This is actually the first Hallmark movie I’ve watched on DVD. I only mention that for others who might watch it on their computer using VLC like I did because it makes taking screenshots easy. This movie’s particular DVD really gave me trouble and I had to force it to bypass the menu in order to get it to play. Sadly, the captions on the DVD were not very good so if that’s important to you then I’m sorry. They drop out at times and get wonky. At least that was my experience.
This now means there is only one more Good Witch film for me to see. That would be The Good Witch’s Gift (2010). If I didn’t notice it before, then I definitely did this time after recently watching Garage Sale Mystery: Guilty Until Proven Innocent. That one introduced Good Witch style subplots to it that I really didn’t like and should be taken out from future installments. I remember them being in, I believe, all of these Good Witch films. I have never watched the TV Show, but I get the strong feeling that this works far better as a TV Show than it did as a yearly series of films. The main plots and subplots are fine for a TV Show and even if they are completely self-contained to a single episode almost always would add to a character in some way. However, when I watch these Good Witch movies I just wanna scream: “Please have a single self-contained plot that all of the characters are involved in and which moves them all forward to a state that we will pick up in the next film.” The Signed, Sealed, Delivered movies do just that. I’m theorizing here, but that’s probably why that went from a show to a series of movies and the Good Witch franchise did the opposite. Let’s talk about the movie now.
The movie starts off and we have Martha Tinsdale (Catherine Disher) once again in full busybody mode. Luckily, she starts to come around by the end of this installment. She is joined by her friend Gwen (Elizabeth Lennie). I love the drastic difference in their faces here. Gwen is certainly interested in Grey House, but she acts like a reasonable person. Martha actually has some priceless nonsense that she comes up with here to say. First off though, yes, just like For The Love Of Grace, this one also prominently features a Nikon camera. The only other product I ever recall showing up in a bunch of Hallmark movies was the Wii and once the Wii U.
Anyways, they are there to scout out a location for the bicentennial of their town called Middleton. They decide to take a look at Cassie’s (Catherine Bell) house since it is 200 years old. Martha bumps into a creeper plant on the ground, freaks out, and runs to Jake Russell (Chris Potter) who is the top cop in town. He also happens to be dating Cassie.
There is a brief little period here where they quickly reintroduce us to Cassie, George (Peter MacNeill), and Lori (Hannah Endicott-Douglas). This time they tone down the she’s a little girl, get it, she’s a little girl, can we remind you one more time she’s a little girl stuff, but without changing the character. It’s just the way they present her. She fits in better this time around than she did in the first film.
Now we get probably the best part of this movie. Martha shows up at Jake’s office and among other stupid things, she actually alludes that Cassie is growing pot. She says she suspects some of her plants are “illegal”.
Can’t think of something else reasonable that she could be referring to in talking to a police officer and using that particular word. She also talks about this vine on the ground that she bumped into like she just saw the movie The Crawlers (1993). She seems to really believe that Cassie may have plants that are like the roots in that movie which will reach out to kill you. I think Chris Potter’s face gets across how hilariously ridiculous these lines are.
Disher does a great job delivering them. I just love her line that Cassie may be growing illegal plants. I can’t get over that.
Now we kick off the main plot and the subplots. Let’s do the subplots first.
That’s George meeting Gwen. I’m sorry, does that need an explanation?
That’s Lori on the right who has been assigned to do a paper with Jess (Jordy Benattar). However, you can see that Jess has gotten up to flee. For an adult audience the reason is immediately understood. Jess can’t read. Lori doesn’t find this out till a little later. Up till then she thinks Jess is just trying to get her to do all the work, which is understandable. People do that.
That’s Brandon (Matthew Knight) on the right and his two new “friends”. His subplot is these two guys are pushing him around to do something stupid to I guess be initiated into the stupid kids society. It’s similar to the one in the most recent Garage Sale Mystery movie except this time it’s not filled with humorous goofs, lines, and a resolution that had his friends looking like Bill Pullman from Ruthless People (1986). This time Cassie does almost the same thing she did in the first film. She gives him a mirror and just before they do their stupid thing, she shows up causing the item she gave him to come into play.
With the subplots going, this guy shows up to be our main attraction.
He’s Nick Chasen (Rob Stewart) and he has his eyes set on Grey House. He presents himself as the true heir to the house.
Again, Catherine Bell does the Jadzia Dax thing here. She always comes across as wise and with years of experience, but never appearing in some super state of nirvana above us mere mortals. She definitely has her suspicions, but still needs help and has to work through the situation with Jake and his family. She doesn’t just foresee it all and play along. That would make for a rather bland film in my opinion.
As you know from the later films, he does propose at the end of the movie.
There are a couple of little goofs, but nothing worth mentioning. Most of it seems to have been shot around Hamilton, Ontario. That’s really it in that department. I did not see the goof listed on IMDb about Martha’s shoes. Apparently the opening shot shows them as black, but after she goes in the gate of Grey House they are leopard print. Here’s the two shots. I didn’t see it.
With these Good Witch movies there really isn’t much else to talk about except to lay out the plots for you. That’s how these films work.
It’s not as good as the first film. That one felt like it could have been self-contained. This feels like what it is really: the second episode of a TV Show rather than a new film that continues a saga. The acting is good all around as usual. I actually forgot that Matthew Knight was on My Babysitter’s A Vampire. I liked that show.
I recommend this one, but I could tell it was already starting to drop off in quality from the first one more than I would have liked. I want to hear from anyone who has seen the show to tell me if it does seem to work better that way than as an annual TV Movie.
Footnote: Since I brought it up in a past review of a Good Witch movie, let me put it to rest. I did track down the relevant scenes from the one episode Catherine Bell did of Hot Line back in the 1990’s. It’s just really generic 90’s late night erotica. Nothing special or interesting at all. I thought there might be something, but there isn’t. Often when you come across an entry in someone’s filmography that is so different from their usual, then it turns out to be worth seeing if you are a fan of their work. Not here. I would only recommend this for Catherine Bell completionists who must see everything she has ever done. It certainly wasn’t even worth the couple of minutes it took me to find it. The clip I saw from an episode of Dream On that she was on looked like a much more interesting example of her really early work if that’s what you want to see. Just wanted to bring that to a close.