Hallmark Review: Flower Shop Mystery: Snipped in the Bud (2016, dir. Bradley Walsh)


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Sure looks like the same place from On the Twelfth Day of Christmas and Murder, She Baked: A Plum Pudding Mystery. It may be the same place as in those movies, but I’m not sure. This is North Bay, Ontario you are looking, which is where the film was shot. That’s a step up here since last time they put the title card over a shot of Littleton, New Hampshire.

It looks like these Flower Shop Mystery movies are a thing now. I don’t mind. Especially not when they are written by good old Gary Goldstein. It seems you can always count on a Hallmark film written by Goldstein to have something odd in it. I would love to know if these things are in his scripts and if he does it on purpose, or if it is just a strange coincidence. Regardless, this one is no exception.

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The Chicago Cafe has still been changed to the Chicago Bar. Although, you will see Marco (Brennan Elliott) walk around the kitchen of his “bar” carrying groceries. Not sure what that was about. Art On Main has also still been changed to Bloomers Flower Shop via a tarp. It looks fine on her shop, but I don’t get why they bothered with his place. Also, if you go to Google Maps, then you’ll find a Asian character next to the word “Chicago”. I’m guessing that was photoshopped out or the place changed between July 2015 and when they made this. That’s possible seeing as it changed drastically between September 2013 and 2015 according to photos on Google Maps. I lean towards photoshopping because of a scene later, but let’s move on and talk about the movie now.

The movie begins and we get three for the price of one with this screenshot.

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First, Abby Knight (Brooke Shields) has been sent money anonymously to deliver black roses to someone. Second, Abby’s assistant Nikki Bender (Kate Drummond) was just reminded she truly works for a nutcase. Turns out Abby already compared the handwriting to signatures on old receipts. She also said she couldn’t get DNA off the envelope flap because it is self-adhesive. That is Nikki’s reaction. That was me when I saw a shot later in this film. Finally, they put the two prominent actors from Degrassi in the same cast listing. But that’s not all!

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That’s right! Someone involved with these movies realized they accidentally called it Mills College in the first film. They make sure you know they fixed it. Yes, the plot does revolve around the college, but they show that name a lot. They also have a scene where the news gets the name of the flower shop wrong and they repeatedly yell at the screen to correct them.

We find out that the black roses are for a Bruce Barnes (Daniel Kash) who happens to be the pre-law professor for Abby’s daughter Sydney (Celeste Desjardins). Abby is apparently terrified of him. We also find out that Kenny (Ricardo Hoyos), her TA, is the only thing keeping her in the class. It is pretty cool when your TA is Zig Novak from Degrassi.

Marco now comes in to remind us he still exists. Normally that would be me trying to be funny and cynical, but he seriously only gets in a couple of words before Abby is off and running to the college. Abby runs into an old lawyer friend of hers who teaches at the college. I think this screenshot sums up how much she likes him.

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They had some bad experiences in the past. Abby does bring up that up that he “dated and dumped half of [her] friends.” However, I don’t think it helps when one of your answers to that is “I showed every one of your girlfriends a great time, and I would’ve shown you the same, if you’d ever given me a chance.” So, it was all but her that he went out with rather than just half, and he would have shown all of them a “great time.” Good work, pal! No seriously, good job! You made sure no one will care when you are dead. A case they both once worked on that he won is also brought up here to give us information for the ending of the movie.

After talking with her daughter so Sydney can setup a red herring by telling us the guy getting the black roses has famous black pencils, she goes to his office. But first, we have to pass by his secretary to introduce her character and find out there is some obvious friction between her and the professor.

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He likes black pencils, is being delivered black roses, and has a black secretary. I totally didn’t spot that while watching the movie. Then we meet Bruce. She winds up calling him a “tool” to Marco, but this site isn’t Hallmark. His character is an asshole. Plain and simple. That’s all you really need to know about him. This is just another setup for Abby to become the prime suspect in the murder that is about to happen. This happens because Abby doesn’t put up with assholes. She decides to turn around outside and go right back to his office after having initially left the building.

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Actor Jeff Teravainen has part of a black pencil glued to his chest and isn’t moving. He’s dead. That’s when Abby runs out to get help and I realize just how obvious this film tried to make who the killer is so I’m skipping this part. All you need to know is that no one but Abby was in their with the body. I love how they have Brooke refer to the black roses as “theme roses.” It’s too bad he doesn’t ask what theme. This whole bit is the equivalent of an old murder mystery movie where the detective says the killer is somewhere in this room so nobody leave the house.

She returns to the shop where Marco and Abby have a little back and forth about Abby keeping a “low profile.” Then we find out that this must be the official news station of Hallmark movies…

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seeing as it’s the same one from A Christmas Detour.

A Christmas Detour (2015, dir. Ron Oliver)

A Christmas Detour (2015, dir. Ron Oliver)

Then we meet Connor McKay of the Illinois-Eagle Times.

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Pat Mastroianni can call himself whatever he wants in this movie, but he will always be…

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in my heart. By the way, between him and actor Ricardo Koyos, that means we have an actor from the first episode of Degrassi-discounting The Kids of Degrassi Street-and an actor from the most recent episode of Degrassi in the same movie together. That’s awesome! Sadly, he’s barely in the movie. Maybe he’ll be a recurring character seeing as the press is bound to keep popping up in these movies.

Now it’s time to vent to Beau Bridges, which also reminds us he exists because he’s gone as fast as Marco. This is followed by another fly over of the actual place they filmed this in. I can’t tell you how refreshing this is after that last few Hallmark movies I watched that pieced together stock footage from all over the place. Along those lines, I give them credit for this too.

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Often when a Hallmark movie shows a newspaper or an article online then they just use someone else’s writing. Sometimes they slightly modify it. The first film did it. That’s probably here as well, but they made sure to put this wrapping on it so that I wasn’t able to notice. Good work!

The detective comes in to remind us that Abby had knocked over pencils in the professor’s office earlier so that her fingerprints would be on the one that killed the guy. With his lines done, actor Paulino Nunes makes his exit. He has to get back to beating out other actors for having the highest number of acting credits in a lifetime. He’s a busy man.

Now the suspects board comes out.

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I hope you like that board because you will be looking at it and listening to a lot of conversations around it during this movie. Explaining all the info dropped at this board would be really boring. So, let’s laugh at this lady’s shocked look on her face when she sees Abby, who is now famous as a potential murderer, walking on the street.

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On the upside for Abby, business has picked up since she has become a prime suspect in a murder. People all want those black “revenge roses”. Nikki says they are “for bad occasions. Arguments, divorces, breakups, just to say ‘I hate you’.” That part is immediately followed by a scene with the detective where Brooke Shields does this after venting about the dead man, which included calling him a “womanizer”.

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After Marco and Abby talk to each other, they go on a stakeout like they did in the first movie. This time it’s of the dead guy’s funeral on the ground floor of a building with windows. Marco heads in to scope things out while Abby uses her binoculars. Joey Jeremiah stops by her car to remind us he is still in the movie before leaving again. In here Marco gets in a conversation with the dead guy’s wife so I can be proven wrong part way through writing this review. Turns out it’s “Chicago Bar and Grill”. He even calls it a restaurant. This only leaves me more confused. We can clearly see neighboring businesses have their real names. Well, they did seem to remove where it says “Lingerie & Luxuries” on Cintra May’s, which is next door to his Bar and Grill, but still. I guess they thought it would constitute official endorsement, or maybe that’s what it was called in the book. I don’t know.

We are also reminded that Barnes is a jerk to his secretary. Kenny also shows up to the funeral to again remind us he is in the movie still. I really think this movie wanted you to constantly think that it had to be one of the actors from Degrassi since they are kind of on the periphery of all the action. Heck, Joey is actually seen in the background looking in Abby’s flower shop in the dark at one point. We also learn that Kenny was real friendly with a guy who was involved in a case awhile back.

Board time!

Abby goes and talks with Kenny who mentions some internship that the dead guy supposedly secured him. He also mentions that the dead guy had just split up with a woman so that we suspect the secretary.

This is when Kelly Taylor popped up to tell me it’s time to dance.

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I will not! I looked through a bunch of episodes of Beverly Hills, 90210 to find an onscreen writing credit for Gary Goldstein to include here, but failed. I’m not happy. Help me, Beau!

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Yeah, but I’m not supposed to eat ice cream anymore. However, we’ve now reached the point where you have the setup of this film. I could take you through the rest, but it would be me regurgitating their mulling over the board and getting information to add to that board by talking to people. It’s as boring as it sounds.

My final thoughts are these. They dropped the extra guy who was in the first one. That’s a plus. Another plus is that they didn’t have to do any setup so we could cut right to Marco and Abby solving a mystery. However, I swear I remember more snappy screwball comedy back and forth between them in the first film, and it just isn’t here. Luckily, we do have another one of these films coming in June. Gary seemed to try to improve between the first and second, so maybe the third one will bring in more of that kind of dialogue. Also, the board thing really gets annoying. It didn’t help to organize the facts, but seemed to just confuse me more. Maybe that was the intention. Regardless, I can’t recommend this one even if it did have Pat Mastroianni in it who I really hope will be playing a recurring character.

Now, if you want to know who did it, then scroll past this picture of another fine moment of Joey Jeremiah from Degrassi Junior High. This was back when he was probably small enough that Brooke Shields could have easily broken him in half. He’s really tiny in that first episode.

There are no songs to include this time so you can stop here.

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Okay, here you go. Kenny did it. He had worked on a case with the guy who was killed. A case Abby was on back when she worked as a lawyer. He wasn’t given the credit for his work. Kenny wanted to get away from his father. His father bribed the dead guy to not give Kenny a clerkship far away since he wanted him to take over the family business. Kenny saw an opportunity to kill the professor and blame it on Abby. He made sure to do it before the dead professor sent out any of the letters about the job. That way he could arrange to get it himself. Thus, he would escape his father.

Not too satisfying of an ending. Not too satisfying of a mystery. Not too satisfying of a movie. Skip this one.

Hallmark Review: Flower Shop Mystery: Mum’s the Word (2016, dir. Bradley Walsh)


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And look at all those American flags!!! Wow! I had no idea that North Bay, Ontario, Canada had a United States appreciation day where they take down all the Canadian flags that normally line the street to put up Old Glory. Actually, the city behind the title card is Littleton, New Hampshire, but the movie was done in North Bay, Ontario, Canada. However, they did take down the Canadian flags that normally line that city’s Main Street. Unfortunately, I don’t know the city they show just before the title card. Only so much I can do.

This time it was really easy to figure out. While they do make sure the license plates are Illinois…

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and American flags are even in the windows of motels…

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they left plenty of local business names just lying around.

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They even directly reference this coffee house and it really exists on 473 Fraser Street North Bay, Ontario.

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Figuring out Littleton, New Hampshire goes to the Hunkins & Eaton Insurance Agency, Inc. sign that just barely shows for a second before the camera pans up to the shot at the beginning of this review.

With that out of the way for now. This is Hallmark’s new mystery series. It takes place in the small town of New Chapel, Illinois, which is only about 4,000 km by car from Eden Lake, Minnesota where Hannah Swenson runs her bakery.

It starts off by introducing us to a dead man walking named Elvis. Abby Knight, played by Brooke Shields, once knew the man who has since run on hard times.

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After speaking in exposition dialog to introduce us to her, the flower shop called Bloomers, and her employee, Brooke sits down to have a talk with her daughter. A daughter who, I kid you not, is attending Mills College. Mills College which, according to Brooke’s flower shop friend, is “far enough away to live on campus, but close enough for Mom to drop in.” I had no idea Mills College had moved from the Bay Area to near Illinois, Ontario, Canada.

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Oh, and just in case we thought she was on vacation and not in the middle of classes.

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This scene only exists to tell us that Brooke used to be a lawyer, but stopped when her husband died and opened a flower shop instead because “none of it just seemed as important.” In other words, her husband died so that the character will be able to be a detective and Beth Davenport from The Rockford Files at the same time. Works out because her neighbor Marco Salvare, played by Brennan Elliott, shows up next at the flower shop. He owns a bar and was a PI. Oh, and Brooke’s car got hit by another car that may have been involved with the murder that happens soon.

And by soon, I mean now. Someone turns up dead at the Canadian American flag waving motel, Elvis is a suspect, and Brooke and Brennan are on the case. Not for any real good reason. They are really just busy body snoops, which is one of the reasons I kind of like this series already. Normally that would drive me nuts, but it makes them made for each other in this series. I liked that.

With Brooke on the case, she goes on her iPad to read a screenshot of a newspaper article about the murder, which apparently took place on November 2nd, 2016.

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Then she goes to the family album of her photos on the iPad where we see a picture of her husband who may have died the day before during a fishing trip. Either that or she only got around to importing her family photos onto her tablet the day before on November 1st, 2016.

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Next we are introduced to this series’ version of Norman from Murder, She Baked, but he barely exists in this movie. Then there’s a little girl talk back at the flower shop that I’m pretty sure has no customers that come into it. This is followed by a scene where Brooke sits down with a woman who wants a divorce so that we make sure we still remember she was a lawyer. Oh, and something plot related about a Green Thumb Nursery. I couldn’t care less about the plot because just like watching The Big Sleep (1946), you are watching for the Brooke and Brennan back and forth, not the plot. Also, Beau Bridges is in this as a sounding board and in case we need more exposition. Whatever is needed, you can count on Beau. I mean the man got the scroll weapon and he almost beat mega turtle at the end of level three in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for the NES back in 1989. He can do anything.

Time to hit the “Internet” running locally at file:///C:/Users/Mike/Desktop/sc20-Chicago-GreenTumb/results1.html AKA ExploreNet to look up the Green Thumb Nursery.

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The local URL’s keep popping up in the lower left hand corner as a tooltip while she continues to browse the local filesystem for info on the nursery. I wonder who this Mike is? Did she take actor Michael Vincent Dagostino’s laptop? He plays a detective in the movie.

Anyhow, after Brooke reminds us again she was once a lawyer, she walks pass some street signs to make sure we know this shot took place at the intersection of McIntyre Street and Plouffle Street.

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Then Brooke and Brennan visit the Green Thumb Nursery to forward the plot and have some more back and forth. Might as well mention now that Brooke has some weird pseudo-feminist lines in this. You know those lines somebody who thinks they are a feminist, but really are just looking for any excuse to pick a fight over say. There’s only a couple of them, but it’s kind of weird. Maybe she can argue with Calista Flockhart about the semantics of calling her Supergirl.

Now they go on a stakeout! By that I mean they have some humorous lines and talk in exposition dialog. Who cares! All you need to know is that with a little more work they could be fun as a mystery solving couple in this franchise. And no, despite being written by Gary Goldstein, there will be no mention of Brooke’s feet. More plot and dead flowers left for Brooke, then finally Elvis is charged with second degree murder.

Plot, plot, plot. Nursery looks awfully shady and we know that’s where the mystery is going to lead us. Now Brooke and Flower Shop Norman take a trip to Partners Billards & Bowling Center on 361 Main St East.

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After more talking between characters, an inspector shows up and shuts down Brooke’s flower shop. Now it’s personal! I know this because I have almost run out of screenshots. Luckily, I have two more funny things to show before I close up this review. Also, Elvis is found hung dead in his cell. Winding down now.

At the nursery, Brooke noticed that one of the guys carried a gun. She asked him why and he gave a lame answer. No joke, I immediately said to my Dad that he should have said that they carry rare orchids and people try to steal them. So of course she figures out that an orchid bulb is hidden inside a pot of Mum flowers. Yep. This is also when Hallmark popped up to tell us that if we don’t like this series then not to worry cause it can go the way of Wedding Planner Mystery if necessary.

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And now the final goof, and it’s a whopper. She goes online to read an article about expensive orchids. Take a good look.

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And here are the excerpts taken to make that article from an SF Gate article from 1995 by staff writer Jim Doyle:

“U.S. inspectors broke the Kolopaking case in 1993, when they discovered he had sent 60 boxes of rare orchids into the United States via the West Coast clearinghouse for international mail in Oakland.”

“Fisher said the biggest threat to orchids is loss of habitat: Each year, millions of acres of rain forest, where billions of orchids live, are cut or burned down for mining, timber, farming and development.

He added that orchids taken from the wild are now growing in greenhouses and new plants including hybrids are made from them. ‘There are a lot of species in greenhouses that don’t exist in the wild any more due to habitat loss.’

Law enforcement officials insist that smuggling can hasten the death of a species. They contend that over-collection often takes place when a rare orchid’s habitat is nearly destroyed.”

I think Brooke Shields should contact Brooke Burns of the SFPD. Her and The Gourmet Detective should get right on this. This clearly means that Darcy from A Gift Of Miracles who plagiarized her PhD research pitch from an actual WWF report was writing under the pseudonym of Samson O’Doyle three years before the events of that film.

Obviously Brooke does figure it all out and brings the criminals to justice. The mystery is okay at best. It’s not too difficult to follow. Take the fact that the majority of this review is made up of jokes to tell you how enthralling the plot is. There’s a fair amount of setup here so don’t expect to escape a lot of those types of scenes and the exposition dialog that comes with them. The promise here is the stuff between Brooke Shields and Brennan Elliott. I really have a feeling this one is heading for the same bin as My Gal Sunday, Wedding Planner Mystery, and The Mystery Cruise, but if not, then I hope they really polish up the dialog and just drop the unnecessary extra guy. That kind of works on Murder, She Baked, but here I didn’t feel it added anything. Just have Abby and Marco hook up so we can enjoy them being screwball comedy murder mystery solvers. Otherwise, I am not looking forward to a poor man’s Murder, She Baked with touches of The Gourmet Detective.

Val’s Movie Roundup #29: Hallmark Edition


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Bridal Fever (2008)

Unfortunately, there is no cowbell in this movie. Okay, this one is about a lady named Gwen Green (Andrea Roth). She works as an assistant editor. Delta Burke plays Dahlia Marchand who writes romance novels, but is going to pen an autobiography. Turning down more experienced editors, she picks Green to be her editor as soon as she sees her. I honestly had to watch this twice because the first time around I missed a few things so I was rather confused as to what Burke’s obsession with this woman was. Honestly, I thought she was a lesbian for a minute there and this shot near the end of the movie didn’t help.

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The movie begins with one of Green’s friends getting married. Then her friend catches the bridal fever and becomes obsessed with getting married. She drags Green into her nuttiness. So we go speed blind dating. I have seen this scene done in numerous movies, but I think it’s the first time I’ve seen this in one of these montages.

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Didn’t work for me no matter how much of a resemblance he might bare to Jeffrey Combs. Green doesn’t find her man here. Instead, she is passing by a bookstore and decides to go in and replace the window display with books by Dahlia Marchand. Sadly, this didn’t feel contrived because I can remember my Dad buying things from his business clients to support them. It doesn’t surprise me that now since she is editing one of Marchand’s books, she would do this. Of course a little slip and fall in the store, and she meets the guy she will end up with. He works at the store.

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Sorry, I really didn’t mean to catch him with his “you’re gonna die now” look on his face. The rest of the film plays out like this. Marchand is going to launch her book at his store. Marchand oddly avoids the store. Green works with this guy getting closer and closer. Since her friend has poisoned Green’s mind and since the guy didn’t propose to her on the spot, she gets engaged to the wrong guy. Then we find out that Marchand picked her because she wanted someone who wouldn’t do their job and thus wouldn’t ask her about gaps in her biography. The big gap being her years working at that bookstore. Turns out it’s the guy’s uncle who owns the store that once had a thing with her. It wraps up like you think.

This was okay. Very cliched and it’s one of those ones I like to say sleepwalks through the formulaic plot, but the actors were likable enough, including Delta Burke. I did like that they borrowed the comparing scars scene from Lethal Weapon 3.

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You can do worse, but you can also do better.

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Audrey’s Rain (2003) – Where the hell did this Hallmark movie come from? It’s got cursing, people who act like real people (kids included), suicide, a mentally challenged or at least mentally cracked in some fashion character, sexual references, direct reference to breasts as “buzzards”, making out, use of the word horny, the kid tries to say Audrey’s sandwiches taste like shit, fart jokes, a fart joke directed at a reverend who just asked Audrey to consider returning to the church, and more.

Seriously, is this the kind of movie Hallmark initially made? Cause this is a far far far cry from the kind of stuff they make today and have for many years. I actually thought I was watching a real movie here. The only things I saw in common with other Hallmark movies were that Larry Levinson was involved. Well, I guess I should talk a little bit about it.

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It starts off with Audrey (Jean Smart) trying to blow away a rodent with a rifle. Yay! That scene is the one time this film censors itself. Despite the word “bastard” showing up in the close captioning, the sound falls silent on that word. Funny they did that considering this follows shortly afterwards.

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Sure, the sister got her hand on his mouth before he got the full word out, but still. I’ve seen Hallmark censor the word “butt”.

So, you’ve got Audrey, two kids from a sister who killed herself, and another sister who has mental issues. I’m pretty sure she’s supposed to be mentally challenged, but I don’t remember there being enough details to tell you any more than that. And that’s where this film’s real issue is. While you really don’t care too much about this sister, the film does feel like it jumps over sections that were once there or should be there telling us more.

A man from Audrey’s past gets close to her and they do end up together. There’s a quirky friend. There are flashbacks. The kids have problems with the memories of their dead mother. There’s a pretty gut wrenching scene where we think the little girl might have hung herself like her mom did. It all works quite well, but it feels like it should have been a mini-series rather than just a movie. Maybe it was, and then was edited down.

At the end of the day, if you like Hallmark, see it. It’s like no other Hallmark movie out of the 106 I’ve seen so far. Just know that it will feel like it was chopped up.

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Love On The Air (2015) – I kind of felt bad watching this when it premiered cause some guy who claimed to have worked on the film tweeted me twice saying he was glad I was enjoying it. I felt bad because the majority of my tweets were complaints about the movie. I don’t think I even mentioned the problems with the actors. Oh, well.

Love On The Air begins with our two leads doing their radio shows on the same network. I don’t remember what the name of their shows were, if they had any, but a modern equivalent would be tweets with #NotAllMen attached for hers and #YesAllWomen for his. It’s that kind of stuff being slung at the beginning of this movie. The largely writing off the other gender based on bad experiences thing. Only it’s far tamer than the stuff you hear online and not as complex. Thank goodness. But it does have that isolationist/separatist rhetoric to it that people cry foul over when it’s skin color, but not as much with gender. She even says “be an island”. I honestly could have done without this as the setup seeing as it’s stuff like this that makes places like Twitter depressing, but that’s the setup.

Our leading lady is Sonia (Alison Sweeney). Our leading man is Nick (Jonathan Scarfe). The two of them end up going at it on the air for a few minutes and that leads to them doing it on a regular basis. You can guess where this goes.

A day for night shot, along with shots that were under lit or shot on cloudy days.

A day for night shot, along with shots that were under lit or shot on cloudy days.

Odd choices of things to focus on or I swear at times the camera just going out of focus.

Odd choices of things to focus on or I swear at times the camera just going out of focus.

This blinding light that keeps shining at you during this scene.

This blinding light that keeps shining at you during this scene.

And random obstructions in front of the camera for reasons beyond me.

And random obstructions in front of the camera for reasons beyond me.

What? You thought they were going to fall in love? Well, that happens too, which is another problem. They have both been burned by certain experiences in their past. Problem is, I think they needed to even out the two of them out a little more. He is noticeably easier to get along with than she is. I know it makes for a little more of a traditional romance of him winning her over, but it would have been nice for them to have dialed down Sonia a little bit. I also know that it begins with her engagement being called off so she’s fresh off a recent bad experience, but I still wanted them to be on more even ground.

However, if you can get past the odd cinematography and the characters starting out on uneven footing, I know I sure didn’t feel they had any chemistry together. Scarfe is kind of warm and a little likable. Sweeney not as much. I understand how spending time with each other reminds them that no matter how many or intensity of experiences you have with a section of the population, you can’t right the whole lot off. However, I didn’t really buy that they should end up together as anything but good friends who do a show together.

I guess this is the kind I say won’t kill ya!

A little personal side note. I think I have mentioned it before, but Sweeney also does a series called Murder, She Baked on Hallmark. I wish that had her killing people with her cooking. She really comes across to me as someone who could play a villain well. I never saw her on Days Of Our Lives so maybe she did there.

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All Of My Heart (2015) – This is another one of those Hallmark movies that borrows a screwball plot that you’d find in the 1940’s. It begins with Jenny Fintley (Lacey Chabert) and Brian Howell (Brennan Elliott), I kid you not, each inheriting half of the same house in the country. Being a cook, she sees it as business opportunity to open a bed and breakfast. Being a stockbroker, he sees it as an asset that needs to be liquidated. Hilarity ensues? Not really. This isn’t like Growing The Big One, which is a Hallmark movie and not one of those late night cable movies I’ve reviewed. I still don’t know how Hallmark lucked out on that name.

It’s just them falling in love by spending time with each other. She’s there cause she wants to open a business. He gets stranded there after his job slips out from underneath him. Oddly, the film teases that it’s going to do something humorous like Funny Farm (1988), but doesn’t follow through.

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That’s Ed Asner who you probably know as the guy who shoots people in the back on Hawaii Five-O. The other guy is Daniel Cudmore who is probably best known as Jaffa #1 from the Homecoming episode of Stargate SG-1. Asner sits on the bench in front of the General Store and makes humorous comments as well as some important ones at the end of the movie. Cudmore is the colossus who runs the store and is the local plumber. They are both funny in this movie. I wanted more quirky characters. Sure, hoping for the crazy mailman from Funny Farm would be asking too much, but I could have done with more of these two. I would have preferred Chabert and Elliott coming together dealing with the odd, but lovable town rather than just coming together because it’s Hallmark.

My only other complaint has to do with Lacey Chabert. I didn’t watch Party Of Five back when I was kid and have very limited exposure to her work. Largely just Hallmark, but I really want more personality out of her here. Along with looking like she’s wearing more makeup then I care for, she seems to act like she is a kid who just entered her first planetarium. He has some more personality, but I really wanted something like what Shannen Doherty and Kavan Smith had in Growing The Big One.

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So, which one of these does this poor dog from one of the commercials on Hallmark say you should see? Audrey’s Rain. Despite it’s problems, it’s so different. If you like Hallmark, you should see it. I’m a little biased though, cause I like Jean Smart.