Hello, Hearties…and Postables. How is everybody? Sorry again about yesterday. I would say you wouldn’t believe the kind of day I had, but lots of you DO know exactly what it’s like. So here is what would have been yesterday’s #WonderWednesday.

As you know, we’re in the middle of Lori Loughlin‘s birthday week, (her birthday’s on Saturday,) so this is the Hooked Heartie’s first ever “Lori Loughlin Week”. Monday, we got to know a little about Lori’s life and her family. Today, being #WonderWednesday, we’re discussing a different project of hers. Which one? Well, in the spirit of Christmas in July, I’m reviewing 2016’s “Every Christmas has a Story,” which also stars Colin Ferguson. It also happens to be Lori’s daughter’s (Isabella) first acting job. Quality mother/daughter time! As far as other stars go: Blair Penner, (Faith’s former fiancé,) plays Darren, one of Kate’s coworkers; Bruce Harwood plays Mayor in both arenas; and then there’s Kevin O’Grady. He played the slightly spacey lawyer for Gowan, Archie, on WCTH; and here, he’s Doug, the cameraman. But if you’re a TRUE Lori and Hallmark fan, you’ll recognize him as Frank, the police detective from Garage Sale Mysteries. Lori must really love working with him. For the Postables, there’s Karen Holness, Hattie on SSD: Higher Ground; here she’s Wendy, the bubbly makeup artist.

While I’m at makeup, I just want to point out something I think was done very well. We all know it takes lots of makeup to make actors show up on camera; not as much as theatre, but a lot nonetheless. I really like how Kate isn’t made up all the time. She doesn’t wake up in full makeup, and her face looks scrubbed clean when she’s at home relaxing, even though we know makeup is there. And when she arrives at work, Wendy actually did a makeup job on her, and there’s a clear difference. Just a detail a former theatre major noticed. 😀

One thing I’m adamant about as an actress is intonation; I used to drill this with my students a lot back when I was teaching. Lori does this really well in 2 scenes with her daughter. She says the exact same words, but you know the meaning is completely different because of her tone. First Mia (Isabella) is complimenting Kate about what a great reporter she is, and that she’s Mia’s inspiration to become a journalist. Kate gives a very heartfelt, “Thank you, Mia!” Mia then blurts out that she doesn’t think it was very smart admitting to not liking Christmas on the air. Kate’s smile instantly drops, and she sarcastically retorts, “Thank you, Mia.” On the script, it’s the exact same words. It’s up to the actor to bring the words to life, AND diversify them as well. Good job, Lori!

A really interesting twist to this “story”, (pun intended), is Lori doesn’t play her typical sunny character. She plays Katherine “Kate” Harper, a morning news show host who DOESN’T LIKE CHRISTMAS. But I really like the way Lori portrayed her. She’s not a mean or particularly grumpy person; she’s just doesn’t care for the holiday. It proves you can dislike Christmas, and still be a good person; although I personally don’t know how that works. 😉 But more than that, Kate has a self-discovery that I find quite profound. She says, “It’s not that I didn’t like Christmas; I didn’t know Christmas.” How true is that simple statement? When we don’t know something, we’re immediately prone to dislike it; like children with new foods. Good lesson of which we should all be reminded once in a while.

 

That does beg the question though: Why didn’t she just graciously accept the silly ornament??? If you’re unfamiliar with the film, Kate gets into a professional scrape when the audio is accidentally left on the air after her show, and she’s overheard saying she doesn’t like Christmas…right before she accidentally bumps her guest, and he topples into a Christmas tree. She then has to prove to her audience that she can rediscover her holiday spirit by traveling to the “biggest little Christmas town in the country”, and partaking of the festivities. So I have to ask again: as a famous TV personality, why didn’t she just accept the ornament, then pass it off to someone else? Well, we wouldn’t have a movie if she hadn’t, but it’s food for thought.

I enjoyed seeing Colin in this film too. I recently discovered the show “Eureka”, of which he’s the star; so it was fun seeing him in this movie again now that I’m more familiar with him. And guess what! His name is JACK! Not only is that significant for Hearties, but his name was Jack in Eureka too! My husband and I have noticed that almost every Hallmark show or movie has a Jack in there somewhere. Is it a writer’s husband, or something?

Anyway, he’s got a great character: humors a lot of people, handles Kate, and REALLY knows her! He reminds her of the past they had in college, and says little things like, “You complain when your chardonnay is too cold,” to illustrate their history without being too obvious.  He also runs her show smoothly as it’s producer, and really LIVES in the moment when people are talking to him. My favorite example of this is when Kate and Jack are talking to Vernon Hollister about why he no longer honors the tradition of sending the town a Christmas tree for the square. When Vernon talks about his past, you’ve got to watch Colin’s face. He makes Jack react to every part of the story. When Vernon talks about falling in love with his wife, Jack smiles so wide as if he’s experiencing those feelings for the first time too. Then when Vernon reaches the part about losing his wife in an accident, Jack has a face filled with perfect empathy and despair; personally, I think it’s because he knows what it’s like to lose Kate, not to death, but out of his life.

Once again, there’s SO MUCH I could say about this movie, but I better call it a night. I’ll see you tomorrow for the Lori Loughlin edition of #FlashbackFriday. Ta ta!

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