#ChristmasInJuly Step 3: Give a present, and hear boisterous stories from the wacky, fun-loving uncle the whole family can’t live without.

 

IIIIIIIIIIIIIt’s Monday, Hearties! Up and at ‘em, and let’s get started with the day! It’s still Christmas in July, after all! 

To help us celebrate, may I present: The Man Behind the Mugs. No, I’m not referring to a photographer who takes pictures of ugly faces; I’m talking about the one and only Mr. Elliott Wallach, Creator, Owner, and President of Edify Films, the company that delivers all that amazing Hearties swag our way. Not only was he gracious enough to consent to an interview, but he offered to provide the prize for our FIRST GIVEAWAY  CONTEST. Details on that come after you read, though. 😉 So snuggle under your Hearties blanket, grab a When Calls the Heart mug of your favorite beverage, and settle in for a wonderful read! I will tell you honestly, this interview does not do the man justice! Between the awesome story he had for each question, (and me struggling to write it all down!), and how hard I was laughing, I can’t catch half of the effect our conversation had. He really embodied the fun, story-telling uncle to a T. But I’ll do my darndest!

 

HH: Where are you from? Are you still living there?
*I live in Washington State, the Spokane area since 1991. Prior to that I was in the military right out of high school. I was a Russian linguist for the Army. (This is when I interjected in surprise, “You speak Russian?” and he took off in Russian on me. 🙂 I said, “Not me. My husband speaks Russian.” When I asked what he said, he said something to the effect of “I used to speak Russian badly, but I’ve been practicing and now I speak it very badly.”

 

HH: Tell us about your family.
*I’ve been married 21 years to my wife, Tiffany. We met at church, in the singles’ group. (That’s how I met MY husband, so that was fun!) The first time I saw her in the singles group, I thought, “Move fast, Elliott. Don’t panic! Remember, this is what you trained for!”
*I have 2 sons. I’m a soccer dad; I coach one of them on his team.

 

HH: What’s your ideal vacation?
*Oh, wow! Random! My ideal vacation would be warm, by the ocean, maybe a cruise. I don’t like having every minute of every day planned. So take a planner, the kind of person that schedules every second, and multiply that person by -1, and you’ll have me on vacation. I like to play it minute by minute, and right now I like the idea of reading and hearing the ocean, and every once in a while someone brings me a hamburger.

 

HH: That brings me to my next question. What’s your favorite food? Is it a hamburger?
*No, steak. I like a good steak

 

HH: And where’s your favorite place to find that good steak?
*There’s a restaurant here in Spokane called Mizunas. It used to be a vegetarian place, but then they expanded into meat… I don’t know what it is about vegetarians, but they just know how to make a good steak! I guess from all the practice making soy not taste like a DVD case.

 

HH: I’m going to go out on a limb, and assume that you consider yourself a Heartie.
*Yes, I am!

 

HH: So why do YOU love the show?
*The #Hearties, 100%! You guys are the egg and the nourishment of the show. The group is something amazing that no one has ever seen before, and probably none of the actors on “When Calls the Heart” will ever have a fan base like this again. You guys can impact culture with your influence and that can’t be underestimated.
*#Hearties match the passion I have for family-friendly and faith-friendly films.
*Aside from that, I just love the Hearties themselves. The people. If you ever go to a Hearties Family Reunion, it’s like going to a love spa! Everyone is so kind and caring and just sweet! You’ll never get more hugs and high fives.
*The best thing is that all the Hearties are this massive support group for each other, and most times they don’t know anything about each other beyond the font they use. (This is when I told him I met one of my best friends on the fan page. He laughed, and said, “See? Let me guess… Times New Roman? Or Arial? Calibri is nice too.”)

 

HH: Do you have a favorite season or episode?
*I really liked Season 6, the most recent one.

 

HH: Dare I ask if you have a favorite character or actor on the show?
*I do, and we’ll leave it at that. 🙂 (Then he proceeded to say something wonderful about almost every main actor. He only stopped because we were running short on time.)

*Martin Cummins: I love every single actor on the show! I really enjoy my time with Martin. That guy’s absolutely hilarious! One of the things we ask people is who you’d want to be trapped in an elevator with. My answer might be Martin Cummins except I’m not sure my abs would survive it! One of the most real people I’ve ever met. He doesn’t have one pretentious cell in his body. Speaking of which, something not many people know about him is he’s incredibly fit! That guy is absolutely ripped! Think of the most pretentious person you’ve ever met, and take out all the pretentiousness, and replace it with biceps. – Martin Cummins.

*Kavan Smith: He is a world-class, amazing storyteller. It’s a gift that can’t be fully appreciated even with the videos we make of him. He’s a rare, rare person. I could listen to him all day.

*Pascale Hutton: Is equally rare. How in the world did they “accidentally” land her and Kavan together?!! I’m not sure the show shouldn’t be what they say when the camera’s not rolling. Just in the short time I’ve been around them, they just start teasing each other and the rest of us just fade in the background. It’s something to see. She’s so funny and brilliant enough to keep up with Kavan. (Watch the Heartie’s Family Reunions some time. My gosh.) And she’s so genuine and real too. One of my favorite people that we interview, because her charm and authenticity is just palpable. It always, always, always ends up great. Love it.

*Jack Wagner: He’s such a Pro. It’s ridiculous. You ask him a question and you can see the wheels turning in his mind, then he comes out with these beautifully crafted answers that are always solid gold sound bites. He’s really funny too! But ridiculously, ridiculously talented, bordering on the unfair to normal people like me. It’s like being good at chin-ups and then you meet Spider Man.

*Paul Greene: So cool, so friendly, and so deep. A total philosopher. He should live on a mountain with a long beard where people hike 10,000 feet just to hear what he has to say. Or he could sing the words of wisdom too. Another ridiculously talented guy. We carry his CD at Edify Films, and I don’t know if I’ve ever worked with anyone more grateful and generous with their praise. Think of the meanest person you’ve ever met and replace it with kindness and biceps also- Paul Greene.

*Loretta Walsh: Put her at any barbecue in the United States, and there will be 4 people around her laughing. Super generous like so many of the cast. She’s amusing and amused at the same time which is like my favorite flavor of human. Plus it’s also elevated by this awesome Australian accent which is always so bazaar and unexpected when you follow the show.

*Andrea Brooks: Man. I love Andrea. I absolutely adore her. She just could not be any more warm and engaging and genuine and joyful. One of those people that never met a stranger. Her husband is the same way. They are the power couple of easy to be around. Mr. and Mrs. genuinely cool people. I want to hang out with them. They need to raffle that off for charity.

*Ben Rosenbaum: HE IS HILARIOUS! He’s also on my elevator list. He’s one of those guys that can effortlessly kill a room with just some side comment he barely meant to say. He’s another ab workout. If you haven’t seen his Hope Valley Highlights you’re missing out. They’re some of my favorites.

*Aren Buchholz: I don’t think I even want to know anybody that doesn’t like Aren Buchholz. He’s such a cool guy. He’s like everybody I would have ever wanted to hang out with in my youth. Totally self deprecating. Totally funny. Very easy. I’ve done interviews with him before and after we’re done, he’ll just hang out for 30 minutes just trying to get to know us. Clone him.

*Eva Bourne: Eva is like Aren. Just grounded, cool, super fun to be around. She’s got this really unique sense of humor. I’m not sure how to describe it. Watch the Hope Valley Highlight where she talks about her cat. At the time, I just remember thinking that she reminded me of every cool girl I remember in High School. You just come away wishing she was your kid sister or dating your kid brother so you could pretend she was your kid sister.

*Erin Krakow: She’s absolutely the real deal! She’s so genuine, so professional, so generous. One time, she had just finished filming the scene in Season 5 when she’s screaming “Jack!” like a million times. She had no voice left, but she kept running in between takes to interview with us. I love her more than she knows. I wish she wasn’t famous and lived in our town. She’d be one of those friends you’re always trying to get to come over for Thanksgiving.

 

HH: If you could pick a storyline for the show, what would it be?
*Well, for the sake of my sons the easy answer is someone gets bitten by a radioactive spider. Having said that, I love the idea of a bad guy defending the good, but still by being kind of bad. Basically, I’m a fan of Henry Gowen. I’d like to see him out villain a villain, in defense of Hope Valley. If it goes to fisticuffs, and Henry is allowed to channel his inner Martin Cummings, then the bad guy is going to need to spend some significant time recovering with Dr. Shepherd before he appears before Bill Avery.

 

HH: If YOU were a guest star on WCTH, who would you be?
*If Chandler from “Friends” is written to appear on When Calls the Heart, then I think we found my character!

 

HH: How did you FIND When Calls the Heart?
*I’ve been friends with Michael Landon Jr. and Brian Bird for a long time. I knew about the show before most people did.

 

HH: Did Edify Films come about as a result of WCTH, or did the company come first?
*I created the company first. I named it Edify because that means to spiritually build up – and that’s my whole outlook on entertainment. And I want everyone to feel uplifted. When Calls the Heart is nothing if not uplifting.

 

HH: What’s your favorite and most challenging part of running the company?
*Favorite: I’m in love with the effect of what I do. I like affecting people, putting a dent in the universe, leaving a mark. Someone can watch movies and television and lose themselves. They can feel inspired to be kinder, to do better, to be inspired to pursue things they would otherwise deem impossible. What’s cooler than that?

*Challenging: Like most people, trying to do it all, balancing my family life with work.

 

HH: What’s your process for deciding what ideas should become products?
*I try to make something that is good quality, and the majority of the Hearties would want, and still be able to afford. I’m naturally a pleaser and it’s always a challenge to hold myself back and not end up with a warehouse full of When Calls the Heart Roller Blades.

 

HH: Are there any big products, projects, or reveals coming up that we should watch out for?
*Well, the Season 6 Collector’s Edition is now available for pre-order (WhenCallsTheHeart.com). We have some other stuff we’re working on but I have to keep it off the record, but some of them are mind blowing! No one’s going to see these coming! (He shared 1 or 2 with me. I’m sworn to secrecy, but I can attest to the fact that he is totally right!)

 

HH: Lastly, how did Edify Films come to be?
*This could be a whole other interview, but I’ll summarize. Edify Films was initially Edify Media. Edify Media began in 2004 as a full service public relations and advertising agency with the purpose to promote and elevate films that would “Edify” (spiritually lift up) the world. I’ve personally worked doing publicity and promotion on everything from The Passion of the Christ to Thomas the Train to The Help. Eventually Edify started expanding more into production; movie trailers, behind the scenes elements, DVD authoring, etc. It was only natural that we move into distribution as well. That initiative gave birth to Edify Films. Our goal now is to promote, elevate, distribute and eventually create our own content to spiritually lift up the world. God willing that will be a future interview soon.

 

Isn’t he a hoot?! So, there we have it! The life of the Christmas party summed up in a few paragraphs…HA! As if that were possible! But we do know him a lot better now. You couldn’t hide behind those tea towels forever, Elliott! And speaking of which, time for the other part you’ve all been waiting for: OUR FIRST GIVEAWAY CONTEST! So, here’s how it works!

 

RULES AND TERMS:

1. At the bottom of this page, comment EITHER your favorite Hallmark Channel Christmas movie with a WCTH cast member, OR an idea for a #FanFictionFriday plot you’d like to see written. (Click the title of this post to access Comments. If you’re having trouble, comment on the Facebook or Twitter link.)

2. Only ONE entry per name please.

3. All entries must be in by TOMORROW, TUESDAY JULY 16TH at 5:00 PM CENTRAL STANDARD TIME.    

4. One name will be chosen at random to win a FREE 3-pack of tea towels, courtesy of Edify Films and Elliott, and YOU even get to pick the color of font, (black or brown). Photo credit: Edify Films  

5. The winner will be announced on Wednesday’s blog, so watch for it! 

 

Have SO much fun with this, and good luck to you all! This is Hooked Heartie, signing off! May your heart let your hope blossom!  

Christmas in July Step 2: Explore the Christmas Spirit of Giving.

Welcome, friends, to #FlashbackFriday, #ChristmasInJuly style. Today, we’re going back to two characters I think don’t get enough “face time” here on Hooked Heartie, so I’m going to remedy that today. These two have been through a lot together. Unlike Jack and Elizabeth, several people weren’t exactly eager for these two to become a couple. I, myself, was gunning against them for a while, but I eventually made my peace with them; heck, I even grew to like them. And now, I’m actually excited to know that they’re engaged, and maybe next season we can witness another beautiful event in Hope Valley.

Can you guess? I’m speaking of none other than Jesse and Clara. Once again, we’re not flashing back very far; but it’s to a very poignant event that, in this blogger’s opinion, is passed over as sweet and romantic, not seen as powerful.

I’m referring to the tickets to “The Nutcracker”. I know what you’re thinking: thoughtful, but why so poignant and powerful? When I thought about it, I came to quite the conclusion: this is the first act of Jesse’s that he does completely out of selflessness. Consider it: he told Clara to warn the town of the lurking bank robbers, but that was only out of terror when he realized he was in way over his head. He impulsively took a bullet for Frank, yes, but becomes bitter and resentful when he isn’t given the royal treatment in a struggling town. His behavior WAS impressive when he discovered Dottie Ramsey’s nest egg, and chose not to steal it; but his inner power struggle lasted the entire episode.

But with the tickets, everything is different. Jesse asks Lee for help in purchasing them, (he rarely asked for help previously, just took advantage). Then he gives them to Clara, with absolutely no thought of getting something in return; he only wants to see her happy. And when the poor guy gets the shock of his life that “The Nutcracker” is a BALLET, he’s not exactly thrilled, but it doesn’t weaken his resolve to take her, and all dressed up. In fact, it’s strengthened. Jesse goes to a LOT of trouble to become a human puzzle, piecing a nice suit together to look the part of a gallant suitor, making sure the woman he loves has the Christmas present of a lifetime. He has truly embraced the spirit of giving, and has fully become a good man! Have a great weekend! Be sure to come back Monday, because it’s going to be the best part of Christmas in July! This is Hooked Heartie, signing off! May your heart let your hope blossom!

Merry Christmas in July, everyone! I know it’s almost Thursday, and I’m very sorry about that, but I wanted to have #WonderWednesday. So, are you doing anything special for this “holiday” ? Or are you leaving it at watching Christmas movies on Hallmark Movies and Mysteries? And in two days, you can switch over to Hallmark Channel! 😀 It’s funny; last year I kind of begrudgingly reviewed a Christmas movie to say I had officially participated in Christmas in July. (You may remember that I’m a bit of a Christmas purist; nothing Christmasy before Thanksgiving, except maybe some gift shopping. But this year, I’m enjoying watching the holiday films. I don’t know what it is. Maybe I miss Christmas, maybe I like all the hope and peace in the plots, or maybe doing the blog has enabled me to loosen my grip a bit. Well, Hallmark, you may say to me, in the words of Steve Urkel, “I’m wearing you DOWN, baby!”

I’ve got some fun stuff planned for this week, and next. We’ll execute my scheme (cough, cough) in a series of steps. Step 1: Review Rocky Mountain Christmas.

This particular movie has been getting a lot of hype since several Hearties noticed a clean-shaven and very young-looking Chris McNally on their TV screens. So I thought, what would be a better way to begin! Honestly, this was not a Christmas movie I was excited about when it first came out. I thought I’d watch it “just because”, and something very interesting happened: I really liked it!

Let’s start with some fun facts and tidbits. First of all, I had to laugh when I saw all those comments about how young Chris looks, even though the movie is only a few years old. I, myself, have been super curious as to what Lucas Bouchard would look like without such a furry face because I’d only seen him that way in a much older mystery movie, “Gourmet Detective”. Someone then read my mind, and tweeted about that recently. Chris retweeted that post, and said that he gets ID’d when he tries to buy beer if he’s clean-shaven. Yeah, he wasn’t kidding! The guy could pass for 19!

Second of all, it’s quite serendipitous that this movie also stars the very talented Kristoffer Polaha because, in a way, I have a promise to keep to him. A few months ago, I was asking Hallmark Movies and Mysteries when they were rebroadcasting another movie of his so I could review it, and they tagged him in the reply. Then out of the blue, he paid me a very kind compliment, saying, “I’m digging your blog. Well done!” I thanked him profusely, adding, “Remind me to review ALL your movies.” TA DA!

The final fun fact is something I found out completely by accident because I’ve been watching so many Christmas movies so close together. But guess what! “Rocky Mountain Christmas” made a cameo appearance in a different holiday film: “Once Upon a Christmas Miracle”. When Chris and Heather are recovering from their operations, they’re watching a movie together. She says, “This is the part when he’s confused about falling in love with her,” and it shows two shots from “Rocky Mountain Christmas”. So now, I guess you’ll have to go back and find that. 😉

Now let’s dig in! Quick recap: Kristoffer plays an actor, (which I always think is a hilarious circumstance: an actor playing an actor!) who needs to prep for a blockbuster role as a ranch hand. Lindy Booth (absolutely adorable lady!) is an interior decorator who returns to her family’s ranch for the Christmas to escape a very public breakup. Chris is her sweet, sensible, and hard-working little brother, (younger, more like,) and the amazing Treat Williams is their uncle who owns the ranch.

There are three features about this movie that I really like because of how well they’re done. First of all, there’s Graham Mitchell’s (Kristoffer) fame factor. Several times in other TV movies I’ve seen, a character who is supposed to be incredibly famous walks in a room, and nobody seems to notice. Here, Sarah (Lindy) doesn’t recognize him at first when he approaches her about learning cowboy skills, but she at least knows the name. Then they appear in town together. The cell phones pop out, the giggling turns up several notches, and the loss for words becomes an epidemic. And of course, as the title says, Graham can’t even have a meal without the “free eggnog” and the “batting eyelashes”. Luckily, he doesn’t abuse that. On the contrary, he uses his “$100 smile” and his “charm card” to promote the town’s parade, and to raise funds for the cause. He even dons a Santa hat to ring a bell, AND spontaneously agrees to be the grand marshall of that parade during a live radio interview.

The other thing I really like is how Sarah’s situation is handled. Her ex is a tech guy who invented a search engine, then he dumps her for an actress, (one reason she’s a little sour toward Graham in the beginning). But she WANTS to go home. She’s not running from her past, she’s not estranged from her family, she hasn’t been away longer than 6 months without a visit. She’s just a busy woman with a job that took her away from home.

Then on top of that, the ranch isn’t in trouble. The land always seems to be two steps away from foreclosure. Don’t get me wrong, I understand it makes for good drama, but I admit that it makes a nice change. Now, it’s not in perfect condition, and it’s not thriving- there are several things that need doing, and many times they just break even. But that’s just it, they DO break even. Uncle Roy is just getting tired, and Cody (Chris) has dreams of working with horses in Hollywood, so he would like to sell. Perfectly natural when your wife has passed away, and the kids you’ve raised are grown.

And that brings us to Cody‘s story. Chris does really well with this pseudo “brother of the prodigal son” kind of character. Sarah moved away, and he dreams of doing the same, but he stays with Uncle Roy, especially after Aunt Beth passes away. He’s steady and strong, happily holding down the fort, doing the labor necessary to keep the family legacy going. In the end, his patience is immensely rewarded when Graham’s costar, Nicole, calls their movie’s stunt coordinator, and gets Cody a job as the assistant stunt coordinator. He’s quietly excited, keeping a level head, but basking in his newfound career.

One last thing the filmmakers did that I absolutely loved: the colored lights. In New York, Sarah uses all kinds of white lights in her hotel lobbies to make them look elegant. But at home, the ambiance is different. White lights are still used, but colored lights are everywhere. I’ve always been a huge fan of colored lights: I find them to make things feel more homey and Christmasy. The contrast also made a wonderful visual point. Sarah was at peace with her choice to leave behind the glamor of the white lights, and embrace the comforts of the more simple colored lights. Now, I hope you feel that peace and comfort, and that it’ll last you until Friday for Step 2. Good night, or good morning, as the case may be. 😀 This is Hooked Heartie, signing off! May your heart let your hope blossom!

Happy Friday to all of you! How was everyone’s 4th of July? We had a lovely time swimming, eating, and watching a BEAUTIFUL fireworks display. Then this morning, I watched some very inspirational and patriotic episodes of “Signed Sealed Delivered” to finish up the celebration.

So now, it’s time for #FlashbackFriday. It’s funny! I had a totally different idea for the flashback this week, but after all that talk about Carson and Sofia, I got totally inspired! Given the #WonderWednesday we had two days ago, it seemed perfectly appropriate to highlight these two delightful characters.

Now, make no mistake! I am COMPLETELY in favor of #TeamInfirmary. I think Carson and Faith are adorable together! They understand and support each other, they look so sweet as a couple, and the way they look at each other fills me with chills…the good kind. I can’t wait to see what’s in store for them! I do, however, think it very important to shine some light on the lovely lady who, in Carson’s own words, “made me realize I could open my heart again.”

I think a person like Sofia can be a very critical part of a relationship. I know, because I’ve been Sofia before…kind of. In college, I knew several young men who were terrified of women, or of what might happen if they opened their own heart too wide. They would ask me out because we were friends, and I wasn’t afraid of THEM. 😉 Sometimes there was a connection, sometimes there wasn’t; but I always tried to leave them with an increased sense of confidence. They would go on with hope for finding the woman they would love forever, and most of them found them. Yes, many times I was a stepping stone, but better that than a stumbling block. But all those steps helped me build a picture of what I wanted, (and didn’t want,) in my own future spouse. And after lots of prayer, working on myself, hoping, and faith, I found him.

That’s what I think Sofia did for Carson. There are obvious sparks between them at first sight: Carson can’t keep his eyes off Sofia, and he only needs 1 invitation to sit down to dinner with her and the Coulters. Sofia can’t stop smiling, and her voice takes on a softer, dulcet tone. Then after an introduction that I cherish, (they shake hands in the very old-fashioned, gentlemanly and lady-like way,) they can’t stop talking; not even to let Rosemary get her obligatory word in edgewise. And when it’s time to go, they obviously haven’t had enough. When Carson suggests meeting again, Sofia could have left it at, “ I’d like that.” Instead, she adds, “When?” leaving no mistake of her interest.

Photo credit: Super Stars Bio

So now we have our picnic in the rain, or that ends with the rain. What’s funny is the conversation seems inconsequential, but really, it’s very telling. Sofia shares her longing to be a working architect, not just a licensed one. She says something quite profound: “I think until you’re actually doing it, [your calling’s] just a dream,” which is completely true in my book!

Carson isn’t necessarily sharing dreams, but he’s talking more openly and comfortably about his thoughts than he has to anyone else up to that point. He even manages the joke about the scratched cornea, and earns the title “smooth-talking man”. Then he literally wraps it up by wrapping HER up in their picnic blanket.

Photo credit: images.spoilertv.com  

I think it’s very interesting that Sophia WAS seriously considering a move to Hope Valley. Rosemary says it perfectly when she spots “the starry eyes, that little smile”. Hope Valley had, indeed, “worked its magic” on Sophia. She’s smart enough to recognize when something good is dropped in her path, and she’s not going to ignore it. But Carson knows staying wouldn’t “utilize” her talents the way they should be. So he shows us a precursor of what he does with Faith and her father: for the good of others, he takes the initiative.

There’s unmistakable sadness in his eyes when she excitedly hugs him, telegram in hand. But he shows his friends, and us as audience members, that he willingly and unselfishly puts others before himself, their happiness as well as what’s best for them.

I also really like Sofia’s interactions with Faith. She not spiteful or over-possessive, so there’s no jealous or bitter feeling from her, just lots of awkwardness. But Sofia is a very effective launching pad for Faith’s heart. Seeing Carson with another woman, and seeing how smitten he is, forces her to be honest with herself about her own feelings. So even though it’s not addressed until much later, I’m convinced this is where “everything” got its inception.

In conclusion, I’m a fan of Sophia. She brought some light and life into everyone’s lives with whom she connected, and she was able to help others, and herself, come to some realizations about the future. This is Hooked Heartie, signing off! May your heart let your hope blossom! (And don’t forget that next week, we start Christmas in July, in more ways than one!)

Happy 4th of July (tomorrow), to all our American Hearties, in and out of the United States. I hope you have a wonderful day full of food, family, friends, and fun as you celebrate freedom! Wow! That was a LOT of F’s. Hope you weren’t reading that out loud! Your screen may need wipers! 😉

So, here we are at our first #WonderWednesday of July! Summer is flying by so fast! On top of that, we had the Season 6 finale and so many birthdays in June, that now we need to catch up a bit. So we’re going to start with Paul Greene’s favorite non-WCTH project that I never had the chance to blog about during his birthday week. Does anybody know what it is? No, you may not go back to my interview with him and peek; you have to guess.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And now, you should have your guess in mind. The answer is “Anything for Love”, which also stars Erika Christensen, and former WCTH guest star Ali Liebert. The really funny thing is Ali plays a total flirt who comes right out and says she’ll take Paul’s character if Erika’s doesn’t want him. Then I’m sure you remember her as Sofia, Rosemary’s architect friend. And it was Carson who came onto HER. She was the one who helped Carson learn that he COULD open his heart again…and made Faith realize how jealous a picnic could make her. 😉

But let’s go back to our movie. It has a special place in my heart because it’s one of the first times I ever saw our Mr. Greene. He told me that one of the reasons it was his favorite was he liked the “depth” of the script, that we really get to know the characters. I agree, I love this one! Everyone does such a fantastic job. One of the best parts, (for me anyway,) is it’s not a one kiss wonder. Far from it! Let’s dig in!

Photo credit: IMDB.com

Paul is a nurse named Jack, (that’s at least 2 Hallmark characters he’s played with that name,) and Erika portrays Katherine, the #2 at her father’s multi-billion dollar real estate business that she helped build. The beginning is SO well done because it shows how different their two lives are. Katherine wakes up in her huge bed and silky pajamas inside her mansion. Jack is awakened by his snoring dog in his cotton pajama pants inside his very small house. It’s great juxtapositioning! They both decide to try the “online dating thing”; him because he wants to, her because her assistant (Ali) pushes her into it. That, and she’s tired of her father reminding her “35 is right around the corner,” and pushing a man he describes as “good for you” at her. She’s quick to reply, “You make him sound like a multivitamin.” How’s that for romantic? Oh, and guess what else? His name is Charles! We all know how a rivalry with two men named Jack and Charles turns out! 😀

There’s a bit of a snag, however. Katherine doesn’t want her actual name and profession on the profile in the event that someone she knows sees her, and she becomes “the laughingstock of the business world.” To fix that problem, Debbie, her assistant, types in HER name and occupation.

Jack, on the other hand, wants full disclosure. Even though he’s received lots of backlash for being a male nurse from patients, friends, even women in bars(!), he loves what he does. But his friend, Reggie, who’s an orderly, has different ideas. In the bar, he tries to tell two girls that Jack’s a cardiologist, and that he’s a Super Bowl athlete. That’s when Jack chokes on his beer, and breaks the bad news to the two women, who promptly escape with a flimsy and made up excuse. So when Reggie comes over to borrow Jack’s bowling shoes, and sees the profile, he changes and posts it while Jack is digging in his closet. He doesn’t even know until she comments on him being a doctor.

So they both think they’re dating someone completely different, but they’re really connecting. For their first date, he takes her bowling. She had to BUY jeans because she owns nothing that casual. So to say she’s never been bowling is a bit of a gimme. She totally biffs it on her first try. But to see the look of triumph when a CEO throws a granny roll and scores a strike…
Price of jeans – $34
Bowling for two – $20
1st granny roll getting a 1st strike – PRICELESS

Photo credit: hallmarkchannel.com  

 

I love what happens the morning after. There are two bouquets of flowers waiting for Katherine on her desk. One is a very elegant bouquet of red roses from Charles. The other is wrapped in brown paper, and not nearly as pretty. The note is horribly corny:
Roses are red,
Violets are blue.
Not even pros
Can throw a strike like you!

Photo credit: hallmarkchannel.com  

But it’s sincere and heartfelt! And it makes her let down her hair and laugh. Her laugh is infectious, and you can tell she hasn’t had many opportunities to release it. She’s even surprised when he says that she’s fun. Ironically, her father tells her he fell in love with her mother because of her laugh. Jack brings it out in her! My favorite parts of the movie all have her laugh in them. Jack kisses her for the first time (less than an hour into the movie!), but she suddenly pulls back frantically itching her neck. She says it’s an allergic reaction, and he says, “That’s a first! I’ve never had that affect on a woman!” It turns out it was hot sauce with their finger food dinner, (another first for her,) and she laughs despite the itch.

The other time was when he takes her canoeing at his family’s cabin. They’re both determined to tell each other the truth. He tries first, but can’t get it out. He gives her an engraved heart keychain that says, “Always, Jake”. They both start laughing so hard, he tries to take it away from her, and her antics to keep it cause the canoe to tip over. It’s hysterical!

The relationships in this movie are really filled out, they’re a true pleasure to watch. Obviously, Jack and Katherine are very connected, but Paul and Erika do so well with all the little things that show the excitement of a new relationship. My personal favorites are the way he plays with her hand when they’re sitting together, and the giddy way they mention how many hours they’ve been apart. And Paul has such a Carson reaction when she tells him her father’s had a heart attack. There’s no thought for himself, he instantly gets ready to leave.

The non-romantic relationships are fabulous too! I think that’s why I like it so much. I especially like Debbie’s and Katherine’s. Debbie respects Katherine as her boss, but she’s not afraid to be blunt and straight with her. It’s more like a sister or friend kinship, which Katherine desperately needs to guide her through certain situations, like flirting, dressing for a date, or coming to grips with her feelings.

Well, I’m off. One more Happy 4th of July to you all, and a special shout out to members of the Armed Forces and their families. If you have Hallmark Movies and Mysteries, they’re running a Christmas movie marathon featuring military personnel, to celebrate the 4th and Christmas in July. Speaking of which, we’ll have our own Christmas in July celebration here at Hooked Heartie, so keep an eye out. And with that, this is Hooked Heartie, signing off! May your heart let your hope blossom!