Hello, Hearties…and Postables! I get so excited when there’s a movie I can share with both sets of fans. Many of us are crossovers, since we love both series. But for those who aren’t, this is just another amazing opportunity to bring these two amazing shows, and two amazing GROUPS together! We’re all fans of uplifting, wholesome, family-friendly television! And let’s not forget QUALITY! We can never get enough entertainment with those traits!
Sorry I’m late again: another craaazy day with our family getting adjusted to having a new baby in the house. But I’m here now, and I thought that since Mother’s Day just occurred, it would be fun to review a movie that explores a mother/daughter relationship, and ANOTHER mother/daughter relationship where the daughter of one is the mother of the other. Did you follow that? Because it sounded complicated in my head! Anyway we have a great mix of cast and crew members from both series! From WCTH: Jimmy Townsend and Brad Krevoy as executive producers, and Lilah Fitzgerald (Jolene Miller) as Claire’s daughter Lou, (shout out to any of us who are Heartland fans!) A crossover actor in both When Calls the Heart and Signed Sealed Delivered is Paul McGillion (WCTH: fake Pastor Hogan, SSD the series: Henry Barrett, Danny’s (the artist father,) as Coach Reed. The other SSD actors include the man who played Clay the soldier in Truth be Told as Terry the producer. Sorry, I couldn’t find his name! And of course, the much-loved Geoff Gustafson (NORMAN DORMAN!) as Jonah the engineer. It also stars 3 very talented actors that make the movie: Kimberly Williams Paisley, Tom Cavanaugh, and Wendy Malick.
I am, of course, speaking of Darrow and Darrow: In the Key of Murder. It took me a bit to get it, which is sad since I’m a singer, but I did get it eventually. Miles’s sister is a singer accused of murder, so… you get it, right? You were quicker than I was. I blame the postpartum brain!
Anyway, this is the 2nd installment of what I suspect will be a multi-movie series. If you haven’t seen one, or the other, or either, I highly recommend them. They’re on Hallmark Movies and Mysteries. The basic backstory is a widowed lawyer, Claire, has to deal with her very gifted but very awkward daughter’s new school, her critical and domineering mother moving back home, and a smooth-talking DA hitting on her. Now in this film, things are settled down a bit. Claire and Miles are “comfortably” dating, but haven’t kissed yet, at least not on screen. Then Miles’s sister gets in trouble, and it’s up to Claire and Miles to save the day. And they do!
Let’s talk about them! Can I just say how much I LOVE their chemistry? I love it almost as much as I love Jack and Elizabeth’s! But it’s completely different! They have such a dry, humorous banter. They also have incredible timing! It makes their conversations even funnier to listen to, and they’re not afraid to overlap their words, or cut each other off. It makes it all the more natural. One thing they tried to do was go a whole week without “talking shop”, talking about work. They made it 6 hours. In all fairness, his sister Phoebe ASKED for legal help.
Probably their best scene, (if I had to pick,) would be the reason for the title: the grape soda scene. If you haven’t seen it, Miles and Claire are trying to figure out a way to prove his sister’s innocence. It’s late, they’re tired, and thirsty. Claire offers Miles a drink; he declines, until she says all they have is grape soda. He literally throws down his pen, and goes on a rampage monologue about how much he LOVED grape soda as a kid, and still does. Then he has this hysterical eye-popping grunt when he takes the first sip; obviously the beverage has not lost its flavor on his pallet. To top it off, they have “a moment”. They stop talking, and start staring. Then as if he’s asking for more butter, (right, Postables?!), he says, “Now would be a terrible time for a kiss.” They almost do…and he gets up to leave. But he turns around, looks at her sappily, and comes back. She turns in her chair, obviously expecting a smooch, and then he…picks up his grape soda. Can’t forget that! And at the very end, he brings grape soda to celebrate the victory. I really hope they make it a thing, because that’s great stuff! My only hesitation was, Miles said he drank it all the time “as a youth”. Who says that instead of “as a kid”? It was just funny to me!
Time for mothers and daughters. I usually think that sequels are better when it comes to relationships. Everything’s established, the actors are more settled into their characters, and there’s more time to explore when groundwork is already laid. One moment I really like is when Claire and her mother are talking about her taking on a case of her own. Joanna is wearing a bright red top, and Claire is in a pure green top: the colors of Christmas. I don’t know if this was on purpose, but it reminded me a lot of them: completely different, but they just belong together. Even though Claire gets upset at Joanna for eavesdropping on her conversation with Lou about her baseball team, she can’t help but agree when Joanna says, “It saves time.”
But I’ll bet that all the Hearties, like myself, LOVE their conversations involving…wait for it…catching flies with honey!!! I thought it funny that the first thing Claire says to Joanna when she reminds her of the saying, is why would anyone WANT to catch flies? Question everything, that’s how those two tick. Joanna is trying to calm Claire down because Lou’s baseball coach won’t play her. She also says that to ignore the saying would be to ignore Benjamin Franklin himself because he coined the phrase. I wonder if that’s true. Research! Somebody look that up! Oh wait! I am the research department. Claire’s best comeback to her mother the whole movie is, “I give honey one week, no matter what Ben Franklin says.”
Well, Postables, our turn. Our sweet Geoff/Norman! He had a lot of the same mannerisms, facial expressions, and voice patterns that endeared him to us in SSD. Perhaps not so dear in THIS movie huh? Was it as hard for you as it was for me to watch him play a conspirator/murderer? I was glad his character wasn’t a cold-blooded killer, but a scared protector. I don’t know if I could have watched that! But it’s always the quiet ones, isn’t it? So tell me one thing: when they found Jonah in the garage, why didn’t they turn off the car, or open the garage door? That could have ruined Jonah’s plan very quickly huh?
Well, everyone, there’s some much more I could say about this film! But it IS getting late, and I better get some sleep before my darling baby wants to eat again. He’s 6 weeks old now! And if you’re dying of curiosity: I’m still slow and sore from the hernia surgery, but I’m healing a little bit more everyday. Postables, you’re welcome back ANY TIME! Hearties, I’ll try really hard to see you on Friday! Ta ta!