The Wedding Veil Expectations

Expectations Met, but not Exceeded

I found this only mildly entertaining. It was good to see the three women together again, I like the actress’s rapport and their characters’ solid long-term supportive friendship, and Lacey Chabert’s wardrobe choices remain a constant source of fascination. I will be front and center for Autumn Reeser’s turn in the spotlight next week. Or at least my DVR will be.

Basically, the plot was a series of bumps in the road and challenges revolving around Lacey’s character discovering that she’s pregnant, and dealing with a new and antagonistic executive director who has complete creative control over the museum in which she devotedly works. And other unrelated stuff. It is an episodic plot rather than one having a focused beginning, middle, and end.

First, we have the dilemma of how and when she is going to break the happy baby news to her husband. Her perfect romantic setting and plans are upended a couple of times. Finally, she just bursts out with the news after a little fight and all is well.

We have her hormones acting up and some amusing scenes regarding forgetfulness, cravings, aversions, nausea, and heightened emotions. Lacey is great in these scenes.

We have the loneliness of her mother-in-law established. A suitable love interest presents himself when she holds the magical veil. But hold the phone. Peter, her son and Lacey’s husband disapproves and is suspicious. He is rude, so we have the resulting break-up. She tells her swain she is still in love with her dead husband and also the new relationship is making her son unhappy. So which is it?

Meanwhile, we have Peter, the son and husband in question struggling with his conflicted feelings. There is an awkward but, thanks to the actors, entertaining, first meeting at a restaurant.

We have a big home renovation money-pit sub-plot. Lacey and Peter have bought an old historic home with lots (and lots) of constantly emerging problems. They pop up throughout the movie. They did not generate too much concern though, because Peter and Lacey are fabulously wealthy and can well handle the expense. Thus, Peter’s frustration and distress over all the bad news the doom merchant contractor continues to bring is kind of boring and comes across as a little whiny.  And why does a contractor care about Lacey’s color choice for her curtains anyway? Picky, I know, but it was just one of those “huh?” moments.

And Let’s not forget Peter’s tussles with the typically mean school board regarding the art program he heads. Several scenes about that.

And wait, there’s more. We have Lacey’s conflict with her “arrogant, opinionated” boss who wants to improve the suffering attendance at the museum by changing up the art. This includes getting rid of the first trilogy’s Amici portrait and the magical wedding veil it depicts. The drama of the conflict was blunted for me because I actually saw his point. In all of the scenes in the museum, I never saw one paying visitor. He was just doing his job. He thinks Lacey is a dilettante and overly emotional and invested in lace. In fairness, I couldn’t really blame him. Also I kind of liked the S.O.B. I was hoping that he would touch the veil, find love with Lucy the assistant, and turn into a good guy.

Throughout it all, we have Lacey on the phone or in person with her buddies venting, confiding, and getting advice and support. Alison Sweeney shone particularly in one of these scenes, turning insignificant dialogue into a genuinely touching half-a-minute.

All is resolved happily: Lacey’s professional challenges in particular by a scheme that dramatically bolsters the museum’s languishing attendance and saves the painting. It should have been enacted long before. I guess sometimes it takes a  bad guy to get the good guys off their patooties.

Rating: 7 out of 10.

Family for Christmas

What About the Children?

This is a 2015 movie that I have seen a couple of times. It was on again last night and it got my attention again. This review is more of a rant. And not about the sexist patriarchal message it sends. No, this is one of those time travel movies with children in it and as usual, that makes it very problematic. A career-oriented Lacey Chabert meets a magical Santa who whisks her into another version of her life. One in which, if, 10 years earlier, she had stayed with her college boyfriend and not gone to San Francisco for an internship. In the version of her life she is thrust into, she is a suburban mom happily married to said boyfriend. She has two children she doesn’t know, and we are shown photos of them as babies and growing up with the alternate version of Lacey. Jumping to the end, when she wakes up again back to her “real life” as a career-oriented journalist, she wants to go back to her husband and children she has come to love. She finds that same Santa, and he tells her that she can’t go back, she can only make other choices going forward. The husband is alive and well with another life. But what about the children? They have been wiped off the face of the earth. They had personalities, thoughts, fears, love, friends, and even souls if you will, and they are just gone. They never even existed. That is horrific and tragic. Never have even existed is even worse than dying too young. At one point, if I interpreted it correctly, she goes to their school and they never come out after dismissal. In a Richard Curtis time travel movie, About Time, the hero could go back in time and make other decisions to get it right, only as long as he had no children. Then there were rules and restrictions. The only other way this trope can work is if it is crispy clear that the whole other life experience is only a dream. That is not the case in this one. At the end, she meets up with her old boyfriend who is still available 10 years later, to live her life going forward but this time including love and family with this guy. She still remembers her alternate life and her kids. I don’t even want to think of the effect these memories will have on her life and decisions going forward. Mind. Boggled.

Lacey Chabert is funny and touching in this, and the movie, if you just ignore all of the metaphysical and existential dilemmas is a good fish out of water story. I like time travel tropes. This one is often compared with Tea Leonie and Nick Cage’s Family Man. I need to watch that movie again to see how the children thing is handled. I can ignore all of the other paradoxes the time travel tropes present and just enjoy the movies for the interesting situations they present, both funny, dramatic, touching, and uplifting., But not if they involve children being erased. That is a bridge too far. I don’t know how to rate this. I’ll just give it a 5.

Rating: 5 out of 10.

Five More Minutes: Moments Like These

Five More Minutes: Take Two. Will there be Three?

This is one of those dramatic heartfelt Hallmarks that show on Hallmark Movies and Mysteries. It is a follow-up to last year’s production based on the country song, Five More Minutes. In both, a grieving person gets 5 more minutes with a dead loved one. It looks like it may be an annual thing. I gave the first one 8 out of 10 stars, and I gave this one the same rating.

Ashley Williams is on a roll with me. She plays Kaitlin, a still-grieving widow of a 10-year-old boy, her husband having died 4 years earlier in a car wreck. Her performance was considerably toned down from her old Miss Perky McPerkison energy. She should play brave grieving widows more often. She still flashes that killer smile, but you know what? The girl can’t help it. There is some concern about her son, who though a nice kid, has become more and more withdrawn and introverted since his father’s death. Kaitlin goes home to Colorado from Los Angeles to spend Christmas with her husband’s family and decide what to do with her beloved home which has been vacant for the last 4 years.  She has received a very tempting job offer from a regular client but she would have to relocate to London.

While at a local Christmas fair, she meets a nice handsome man, Matthew, who it turns out was an old schoolmate and friend of her husband. They really hit it off, but the relationship suffers a blow when he fails to disclose that he is the representative of a huge corporation that covets her house and land. Luckily for their budding romance/friendship, her trust is restored with his explanation, apology, contrition, and his very positive relationship with her son. Also, in a clear conflict of interest, he is helping her to fix up the house in order for her to get the best price possible from his employer or another party. This seemed very shady to me.  His employer, who is also a friend and kind of worships the ground he walks on because of his honesty and integrity (?!) lets this go for some reason and in fact wants to hire him for his New York office.

Meanwhile, her son is having short encounters with progressively older boys every few days. They disappear mysteriously but not before leading him to friendship, community involvement, and finding his hidden talents.  He is finally healing and blossoming in this new community of Hollowford. Cameo Alert: Nikki Deloach as Clara Bingham, the art teacher and lead in the first Five More Minutes.

Everything comes to a head when she decides to sell the house to Matthew’s business partner for a ton of money and move to London. Things start to fall apart with her relationship with her son, who wants to stay in Hollowford,  the sale of the house, and her relationship with Matthew. She goes down to the basement in despair and what she sees there shows her that the boys her son has mentioned are none other than her dead husband coming back to help their son and who, in a  kind of spooky jump scare, then appears to her. They talk for 5 minutes.

The kid actor was fantastic with a layered, touching, and authentic performance in a part that could have been annoying. I can take or leave Lucas Bryant, but he made a good match with Ashley Williams.  I liked that when Matthew and Kaitlin felt that surge of sexual attraction, they actually admit and knowledge that to each other openly. That is actually quite unusual for Hallmark couples to do. Usually, they just gaze soulfully or have an almost kiss which is not attempted again until the very end. The owner of the development company that had a signed contract on Kaitlin’s house, did something at the end for no good reason. It was weird and made no sense. Nevertheless, I could watch another one of these Five More Minutes movies with no hesitation whatsoever. It’s a good concept, and so far they have been well done.

Rating: 8 out of 10.

Hanukkah on Rye


If you’ve seen You’ve Got Mail, In the Good Old Summertime, or The Shop Around the Corner, this movie will hold no surprises as far as the romance is concerned. But this movie adds family, history, culture and food to the classic romance plot line.

Molly in New York City and Jacob in California are the young single scions of Jewish families who have been in the delicatessen business for 3 (or maybe 4?)  generations. Jacob in California is being sent to New York City to finalize buying their new location. Molly helps run her family’s deli, Gilbert’s, which turns out to be on the same street as the future site of Zimmer’s, Jacob’s family’s new location. Gilbert’s is old school featuring only Jewish food and promotion and technology averse. Zimmer’s is just the opposite, carrying food for all ethnicities and embracing modernity. While Jacob is in NYC his grandmother engages a matchmaker for him as Molly’s family does for her, anxious as they are for them each to find nice Jewish spouses to spawn a new generation of deli owners. They very reluctantly agree to give it a try. They write to each other long hand on paper per the rules under aliases which they will dispense with if they think they may have a future. The very notion of not using the internet to communicate freaks them both out. (“Does she also want me to write with a quill on papyrus under candlelight?!”) They coincidentally also live in the same apartment building getting to know each other face to face while writing to each other anonymously.  You know the drill.

Molly is struggling to bring her family’s business into the 21st century as it is on the verge of going under. Jacob, who finds out that he is actually writing to the same woman he is falling in love with in person struggles both with knowing he will soon be hostile competition and also his guilt in not having the guts to tell her the truth.

When his family shows up in NYC concerned as to why Jacob is dragging his feet and still hasn’t closed the deal, the fit really hits the shan. The two Bubbes both meet the matchmaker at the same time intent on demanding a refund, and Jacob’s true identity comes to light. The ideal solution to the problem of two competing delis on the same street is solved when the two grandmothers learn how it could be possible that their two families’ secret latke recipes are identical. An assist from The Fiddler on the Roof did not come amiss either, reminding one and all that change should be embraced and not avoided.

The whole cast was on point.  Paula Shaw is a standout (as usual) as Jacob’s Bubbe. Whenever she narrows her eyes into slits of anger or suspicion it would cause strong men to tremble and cower in fear. She is hilarious. Another stand out is the anonymous doorman who knows all between the two anonymous correspondents right from the beginning. Also a hoot while barely saying a word. Jeremy Jordan, who was so great in Mix-up in the Mediterranean, plays Jacob, and Yaol Grobglas is sympathetic and lovable as Molly. A classic plot, a well-written and witty script, excellent acting, and attractive leads. Check, check, check, and check. I also have had good luck with Hanukkah stories at Christmas. Check.

Rating: 8 out of 10.

‘Twas the Night Before Christmas

Great Googly!

I loved this! When I saw the previews, it was evident that this was definitely off the beaten track for Hallmark. The teaser featured what appeared to be a court case deciding the true authorship of the famous Christmas poem, ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas staged as a play. A play within a play? And it was evident that there was a romance going on between two of the actors and maybe some ghosts? I didn’t know quite what to make of it, but it turned out to be a delight from beginning to end.

Torrey DeVitto plays Madison Rush, a successful actress who started off as a child star in a tv series whose catchphrase was “Great Googly!”. She is beloved for that role (people are always yelling “Great Googly!” at her). She is also loved for a romantic movie that she starred in with fellow actor,  Connor Avery. People still talk of their epic kiss in “Christmastime Cupid.”

Madison who is anxious to move forward from acting and into directing is in Troy New York for her first directing job. Her play is based on the mock trial described above. The trial was a real thing. It was held at the county courthouse in Troy in 2013 to determine the long-debated authorship of the 1823 poem A Visit from Saint Nicholas: Clement C. Moore or Henry Livingston, a local gentleman farmer. the first trial resulted in a hung jury so it was re-staged the next year and the verdict was that Henry Livingston was the true author of the poem. I didn’t know any of this stuff! Troy’s history with the poem, The Victorian Stroll, the disputed authorship were all news to me, and I loved it! The Hallmark version of the trial, which uses the city’s annual Victorian Stroll (kind of a Victorian Renaissance Festival) as a backdrop for the movie, may or may not have a different verdict.  

In the movie, the play is funded by a rich guy in order to give his girlfriend Lena the starring role to jumpstart her ambition to be an actress. She is a rank amateur and hopeless as an actress. In fact, she can hardly read, let alone act! Also starring, is Madison’s leading man from their movie, Connor Avery, he of the famous kiss.

Madison tackles every challenge thrown at her during preparations for the play and there are plenty. She awakens the talent in Lena by giving her confidence in her abilities, deals with last-minute interferences from the producer, her agent needling her to go back to acting which is where the money is, and many more. The most challenging of the challenges though is the appearance of two mysterious actors who first show up at the Victorian Stroll in costume and then appear during rehearsals to play the two combatants Moore and Livingston. They take over the script but they are wonderful and take the play in a new and exciting direction. Madison bravely just goes with the surprise turn her production has taken. Unfortunately, they come and go as they please during rehearsals, don’t stick to any script at all, and leave poor Madison wondering when, or even if, they will show up for the actual performance.

The romance is drama-free and really nice. Madison and Connor like and respect each other and are half in love already (that kiss!) The relationship develops as Madison gets to know Connor’s young daughter who comes for Christmas. Connor respects and likes Madison for going after her dream of directing and is very impressed with the job she is doing despite the many challenges. Madison learns that Connor actually has a law degree and in turn is also very impressed. There is no doubt (is there ever?) that they are made for each other.

All of the actors in this gave superlative performances. The new-to-Hallmark actor who played Connor had charm and appeal to spare, the actors who played the two (spoiler alert!) ghosts of the two rival poets were wonderful, and the actress who played the terrible actress who comes into her own was also excellently terrible, and then not terrible. Her struggles had me on the edge of my seat. Though I must interject that the preview gave away an important plot point. Dumb. There was plenty of humor, intrigue, and suspense. The romance was not center stage in this one but added a sweet touch and a happy hopeful ending. I was happy to see a veteran Hallmark regular making an uncredited appearance as Connor’s mother. It’s getting to be a tradition, and I have started to expect these little welcome treats. In a rarity for Hallmark, one viewing will not be enough for me. I want to watch it again, knowing what I know now.

Rating: 9 out of 10.

All Saints Christmas

Good Singing on Hallmark At Last

I really enjoyed this one. It was well-written and I liked all the attractive cast and characters. Even the “big misunderstanding” made sense, not one of the stupid OVERHEARING PART OF A CONVERSATION AND LEAVING RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF IT PUTTING THE LOVE INTEREST IN AN UNJUSTLY BAD LIGHT WHICH ALSO COMPLETELY CONTRADICTS HIS OR HER ALREADY ESTABLISHED GOOD CHARACTER. I hate that one.

Lisette is an established Grammy award-winning R&B singer who is being supplanted by her record label by a young whippersnapper who is not as talented but gets a lot of buzz on social media due to her relationship with a hot actor. When her manager, who is also very hot, but in the looks department, reminds her that her best and most popular album was produced by her ex, Matthew, she makes it clear that it was a bad breakup that she is still bitter about.  Before she goes to visit her jazz club-owning family in New Orleans she pays a visit to a Christmas Market. She drops a ring on the ground and a nice man picks it up and hands it to her while still on his knees. And who is the chivalrous gentleman but her ex, Matthew! And caught in a classic will-you-marry-me pose on camera which immediately goes viral! Her mother, Orca, (Orca?) video-calls her wondering what the heck is going on and she catches them both together. In an amusing scene, he confirms the engagement to her mother and agrees to visit and meet the family. By mistake. It’s pretty funny. So we have a classic fake fiance situation with the two leads really clicking. There also is a subplot involving a prominent music journalist who is also a fellow New Orleanian whose family is friends with Lisette’s family. She seems to have a history of giving stories about Lisette a negative spin, and they are hostile to each other. The reason for the breach and how it is healed provides a nice little twist in the plot.

Lisette’s well-off family is nice and the characters are well-developed. I thought I was not going to like the stern and strict father, but he turned out not to be overly annoying. There are some funny scenes. One of which is the intimidating father entering Matthew’s room with an ax. Turns out he was just going to cut down a Christmas tree, but the visual was a highlight.  The movie is both well-written and well-acted with some apropos commentary on social media and the music industry. And bonus points for the great singing and music, plenty of scenes showing off New Orleans at Christmas time, and the nicely done finale and resolution to all of the botherations.

Rating: 8 out of 10.

Single and Ready to Jingle

Tinsel Town

The premise for this one had a lot of promise and opportunity for laughs and romance and largely succeeded. Emma is a senior vice-president of Tinsel Toy Company, and being the Christmas season and in the toy industry she has had it up to here with Christmas. For her vacation, which is a couple of weeks before the toy-centric holiday, she is looking forward to going to a Christmas-free zone in the Caribbean. I guess toy companies aren’t too busy a few weeks before Christmas? Whatever. She has her airhead assistant book a trip to St. Johns for a week of beaches, bikinis, and drinks with umbrellas. She gets on the plane for a direct flight to the tropical island but when she deplanes, she finds herself in fictional St. Johns, Alaska. We are treated to a pretty funny visual of her in a sun dress with all of the fur-coated and parka-ed fellow passengers fighting minus 12-degree cold and fierce winds to get from the plane to the terminal. It doesn’t say much for her situational awareness that she never notices that something might be a little off with this airplane flight before she is hit with a blast of cold air instead of balmy heat and sunshine, but whatever. It is pretty funny. The love interest is Connor, the brother of the inn owners who put her up until she can get the next plane out of town. He also has a secret identity which is a big reveal towards the end. Don’t worry, he’s not Santa Claus. Both the Inn and the whole town are like a Christmas bomb went off. Emma stays and stays. First due to a snowstorm and lack of cell service and then she waffles back and forth saying she’s going to go the next day but never actually leaves.

Much of the humor in this is due to the excellent comic timing of Natasha Wilson who plays Emma. One of the funniest scenes is her confronting her clueless assistant over the phone about booking her to the wrong St. Johns.

“And you thought there was only one St. Johns on the planet?”

“ It’s the only one I’ve ever heard of! Except the one in the Bible!”

 There were enough other funny bits to keep it entertaining. Unfortunately, there were a lot of hard-to-believe aspects, situations, and behavior some of which were easy to ignore, but there were way too many of them. They started to pile up which made them a distraction. St. Johns is one mysterious town. Large enough for an airport that had regular non-stop flights to Miami Florida, and lots of fancy stores, but small enough to have our hero as the small-town style part-time mayor. It certainly didn’t act like a town in Alaska.

It was refreshing that Emma didn’t hate Christmas, she was just sick of it. And though she was fish out of water, she was a pretty good sport about it most of the time. When there was the inevitable fight with Connor, they made up pretty quickly and she rightly apologized for her rather incomprehensible behavior. Despite the silly title it was fine. And it refreshingly ended with Connor and Emma going back to the big city rather than staying near home and hearth in the frozen north.

Rating: 7 out of 10.

The Gift of Peace

There is Hope

Although at the end of this movie, there is hope and expectation that the two leads, Brennan Eliot and Nikki Deloach will have a future together, this is not a romance. There is not even a kiss at the end. Good call. It is about how grieving people start healing and find a path forward out of darkness. When we first see Nikki she is struggling in her artist studio. She is very sad and has lost love for her art and inspiration. It has been two years since her beloved husband and creative partner died and she is still struggling. The story is told partially in flashbacks and we learn that she and her husband were committed Christians. When her good friend and manager reminds her of her annual Christmas art exhibition that she skipped last year due to her grief she knows she has to produce this year. She is finally persuaded to go to a grief support group at her old church. But as soon as they bow their heads in prayer, she gets up and leaves. Nikki Deloach was fantastic in this. You can feel her every emotion with every twitch, blink, gesture, and look. She finally tries again and her journey begins in earnest. Brennan Eliot as the kind-hearted leader of the group who is not as together as he seems is also excellent. All of the members’ stories are told and well integrated into the central plot in a very balanced and smooth way. They are all very involving, if not as heartbreaking as Nikki’s. We wonder why Brennan, who has also lost someone, does not open up and share along with the others.

We know from the flashbacks about her and her late husband’s strong Christian faith and mutual love. When she finally shares her story with the group, we learn her husband died from a brain tumor. While he was in the hospital, she was strong. It is she who comforts the others. When she tells the doctors that she knows he will be OK because she has been praying for him along with her whole community, it is heartbreaking. You can hear the calm confidence in her voice, but see the slight worry and panic in her eyes. When her husband dies, despite her prayers, she loses her faith and is full of rage.

I won’t detail her path back to believing in God and prayer, but it seemed very authentic. I will say that it involves sharing and helping others. This could be called a Christian movie, but though unapologetic, it is not heavy-handed. Unlike the Candace Cameron Bure movie on GAF (which I couldn’t resist checking out.) I didn’t feel like I was being sold to or taught at. It just seemed like this is the personal story of one woman’s grief and how her love of painting and her faith was restored. Take from it what you will.

Rating: 9 out of 10.

Christmas Class Reunion

A Class Act

The movie starts with the Winter Prom of 2007 featuring 6 stereotypical teen “types.” The smart and popular achiever, both male and female versions, the class clown, the in-love inseparable couple, the popular jock, and the class nerd. The mean girl is missing. They are part of the class deemed “cursed” due to disasters at prom, graduation, and other class events. They used the same early 30-something-year-old actors to play themselves as teens. And may I just say that as much as Botox, collagen injections and fillers do not work for 30-somethings, that goes double if they are playing teens. I speak of one of the secondary actors in particular.

Cut to 15 years later and the “achiever”, Elle, short for Noelle, played by Aimee Teagarden is in charge of planning the class reunion. We know that she is the focus mainly because her name is Christmassy. She indeed has fulfilled her potential, having made quite a name for herself as the Chief Technology Officer of a successful and important company. She leaves Silicon Valley for Hartford CT, looking forward to seeing her old friends again, particularly Kam the male version of herself whom she had a crush on when she was in high school. We next meet Devin the class clown, very appealingly played by Tanner Novlan. At the 2007 prom, he flooded both Aimee and the school gym with his malfunctioning snow machine. Tanner is the male lead and his chemistry with Aimee was amazing.

She is very wary of him because he was her complete opposite in high school and always getting into trouble. She is surprised that the irresponsible screw-up is now the loving father of a 13-year-old tech prodigy and running a successful event supply business. He has always had a crush on her though. The young actress that played his daughter was a star and a scene-stealer, by the way. As father and daughter, the two actors have an easy and natural rapport. She is very impressed that her tech-phobic Dad knows the famous Elle Chamberlain.

As the reunion plans come into shape we also reconnect with the inseparable couple whose marriage is falling apart even as their real estate agency is booming. The Nerd Girl is now an attractive and successful TV host up for a big promotion to a national morning show. She still lacks self-confidence despite her success and is inseparable from her best friend who is also her very flamboyant stylist. When the popular jock makes an appearance we think we spy a love interest for our likable TV host, but sadly he is attracted to her gay best friend instead! Aimee is very happy when her old unrequited crush, Kam, shows up. He is just like her: career and success-focused and very very busy. Too busy and important to help with the reunion, so she finds herself partnering with her old nemesis, Devin.

Of course, the inevitable catastrophes start to happen with a fire breaking out at their fancy venue and Aimee’s company being the target of a federal investigation putting her whole career in jeopardy. As she works with Devin in finding a new venue and tackling all of the challenges, she realizes that her worth is not what she does for a living, but what she is inside. She and all of her friends’ lives are happily sorted, which we learn in one of my beloved “one year later” epilogues. Hallmark is delighting fans by casting other popular Hallmark stars in cameo roles. This time was Chris McNally’s turn in a cute performance as an Elf-garbed photographer. I tend to like movies using ensemble casts and this one was no exception.

Rating: 8 out of 10.

The Most Colorful Time of the Year

Red, Green, and All the Rest

Last year, and especially this year, Hallmark started to push the envelope as far as venturing out beyond its safe and standard bone-tired plots, and this one is no exception. A secretly color-blind teacher meets an ophthalmologist, the single mother of one of his students, who sees through his lifelong tricks and strategies to disguise his disability. She enters him into a clinical trial without his consent after he tells her he is not interested once his subterfuges have been discovered. Although most definitely unethical and an invasion of privacy I can almost give her a pass on this because he doesn’t fully understand what he is missing in life. See, he is not only color-confused (red and green or blue and yellow being indistinguishable from each other,) but totally unable to see any color whatsoever. Also, it’s stupid he is not interested. Why wouldn’t he be interested? He’s a science teacher. Just because nothing has worked before, trying on a pair of glasses is hardly a surgical procedure or taking an untested drug. But it was wrong of her, it must be said. The way the whole color-blindness thing is handled is lazy and irresponsible. His condition is very rare, while the other is a fairly common condition that indeed can be mitigated by special glasses of the sort that are provided by this clinical trial. Monochromia would be impossible scientifically to correct with glasses due to the cause of the condition.  Maybe this could be partially excused by deeming this cure part of a “clinical trial” but it is as far-fetched and as far from being science-based as a pill to cure alcoholism would be. In other words, the idea was interesting but the execution and details lacked authenticity to put it kindly. It is another example of Hallmark seeming like they have contempt for their viewers by glossing over unrealistic plot points that actually could potentially be harmful, hurtful, and deceitful if taken seriously.

 To make matters worse this movie is sponsored by a company that makes the aforementioned glasses that mitigate color confusion in some people with lots of emotional videos of people acting like they once were blind and now can see. So they’re using the emotions that might be generated by this movie to burnish and exaggerate the benefits of their product that has nothing to do with the disability portrayed. Or maybe they were not aware of the nature of the color blindness depicted in this movie and got manipulated to buy ad space. Whatever, someone did wrong.

Once he finally tries on the glasses and his world is changed, there really isn’t anywhere else to go with it, other than going around looking at colorful scenes. Featuring mostly red and green. So it falls back on the usual tropes once the color-blindness thing is out of the way leading to the inevitable big misunderstanding. In this case, an over-eager wanna-be girlfriend and a more psycho and controlling stalker ex-boyfriend whom both leads are too nice and patient with. The good doctor even agreeing to him inviting himself to her child’s Christmas pageant. The ex-boyfriend bit could have actually been a lot more entertaining if he had gotten punched in the nose by our hero when he crudely twitted him about his pay as a middle-school teacher.  However, instead, our hero chose to deliver a lecture that seemed to suggest that teachers did not need fair pay, cuz it’s “a calling” and they don’t care about the money. Very noble, but I know a few teachers that would disagree with that.  

It’s not a secret that I have a soft spot for Christopher Russell. But I have to say, in some ways he was the wrong choice for this one. Of course, he fit the profile of the super nice super handsome school teacher who has all of his fellow teachers and single mothers falling all over themselves. I think I can safely theorize this aspect was added to the script when CR was cast. Because his pulchritude cannot be ignored and left unaddressed. Anyway, he should stick with the Cary Grant or Clark Gable-type roles where charm and good looks are more important than range of emotion. When he put on those glasses and saw color for the first time a lot more was required as far as an emotional reaction. On the positive side, Katrina Bowden was very good as the caring but over-stepping doctor, and her daughter was also very good. CR was believable and endearing as a committed teacher who was definitely overqualified for his job. Best of all though was Joanna Douglas as Heidi, the lead’s supportive sister. Hey Hallmark! Lock this girl in and promote her from supportive sister/friend to head girl. STAT!

Rating: 6 out of 10.