Three weeks ago, 18 Cinema Lane received 210 followers! Because I was in the middle of coordinating my PB & J Double Feature and reviewing films for Pure Entertainment Preservation Society’s Clean Movie Month, I postponed my 210-follower dedication review. During that time, my blog also received 215 followers! This caused me to combine my 210 and 215 follower dedications into one review. Since last March, I’ve had a recording of Alice in the Cities on my DVR. As you can tell by the title of this post, this is the film I have chosen to write about. Every so often, I try to watch and/or review a movie that was created outside of North America. Most of these films have come from Europe. Prior to watching Alice in the Cities, the only German film I’ve written about on 18 Cinema Lane was Nosferatu. What’s interesting is how, like the 1922 movie, Alice in the Cities was restored as a result of two different versions of the project. According to a message at the beginning of the film, the movie was filmed in two separate millimeters.
Things I liked about the film:
The acting: According to an article from Turner Classic Movies’ (TCM’s) website, Wim Wenders, the director of Alice in the Cities, was inspired to create this film after watching Rüdiger Vogler and Yella Rottländer perform together in a previous project. Having these two actors reunite for Alice in the Cities was a smart decision! I liked Rüdiger’s portrayal of Philip because it was consistent. Not only that, but he had a coolness about him as his character moved from one scene to the next. No matter what scenario was thrown in his path, Philip was calm and collected. This made Rüdiger’s performance appear effortless! Something that I noticed while watching Yella’s performance was how believable it was. Whether she was questioning Philip’s “scribbles” or asking for food, Yella’s body language, facial expressions, and overall demeanor appeared as one would expect from a child in Alice’s particular situation. It also helps that Yella worked with Wim and Rüdiger prior to this movie. Because of this, Yella appeared comfortable in the role she was given!
The cinematography: Alice in the Cities is filmed in black-and-white. This was done not only because of a personal decision by the director, but also to avoid having Alice in the Cities be compared to Paper Moon, a movie that was released a year before Wim’s project. When film fans think about black-and-white movies, productions that were released before 1965 will likely come to mind. However, it’s important to remember those titles were presented in black-and-white because filming in color was rarely an option. With Alice in the Cities, its presentation was purposefully chosen, which proved to be more interesting than I would have expected. It caused the story to be frozen in time, allowing the narrative to serve as a time-capsule. Having a few characters appear on screen at a given moment makes each interaction feel intimate, like the audience is directly a part of these verbal exchanges. I also liked how some scenes looked like the view came straight from Philip’s perspective. One great example is when Philip is boarding a train in Amsterdam.
Philip and Alice’s interactions: The majority of this story revolves around Philip’s search for Alice’s grandmother, which results in Philip and Alice spending a significant amount of time together. As I mentioned before, Rüdiger and Yella had worked together in a previous film. This helped their interactions come across as realistic. In the aforementioned TCM article, one of Wim’s inspirations for Alice in the Cities was his friend, who happened to be a single parent. This explains why Philip and Alice’s interactions feel like they are between father and daughter. Because of the quality of their acting abilities, Rüdiger and Yella were able to bring this idea to life in their performance! They were also able to equally carry the film.
What I didn’t like the film:
Scenes feeling like padding: There were some scenes in Alice in the Cities that ended up feeling like padding. One example is when Philip and Alice go to an ice cream shop. Within this scene, a shorter scene of a child eating their ice cream next to a juke box is included. This scene didn’t serve the overall story and felt like it was there just to be there. Personally, I think scenes like the shorter one I mentioned should have been cut from the film.
The run-time: IMDB lists Alice in the Cities with a run-time of one hour and fifty minutes. To me, this caused the movie to feel a bit too long. Like I previously stated, there were scenes in this film that felt like padding. Their purpose seemed to be that of satisfying this run-time. The story itself was also straight-forward. These two factors made me believe that, at least, ten minutes of this movie could have been shaved off.
An inconsistent exploration of Philip’s beliefs: At certain points in Alice in the Cities, Philip expresses his beliefs about topics like his dislike toward television and why he takes photos. Philip presents an interesting way of looking at things that most people wouldn’t think twice about. Unfortunately, these beliefs were not explored to a satisfying extent. As the story places a primary emphasis on Philip’s search for Alice’s grandmother, this exploration gets lost in the shuffle. It also creates an inconsistent inclusion of this part of the story.
My overall impression:
Turner Classic Movies (TCM) features an interesting article about Wim Wenders and the creation of Alice in the Cities. After reading about Wim’s personal struggles as a filmmaker and after learning about this film’s restoration efforts, it makes me glad that Alice in the Cities was able to see the light of day! Movies involving road trips usually don’t interest me. But because of Rüdiger Vogler and Yella Rottländer’s performance, I found myself invested in the journey of their characters! Creative cinematography and addressing Philip’s beliefs also help make this film likable and well-made. Even though Alice in the Cities is a fine film, there were things about it that prevented the overall project from being better. The main plot didn’t allow Philip’s beliefs to be explored to their fullest extent. It also doesn’t help that some scenes felt like padding. However, I’m thankful to have been given the opportunity to share this film with my followers! Thank you for helping 18 Cinema Lane reach these milestones! This blog would not be the same without you!
Overall score: 7.4 out of 10
Have you seen any movies created outside your home country? If so, what was your movie-viewing experience? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!
Have fun at the movies!
Here’s a link to the article from Turner Classic Movies that I mentioned in my review:
I know it has been awhile since I reviewed a Hallmark Channel movie. The last one I wrote about was the 2011 picture, Honeymoon for One, which was my submission for the Out to Sea Blogathon back in March. Since I just watched Nature of Love, I decided to discuss one of Hallmark’s more recent releases. A reason why I’ve watched less new Hallmark Channel movies this year is how most of them reuse the same plot ideas. What set Nature of Love apart is the inclusion of glamping, or “glamourous camping”. This is Hallmark history in the making, as this specific concept has never been featured in a Hallmark film until now. Anytime the network introduces a new idea like this into one of their stories, I’m always curious to see how it will be executed within the movie. As someone who supports Hallmark taking creative risks, I appreciate when they choose to leave their comfort zone.
Things I liked about the film:
The acting: Emilie Ullerup is an actress with strong acting abilities! I’ve seen her performances on Chesapeake Shores and in most of her Hallmark movies. What I liked about Emilie’s portrayal of Katie is how expressive it was. One of her best scenes in Nature of Love was when she went on the rope course/zip-lane. The emotions Emilie adopted for her character made the performance appear believable. One of my favorite Hallmark films is Midnight Masquerade. Christopher Russell’s endearing performance is one of the reasons why I love that film. Christopher’s portrayal of Will in Nature of Love was not only endearing, but also charming! I liked how the character of Will was used to instill wisdom to Katie and the audience. It brought a “wise beyond their years” element to Christopher’s character that is not often incorporated in Hallmark productions. A stand-out performance in Nature of Love came from Donna Benedicto! I enjoyed watching her portrayal of Penny, Katie’s new friend from camp. She was expressive and, at times, hilarious. One example is when Penny is telling Katie to reveal the real reason why she’s at the camp.
The scenery: Whenever Hallmark creates a film that revolves around travel, the creative team behind that project usually does a good job at capturing the natural beauty of that location. For Nature of Love, the landscape consisted of forestry, mountains, and lakes. Filmed in British Columbia, these locations were photogenic and appealing to the eye! In two scenes, Will and Katie watch the sun rising over a mountain. The bright colors of orange, purple, and yellow complimented the mountain’s light gray. Two other scenes boasted a field of lavender. The flowers’ shade of purple dominated the screen, with the appearance and abundance of the plants highlighting those scenes. While watching this film, I could tell this film’s creative team loved this location, as they provided multiple opportunities to show this location off! I enjoyed seeing these spaces as much as the creative team liked sharing them!
The glamping experience: As I said in the introduction, I was excited to see glamping featured in a Hallmark movie! Even though the idea of camping has appeared in Hallmark projects before, this is the first time this particular form of camping has been incorporated in Hallmark’s films. Nature of Love successfully promotes the idea of glamping by providing a balance between the “glamour” and “rustic”. The activities shown in this film included canoeing, horse riding, and making s’mores, things that would typically be associated with the camping experience. Representing the glamourous side were gourmet meals, up-scale tents, and resort style amenities. If the purpose of this movie was to entice viewers to desire a glamping vacation, I think it accomplished that mission.
What I didn’t like about the film:
The CGI animals: Hallmark is not known for incorporating CGI into their films. But there have been rare occasions where CGI was found. In Nature of Love, a few CGI animals are included in the movie. While the CGI itself looked fine, it was obvious the animals were added to the scenes in post-production. Fortunately, there was more stock footage of real animals than animals created with CGI.
Weak conflicts: Nature of Love had three conflicts within the script. One of them revolved around the expansion of the glamping resort. This conflict turned into a “save the establishment” story. The other two conflicts were interconnected. They were about Katie going out of her comfort zone and dealing with an ethical dilemma related to journalism. I found all three conflicts to be on the weaker side because they’ve been seen before in other Hallmark films. The creative team behind this movie played it safe with their story.
Things that didn’t make sense: At several moments, there was dialogue spoken by the characters that didn’t make sense within the story. When Katie is talking with her boss, Sabrina, about her article, Sabrina tells her she should write about Will. Katie’s boss acts as if she has no idea who he is. This doesn’t make sense because Sabrina gave Katie the assignment to go to the glamping resort. Because of this, you’d think she would have done research about the resort and the people who work there.
My overall impression:
When Hallmark incorporates a new idea into one of their movies, it shows how the network can expand their creative horizons. If the new idea involves travel, it can inspire viewers to take a similar trip like the characters in the story. In the case of Nature of Love, this movie effectively promoted the idea of glamping. With the help of beautiful scenery and a balance between “glamour” and camping, this concept was positively presented to the viewers. But movies are not just meant to promote ideas, they are also created to tell stories. The story of Nature of Love could have stronger. The conflicts were rehashed from previous Hallmark entries and some of the dialogue didn’t make sense in the story. This movie is a fine, harmless production from the network. But when you look beyond the glamping promotion, you will see that Nature of Love is more typical than it appears.
Overall score: 7 out of 10
Have you seen Nature of Love? Which vacation destination would you like to see in a Hallmark movie? Let me know in the comment section!
I’m not going to lie, my submission for the Out to Sea Blogathon required a good amount of thought. I consulted with the blogathon’s creator, Debbie from Moon in Gemini, to find an appropriate film to talk about. After searching my DVR, I ended up choosing a Hallmark film from 2011 called Honeymoon for One. While the ocean doesn’t play a role in this story, other bodies of water can be found. In this movie, there are several scenes that take place in a river, one where a waterfall is featured, and another where the protagonists sit next to what looks like a lake. As the days of the blogathon came closer, I realized that St. Patrick’s Day was two weeks after the event. Because Honeymoon for One takes place in Ireland, this film became a better choice for the blogathon than I expected! I’ve seen pieces of this movie before, but never in its entirety. This blogathon has given me the chance to finally see all of Honeymoon for One!
Things I liked about the film:
The acting: Back in 2016, I saw the Hallmark Channel film, All Yours. One of the reasons why I enjoyed that picture is because of the acting, including Nicollette Sheridan’s performance. Like that movie, I liked seeing her portrayal of the protagonist, Eve, in Honeymoon for One! The well-roundedness of her performance is what made it work, giving her an opportunity to express a variety of emotions for different situations. The scene where Eve spends her first night in Ireland is a perfect example of everything I just said. I also liked seeing Greg Wise’s portrayal of Sean! He did a fine job carrying an Irish accent and he was expressive in subtle ways. Greg’s interactions with the film’s other characters showcases these ideas well. Speaking of accents, Katie Bannon also did a fine job carrying an Irish accent! Her portrayal of Sean’s daughter, Kathleen, was so endearing. It also helps that her on-screen relationships felt genuine. One great example is when Kathleen is interacting with Sean and Eve at a local art fair.
The scenery: Filmed in Ireland, the scenery in Honeymoon for One definitely stole the show! The country’s natural beauty shined through in every scene that took place there. Eve visits the Irish countryside, which was gorgeous to look at. Various shades of green and even hues of brown and red could be seen in the foliage throughout the characters’ surroundings. The aforementioned locations featuring water were breathtaking, its video footage likely not doing them justice. Even the hotel and Sean and Kathleen’s house were impressive! The interior and exterior of these locations were visually appealing. Just one example is the hotel’s honeymoon suite, where its spacious layout and white décor looked fit for royalty. The country town that was occasionally shown in the film appeared quaint and inviting. The landscape alone provided one good argument why one should take a trip to Ireland!
Similarities between American and Irish culture: In movies like The Cabin, the incorporation of another country’s culture is meant to show how it is different or unique from that of the American protagonist(s). Honeymoon for One chooses to focus on the similarities between American and Irish culture instead. At various moments, Eve tries different outdoor activities, like horse-riding and fishing. These activities can be found in both countries, highlighting how they have a respective place in both cultures. While taking a day trip through the countryside, Sean explains to Eve why he doesn’t want a new golf course to be built, stating that he’d like to protect the landscape and its wildlife for Kathleen. Standing up for what you believe in and looking out for your family are values that both Americans and the Irish share. Even cuisine has its similarities! Burgers are brought up by some of the characters, with Eve and her Irish friends enjoying the treat. Honeymoon for One does a good job at showing how people from all over the world can, more often than not, find common ground!
What I didn’t like about the film:
A weak conflict: The main plot of Honeymoon for One revolves around the protagonist and the aftermath of her break-up. There’s nothing inherently wrong with this kind of story. However, because this is a Hallmark “rom-com”, you already have an idea of what’s going to happen. Smaller conflicts were sprinkled in the story, such as Sean’s efforts to preserve the Irish countryside. But these conflicts weren’t explored enough to infuse intrigue into the overall plot. In the end, this story was too predictable for my liking.
The “protagonist’s ex showing up unannounced” cliché: In Honeymoon for One, Eve’s ex, Greg, shows up in Ireland unannounced. This part of the film ended up being drawn out for so long, that it felt like Greg overstayed his welcome. I understand Greg’s presence on Eve’s trip was meant to serve as the main plot’s conflict. But, as I already mentioned, this is a Hallmark “rom-com”. Sean appears as a better candidate to receive the protagonist’s love and Eve expresses little to no interest in getting back with Greg. These factors make this cliché’s inclusion in the story pointless.
The “it’s not what you think” cliché: At one point in the movie, Eve assumes that Sean is dating another woman after meeting her at his house. Kathleen’s persuasion is what causes Eve to hear the real story from Sean’s perspective. Like the aforementioned “protagonist’s ex showing up unannounced” cliché, this cliché also felt pointlessly included in the story. Because of the nature of this film, we know that things are going to work out for the better. Also, an intelligent and hard-working businesswoman like Eve making assumptions that quickly and easily seems petty for her character. I know this was supposed to be a conflict for Eve and Sean’s relationship. I also understand that Eve went through a terrible break-up. But for protagonists who appear over the age of thirty-five, it would have more respectful toward their integrity show them dealing with this issue in a mature and civil way.
My overall impression:
It’s always exciting when Hallmark creates a movie that involves traveling to a new location! This gives the audience an excuse to see a part of the world that may be different from their own. But, at the end of the day, the most important part of any film is the story it visually tells. Personally, I think this story could have been stronger. The film’s main conflict was weak, which made the movie more predictable than it needed to be. There were other conflicts in the movie, but they didn’t receive enough attention. I also feel the uses of the “protagonist’s ex showing up unannounced” cliché and the “it’s not what you think” cliché were unnecessary. However, the movie does have its merits. Like I said in this review, the scenery was the showstopper of this project! It brought visual interest to the film and it was great to look at. Even though I’m glad I picked this movie for the Out to Sea Blogathon, I think there are Hallmark films featuring the Irish backdrop that are better than this one.
Overall score: 6-6.1 out of 10
Have you ever been to Ireland? What movie featuring an ocean is your favorite? Tell me in the comment section!
Before I start the introduction of this review, I want to remind everyone that you have until Thursday, February 20th, to cast your vote for the Gold Sally Awards’ Best On-Screen! Here is the link to the poll:
As the 2nd So Bad It’s Good Blogathon rolls around, my quest to find a “so bad it’s good” movie continues. Last year, I reviewed All Dogs Go to Heaven 2 in the hopes of finding a film that deserved the aforementioned title. However, the film itself was just ok. This year, I decided to pick a less-than-stellar movie from Hallmark. There have been some good Hallmark projects made over the years. But not all of them are created equal. In fact, some of them are downright polarizing. Originally, I was going to review Three Wise Women, a Hallmark production from 2010. Due to technical difficulties, the movie disappeared from my DVR. So, I chose a back-up option instead. The Cabin is a Hallmark movie from 2011 that is equally as polarizing as Three Wise Women. People who have seen this movie either genuinely enjoy it or they genuinely don’t. Because I had never seen the film prior to 2020, I figured the So Bad It’s Good Blogathon would be an appropriate time to see where my opinions fell on this particular spectrum.
Things I liked about the film:
The scenery: According to IMDB, The Cabin was filmed in Ireland, even though the movie takes place in Scotland. Despite this, I absolutely loved the scenery! Everything was captured so well on film, accentuating the natural features of each location. When both families spend time in a local town, all of the buildings looked so quaint and inviting. A church and castle are also featured in this film, with picturesque grounds to match their stunning nature. The castle was a massive gray structure paired with a small garden of hedges. The greens of this garden nicely complimented the color of the castle. The foyer of the castle was shown, boasting an impressive interior with interesting features, such as a large fireplace and colorful floor tiles. Similar to the castle, a gray stoned church was complimented by the greens of the grass in the cemetery. The foliage surrounding the cabins and in the forest definitely stole the show! Their rich greens and browns were attention-grabbing and appealing to the eye. The creative team behind this movie made the most of their surroundings!
The inclusion of Scottish culture: As I already mentioned, The Cabin takes place in Scotland. Because of this, pieces of Scottish culture are incorporated in the story. Elements like attire, food, and activities are showcased on screen. The reason why both families go to Scotland is to participate in an event called the “Meeting of the Macs”, a series of games that are inspired by traditional Scottish sports. Throughout the movie, each family takes the time to experience what Scotland has to offer, from trying the local cuisine to attending a dance party. Toward the end of the film, all of the male characters from each family are seen wearing a traditional kilt. The way these components of the Scottish culture were woven into the film not only served as an introduction for the audience, but was also executed in a respectful and appreciative way.
What I didn’t like about the film:
Lack of consistency: In romantic comedies, the consistency of the lead characters and their relationship can help gain fans within the audience. The Cabin, however, lacked that important ingredient. During the duration of the film, Lea Thompson and Steven Brand’s characters, Lily and Conor, are constantly arguing and making up. This is exhausting to watch and it makes it difficult to determine if Lea and Steven have any on-screen chemistry. This part of the movie was more distracting than it needed to be.
Weak acting: Half of the cast in The Cabin gave a performance that ranged from fine to good. The other half ended up giving weak performances. One of them came from Lea Thompson, whose portrayal of Lily consisted of smiling, arguing, and looking confused. This is not the kind of well-rounded performance I’ve usually come to expect from the leading actresses in Hallmark projects. Most of the young actors in this cast also gave weak performances, as they often appeared flat and unexpressive. I understand that casting younger actors in films can be hit or miss. But, in this case, it just didn’t work.
Two plot ideas that should have been separate: The Cabin contained two good plot ideas; a family going to Scotland for vacation and a family competing in a series of games. Both of these ideas had the ability to stand on their own, providing conflicts and series of events to compliment the story itself. Because of this, these plot ideas should have been placed in their own respective movies. During the first half of the film, the narrative was so dedicated to showing the families sightseeing in Scotland, that little attention was given to the “Meeting of the Macs” event. In the second half of the film, the story revolved around the exercise/training montages of the families to the point where the sights of Scotland were practically ignored. Since these ideas ended up clashing for attention, both of them were given a disadvantage.
The audio: Background noise and music can bring a sense of realism or emotion to a scene through various sounds. However, it’s called “background” noise or music for a reason, as it is loud enough to be heard, but quiet enough to not overpower the character’s speech. In The Cabin, the audio was so loud that I found it difficult to understand what some of the characters were saying. Because of this, I had to rewind the movie a few times just to hear or try to guess what was being said. The more I rewound the film, the tiresome it became.
Limited presence of the games: Throughout this review, I’ve mentioned the “Meeting of the Macs” event, the athletic competition that provides the reason for the families’ presence in Scotland. Before watching this film, I had expected the event to have a consistent presence in the story. Sadly, that was not the case. The first segment of the games, the preliminaries, didn’t appear until forty minutes into the movie. The final event doesn’t show up until the last twenty minutes of the film. For the rest of the project, the narrative focuses on other things, from one of Lily and Conor’s many arguments to one of the children dealing with a personal issue. While the games themselves were interesting, it wasn’t enough to make up for the script’s other flaws.
My overall impression:
The Cabin is one of the most polarizing films in Hallmark history. Some people truly enjoy it, while other people don’t. Now that I have finally seen it, I can honestly say that I belong in the latter camp. This is not a well-constructed film. It has far more negatives than positives, with those negatives being painfully obvious. But in this movie’s defense, I have seen Hallmark productions that are worse than The Cabin. If anything, I would place it in Dishonorable Mentions. It’s not a good movie, but there were two things about it that I liked. Truthfully, I can’t say this film is worthy of the “so bad it’s good” title. This is because I didn’t enjoy the movie, for better or worse. So, it looks like I’ll have to go back to square one in my quest to find a project that I would personally consider “so bad it’s good”.
Overall score: 5.5 out of 10
Have you any Hallmark films that were less-than-stellar? What is the most polarizing film you’ve seen? Please share your thoughts in the comment section!
As the sun will soon set on the season of Summer, the sun is setting on this year’s Aurora Teagarden Month. Since I’ve reviewed the previous two films, it only makes sense to talk about the last movie, Aurora Teagarden Mysteries: A Very Foul Play. In my review of Aurora Teagarden Mysteries: An Inheritance to Die For, I said that I wasn’t going to get my hopes up about something I saw in the trailer for the next film. That “something” was a murder mystery play. Because I was disappointed by the murder mystery party in the aforementioned film, I figured that the murder mystery play was only going to make a brief appearance in Aurora Teagarden Mysteries: A Very Foul Play. Like I do with every film I see and/or review, I watched the movie with an open mind and low expectations, hoping that I would be proven wrong. Was I pleasantly surprised or proven right? Check out my review as Aurora Teagarden Month prepares to take its curtain call!
Things I liked about the film:
The acting: Once again, the cast in this installment of Aurora Teagarden Mysteries was top-notch! It was great to see returning characters interact with new characters. Ever since Dylan Sloane joined the series in Aurora Teagarden Mysteries: The Disappearing Game, his character, Phillip, has become a key member in this overarching story. Through his acting talents, Dylan has become unforgettable in the community of Hallmark Movies & Mysteries. The amount of believability and versatility he brought to his role in Aurora Teagarden Mysteries: A Very Foul Play helped me stay invested in his story as well as raise the stakes in this movie. Matthew James Dowden had such a pleasant on-screen presence in this latest film! He portrayed a new character named Robert Brown. With a healthy dose of likability, Matthew made his character favorable enough to not be too obvious in who he is or what he’s doing. What works in his favor is that he appeared in a Hallmark mystery film prior to being cast in this particular movie.
A new location: Because Aurora and her friends and family attended a Mystery & Crime Convention, the whole movie took place in an out-of-town hotel, as well as the surrounding area. From what I remember, this is the first time the Aurora Teagraden series had a film take place outside the typical small hometown and/or usual settings. Since Aurora Teagarden Mysteries: A Very Foul Play took place outside of Lawrenceton, it gave the story and mystery a new perspective. Even though Aurora always takes matters into her owns hands when it comes to solving the crime, she is compelled even more to find justice when a member of her family is falsely accused of the crime. This is also caused by the police force being different from the one in Aurora’s hometown. Because she doesn’t have connections with the police in this mystery, this forces Aurora to be even more resourceful than in previous films. What’s so great about Aurora Teagarden Mysteries: A Very Foul Play is that, with the new location, it gives this series a breath of fresh air. Even after four years and over ten films, the Aurora Teagarden series always find a way to be creative and engaging!
A sense of teamwork: In previous Aurora Teagarden films, audience members have seen various characters help Aurora solve the film’s mystery. But, as I just mentioned, all of the key characters were in a new setting. This means that they lacked some of the usual resources that they use in the series. It was harder for some more than others, especially Lynn. Instead of seeing it as a disadvantage, the characters used their surroundings to their advantage by working as a team and making the best of their situation. What helped them was having a group of people with unique talents and insight. For example, Nick Miller is a psychology professor, allowing him to think of possible motives for each suspect. Meanwhile, Arthur and Lynn are police officers, so they were able to give their perspective on the case. Seeing the camaraderie of the characters was entertaining, even when it came to characters who usually don’t get along very well. I feel that a story element like this could have only worked for an already established series.
What I didn’t like about the film:
A slower pace: It seems like in this year’s Aurora Teagarden Month, the pace has been a constant issue. It has made the movies feel slower than they should. In Aurora Teagarden Mysteries: A Very Foul Play, the pace caused the film to feel a little bit drawn out. One example is the part of the story where Phillip is being threatened with an arrest. Hopefully, next year’s Aurora Teagarden Month can resolve this flaw.
Some scenes being shorter than others: What I noticed while watching Aurora Teagarden Mysteries: A Very Foul Play is how some scenes ended up being shorter than others. An example of this is when Sally and Robert attend the victim’s funeral. Just when they were about to make a big discovery or say something important, the movie would quickly move on to the next scene. While I understand the intent for having some of these scenes be short, it felt a bit choppy within the film’s overall flow.
The “building condos” cliché: This part of the movie didn’t bother me as much as the first two points did. However, I felt that this cliché needed to be addressed. The more Hallmark movies I watch, the more I notice that whenever there’s a character who’s a contractor, architect, builder, or businessperson, they are almost always planning on putting condos into a particular neighborhood. This idea is usually met with disdain and objection. In this recent Aurora Teagarden film, one of the suspects’ plans was to purchase a piece of land in an effort to build condos on it. I’ve never understood why this cliché is incorporated into films so much. Sure, it can provide a conflict to the plot. But, in a film like Aurora Teagarden Mysteries: A Very Foul Play, this cliché was unnecessary.
My overall impression:
Out of all the films that premiered during Aurora Teagarden Month, Aurora Teagarden Mysteries: A Very Foul Play was the best one! There were a number of things that made this film good. An overarching example was having the story and mystery take place in a new location. It provided a new perspective and a breath of fresh air. The murder mystery play that I mentioned in the introduction made a satisfying appearance in the film! When it comes to the first Aurora Teagarden Month, however, I’d say that it was just fine. The first movie, Aurora Teagarden Mysteries: A Game of Cat and Mouse was decent, while Aurora Teagarden Mysteries: An Inheritance to Die For ended up being ok. On the bright side, there were no films in this line-up that were bad. The Aurora Teagarden series is now the longest running mystery movie series on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries! With the series turning five years old next year, the creative team behind the Aurora Teagarden movies will have to step up their game if they want Aurora Teagarden Month to be an even bigger success. At this point, I think that everyone involved at Hallmark’s second network knows what they’re doing.
Overall score: 7.9 out of 10
What are your thoughts on Aurora Teagarden Month? Would you like to see this television event return next year? Share your thoughts in the comment section!
For the first time ever, I am participating in Pure Entertainment Preservation Society’s Clean Movie Month! Every July, participants are encouraged to watch and write about films that were released within the Breen Code era. This era started in 1934 and ended in 1954. On 18 Cinema Lane, I will be reviewing a Breen Code era film every week during this month! These reviews will be released in the chronological order of the film’s premiere. For my first Clean Movie Month review, I have chosen the Shirley Temple film, Stowaway! Earlier this year, I wrote an editorial about my thoughts on all three of Shirley’s films from 1938. As I said in that editorial, my goal is to watch every single Shirley Temple film ever made. So, if I have a chance to watch a Shirley Temple movie that I haven’t seen before, I will definitely make an effort to do that. So, let’s sail away in Clean Movie Month with 1936’s Stowaway!
Things I liked about the film:
The acting: One of the great things about this movie was Shirley’s performance! Like I said about Shirley’s role, Betsy, in Little Miss Broadway, her role in Stowaway felt like it was created just for her. Not only did this role compliment Shirley’s acting abilities, but it challenged her as an actress. At certain moments in the film, Shirley’s character, Barbara/Ching-Ching speaks Chinese. This means that Shirley had to learn her lines in English and learn a new language that she was probably not familiar with before. Shirley was surrounded by a cast of actors and actresses that were just as talented as her! Everyone’s acting talents were equally showcased in this film, helping each performer receive their moment to shine!
The humor: A pleasant aspect of Stowaway was the humor within the story! One of the funniest scenes in this film was when Ching-Ching is trying to find Tommy Randall while wearing a dragon head. What made moments like this so hilarious was the screen-writing. The way that the dialogue and actions were written was not only innocent, but clever as well. An example of this is when Tommy and Ching-Ching are at a restaurant. While ordering food off of a menu that’s written in Chinese, Tommy tells Ching-Ching, “It’s all Greek to me”. She then replies, “But it’s in Chinese”. This type of humor is what made Stowaway an enjoyable story!
A unique location: I am not an expert on Shirley Temple’s filmography. But, out of the films that I’m aware of, it seems like most of her movies take place in the United States. Stowaway, however, mostly takes place in China and on a cruise ship. These locations provided a unique look and feel to the overall production. It was interesting to see the Chinese culture playing an influential role within the narrative. The language, music, and even some proverbs could be found in Stowaway. Seeing the various areas of the cruise ship was interesting as well. This backdrop worked really well for the story!
What I didn’t like about the film:
A limited amount of musical numbers: Earlier this year, when I talked about Just Around the Corner, I said that there was a limited amount of musical numbers in the movie. This made the story feel drawn out and a little bit longer than intended. Similarly, there was a limited amount of musical numbers in Stowaway. Throughout the whole film, there were four musical numbers. However, the first musical number doesn’t appear in the film until after the first thirty-seven minutes. Personally, I think that the first musical number should have, at least, started at the fifteen-minute mark. That way, the audience could get quickly invested into the musical aspect of the movie.
No Chinese influences in the music: I liked how the Chinese locations, as well as the culture, were incorporated into the film! But I was surprised that there were no Chinese influences in Stowaway’s music. Every song that Shirley sang sounded like the typical musical melody, the usual sounds that are found in Shirley’s films. Even though Shirley spoke Chinese in the movie, none of the lyrics were in Chinese. I feel that the creative team behind Stowaway missed a special opportunity to expand the musical horizons of both the studio and the audience. Who knows? Maybe this could have encouraged someone to learn another language.
Shirley’s limited involvement in the film: Most of Shirley’s films involve a subplot that allows Shirley’s character to play an important role in the film. While Ching-Ching was a significant character in Stowaway, she didn’t play as big of a role as Shirley’s other characters. It felt like most of the story was about the characters who were adults. In fact, it seemed like Shirley had the least amount of screen-time out of all the performers in the starring cast. While it’s understandable that Shirley was the youngest cast member in this film, it kind of felt like Stowaway wasn’t Shirley’s movie compared to her other titles.
My overall impression:
For my first Clean Movie Month review, we’re off to a decent start! Stowaway, in my opinion, is better than something like Just Around the Corner. But there are films in Shirley’s filmography that I think are stronger than Stowaway. The most memorable part of this film was the Chinese locations as well as the cruise ship backdrop. They were very unique for a film starring Shirley Temple, especially since most of her films take place in the same continent. The setting of Stowaway provided an interesting component to the story, influencing how the characters interacted with each other and how they accomplished their goals. I can’t say much about the content of the film, since it was approved by the Production Code Administration (as the logo was featured in the bottom left hand corner of the opening credits) and it was released two years after the start of the Breen Code era. It’ll be fascinating to see how this movie compares with the other movies I’ll review during Clean Move Month!
Overall score: 7.2 out of 10
What are your thoughts on Clean Movie Month? Are you looking forward to my next review? Please tell me in the comment section!
When I looked through Rosalind Russell’s IMDB filmography in preparation for The Rosalind Russell Blogathon, I discovered that The Trouble with Angels was given a sequel called Where Angels Go, Trouble Follows. This is a movie that I had never seen or heard of. But, since I haven’t created a double feature for a blogathon since last August, I decided to review The Trouble with Angels and Where Angels Go, Trouble Follows! If you read my review for the first film, you would know that I enjoyed it. The synopsis for the sequel sounded interesting and different from the previous movie. This is what caused me to want to give this project a chance. Was this a complimentary story to The Trouble with Angels? Find out in my review of Where Angels Go, Trouble Follows!
Things I liked about the film:
The acting: Like in the first movie, the cast of Where Angels Go, Trouble Follows was good! One of things that helped was having some of the actresses who portrayed the nuns in the previous film return for the second one. This kept a sense of continuity between the characters. Also, like in the first movie, Rosalind shined in her role of Mother Superior! Her performance was very consistent with how she portrayed the character in The Trouble with Angels. It continued to make this character just as likable as she was in the previous picture.
The inclusion of Sister George: Because Mary Clancy graduated from St. Francis Academy at the end of The Trouble with Angels, Sister George, portrayed by Stella Stevens, replaced her as a counteracting presence for Mother Superior to interact with. Both Rosalind and Stella gave a strong acting performance, which allowed their talents to compliment one another. These characters were also well-written, both of them providing interesting points to their stance. I found this aspect of the film to be the most interesting. Seeing these characters progress as the movie went on was one of the strengths of this story.
The scenery: I’m glad that the building from The Trouble with Angels made an appearance in the sequel! While there weren’t many scenes that took place inside of the school, a few more exterior shots of the grounds were shown. These outdoor spaces were captured really well on film! It kind of allowed the viewer to explore this location a little bit more. Most of the movie took place on a class field trip, which consisted of traveling through several states in order to reach a peace rally in California. This gave the creative team an excuse of include scenery-heavy scenes in the movie. These scenes were interesting to look at, as they showcased the natural landscapes from each state that the characters traveled through. This was, honestly, one of the more memorable parts of the film.
What I didn’t like about the film:
A weak plot: As I’ve already mentioned, this movie is about the nuns and some of the students of St. Francis Academy going on a field trip to a peace rally in California. Besides the conflict between Sister George and Mother Superior, this story was very weak. A large portion of the scenes in this film consist of the school’s bus traveling through various states. Instead of one overarching story, this narrative was written as a series of short vignettes. Not only were none of these vignettes that interesting, but they seemed to string the movie along just for the sake of keeping this weak plot going.
Scenes lasting for way too long: Throughout this movie, I found several scenes that lasted way too long. One example is when some of the students from St. Francis Academy attend a party that is hosted by an all-boys school. The scene itself felt like a two-minute music video. It didn’t really add anything to the plot or the development of the characters. The length of these scenes feel like they are trying to make up for the weakness of the plot.
Charismatic-less characters: Since Rachel and Mary graduated in the first movie, Marvel Ann, portrayed by Barbara Hunter, and Rosabelle, portrayed by Susan Saint James, acted as their replacements. Barbara and Susan tried the best they could with the acting material they were given. But these characters weren’t as charismatic as Rachel and Mary were. Because of this, it made Marvel Ann and Rosabelle seem unlikable. It also made me not care about their story.
My overall impression:
I was very disappointed by Where Angels Go, Trouble Follows. This movie had interesting ideas that could have lent themselves to a good sequel. However, all of these ideas were wasted on poor execution. When it comes to fictional stories, I am more than willing to suspend my disbelief. But this movie tried to make me suspend more of my disbelief than I had wanted to. The only interesting aspect of this story was the conflict between Mother Superior and Sister George. This part of the film was not only well-acted, but also well-written. Unfortunately, I can’t say the same about the rest of the movie. While I would recommend The Trouble with Angels, I would suggest skipping the sequel.
Overall score: 5.8 out of 10
Have you seen any of Rosalind Russell’s films? Which sequel did you find to be disappointing? Tell me in the comment section!
Last weekend, I achieved 55 followers on 18 Cinema Lane! What a great way to start the new year! As I did last year, I will continue to review films that were released in the same amount of years as the number of followers I received. Because 55 is the number of followers I now have, this review will be about a film that was released 55 years ago (in 1964). I ended up choosing The Moon-Spinners because a) It happened to be on my DVR and b) it was a movie that I was meaning to watch last year, but never got around to it. Before last year, I had never heard of this movie or the Island of Crete. Because of this location and the story itself, I was really excited to see this film! I also have seen some of Hayley Mills’ other films, which were The Parent Trip, That Darn Cat, and pieces of Pollyanna. Because I have enjoyed those films, I had a feeling that I would probably enjoy The Moon-Spinners. Was I right in my prediction? Join me on my 11th review in my blog follower dedication series!
Things I liked about the film:
The acting: I really liked the cast of The Moon-Spinners! Everyone was so talented in this film, bringing the best of their acting abilities to their specific role. Hayley’s portrayal of Nikky was such a highlight in this film, making her performance as believable as possible. In the scene where Nikky has to escape from a windmill, the emotion of fear appeared so convincingly, that it truly made me believe that Hayley’s character was actually afraid of heights. I also liked Peter McEnery’s portrayal of Mark. Peter brought just as much believability to his role as Hayley did, helping me to stay invested in Mark’s involvement in the overall story. Whenever Mark was in pain, Peter affectively conveyed that emotion of pain on-screen.
The mystery story: In some mystery stories, the event that caused the mystery is usually shown within the first few minutes of the movie. This leads the rest of the movie to show how the characters solve the mystery. In The Moon-Spinners, the mystery unfolded as the story went along, allowing the audience to experience the surprises and react alongside the characters. I feel this was an engaging experience because it made me feel like I was on this journey alongside the protagonist, not just sitting in my seat and watching things happen on my screen.
The setting/scenery: The Moon-Spinners not only took place in Crete, but the movie itself was also filmed in Crete. The scenery that is found on this island was showcased very well in this film. What I liked about the scenery was how the different parts of Crete were incorporated into the story. While one part of the story took place at the beach, another part took place within ancient ruins. This showed the variety of locations that Crete had to offer, giving viewers a well-rounded depiction of this beautiful Greek location.
What I didn’t like about the film:
A small presence of musicology: In The Moon-Spinners, Nikky’s aunt, Frances, is a musicologist. This aspect of Frances’ character really fascinated me because I had never heard of this particular occupation before. I became more interested in musicology and how it could play a role in this film’s mystery story. However, there was only one scene that actually featured musicology in action. Also, musicology did not play a role within the mystery narrative. This was really disappointing because what I thought was such an interesting concept ended up becoming under-utilized.
Some of the night-time scenes: While watching this film, I noticed that some of the night-time scenes looked like were filmed in the day-time, but with a dark lens placed over the camera. I understand that film technology from the early to mid-60s is very different from the film technologies of the 2010s. However, this is just something that I noticed, with this knowledge staying in the back of my mind as these scenes played out on my television screen.
A limited presence of Greek culture: As I mentioned in my introduction, I had never heard of Crete prior to watching The Moon-Spinners. So, I was interested in seeing how the important parts that make up Crete (the people, customs, traditions, etc.) would be incorporated into this story. While this movie touched upon a wedding, a parade, and how The Moon-Spinners Inn acquired its name, the customs and traditions of Crete did not play as large of a role in the film as I had hoped. Plus, these things were not incorporated into the film’s mystery narrative at all.
My overall impression:
I really enjoyed The Moon-Spinners! Even though there were things about the film that could have better, I still thought the movie was good. The Moon-Spinners was an engaging and suspenseful mystery, with really good pieces incorporated into the film. Out of the two and a half films of Hayley Mills’ that I’ve seen, this movie is very different from those aforementioned movies. But, if you are a fan of Hayley Mills, I think you will enjoy The Moon-Spinners. I’m really glad I was finally able to see this film! It’s always great to discover new films, possibly find a hidden gem, and share them with others. Thank you to all of my 55 followers, as this review would not have been possible without you.
Overall score: 7.8 out of 10
What are your thoughts on my review? Which Hayley Mills film is your favorite? Share your thoughts in the comment section!
Chesapeake Shores has several main characters within the show’s cast. Each of them is unique from one another and adds their own voice to the overall narrative. In my very first Evenings At The Shore post, I mentioned that Chesapeake Shores is a multi-generational show. Because each character varies in age, it allows for various life experiences and points of view to be expressed throughout the show. From Nell’s stories involving Ireland to Carrie and Caitlyn’s excitement about searching for Snipes, this multi-generational family always finds something interesting to talk about, as well as share with their loyal audience. What makes this show great is the relatability that the audience can find within the show’s narrative. For example, even if not everyone can relate to running a Bed & Breakfast, the majority of Chesapeake Shores’ audience can relate to channeling your heart and soul into something you love. Speaking of channels, let’s tune in to this episode’s re-cap of Chesapeake Shores!
Just a reminder: If you did not see this episode of Chesapeake Shores, there may be spoilers within this re-cap.
Name: Forward to the Past
Trace’s story: At the beginning of this episode, Trace is still fighting with Mick about their business contract. After Trace’s lawyer tries to take this matter to court, he tells Trace that no other lawyer wanted to touch this contract because of Mick’s involvement. While Trace is dealing with this situation, Mark, the band’s manager, informs Trace about an upcoming European tour that he and his band have been invited to. Mark also shares that, during the tour, the band will also have the chance to record a new album. Leigh and John encourage Trace to join them on tour, but Trace is still undecided. Because of this once in a lifetime opportunity, Trace decides to stop his fight with Mick over their contract. When Trace tells Mick about his reason for discontinuing the fight, Mick suggests that Trace tell Abby about the tour. Later in the episode, Trace does tell Abby about the tour and is still undecided about what to do.
Abby’s story: As Abby learns about Trace and Mick’s disagreement, Trace asks her if she could not get involved in anything relating to the contract. While she respects Trace’s wishes, she does talk to Mick about what is going on. Mick tells her his side of the story as well as how Trace feels about all of it. Later that day, Abby visits Trace at this house. She gives him purple flowers and apologizes to Trace for ever making him think that she wouldn’t respect his wishes. Abby continues to hear both sides of Trace and Mick’s argument when she spends time with both of them. Toward the end of the episode, Abby learns about Trace’s tour opportunity during her conversation with Trace. She also reveals that she organized a family meeting to discuss Bree’s manuscript.
Mick’s story: Mick continues to disagree with Trace about their business contract. While Trace is trying to take the contract to court, Mick continues to oversee the business operations of The Bridge. When Abby asks him about the situation, Mick tells her his side of the story. One day, at The Bridge, Trace confronts Mick and tells him that he will stop fighting with Mick over the contract. When Mick learns about Trace’s reason for stopping their fight, Mick suggests that Trace tell Abby about this news. At the end of the episode, Mick takes part in the O’Brien family meeting to discuss Bree’s manuscript.
Megan’s story: Megan is still bothered by Bree’s lack of knowledge about Megan’s past situation. When shopping at the flower store with Abby, she shares that she came back to Chesapeake Shores in order to help the family heal. Megan tells Nell the exact same thing when she drops the flowers off at the O’Brien house. Nell gives Megan advice about moving from the past and making the best of the present. At the O’Brien family meeting, Megan tells the family that she was dealing with some personal issues that caused her to seek help. Her explanation is one of the things that creates a disagreement amongst each other.
Bree’s story: While working at Word Play, Bree gets a surprise visit from Simon and his friend from college, Caroline. Simon reveals that his friend was the inspiration for his ‘Caroline’ book series. When Bree learns that Simon and Caroline never had a romantic relationship, she asks him why he still chose to base his book series on Caroline. Simon tells Bree that when he was in college, he wished that he and Caroline were in a romantic relationship. Later in the episode, Caroline reveals that she will stay in Chesapeake Shores for a little while longer due to business reasons. During this reveal, Caroline expressed interest in learning more about Bree’s literary work. During the O’Brien family meeting, Bree shares her reasons for writing the manuscript as well as her desire to publish it. This is one of the things that causes a disagreement within the family.
Kevin’s story: Before Sarah starts her new job in Philadelphia, Kevin takes the time to meet Sarah’s family. He is introduced to Sarah’s mother and father, as well as her two brothers. During his stay in Philadelphia, Kevin finds himself getting along with Sarah’s family quite well. One day, Sarah takes Kevin to her favorite spot on her family’s property. This spot is a large tree, the same tree where Sarah and her late husband got married. Sarah tells Kevin that the spot feels different, in a good way, because she brought Kevin there. As Kevin is about to leave Philadelphia, Sarah’s father thanks Kevin for bringing Sarah home and making her feel happy. Kevin then shares with her father how much Sarah has impacted his life. Back in Chesapeake Shores, Kevin learns that an EMT position in Chesapeake Shores has just become available, even though he just accepted the EMT job in New York. He also participates in the O’Brien family meeting.
Jess’ story: While Sally is visiting family for a week, Jess and David have volunteered to run Sally’s Café in the meantime. During this week, Jess and David do a successful job with running the restaurant. One evening, while closing the Café for the night, Jess questions the future of her relationship with David. The next day, Jess expresses these concerns to David. He feels that their relationship is in a good place and reassures her that there is nothing to worry about. Jess engages in the O’Brien family meeting at the end of the episode.
Connor’s story: In this episode, Connor continues to work with Danielle’s law firm. Because their new case involves the waterfront, Danielle and Connor spend a lot of time out of the office and working on location. One day, after work, Danielle apologizes to Connor for ending their relationship. She also expresses interest in giving their relationship a second chance. Connor agrees to help Danielle mend their relationship, with both of them kissing afterwards. Connor not only shares this news with Kevin, he also makes his feelings known during the O’Brien family meeting.
Some thoughts to consider:
When Mark told Trace about the European tour, I became excited about the possibility of a St. Patrick’s Day themed Chesapeake Shores movie in Ireland, hopefully, becoming a reality! In my Evenings At The Shore post where I re-capped this season’s third episode, I mentioned that I would love to see a St. Patrick’s Day themed Chesapeake Shores movie where the O’Brien family travels to Ireland to celebrate the holiday. If this movie does become a reality and if Trace accepts the tour offer, this would give other characters on the show, besides the members of the O’Brien family, a chance to have an interesting subplot within the context of the film’s overall story.
The commercials for this episode seemed to be somewhat misleading. For a trailer that put an emphasis on the O’Brien family meeting, this aforementioned meeting only took place within the last ten minutes of the episode. Also, nothing got resolved during this family meeting. Plus, the announcer, in this episode’s trailer, said that this would be “the episode that changes everything”. In reality, nothing happened in this episode that was significant enough to justify this quote.
What did you think of this episode? Are you excited for the season finale? Let me know in the comment section!
Something that I like about Chesapeake Shores is seeing our favorite East Coast family exploring the world beyond their backyard. Whether it’s Trace rocking out to some really great music in Nashville or Nell discovering the O’Brien family’s heritage in Ireland, these adventures bring a sense of realism to each of the characters and the show overall. Personally, I would love to see a St. Patrick’s Day themed movie where the O’Brien family travels to Ireland in honor of the holiday! Just think of all the stories that the characters of Chesapeake Shores could receive and the impact that a great backdrop, like Ireland, could have on each member of the family! Though Chesapeake Shores’ third season just started, I wouldn’t be surprised if Hallmark did decide to give this series their own set of movies. The show has been successful so far, so I’m hoping their success will continue. For now, let’s look back at this third episode of Chesapeake Shores’ third season!
Just a reminder: If you did not see this episode of Chesapeake Shores, there may be spoilers within this re-cap.
Name: This Rock is Going to Roll
Trace’s story: At the beginning of the episode, Trace reveals to Abby that he will soon go back on the road with his band to participate in another concert tour. This time, however, the tour will only last for three weeks and take place closer to Chesapeake Shores. Abby shares that, while Jess and Bree are in Maine, she will be the night manager at the Inn. Upon hearing this, Trace agrees with Abby to visit her, Carrie, and Caitlyn at the Inn so he can spend time with them and read a bedtime story to Abby’s daughters. Later that night, Trace comes to the Inn to play a board game with Carrie and Caitlyn. When it comes time for Trace to read a bedtime story to Carrie and Caitlyn, he, instead, chooses to tell them about Snipes, mythical creatures that can be found in the woods. The next day, Trace, Carrie, and Caitlyn go to the beach. When Carrie and Caitlyn express their interest to go swimming, Trace discourages them because he thinks that the current is too strong for swimming and could put Abby’s daughters in danger. Both Carrie and Caitlyn remind Trace that not only is he not their dad, but that their father, Wes, lets them go swimming whenever they want, no matter the size of the current. Later that day, Trace meets up with Mick at The Bridge. They have a heart-to-heart conversation about parenting and reflect on how much they’ve changed as people. Abby also comes to The Bridge, later in the episode, to talk to Trace about Carrie and Caitlyn’s response to his reaction at the beach. Before Carrie and Caitlyn left Chesapeake Shores to spend a week with their father, Trace planned a day trip to a nearby forest with him, Carrie, Caitlyn, Abby, Megan, Mick, and Kevin to find Snipes.
Abby’s story: When Trace reveals that he will return with his band to the, temporary, life of concert touring, Abby tells him about her temporary position as night manager at the Inn. She makes an agreement with Trace to spend as much time with each other and with her daughters as possible. At the Inn, Trace, Carrie, and Caitlyn play a board game while Abby sits on a couch, watching them have fun. Toward bedtime, Abby listens with Carrie and Caitlyn to Trace’s story about the Snipes. The next day, Carrie and Caitlyn tell Abby about what happened at the beach and how they responded to the situation. After hearing what her daughters told her about their statement to Trace, Abby pays a visit to The Bridge in get Trace’s side of the story. When Trace tells her what happened, Abby realizes that her daughters are trying to adjust to Trace’s presence in their family’s lives. Toward the end of the episode, Abby tells Trace that Carrie and Caitlyn are going to spend a week with their father. Both of them, along with Carrie, Caitlyn, Megan, Mick, and Kevin go on a day time to look for Snipes.
Mick’s story: While Jess and Bree are in Maine, Mick teams up with Kevin to run the Inn during the day. While Kevin struggles to cook certain meals, Mick seems to get the hang of using the right amount of ingredients to make delicious meals for the guests. When Kevin expresses his feelings about the disagreement between him and Connor, Mick suggests that he talk to his brother about what happened. Later in the episode, Kevin shares with Mick that the recent conversation between him and Connor at Word Play seemed to make matters worse. Mick suggests for Kevin to give Connor some space for he can sort through everything that has happened to him recently. Also, Mick meets up with Trace at The Bridge, where they talk about parenting and how much they’ve changed as individuals. At the end of the episode, Mick joins Trace, Carrie, Caitlyn, Abby, Kevin, and Megan on their search for Snipes.
Megan’s story: Megan volunteers to run Word Play while Bree is in Maine with Jess. One day, Robin shows up and marvels at how great the bookstore is. During her time there, Robin asks Megan how things have been since she came back home. Megan confesses that, at times, it feels confusing. The next day, Connor leaves his shift at Word Play early to meet up with Danielle, assuring his mom that his relationship with his girlfriend is still on good terms. Megan reminds Connor that just because he can convince other people to take his side doesn’t mean he can convince himself to believe whatever he’s trying to tell himself. At the end of the episode, Megan joins Mick, Kevin, Trace, Abby, Carrie, and Caitlyn to look for Snipes.
Nell’s story: Nell hasn’t given up her fight to save the local Wishing Fountain. One morning, she finally meets with the Mayor over a breakfast of homemade muffins to discuss the future of the Fountain. When the Mayor still doesn’t budge on his position to remove the Fountain, Nell leaves the meeting feeling discouraged. However, she makes one last effort to change the Mayor’s mind. One day, Nell invites the Mayor to join her, again, at the Fountain. This time, she mentions that the Fountain has remained an important cornerstone to the O’Brien family for many years. She also reminds the Mayor that because the O’Brien family is respected and well-liked in the Chesapeake Shores community, they could affect the election season more than the Mayor thinks. After thinking about what Nell told him, the Mayor quickly changes his mind to keep the Fountain still standing. Later in the episode, Nell meets up with Robin. When they both decide to make a wish, Nell shares that she wished for understanding, explaining that all she’s ever wanted to do is stand up for what she believes in and keep her family together. After this explanation, Robin decides to renew her wedding vows in Chesapeake Shores.
Kevin’s story: Kevin volunteers to help Mick at the Inn while Jess is in Maine. He struggles to prepare the meals for the guests because of his lack of cooking skills. However, Kevin does use this opportunity of working alongside his dad to express his concerns about Connor. Mick tells Kevin to find Connor and tell him what has been happening lately. One day, Kevin visits Connor at Word Play to talk about why he told Connor about his concerns relating to Danielle. Connor becomes upset with what Kevin tries to tell him and informs Kevin that his relationship with Danielle is on good terms. When Kevin returns to the Inn, later that day, he tells Mick about his conversation with Connor and how he feels it only made things worse. Mick reassures his son by suggesting that he gives Connor some space to sort everything out. When the episode ends, Kevin teams up with Mick, Megan, Trace, Abby, Carrie, and Caitlyn in their search for Snipes.
Jess’ story: Jess and Bree travel to Maine to visit David and his family. During their stay, everything seems to carry on without any problems. Jess also seems to get along with David’s family quite well. One day, while Jess is on her way to play a game of Polo with David’s parents, Bree tries to tell Jess that David’s parents did not plan this trip to become better acquainted with Jess. Bree also shares with Jess that Casey, one of the characters in her manuscript, is a representation of Bree, not Jess. Jess chooses not to listen to Bree and, instead, remains optimistic. After the Polo game, Jess and Mrs. Peck are talking about David’s role at the Inn. During their conversation, they pass by David’s office. They hear him speaking on the phone with international clients of the family company, indicating to Jess that David is really busy with important matters. Later that day, Jess finds Bree and expresses her feelings about everything that has happened so far. She feels her self-esteem slipping because David’s association with his family’s business appears, to her, more significant than any role David ever took at the Inn. Bree reminds Jess that she is awesome and that no one should tell her otherwise. After Bree explains to Jess that her manuscript was a reflection of the O’Brien family as a whole, Jess and Bree make up after their disagreement and continue to get along. At dinner that night, Mr. Peck announces that David is the new head of the family business. When the entrée is finally brought to the table, everyone at the table discovers that it is quiche, the meal that Jess told Mrs. Peck was David’s favorite dish to make at the Inn.
Bree’s story: Bree and Jess travel to Maine to visit David and his family. At first, everything during their stay seems fine. While exploring the family library, Bree meets David’s sister, Alexandra. During their conversation, Alexandra reveals to Bree that her parents may have ulterior motives for inviting Jess to meet their family. While Jess is on her way to play a game of Polo with David’s parents, Bree tries to tell Jess what Alexandra told her. When Jess refuses to listen to her, Bree explains to Jess that Casey, one of the characters in her manuscript, is not a representation of Jess, but a representation of Bree. Jess still doesn’t listen to Jess as she goes on her way to play Polo. Later that day, Jess comes to Bree in tears, expressing how David’s affiliation with his family business makes her feel insignificant. Bree reminds Jess that she is awesome and that no one should tell her otherwise. Jess also reminds Bree that she is awesome and that no one should tell her differently. Bree then explains to Jess that her manuscript was a reflection on the O’Brien family as a whole, causing both Bree and Jess to make up from their disagreement and continue to get along. At dinner that night, Alexandra shares with Bree that she liked the manuscript for her play. Mr. Peck also shares with Bree that he has pulled some strings to, potentially, have someone at a publishing company read Bree’s manuscript.
Connor’s story: Connor agrees to take a temporary shift at Word Play while Bree is in Maine with Jess. While working at the bookstore, Kevin pays Connor a visit and tries to explain his feelings about being suspicious of Danielle. Connor becomes upset by what Kevin tries to say and insists that he and Danielle have a good relationship. Later in the episode, while on a date with Danielle, Connor asks her if she is seeing anyone else. Danielle tells Connor that her feelings for him and the other guy that she’s seeing are complicated. The next day, Connor leaves his shift at Word Play early to go on a date with Danielle. Before he leaves, he tells Megan that his and Danielle’s relationship is in a good place. Connor is reminded by Megan that just because he can convince other people to take his side doesn’t mean he can convince himself to believe whatever he tells himself. On his date with Danielle, Connor and Danielle have a heart-to-heart about the state of their relationship. After everything is said, they decide to put their relationship on hold for the time being.
Some thoughts to consider:
I know this might sound random, but where do all the coins in the Wishing Fountain go? Are they used to raise funds for a local charity? Do they support any extracurricular activities for one of the schools in Chesapeake Shores? I hope Nell answers this question in an upcoming episode.
Even though David’s parents, in this episode and in the preview for the next episode, seem like they have a negative opinion about Jess, I have a feeling the Jess vs. David’s parents story might play out in a similar way to Hallmark’s “royal” movies. Hallmark usually shows their lead couples, in their movies or television shows, working things out for the better. Hopefully, Jess and David’s situation will work out for the best as well.
Speaking of Jess and David, did anyone else find their reenactment of the famous birthday cake scene from Sixteen Candles to be random? I don’t recall either Jess or David saying if they liked the film or that the infamous birthday cake scene was a favorite movie scene of theirs. Also, correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t Sixteen Candles about a young woman’s birthday getting overshadowed by a family member’s wedding? Because of this cinematic context, it made the idea of Jess and David reenacting that specific movie scene feel out of place within this episode. Though, I will admit that this scene between Jess and David was adorable!
What did you think about this episode? Would you like to see a Chesapeake Shores movie? Share your thoughts in the comment section!