Happy HAPPY Monday, everyone! At least, I hope it’s happy. Did you have to go to work today? I didn’t technically go to a job; but it’s just me here, housesitting my in-laws’ place with the four crazy kids while hubby’s working. But it’s good; we’ve just been both chilling and bustling around, trying to retain the feeling of merry and bright. 😉 No, that’s not the movie I’m reviewing, we’ve already done that. But we ARE talking about one of the earlier films of the season. It aired in November, and it stars a very prominent WCTH actor with whom many Hearties are infatuated. POstables will love him too from “From Paris With Love” where he played Joey the restaurant owner; that’s the first time I ever saw him. He’s also Mitch on “Heartland”, another big hit with many Hearties; and he’s even appeared as a very distinguished guest star on “When Hope Calls”. The ONE! The ONLY! KEVIN MCGARRY, starring in “Christmas Scavenger Hunt”.

This movie was not my favorite one of the lineup this year, but I thought it had it’s own special charm that was undeniable. I did appreciate the very different premise of the storyline; we’ve never had a holiday hunt before. I don’t know if we’ve ever had a scavenger hunt of this caliber in any of the films on Hallmark until now. So that was fun! This is just the kind of activity that I think would be perfect to bring in some Christmas cheer. And even though they called a clue “hard” when it was anything but, the clues as a whole were cute, and clever, and very well-worded. I was just surprised that so many people had the day off work so they could participate. 😀
Speaking of surprises, I had absolutely NO IDEA that Tom Arnold was going to star in this movie! It caught me completely off guard. I haven’t seen him in a Hallmark Christmas feature since “Moonlight and Mistletoe” in 2008, when he portrayed Candice Cameron Bure’s father, Nick. What a firecracker Carl was in this one though! First he assumes Belinda has broken up with Logan, so he gleefully blurts out: “You dumped him!” Then, when that idea doesn’t stick, dear old Dad becomes a sly dog by teaming up Dustin with Belinda, instead of the originally intended Susan Shultz. And Belinda wasn’t even intending to join; she was thrown into the lions’ den by her best friend, Faith. Those two HAD to be in cahoots! That’s the ONLY explanation as to why it was pulled off so seamlessly.

Let’s move to characterization. Kevin played a very confident, almost cocky-in-a-good-way character, which is so different from Nathan in Hope Valley, at least currently. Gotta especially love the little details like Dustin’s immense love for rivers of gravy, and his terror at admitting he’d gone out for one coffee with Belinda’s arch rival from high school before, in his words, “I came to my senses.” He also does a great job with not being angry with her when he finds out what’s going on with the mill. I was sure he was going to blow up at her, but he was so sweet and understanding! That’s how all reactions should be, right?

Kim Shaw portrayed the conflicted businesswoman very well. She had a job to do, but she still cared about the town, and her reaction to finding out about Dustin’s dad was right on point! You can see the change in her feelings without her saying a word once she knows the truth. You can also see her about to combust until she’s able to confide in Faith.

The funniest line from the movie, at least in an awkward sense…well, there’s two. One has to be when their music teacher very generously gives Belinda the snow globe that just happens to contain the word LOVE inside. The tension could be cut with a knife! The only words Dustin can manage to push out are, “Nice birds,” obviously trying to skirt around the gargantuan elephant in the room. The other is closer to the beginning when Belinda claims Dustin acted like a baby every time he lost a track meet. Then boom! Who’s hand appears on the counter? And Belinda’s reaction is PRICELESS! The shock, the embarrassment, and just a tinge of anger are perfectly combined when she accusingly asks, “What are you doing here?!” Of course there’s a very innocent and simple explanation of “the pipes”.

The funniest line as far as comic timing and delivery is another of Kevin’s. He just has great skills! It’s when Dustin, Belinda, and third wheel Logan are baking cookies, (which is the WRONG place for a silk tie in the first place!), and butter spatters on said tie. Logan says he’s going to try to wash it off, and Belinda is trying to assure him it’ll come out of the delicate fabric. The moment he’s out of earshot, Dustin whispers, “You know it’s BUTTER, right?”

That brings me to the chemistry. I think they had it! I’m a big sucker for history, so I couldn’t help but giggle when they talked about memory lane having “a few potholes”, including the hunt victories, and the yeti prank. They weren’t afraid to talk about the past, which some former couples can’t do. But they had no qualms about digging up the past. My favorite tidbit has to be that he’s the only one who has a nickname for her. Everyone, even her father, calls her “Belinda”. But even 10 years after the breakup, Dustin is still calling her “Bel”. It was endearing! And it made the moment of the kiss all the better! First he smiles when she says she still loves him, then totally interrupts her monologue by gently charging and laying a big one on her. Then what do we hear? “I missed you, Bel!” No, there was no mistletoe, but it was definitely worthy of it.

Let’s end by backing up a bit, to the big revelation as to why Dustin broke Bel’s heart. He did the noble, but incredibly stupid thing, not telling her his father lost his job. He “didn’t want to hold her back”, which I think is a ridiculous reason to not be honest with someone, but putting that aside… Did you hear what he said? He said, and I quote, “Take a walk with me.” I couldn’t believe it! I seriously wondered if it was done on purpose, as a kind of Easter egg to #Hearties, and giving us a hint about the show, or if it was pure coincidence. I guess time alone will tell.

Well, everyone, next time I talk to you, it’ll be next year! Be sure to tune in for my last #WisemanWednesday. This is Hooked Heartie, signing off! May your heart let your hope blossom!

Happy New Year, Hearties! Welcome to the final #FaLaLaLaFriday of the season! It might have been a possibility for me to do another one a week from today, depending on content and airing schedules, except for one thing: my niece is getting married! So my Friday is a little booked up. 😉 I’m not making any promises after the crazy month we’ve had in the #HookedHeartie household, but I don’t FORESEE any roadblocks to posting something on Monday and Wednesday.

Wow, I still can’t believe Christmas is already done! Once again, I do wholeheartedly apologize for all the spaces between blogs; so much popped up that I was not expecting. Then the holiday blew in in full swing, and pretty much every minute, even on Christmas Day, was full scheduled. Things should slow down, and be a bit more regular in the coming weeks. Let’s just hope the content has some of our wonderful actors in it so I have something to post. 😀

So?????? What did you think? I’ve seen several differing opinions on lots of levels, but I personally thought it was well done. I especially enjoyed how level the playing field was kept; Elizabeth had moments with Nathan, and moments with Lucas. Who do I think won this time around? Well, I guess you’ll just have to listen to the podcast to find out! 😀 Here’s the link:

 

 

By the way, all you #TeamHenry Hearties and Michael Hickam enthusiasts out there, be sure you give a listen. I promise you will NOT be disappointed!

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas, and that you felt the joy of the season. I also hope you still carry those feelings with you throughout the New Year. Take care, all of you! Here’s hoping I see you for #MistletoeMonday ! This is Hooked Heartie, signing off! May your heart let your hope blossom!

Well, it seems #WisemanWednesday has the magical touch for me being able to post to all you wonderful people! We’re coming up on the big day, big for a lot of reasons! Only two of those reasons being that two wonderful men in red will be stopping by our homes soon! And just so all you #TeamLucas fans out there don’t think I’m giving him his fair share, this is for you: It’s a mere six sleeps (if you’re a “Muppet Christmas Carol” fan like me,) until two very generous givers will make their presence known in our cozy houses. 😉

So for today, I have another fun podcast for you to listen to, or watch, if you prefer. It’ll help pass the time as you’re driving, shopping, wrapping, baking…making all that Christmas magic. I know it’s been a tough few days in the Hallmark world, but hopefully this can help you sit back, relax, and laugh a little.

This past weekend’s line-up has several When Calls the Heart players in it. AND!!!!!!! We had our first sighing of a When Hope Calls actor! I was wondering when that was going to happen! It’s Rob Stewart, who played Tom Clay. He’s featured in, not one, but two of the four, and he was great! Even the #POstables get represented with Peter Benson in “Holiday Date”. That one took the cake on using WCTH alumni! There was Ava Grace Cooper, Bruce Boxleitner, Christine Chatelain, and Ken Tremblett, all in the same film! But the designated “Wiseman” for this week is definitely Eric Close from “Angel Falls: A Novel Holiday.

One reminder before I let you loose. If you’re doing that last minute online shopping, I’d consider it the best Christmas present if you’d go through the links here on the blog. Then there’s always the ads. Every little click helps! 😀 Well, that’s enough plugs. 😉 This is Hooked Heartie, signing off! May your heart let your hope blossom!

Oh my gosh, everyone! I’m so sorry about the silent streak! I’ve been running, running, running between my boys having a relapse in sickness, and multiple Christmas events; some of which I was partially in charge. In fact, I was actually composing this post as I sat behind the scenes at our church’s Nativity display event; I was part of the musical numbers, and I was in charge of costumes for the monitors watching over the scenes. We had literally hundreds of displays (just over 400) from all over the world! So amazing!

Now for today’s movie. I thought about doing part two of Christmas Town, but as a die hard Heartie, I would be remiss if I didn’t review the Yuletide film of our leading lady. Plus, for #WisemanWednesday, it’s a perfect choice, because the main man sure THOUGHT he was wise. That’s right! I’m speaking about “Sense, Sensibility, and Snowmen”. I’m certain I’m the only blogger who’s covering it. HA HA! But I wouldn’t consider myself a true fan if it didn’t go on here. And in addition to Erin, there are two other WCTH actors in this movie! Did you catch all of them? There’s Jan Bos; he was Edward’s dad, and the mining company lawyer in WCTH. There’s Jason McKinnon, who had the nerve to be on the screen at the same time as Erin! 😉 Just teasing, Jason! You’re a wonderful actor! In SSS, he played the sweet lawyer Brandon; but in WCTH, he’s that sniveling and conniving, (not to mention “shockingly bold”. Thank you, Rosemary!) Thomas Higgins. And BONUS! We have Gary Peterman and Emma Pedersen from Signed Sealed Delivered. He played Mr. Roberts on the episode “The Masterpiece”, and here, he was the very difficult Stanley Green. SHE was the Montaldo’s employee, Nikki, in “One in a Million”, and here, she was part of the Dashworks team.

To start us off, this movie is in the same category as Christmas Town: totally loved the whole thing, it was just on the wrong channel. From that very first moment when Ella (Erin) turns around, and with that signature light in her eyes, tells Marianne to hurry up, you knew this was going to be a lighthearted, festive romance. Speaking of that moment, it was very telling in so many ways. We find out that the writers switched the names of the sisters, which kind of threw me off, I admit. I’m a huge Sense and Sensibility fan, so I noticed it right away. I wondered if it was done with a purpose, or just to switch things up. And I was under the impression that the party planning business was a small, start-up company with just the two of them. But it was their father’s company, and there was a group of employees. And one cannot go wrong with a wreath of cupcakes, so they were obviously doing something right. Right? 😉

May I interject here that after witnessing the dynamic duo that was Erin Krakow and Kimberly Sustad, I am wholly convinced that Kimberly would make an amazing guest star on WCTH. Who’s with me? Their chemistry and the way they played off of each other was…NAILED IT! I don’t know if my favorite part was them whispering very obviously over their shoulders about revealing Ella’s feelings for Edward, or the Christmas morning gift frenzy. And there’s also that tiny little and HILARIOUS scene where Brandon and Marianne are literally spying on the reluctant couple. Can you just see Kimberly as a best friend from the city, or a cousin of Elizabeth’s? Funny enough, I can totally picture her as a Hope Valley resident, or a frontier woman just outside of town. Something to think about, Hallmark Channel.

About the leading man: geez, what a know-it-all! But they usually are at that point. Watching Edward getting knocked down a peg or two in that scene at the bar was classic; especially Brandon’s facial expressions indicating he get off his high horse or fail. Ella really socks it to Edward a time or two on her own. The prime example was the incredulous tone and shocked expression Ella manifests when Edward mentioned that kids never test-played with the toys from the company. Or maybe it was when Ella retorted that she’d get Edward a bulk order of beige scarves with beige accents. Those scenes are great, but it’s nothing like him buying the suggested snowman scarf as proof of her influence on him.

Oh and yeah, the kiss helps too! 🙂

Photo credit: Erin’s Twitter 

I think Luke and Erin made a nice couple. Did you know they went to Juilliard together? It really worked. I think they should pair up again.

And on that note, this little Christmas elf needs a little sleep. Can’t wait to talk to all of you again. Hopefully, that will be Friday! Please keep coming back and enjoying the content. I do so love writing for you, and hearing your feedback. As always, sharing, liking, retweeting, and clicking on ads is incredibly helpful. And if you’re spreading holiday cheer with online orders, it would be amazing if you were to do your Amazon shopping by clicking on one of our links.

Keep making it a Merry Christmas, everybody! This is Hooked Heartie, signing off! May your heart let your hope blossom!

Ho, ho, ho, Hearties! Happy December! This is our very first post of the month! I do apologize once again for the posts being spotty. We’ve been dealing with sickness and school busyness, and all kind of “ness” time-fillers. 😀

Yet another “ness” I’ve experienced is “kindness”. I looked at my Facebook page, and I’m at 90 likes! We’re almost at a very big milestone! So thank you for caring about what this little blogger has to say. Maybe we’ll get 10 more likes by Christmas! Wouldn’t THAT be something?! That would be a Merry Christmas to me!

Making someone’s Christmas seems to be a running theme; it’s what I’m writing about today. Today’s blog is about the Candace Cameron Bure movie “Christmas Town”. This film was an interesting choice for the Hallmark Channel. The plot, the mood, the dialogue, all has the feel of the “grab the tissues” movies that air on Hallmark Movies and Mysteries. Totally enjoyable and heartfelt, just thought it belonged on a different station.

Three of the players are WCTH alumni, and we even have a member of the Postables team! In order of appearance: Kurt Evans, Jason Cermak, and Anne Marie DeLuise from When Calls the Heart, and Karen Holness from Signed Sealed Delivered: Higher Ground. She played the irrepressible Hattie, and in Christmas Town, she’s the principal who hires Lauren, and makes it possible for her to stay in Grandon Falls. Here’s the breakdown of the others:

                                   WCTH.                                        CT
Kurt Evans.              Glenn Davis – oil expert.            Lauren’s dad
Jason Cermak.            Dr. Burns.                             Eric – the other man
Anne Marie DeLuise.      Aunt Caroline.                    Gloria – teacher

First of all, I love Kurt as the father. He is, indeed, a “wise man”. We often see him as a businessman, but this time, we get to see the softer side. He adores his little girl, and doesn’t hold back any of those feelings. Lauren obviously sees her daddy as her hero; she was more concerned about his well-being than the fact that he broke her present. That makes it even more fitting that he has a presence throughout the whole movie in the form of letters. I didn’t lose my dad as a child, and I can’t imagine going through those milestones without him. I did lose him eight years ago, though, and I relish the memories he left behind. What I wouldn’t give to have his advice when life takes a turn or two. And Lauren’s dad had the presence of mind to write a note for each special time she would have so she could feel him still with her. I took note of my favorite note to her in each letter.

16th – “The world is full of surprises
18th – Don’t be afraid of change, change is how we grow.
21st – We are not here for ourselves
13th – Don’t let [ups and downs] stop you from leading with your heart.

 

I’m going to have to cut this short, unfortunately, but I will return to finish up. Have a great day, or a magical night, whenever you might be reading this. This is Hooked Heartie, signing off! May your heart let your hope blossom!