Good day to you, my Heartie friends. How is this week’s Hump Day going for you? As you may have guessed from events that occurred this past weekend, today’s #WonderWednesday is discussing Lori Loughlin‘s first Garage Sale Mystery movie of the month: Pandora’s Box. We’ve got quite a list of WCTH actors in this one. There’s the entire Shannon family: Jennifer (Lori), husband Jason (Steve Bacic, Spurlock), daughter Hannah (Eva Bourne, Clara), and son Logan (Connor Stanhope, Beau). Now that Kevin O’Grady (Frank) has guest starred on WCTH as Archie the lawyer, we can add him to the mix, along with Frank’s lovely wife, Sally, (played by Johann Newmarch, Molly). Then there are the supporting characters: Joel the producer, (Lochlyn Munro, James Addison), and Lucas (Lane Edwards, the man who warned Jack that Rosemary was not headed to San Francisco. He also played 2 different characters on Signed Sealed Delivered. To wrap things up, Neill Fearnley directed. So altogether, we have a total of 9 WCTH affiliates. Wow!
The film has a clever beginning. I always chuckle when I see actors playing actors. Never did I think the Rags to Riches store would be the setting of a reality show; and Jen standing there saying she’s not comfortable with lines given her, or she doesn’t know them at all…quite amusing. But the best part of that has to be watching Dani be completely over dramatic when the camera turns on. And when the highlighted antique, the puzzle box, goes missing, I thought it very quick thinking for a non-actor to think to check the footage. Hmm…
I hate to put the cart before the horse, but the mystery of the puzzle box just fits perfectly right here. It certainly was intricate, just like the plot with all those ins and outs. I loved watching Jen lying in bed trying to figure out the box, putting it aside to go to sleep, then turning her lamp back on to keep on trying. I admit, they had me guessing on the killer. I was suspecting almost everyone, even the new boyfriend at one point; and I never figured 2 murderers. And one of the killers being murdered themselves, even if by accident? Clever! It makes for a very intriguing twist that they both died in the exact same spot.
Let’s talk about the family for a moment or two. I really like the bond between father and son, and how it is strengthened in this film. Logan messes up, and wrecks his dad’s prized car. I would have been furious, but Jason keeps his cool, saying cars can be replaced, but not his kids. I really like that Jason doesn’t let him off the hook, but he does help him in his business ventures to pay for the damage. He even says quite profoundly, “Anything worthwhile takes time.” Logan returns the gesture by genuinely trying to find ways to make the needed money for the classic car.
Then there’s Hannah. Do you like her new hairstyle with bangs? She is very busy the entire movie entertaining that new romance, isn’t she? I had to laugh when he says his name is Officer Brett Ryan, not only because he has two first names, but also because those are the names of two of my brothers. Their vow to only “hang out” is so typical of young single people I know it made me laugh out loud. I got a little upset when Hannah insists that one of the terms of their arrangement be that Brett never open a door. Excuse me, what? Is there something wrong with reinvigorating the almost dead art of chivalry? I don’t think people have to be dating to practice it. But he manages to make himself adorable without it; like when he says the 3 ways to his heart are: “1. Buy me a taco, 2. Make me a taco, or 3. Be a taco.” I also like him trying to find a nice shirt to wear for Hannah, then hears a knock, and decides what he’s wearing is better than keeping her waiting. It’s just one of those nonverbal details that fill out a character, and make a movie even more enjoyable to watch. He also did a very sweet speech to “hang up the hangouts” after that misunderstanding of being spotted with his ex, (BAD HANNAH! DON’T ASSUME!) and she totally called him out on rehearsing it. I liked that. Sometimes the lines spoken in these movies seem too thought-out for the characters, so it’s nice when they mention rehearsing. Only problem was when he mentions that he wants to take part in all those romantic rituals, he didn’t pull flowers from behind his back. That would have been a very nice touch.
Before things are set right, there are some cute moments with Hannah and Jason. Mom’s out saving innocent people from death, but Dad really saves the day at home, doesn’t he? He uses the philosophy that Sally Lynnwood mentions at the end: “ ‘Stressed’ is ‘Desserts’ spelled backwards, and there’s nothing dessert can’t fix.” He sees Hannah’s forlorn face, and immediately asks if she needs chocolate mint ice cream. I love their code! She says she needs double fudge, and he immediately knows it’s serious. He even inquires, “School, guy, or other?” Once again, just an adorable detail to fill out the film.
And let’s not forget that the mother’s name in the wealthy family is Elizabeth.
Okay, that’s it for today. I will see you on Friday. Enjoy your days until we meet again!