Matchmaker Santa

Meh.

Reliable Lacey just didn’t do it for me in this one. This movie was made 8 years ago and Lacey Chabert hasn’t changed a bit. And I’m not sure that’s a good thing. Same hairdo, same lipstick, same signature eyeliner. Honestly, couldn’t she even wash her face before going to bed? On the other hand, If she ever wiped that eyeliner off, I don’t think I’d recognize her. Same affected giggle: It would make a good drinking game. I didn’t think she had much chemistry with her co-star, and the plot was tired and dull. Cupcake maker Lacey is invited to her bosses home for Christmas and she is hoping for a marriage proposal. On the way to meet him she meets a magic santa claus and is picked up by her bosses really nice friend/assistant. They are stranded on the way to her bosses vacation home. While Lacey and the assistant are falling for each other with the help of magic santa, her boss meets an old flame. And that ties it all up and puts a bow on it.

Maybe I just need a break from Lacey, because she can be a good actress, and is great with comedy when comedy is in the script. Unfortunately that’s a little difficult, since watching Hallmarks is kind of a silly hobby of mine. On a promising note, I have seen her in more recent efforts and she has been fine.

Florence Henderson, John Ratzenburger, Robert Pine, and Lin Shay, of Insidious fame, add some credibility. And I did like her love interest. On his own though. I’d like to see him pared up with someone else.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

November 23, 2020

The Crossword Mysteries: Abracadaver

I Came Here to Solve a Mystery

I couldn’t figure out why I didn’t remember watching this movie, because I know I would not have missed it. I really like the Crossword Mystery series and have it set up to record on the DVR. After relentless promotion, the movie never aired. Well now I know I’m not crazy. What the what Hallmark? ***finally saw it, after a 3 month delay.*** This installment was a disappointment although, in general, I think the Crossword series is going to be my favorite mystery series by Hallmark. Brennan Elliot’s investigative skills leave a lot to be desired. They consist of asking everyone in sight, “did you see anything unusual/out of the ordinary/strange?” Lacey Chabert is really starting to get on my nerves with her little “Heh-Heh” giggle after what seems like every other line she delivers.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

October 27, 2019

Love, Romance, and Chocolate

Not the Worst, but Pretty Darn Bad

Lacey Chabert has some good comedic chops when the material is there. It wasn’t in this one. Also, someone needs to take Lacey aside and tell her to lose the ever present nervous giggle and the eye-liner. They are both seriously distracting. One is a very tired look, and the former threatens to be the next Hallmark inspired drinking game. Also character she played seemed a little man hungry.

Even for a Hallmark, this was cheesy, trite, and dull. Cupcakes, baking competition, small business in trouble, dumped but still game heroine to the rescue, successful lucrative career given up for love and a childhood dream, royalty in the house, Cinderella entrance at a ball…was there any Hallmark cliche left behind?

The stars I did give it were for the location filming in Bruges, a pretty hot kiss at the end, and for Brittany Bristow who played the owner of the B&B. She was a charmer.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

February 21, 2019

Pride, Prejudice, and Mistletoe

A Waste of a Good Idea

This one was a pretty solid effort which kept my interest. it was somewhat multifaceted with some interesting corporate politics along with the usual city girl v. small town Christmas. I liked the pairing of Lacey Chabert with Brendan Penny. Lacey is a solid actress, and with this one, she seems to have tamed, a bit, her nervous giggle tick that she seems to have developed in later years. I liked her family, especially Sherry, who was one of the stars in one of my favorite Hallmark-like romances, This Matter of Marriage, which was actually produced by Harlequin. It was great to see her again. This one did feature the usual boring boyfriend, but it was refreshing that she really just let him go and didn’t hem and haw about it.

Like another Hallmark movie this year, I think it is pretty shameless to try to reel in Jane Austen fans, with the title of the movie, while not incorporating any of the themes in the actual plot or character. It’s too bad, because the role reversal of the heroine taking the Darcy role, and the hero taking the Elizabeth Bennett role could have been great. I don’t recall that that gimmick has ever been done before. Would have been pretty interesting. **7 out of 10**

December 4, 2018

All of my Heart: Inn Love

Bring on Part III!

All of my Heart is one of my top five Hallmark romances (although I apparently never wrote a review for it) thanks to the performances of Lacey Chabert, the very intriguing secondary characters ( Tommy, the goats, even Casey) and the brilliant comic stylings of Brennan Eliot. Just kidding, but seriously, he was really good!) The two leads had great chemistry and the script built the romance with just the right amount of humor, conflict, and relationship building. There were enough loose ends to make a sequel something I very much looked forward to. (Unlike 2 other totally unnecessary sequels that leap to mind.) I especially was interested in more about Tommy. AoMH: Inn love was not a disappointment, I am happy to say. Lacey was as reliable as ever, and I still loved Brennan Eliot’s character and his way with a line. As the two struggled to get their B & B up and running they met with more than their share of set-backs and expenses they could not afford. Brian’s return to Wall Street to make money kept my interest. Predictably, this created the main conflict as the two protagonists felt themselves grow apart. Of course this was inevitable, but Lacey’s passive aggressive sulking and pouting was a little hard to understand, considering the circumstances, and kind of made me hate her for a bit. There was more Tommy in the story, and I like the other side stories of the B&B blogger who was unexpectedly defanged, and the other guests. Yes, I can see another sequel on the horizon and I will be front and center. Some advice: Tommy needs to move on from his current love interest and needs to go back to the taciturn mysterious guy he was in the first one. It needs to be more about him next time, and Casey as well. **8 our of 10 stars**

October 12, 2017

Sweet Carolina

Hallmark Takes a Daring Step Forward

It’s not often Hallmark actresses get to portray anguish on camera. Luckily they have a real pro and bona fide actress in Lacey Chabert, who did a very credible job. I can think of very few in the stable of regulars who could have pulled off the scene where she learns her beloved sister and brother-in-law have been killed. I cried. The whole ensemble handled the story very well. You can tell they pulled out the “big guns” to meet the challenge of a script that actually called for a range of emotion: Gregory Harrison and Teryl Rothery as the parents, good ole Peter Benson as the city boyfriend who gets dumped for the small town coach, who was played by the always welcome Tyler Hynes. I appreciated that they got a normal looking kid who could act to play the introverted son.

There were very realistic problems and conflicts that had to be resolved. The father was a good guy, but too controlling. Gregory Harrison managed to keep him likable. I groaned when they were setting up for the customary Hallmark food fight ( or snowball fight if it’s winter) but it was actually funny, thanks to the performances.

It was good to see Hallmark break out of it’s own box a little bit. Fear not, most of the usual templates were still in place, but baby steps! Kudos.

May 17, 2021

P. S. I just noticed that Lacey Chabert was actually one of the writers. You go, girl! **8 stars out of 10**

Moonlight in Vermont

Nothing Special

Moonlight in Vermont is your typical country good-city bad, pretend boyfriend to make old boyfriend jealous, issues with dad Hallmark fare. The only thing to set it apart is good production values, cute setting, and the always reliable Lacey Chabert. Unfortunately she is not given too much to work with here. Her love interest is pretty cute as well and her step mother was a nice smart woman and not a source of tension or conflict. Her rejection of city life for “stop to smell the roses” country living was too quick and not well supported. **6 out of 10**

April 18, 2017

Christian Mingle

Funny and Good in context of other Hallmark-type movies even though this was actually a legit theatre movie(!)

I enjoyed this rom-com very much. I loved the angle of a non-Christian pretending to be an evangelical to catch a Christian guy. Lots of Laughs. It gently skewers a few foibles of the Christian culture while still being respectful and pro-Christian. Lacey Chabert did a charming job and was quite funny in places. The guy was pretty much a non-entity, unfortunately. This movie has gotten a lot of flack from both Christians and non-Christians. Either Christians not able to laugh at themselves, and non-Christians taking it way too seriously. This is not some kind of manifesto for Christianity that needs to be attacked so virulently. It’s just a cute rom-com with using a rather unusual take on a fish out of water story. Morgan Fairchild, by the way. I wouldn’t have recognized her. I guess older actresses are screwed either way. Either look your age and get criticized for looking old or have a lot of work done and look frozen and artificial. I admire actresses who choose the former (if they can get work!) **8 stars out of 10**

June 22, 2016