3 Holiday Tales

Great Cast Did Not Phone this One In

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.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

November 5, 2020

Jingle Bell Bride

Above Average

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.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

November 2, 2020

How to Train Your Husband (or How to Pick Your Second Husband First.)

Dumb and Dumber

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.

Rating: 2 out of 5.

May 19, 2020

Flip that Romance

Too much Fighting!

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.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

March 17, 2019

Falling for Vermont

Autumn, Athena, Angela, Alex, and Amnesia

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 movie premier 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 is and all the clues to her identity are left in her car.

Charity Wakefield
Julie Gonzalo

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**

September 27, 2017