I haven’t done a Hallmark movie in awhile. It’s been even longer since I did one that I watched on DVD. I only mention it because once again it is difficult to get it to start in VLC, and the close captioning is a little wonky. That leads to some humorous captions. I bring them up in case you go to watch it using VLC, or need to use the close captioning for more than just convenience. This is also the last of the Good Witch movies I have left to review. Let’s dig in.
The movie begins and we immediately join Jake Russell (Chris Potter) as he is doing some window shopping to decide what to get Cassie (Catherine Bell) for Christmas. He’s also doing a bit of foreshadowing.
He spots a guy that he clearly knows, but then Cassie pops up like she always does to say “hi.”
This is as good a time as any to mention that she uses her powers a little more explicitly this time around. It’s not like in a later one where she teleports right in front of a camera. However, she does pop around more, and she makes the doors to her shop open right in front of Jack to the point where he asks her if she installed automatic doors. At least that’s what they say if you can hear. If you can’t, then this is what shows up onscreen.
The next important thing is to find out who that guy was that Jack saw while window shopping. It’s a guy named Leon Deeks (Graham Abbey) who was part of a bank robbery and was recently released after having served his time. The issue is that not only was the money never recovered, but Jack’s son is going out with Deeks’ daughter played by former Degrassi: TNG star Jordan Todosey. It’s interesting that with this film it means that actor Matthew Knight was in a movie with one of the late stage Degrassi: TNG actors, and one of the early ones in Jake Epstein who was in an episode of Matthew Knight’s short-lived TV Show called My Babysitter’s A Vampire.
Deeks of course stops by Cassie’s place, and as usual with new people, she nearly gives him a heart attack by suddenly showing up behind him. He remembers the place when it used to be rundown and is impressed with what she has done. There is an ulterior motive to him looking around the place. It will turn out the unrecovered money from the robbery is under her floor.
Lori (Hannah Endicott-Douglas) makes a return, but really won’t play too much of a role in the film. Mainly when Cassie’s ring goes missing, she runs around looking for it. However, good old quintessential small town busybody Martha Tinsdale (Catherine Disher) is sure around for her plot line.
At the start she is being annoying, making people angry, and really getting into hitting that gavel. She is rejecting a local business’ request to put up a sign to advertise for their business. Her plot line is like the rest in that it will revolve around family, and will resolve with family. It’s what the “Gift” in the title means. The formation or maintenance of family is the central theme around which the plot lines revolve. I do love how at this meeting, which is where we first see her, she manages to piss off everyone at the table. Then she leaves only to be confronted by her husband the mayor who tells her they lost a lot of money, and she needs to get a job as a result.
Catherine Disher really does have that Jim Carrey facial expression thing about her. I love it.
Then we meet Brandon (Matthew Knight) and Jodi Deeks played by Jordan Todosey.
So, we have Cassie and Jack who need to end up getting married to each other. We have Jodi and her father who need to be reunited despite Jodi’s mother fighting against it. It’s understandable because the time he served was ten years on top of committing the crime. We also have Martha who needs survive this bump in the road with her husband. However, we have one last piece of setup.
What do we do with grandpa (Peter MacNeill)? He actually has one of the more subtle ways of having family in his plot line. The woman he met last time at the orchard departs. Since Cassie is going to go and live with Jack in the end, what is going to happen to Grey House?
That’s your setup. The movie is on autopilot now as the plot lines run their course to their happy conclusions. Let’s talk about how these different plot lines all resolve.
The reason for the marriage being rushed is that Jack is getting frustrated that it keeps getting pushed back, so come hell or high water, he’s going to make it happen before Christmas. The marriage runs into a few small speed bumps with finding a preacher at the last minute, getting the wedding together at the last minute, and getting the marriage license also at the last minute. It’s the standard stuff you’d expect. Martha’s husband marries them since he is the mayor. They get the marriage license since Cassie has been around long enough legally that the government says that’s enough to establish an identity. I’m not sure it really works that way, but it’s a movie, and a very minor point that is just there to stall the film a bit.
Martha goes around trying to sell herself as a prospective employee, but she’s pissed off too many people for that to be an easy task.
In the end, she’ll become a party planner. Cassie is the one who suggests this to Martha. In this one, more than others, she seems to be more conscious of these actions to help people. I swear I remember in the past that she treaded the line between some sort of an all knowing being, and a regular human better.
As for grandpa, that’s actually easy. He moves in to take care of Grey House and the B&B with Cassie.
The hard one is getting Jodi and her father back together. That’s really what Cassie puts her mind too. In the end, that works out too, but she has to attack that problem from several angles. Turning the money in is the major step he takes to turn things around for him and his family.
It really has been awhile since I watched other Good Witch movies, but this one felt a little different. I recall the others having a main plot, and several micro-plots around it that really didn’t have any reason to be there. This time around we have the Deeks plot line that has some more importance, but they are all treated rather equally, tie together, and have a central theme. Kind of like a Good Witch version of Signed, Sealed, Delivered: From The Heart (2016) except that it doesn’t have so many plots that it gets overwhelming. This is average, but recommendable as far as Good Witch movies go.