A Nice Quiet Story
Taylor Cole has never been a huge favorite with me but in the past year or two, she has really grown on me. She is very beautiful but does best playing more down-to-earth family-oriented characters. In some roles, her beauty is a almost little off-putting. And she finally settled on a hairstyle that works. This quiet well-paced story really worked for me.
Haley finds out that her mother, who was adopted, had a brother from whom she was separated as a child. Her mother, beautifully played by Jacqueline Ann Steuart, has been sad and reclusive since the death of her husband. As the perfect Christmas gift for her mom, she decides to see if she can find this mysterious brother. With the help of a friend, she narrows the possibilities down to a builder of mountain cabins in Colorado. She goes to visit and meet him to see if he could possibly be her long-lost uncle. The more she learns, she is by turns hopeful and discouraged. In some ways, he fits what she knows about her mother’s brother, but he will not talk about his past and at one point tells her that he never had any siblings. But Haley doesn’t give up and will not be put off, while still trying not to be intrusive and rude. It is a very delicate balance. The truth finally comes out, the mysteries are solved, and it all concludes very touchingly.
Benjamin Ayers, who plays a protege of the possible uncle, and Taylor made a good couple. She needs a strong-looking male lead, and Benjamin fits the bill. The romance seemed right and definitely added to the story. The actor who played her uncle had a strong impact as well. The mystery of why he did not want any contact with the past and wouldn’t acknowledge that he had a sister kept my interest going. He had a lot of charisma. The other aspect that really added to the story was Haley’s friendship with the mysterious Gordon’s daughter, a furniture maker. While Taylor was kept busy in Colorado, her mother is also making progress in joining the land of the living again, thanks to the patient efforts of a compassionate and wise friend. Along with still another side story, of Taylor’s career-defining interior design project and its setbacks and successes, there was a lot going on in this. And that was good. I usually think a number of side stories keep interest up in main plots that almost by definition, have to be predictable and by the book.
Finally, I do want to give Hallmark props for doing away with the bottomless suitcase. Taylor plans only an overnight trip to Colorado and packed accordingly. In the past, regardless of only bringing minimal luggage for a trip, the leading lady pulls out outfit after outfit with different bulky and matching coats out of the magical suitcase. In this one, Taylor actually wears the same sweater two days in a row and makes a point of having to go shopping for more clothes when her trip is extended. Proof positive that Hallmark reads their reviews, as this phenomenon has been a favorite topic with Hallmark commenters for quite some time. The more I think about it, such an issue is made of her not having enough clothes that I think Hallmark is indulging in a little self-deprecating inside humor. Well Played.