids want to adopt the same dog. Agreeing to co-foster, free-spirited Kate and type-A Eric must work together to find the dog’s forever home.”


While I think the synopsis sounds fine, it does remind me of the film, Puppy Love, starring Candace Cameron Bure. That film was ok, but I thought the idea of two complete strangers sharing a pet was a bit too unrealistic for my liking. Despite the similarities that Lost & Found shares with Puppy Love, I’m still willing to give this film a chance. I’ve enjoyed Nikki’s and Michael’s acting performances in the past, so I’m hoping that their performance in this new movie is just as good.

Here is the link to the movie listing on Hallmark Channel’s website:


Dog collection image created by Freepik at freepik.com. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/dog”>Dog vector created by freepik – http://www.freepik.com</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

In my previous Word on the Street story, I talked about how a Hallmark Christmas movie was planning on filming in Stonington, Connecticut. Last week, a short article by The Westerly Sun revealed a new detail about the film! The article’s author, Harold Hanka, says, “The cast and its plotline haven’t yet been revealed, but the director said the story involves military veterans”. While looking at the photo within this article, I noticed three business signs that were located over some of the buildings. Wondering if any of these signs were associated with real businesses, I did my research for each sign. The only business that I couldn’t find any information about was A & J’s Coffee Shop. This makes me wonder if Hallmark made this business up specifically for this movie? Maybe the protagonist’s parents are “A & J” and the coffee shop is a family business? We’ll just have to wait for more details to emerge for this movie.

If you want to check out the article from The Westerly Sun, here’s the link:


Christmas family image created by Freepik at freepik.com. <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-vector/nice-family-christmas-scene-singing-together_1458033.htm’>Designed by Freepik</a>. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/background”>Background vector created by Freepik</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

What are your thoughts about these pieces of movie news? Are you excited for any of these films? Tell me in the comment section!


Have fun at the movies!

Sally Silverscreen

Word on the Street: Production updates for several potential Hallmark movies!

I haven’t made a Word on the Street post about production updates for confirmed or speculated Hallmark movies since last November. However, as I was writing my review of Mystery 101, I discovered that there are several movies in the works that either are upcoming Hallmark films or movies that could be Hallmark films. The reason why I talk about these production updates in Word on the Street posts is for two reasons; 1) because, to me, it’s considered movie news and 2) I want to tell any reader and/or follower of mine, who may also be a Hallmark fan, what might be in store from either network. When I’ve talked about these production updates, there have been times when the movie was already confirmed to be a Hallmark movie. The mystery films from Hallmark Movies & Mysteries are a good example. There are other times when the network of that specific film is unknown at the time of production, causing speculations to be made about its potential welcome onto one of the Hallmark networks. Sometimes, I have been right about a movie ending up as a Hallmark title, such as Ruby Herring Mysteries: Silent Witness being a Hallmark Movies & Mysteries film. But there have been times when I have been wrong, like when I thought that Christmas on Holly Lane was going to be a Hallmark movie. As more information is revealed about these films, that also happen to be listed in this post, it’ll be interesting to see how many of these films end up becoming Hallmark projects.

Cute movie icons created by Freepik at freepik.com. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/camera”>Camera vector created by Freepik</a>. <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-vector/set-of-cute-cartoon-movie-objects_1036379.htm’>Designed by Freepik</a>. Image found at freepik.com

On the website, What’s Filming, there are several upcoming movie titles that are listed on both the “Upcoming” and “In Production” pages for the Vancouver and British Columbia area. Some of these movies are already confirmed as Hallmark releases. These movies, as well as when they will be in production, are the following:


  • Garage Sale Mystery: Search and Seized – Currently in production until February 15th
  • Morning Show Mysteries: Murder by Design — Currently in production until February 15th
  • Where There’s a Will k.a. Aurora Teagarden 11 – Starts production on February 4th and ends on February 22nd


However, many of these titles have not been confirmed as Hallmark films. In fact, these movie titles could end up on any network. Here is a list of these titles with their production dates:


  • “Flip That Romance” – Currently in production until February 6th
  • “For You, With Love” – Currently in production until February 8th
  • “Picture Perfect” – Currently in production until February 15th
  • “Web of Dreams” – Currently in production until February 11th
  • “Letter From My Mother” – Starts production on February 11th and ends on February 27th
  • “Puppy Party Romance” – Starts production on February 4th and ends on February 21st
Movie items image created by Macrovector at freepik.com <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-vector/cinema-poster-sketch_1530892.htm’>Designed by Freepik</a> <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/background”>Background vector created by Macrovector – Freepik.com</a> Image found at freepik.com

On January 28th, it was reported that a Hallmark Christmas movie is planning on filming in Stonington, Connecticut! In an article on The Day, a “Hallmark Channel Christmas romantic drama” is preparing to film in the area. Indulge Coffee Company, a Stonington eatery, made an announcement on their Instagram feed about “the Hallmark Movie Production team” coming to the Connecticut area. However, they referred to the movie as a “2019 Christmas Special”. As of January 2019, Hallmark has not yet made any announcements about the film.

Christmas book image created by Freepik at freepik.com. <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-psd/christmas-mockup-with-open-book_1482296.htm’>Designed by Freepik</a>. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/mockup”>Mockup psd created by Freepik</a>.  Image found at freepik.com.

What are your thoughts about these movie titles? Which ones do you think could be Hallmark movies? Tell me in the comment section!


Have fun at the movies!

Sally Silverscreen

If you want to check out the references that I made within this post, you can visit the Instagram feed of Indulge Coffee Company (@indulgecoffeeco) and these links:


http://www.whatsfilming.ca/upcoming/ (after February 21st, 22nd, and 27th, “Letter From My Mother”, “Puppy Party Romance”, and Where There’s a Will k.a. Aurora Teagarden 11 will be taken off the list)

http://www.whatsfilming.ca/inproduction/ (February 6th, 8th, 11th, and 15th, Garage Sale Mystery: Search and Seized, Morning Show Mysteries: Murder by Design, “Flip That Romance”, “For You, With Love”, “Picture Perfect”, and “Web of Dreams” will be taken off this list)