I don’t have a bad word to say about the actors in this new Hallmark mystery series. Gonzalo and McPartlin were just fine, and they had a good rapport. But boy oh boy was it dumb. This is a new entry in Hallmark’s spunky female amateur detective line. They usually run their own “womanly” business so they can take off whenever one of their acquaintances or customers gets murdered in order to catch the killer. We have flower shops, bookstores, antique stores, and bakeries. We also have matchmakers(!?), wedding photographers, crossword puzzle editors, and podcast hosts. Strangely, in two of my favorites, Aurora Teagarden and Mystery 101, the spunky female amateur detectives actually have mainstream professions. With the arrival of Cut, Color, Murder, we now have beauty shop owner. What took them so long?
In this one, Julie is taking her talents to the world of beauty pageants in which her younger sister is a participant and she is doing hair. The bitchy showrunner gets murdered and there are plenty of suspects because she was evil to absolutely everyone. Julie is the widow of a policeman who was killed in the line of duty (or was it unsolved cold-blooded murder?). So she has ties to the police department primarily through the chief of police who she has wrapped around her little finger. Enter new guy, Ryan McPartlin, a handsome hotshot detective with whom she butts heads because he is a professional. After Julie meets an anonymous text-messager alone in a spooky abandoned house at night because he/she has info about her husband, it was remote throwing time. Except I had to find it first because I had already throw
n it after all the laws she broke and chain of evidence procedures ignored in the meantime. She is rescued from certain death by Ryan and let’s just say this show leaves no cliche unincluded.
We know this is a series because after the mystery is solved we have a bit of a cliffhanger while Julie is having a pow-wow with her dead husband at the cemetery because she has decided to move on (is that something you just decide to do?) and wants to give him a heads up ( I guess?). We know that there is going to be an over-arching mystery of her trying to solve her husband’s murder and getting into all kinds of trouble. Not a spoiler, because I’m not psychic, but I predict that the murderer of her husband turns out to be the indulgent good-guy/father-figure/police chief in an unknown number of episodes hence.
Julie Gonzalo’s excellent acting skills are put to good use in this pretty amusing Hallmark type offering. She was very funny indeed. The young actress, Alexandra Peters playing Myra was phenomenal. She put to shame most of the kid actors that frequent these type of movies. Eleven years old when she made this, she is now grown up to a very pretty woman. I wish her all the success she deserves. The likable Ally Mills as the older neighbor looks great: She hasn’t changed a bit and her chemistry with her husband, played by the Oscar nominated Bruce Davison was every thing one would hope for. I really enjoyed this, and may seek out the 3rd movie in the series as it appears to have some talent, including Miss Peters attached to it. They all looked like they were having a great time.
Pretty good. Julie Gonzalo was charming and funny and I liked that they incorporated her Latino heritage into the character. I usually appreciate it when there is more going on than just the love story, and this one brought in her professional life and challenges. I like the tension with her coworker trying to steal her client when she got stuck in Alaska. A Sweet love story and I was actually a little moved at one point.
I thought this might be a remake of the funny and charming If a Man Answers with Sandra Dee and Bobby Darin. No such luck. The only thing it had going for it was the change of pace from the usual Hallmark tropes. The couple was already married and working to save their marriage. No festivals! Yay! However, the female lead character was an incompetent marriage counselor and stupid and clueless to boot with her own marriage. Her mother was toxic and not in a fun way. The black couple was sensible and well-adjusted. Not sure why they were friends with the idiot main couple.
Yeah, maybe it was the mood I was in, but I got very tired very quickly of the constant bickering and over-competitiveness of the two principals. It was particularly egregious on the part of the woman, who let her emotions run away with her and bid more than she could afford and over the maximum she agreed on with her partner. Just to get one over her ex-boyfriend. She was too hostile for me. I was really frosted by the immaturity and foolishness. Julie Gonzalo was okay as the female lead, but I loved Tyler Hynes as her love interest. He’s responsible for most of the stars I gave this one.
Thanks to the excellent acting of all concerned, especially the two leads, this was a very enjoyable little movie. The gimmick in this one was amnesia. This is not one of the usuals. A stressed-out and manipulated best-selling young adult author makes her getaway right before she is about to be interviewed on TV. Yes, she leaves everyone in the lurch at the last minute, very unprofessionally, I might add. She has an automobile accident and gets amnesia. In order to give her a week or two without her memory for a story and a romance to develop, the viewer is called upon to suspend their disbelief for a bit. She is a world-famous author who was about to be on the red carpet for a world premiere of a movie based on one of her novels. And no one except her sister and her boyfriend/manager knows she is missing. Add to that, the police do not search for a car which should have been found in hours as a tree fell across the road where her car drove into a gully. Big red flashing arrow there, officers. Of course, her cell phone and all the clues to her identity are left in her car.
Oh well, these are the little things you just have to roll with when looking at a Hallmance. The degree of watchability rests largely on the appeal of the leads and secondary characters, and, based on this, it was a win. The actress, Julia Gonzalo, reminded me of another actress, and it was driving me crazy until I figured it out: A little-known in America English actress, Charity Wakefield. Looked just like her.
I liked the widowed doctor as portrayed by Benjamin Ayers as well. Very likable guy. Pleasant scenery, gentle romance, nothing much to mock. The amnesia trick added some suspense and interest as well. I loved the way the set decorators stuck fake orange leaves in random places as well to convey the Fall theme. Very amusing. Well worth watching.**8 stars out of 10**