I may have shed a few tears at the end of this one. Which is a good thing for a Hallmark movie. Although a little over the top for most of the movie, Lynn Whitfield bought it home in the final touching scenes. The other great thing about this one was the male love interest. The actor was so appealing playing a normal-looking guy in his 40s who was popular with and respected by everyone from the rich and influential to the humble and normal people. He was just such a mensch. The actor, Patrick Sabongui, was also a standout in Christmas Sail where he played a similar character.
Erica Durance plays a recently widowed mother of a young son trying to work through her own grief and help her boy with his. Unfortunately, she has the wrong end of the stick as far as her strategy and her son doesn’t want to open up to her because he doesn’t want to hurt her feelings. She runs a small boutique architectural firm specializing in remodeling businesses and homes. She is very disorganized which we see immediately because of the pile of unopened mail on the desk and won’t delegate to her very competent employee who has been with the firm from the beginning. I hated that so she got on my bad side right away. (Her employee takes it upon herself to take care of the mail near the end of the movie and she finds a $5000 check the business is owed!) In addition, I could feel her jealousy of Lynn Whitfield’s closeness with her son throughout the movie. Durance’s deftness in conveying this was masterful. It was very tense and uncomfortable. It was almost a relief when she finally erupts in a very ugly encounter with her over her son’s opening up to her and not herself. She regrets it almost immediately and she did redeem herself in the end. Overall she was a nice woman and good at the creative end of her business, so I did forgive her.
I find it very difficult to watch actresses of a certain age who have sabotaged their ability to convey emotion with facial expressions because of the Botox and fillers. Sadly, Erica Durance has succumbed to this common practice and though she was good, she could have been better. Although maybe, in this case, the subtlety of expression was a plus. I know that sometimes these actresses are between a rock and hard place and are under a lot of pressure to take care of that forehead or whatever. But I find it too distracting. It’s all I can look at when it is so obvious and takes me right out of the movie.
October 27, 2022