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Hallmark Movies 2023

Last Updated on Sunday, September 24th, 2023

Dave!Here's a checklist of all the Hallmark original romance movies from 2023 along with my comments on those I've seen.

Special movies of note are marked Favorite, Good, Okay, and BAD.


Hallmark Channel Originals 2023

Hallmark Movie Poster!   
The Dog Lover's Guide to Dating
(New Year New Me • Rebecca Dalton and Corey Sevier • January 1, 2023)
Way to start the year, Hallmark. I watched this to the bitter end, and at almost every turn I kept getting distracted by how horrible the female lead is. Not the actor... the character. It's like she sets out to be hostile from the start, and doesn't change. It's so bad that I was honestly hoping that Corey Sevier would stick with his existing girlfriend because he seems too nice to be dragged into that nightmare. No joke... this could have been a nice flick because the idea behind it was good, but it needed to be drastically reworked.

Hallmark Movie Poster!   
✓ Okay The Wedding Veil Expectations
(New Year New Me • Lacey Chabert and Kevin McGarry • January 7, 2023)
I was not a fan of the first trilogy of "Veil" movies because they just went too absurd too often. And while there's still a bit of that (the three friends jet off to see each other at the drop of a hat), this movie wasn't terrible (EXCEPT FOR KEVIN McGARRY'S ABSURD ATTEMPT AT A BOSTON ACCENT! LORD!). Not a bad movie at all... and there's a few laugh-out-loud moments that had me actually enjoying it (CLAP-ON! CLAP-OFF! THE CLAPPER!)... but I still feel that there's a better concept for a movie franchise.

Hallmark Movie Poster!   
✓ Okay The Wedding Veil Inspiration
(New Year New Me • Autumn Reeser and Paolo Bernardini • January 14, 2023)
Probably the best "Veil" movie yet, all things considered. Autumn Reeser is facing off with a life crisis that threatens to derail her five-year plan when her husband has to rush back to Italy to cover the business due to his ailing father. Trying to balance her plans, her passions, her marriage, and her career may end up to be too much for her but, of course, Lacey Chabert and Alison Sweeney are never far away to make things better. No, really, they show up at random for an overnighter just when Autumn Reeser needs them most! There's a few moments in this one that are darn clever and, like the previous film, has me almost changing my mind about the trilogy (sextology?).

Hallmark Movie Poster!   
✓ Good The Wedding Veil Journey
(New Year New Me • Alison Sweeney and Victor Webster • January 21, 2023)
Look, suspension of belief is just part of the game with Hallmark. You can either ignore all sense of logic and go with it or you don't and have a miserable time. But this one? This one?!? I guess I'm posting a spoiler here, so avert your eyes if you want to enjoy this fresh. Anyway... Alison Sweeney and Victor Webster are finally having that honeymoon they've been

Hallmark Movie Poster!   
Love in Glacier National: A National Park Romance
(New Year New Me • Ashley Newbrough and Stephen Huszar • January 28, 2023)
Sigh. I am a huge fan of Stephen Huszar, and he's given us some fantastic character moments in some good (and not so good) movies (seriously, watch him in the background in My One & Only from 2019). I was anticipating that finally he would be in a leading role with this film... only to be bored out of my mind. She's a weather forecast expert who shows up to Glacier National Park and ends up in a slumber-inducing beef with a local rescue ranger that seriously went nowhere. When... when... will we get the movie Stephen Hussar deserves?

Hallmark Movie Poster!   
✓ Favorite Sweeter Than Chocolate
(Loveuary • Eloise Mumford and Dan Jeannotte • February 4, 2023)
No matter how ridiculous the movie, Eloise Mumford always manages to elevate it into something watchable. And when you add Brenda Strong to the mix, I was anticipating greatness. And while not quite living up to my impossible expectations, it's still pretty great. A struggling chocolate shop owner reluctantly agrees to be interviewed in the hopes that her business will survive a rent increase. Unfortunately the interviewer is skeptical of her ability to make chocolates that help people find their true love on Valentine's Day (Hallmark, never once to miss a marketing opportunity, actually paired with Bissinger’s to create the "Cupid Chocolates" seen in the movie @ $15 a box). A sweet investigation into the diverse lives impacted by the chocolates follows. Eloise Mumford's last Hallmark movie was the sublimely perfect Presence of Love, my favorite Hallmark movie of all time. Her follow-up was probably never going to compare. But by keeping my expectations in check, I was able to thoroughly enjoy this one... mainly because the idea of somebody falling in love with Eloise Mumford is 100% believable as fact, not fiction. AND THEN they kinda stole the most romantic moment from a movie ever made (it's from Doc Hollywood)... AND THEN there's an obstacle that's actually not based on a stupid, overused trope... AND THEN they toss in a really cool match that you were hoping would happen... and somebody knew what they were doing here.

Hallmark Movie Poster!   
✓ Okay A Paris Proposal
(Loveuary • Alexa PenaVega and Nicholas Bishop • February 11, 2023)
Maybe it's because I have a background in advertising that I think this movie's concept was kinda tough to swallow. An American flies to Paris to land a Paris diamond company's American advertising campaign. Unfortunately, her uptight ways clash with her Parisian co-worker who prefers to fly by the seat of his pants. Then... oh noes... a misunderstanding leads to them having to pretend that they are a couple. Complete with sharing a hotel room. One thing I can say wasn't hard to swallow was the cinematography, which was great. Even interior scenes had a French "glow" to them, and everything looked fantastic. And that's enough to elevate the show from mundane to okay.

Hallmark Movie Poster!   
Welcome to Valentine
(Loveuary • Kathryn Davis and Markian Tarasiuk • February 18, 2023)
Man ruins a woman's life and he makes it up to her by driving her back to her home of Valentine, Nebraska. Where his car breaks and he gets stuck in the middle of nowhere. Then everything happens exactly as you'd expect it to happen with zero surprises and nothing interesting makes it worthwhile. Right up to the OH NOES! THE PARADE FINALE FLOAT! Moment.

Hallmark Movie Poster!   
Made for Each Other
(Loveuary • Alexandra Turshen and Matt Cohen • February 25, 2023)
I don't even know what I'm doing anymore. At least this movie tries to do something different. And it's got Illeana Douglas, so there's that. But otherwise? It's just so absurd... a statue that comes to life based on a necklace that just happens to be in Illeana Douglas's purse? A sculptor's studio with no dust? Or anything else that would represent a studio accurately? A statue that's obviously a painted mannequin where the necklace "clicks" against his chest instead of sounds like its hitting stone? This riff on the movie Mannequin didn't even have a great story to it so that all the nonsense was forgivable. Oh well. points for trying, I guess.

Hallmark Movie Poster!   
Game of Love
(Kimberley Sustad and Brooks Darnell • March 11, 2023)
This movie begs a question... do major Hallmark players like Kimberly Sustad get to pick and choose their movies? Because... yeesh. Both the leads are talented and deserved so much better than this. Game designer must team up with a guy from the marketing department to create a "love" game. The result is so groan-inducing that I was fast-forwarding just a little too long through commercials in order to speed this along. I never noticed what might have been missing. Hallmark needs to desperately start focusing on quality instead of quantity.

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A Winning Team
(Nadia Hatta and Kristoffer Polaha • March 18, 2023)
A woman is an angry professional soccer player. She gets into trouble because she's always fighting the refs on the field. She gets suspended and ends up going back home where her younger sister is in a school play. She falls in love with a local girl's soccer coach. Her attitude adjustment gets her welcomed back to play soccer. But oh noes! She'll miss her sister's school play and the big game! Or whatever. Suffice to ay that everything she wanted gets tossed out the window yet again, because Hallmark simply can't abide in a woman choosing her career over a guy she's known for five damn minutes. I am so very, very tired.

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A Picture of Her
(Spring Into Love • Kimberley Sustad and Rhiannon Fish and Tyler Hynes • March 25, 2023)
Tyler Hynes (one of the most consistently good Hallmark players) can only do so much. Sure there are times he's made a bad movie okay. But he can't make a bad movie great. Which is how I explain kinda liking this film. Tyler Hynes is a failed fine-art photographer who now shoots photos of the stars in L.A. while hating it. One day he snaps a photo of a pretty woman at a flower market and accidentally submits it. This ends up being a magazine cover, and the girl's small life is turned up-side-down. Who is this photographer that would do this to her? It surely couldn't be this random guy she met at the dog park who happens to be a photographer! Ugh. In the end, this movie annoyed me entirely too much despite having a great performance by Tyler Hynes and some cool supporting characters. Oh well.

Hallmark Movie Poster!   
Love in the Maldives
(Spring Into Love • Jocelyn Hudon and Jake Manley • April 1, 2023)
This is a sad re-hash of Chasing Waterfalls and heaven only knows how many other Hallmark movies where a travel writer goes after some rare experience, gets told that it's not something for tourists, manages to BS her way into it anyway under the condition she never reveal it, then accidentally reveal the location to their editor so it gets published (or nearly published, as the case may be), all while some guy is being all YOU BETRAYED ME! over something that they should have never revealed to a frickin' reporter in the first place. At first I was going to give this movie a pass because the Maldives location shoots were just so beautiful... but Good Lord... GET A NEW STORY! I have no clue if Hallmark insists their writers only use the same damn story over and over... or if writers only write the same thing over and over because they know that's all Hallmark will purchase... or what. But this is so tired. It's gotten to the point where taking chances would be more valuable to me than having the same damn thing rehashed for the hundredth time. Hallmark desperately needs to grow some balls and break free of this infinite loop of reruns.

Hallmark Movie Poster!   
✓ Good The Professional Bridesmaid
(Spring Into Love • Hunter King and Chandler Massey • April 8, 2023)
The guy from last Christmas's disastrous A Tale of Two Christmases is back in a decidedly better movie. He's paired with the lead from last Christmas's entirely forgettable A Royal Corgi Christmas. Both of them fare much, much better here. Although it took a minute to get going. Casey Manderson, appearing in what must be his 100th Hallmark film, kinda acted as a slap on the face to wake me up. A "professional bridesmaid" is hired to secretly keep the mayor's daughter's wedding on track, but ends up tasked with keeping a nosy reporter guy away from the mayor. What so strange is how her kooky job is made to seem perfectly normal (and necessary) because Hunter King just sells it all so well. Add to that the fact that Chandler Massey is able to come across as charming enough to sell his character, and the movie actually... works? Thanks to the casting.

Hallmark Movie Poster!   
The Wedding Cottage
(Spring Into Love • Erin Krakow and Brendan Penny • April 15, 2023)
Lord. Hallmark Channel really knows how to take a great cast with a good concept... and then completely run it into the ground with stupid. Erin Krakow is trying to use a leaf blower and it's like she is from an alien planet and is completely confused by the way of the earthlings. This was written by Judith and Sara Berg... who apparently have zero problem portraying women as incompetent dipshits. Krakow's character is giving off serious "ZOMG! AIR IS BLOWING OUT THE FRONT OF THIS! IS THIS A GIANT HAIR DRYER?!? AND I HAVE NEVER HEARD OF NEWTON'S THIRD LAW WHICH STATES THAT FOR EACH ACTION THERE IS AN EQUAL AND OPPOSITE REACTION BECAUSE ICKY SCIENCE IS FOR BOYS!!!" Meanwhile... Brandan Penny is a sculptor who instinctually know how to do plumbing repairs when OH NOES! THERE'S A WATER LEAK AND POOR ERIN KRAKOW HAS NO IDEA WHAT TO DOOOOOOO!!! Maybe it's time I take a break from Hallmark. These dated tropes are getting really old, and you'd think that Erin Krakow would be beyond doing this crap.

Hallmark Movie Poster!   
✓ Okay A Pinch of Portugal
(Spring Into Love • Heather Hemmens and Luke Mitchell • April 22, 2023)
Portugal is a wonderful, beautiful country that I loved visiting. Any opportunity to revisit it... even in a movie... is a trip worth taking. Alas, glimpses of pretty scenery and flashes of Portuguese culture are about the only thing that makes this movie worth your valuable time. Which is surprising, because the actors are all top-notch. Basically, a famous television chef's assistant... WHOOPS!... prep cook is forced into the television spotlight when the temperamental chef walks off the show as some kind of power play move. She is, of course, a natural. Along for the ride is an Australian transplant cameraman who was a crush that never happened, and a handsome Portuguese guy named Lucas who runs the local produce market where she shops. It's not spoiling anything to say that the romance with Lucas doesn't pan out and she ends up with the cameraman. It's obvious. Because it's Hallmark. But it's the reason that the relationship with the Portuguese guy doesn't go anywhere that feels forced and unearned. Yes, manipulative guys like this who work a woman to get something they want are a dime a dozen in Real Life, but using him as a misdirect in a Hallmark film was a bizarre choice. It kinda undercuts her story to have her go running to the cameraman after finding out that the market manager was using her. Because her life is incomplete without a man, I guess? What sad is that they could have worked on the story a little more to have the cameraman be an empowered choice instead of the lesser of two evils. And the fact that it came after she started having some success makes it seem like he's chasing fame or something. I dunno. This could have been so much better with only a few shifts in story.

Hallmark Movie Poster!   
✓ Okay Hearts in the Game
(Spring Into Love • Erin Cahill and Marco Grazzini • April 29, 2023)
It was easy to get invested in this one, The actors have serious chemistry right from the start, and the story was a pretty good one. Kinda-sorta unique. Well, for Hallmark anyway. But the massive gaps in logic paired with an end-scene reconciliation that was gag-inducingly horrible made it a tough movie to end up liking. But I digress. One of the so-called best publicists in New York is hired to revitalize the career of a star baseball pitcher after he chokes and loses a critical game for his previous team. But now he's being considered by The New York Mets, and the only way to clinch him getting signed is for him to do a story explaining why he choked. But... UH OH! He refuses to talk about what happened. But... UH OH! HE JUST HAPPENS TO BE HER HIGH SCHOOL FLAME! The journey to the baseball player giving up the story of what happened is good. But the journalist involved... WHO IS BRILLIANT AT HER JOB AND CAN TRACK DOWN ANY INFORMATION AT ALL wasn't able to uncover the painfully obvious answer as to what happened. And the publicist who, let's recap... IS ONE OF THE BEST PUBLICISTS IN THE WORLD AND HAS TONS OF POPULAR CLIENTS... absolutely MUST get the baseball player to spill his secret or else she is RUINED! She will lose her apartment! She will lose EVERYTHING! What kind of damn sense is that? How can she be the best as what she does AND have loads of popular clients, but also be one story away from financial ruin? It's Hallmark. I am not expecting air-tight logic and can overlook a lot... but this was expecting way too much. And the publicist's awful eye-rolling, groan-inducing declaration of love at the end was SO bad. Who is at the wheel at Hallmark? All it would take is a story editor to flag some EASILY-FIXED, obvious problems, and this could have been a much, much better film.

Hallmark Movie Poster!   
When Love Springs
(Spring Into Love • Rhiannon Fish and James William O'Halloran • May 6, 2023)
While the PLEASE PRETEND TO BE MY BOYFRIEND BECAUSE MY EX IS HERE! trope has been done to death, this one doesn't have much to add to the formula to make it worthwhile. One the contrary, parts of it are so cringe that it's painful to watch. Though James William O'Halloran does have pretty good comedic timing and does a pretty good job with the stuff he's been handed, so there's that. Otherwise? Hallmark is asking a heck of a lot.

Hallmark Movie Poster!   
✓ BAD! Love in Zion: A National Park Romance
(Spring Into Love • Cindy Busby and David Gridleyn • May 20, 2023)
Yeah, no. Just no. I stopped watching once the stupid became too overwhelming. I thought that I could put aside what a horrific mess of a movie this is and focus on the scenery to have something to enjoy about it... but there was no way. Cindy Busby is a white woman who's an expert on the Anasazi Native American culture receives some vases that were donated to her museum after a woman dies. BUT ONE VASE IS MISSING IN THE SET OF FOUR! And since her colonizer intuition is tingling, she decides to head to Zion National Park so she can be the white savior the Anasazi People and their culture by solving the mystery of the vase! It's like... holy shit. Haven't we had enough of this nonsense? I don't even care if ultimately she returned the three vases to their rightful owners after she found the fourth one... I couldn't stomach another minute of this hot garbage. And do you know how RARE it is that I dump out of a Hallmark movie?!?

Hallmark Movie Poster!   
Wedding Season
(June Weddings • Stephanie Bennett and Casey Deidrick • June 3, 2023)
The premise of this film seemed dicey (woman exploits her three friends and their weddings to write an article to impress her boss), but it kinda redeemed itself in the end. And yet... the story itself felt kinda slimy, and I don't get how they thought it was going to work. Though casting Casey Deidrick, who was amazing in In The Dark, was a step in the right direction. In the end, I just couldn't buy into the movie and didn't really enjoy it. Probably because it has the same name of one of the best rom-coms ever made on Netflix.

Hallmark Movie Poster!   
Love's Greek to Me
(June Weddings • Torrey DeVitto and Yannis Tsimitselis • June 10, 2023)
The entire time I was watching this movie I was thinking back to Marina Sirtis in My Summer Prince (2016) where she was fantastic... because this time they have her as an overbearing Greek mom and it was almost unbearable to watch, despite her being great in the role. The only reason to watch it would be to tune in for the incredible Santorini scenery (truly one of the most beautiful places on earth). Otherwise we get a surprise proposal where the actual couple and their relationship is shoved aside for a battle between Torrey DeVitto and Marina Sirtis. And it's okay. It just seems like a waste of Santorini and Marina Sirtis.

Hallmark Movie Poster!   
✓ Favorite The Wedding Contract
(June Weddings • Becca Tobin and Jake Epstein • June 17, 2023)
Thank heavens. We finally got Jewish Hannukah movies for the holidays, now we're finally getting a Jewish wedding movie during June Weddings. Jake Epstein, who was gold in Eight Gifts of Hanukkah (2021) really knows how to inhabit these movies, and had good chemistry with Becca Tobin to sell the story. Which is essentially a Jewish version of Meet The Parents, but with two mothers-in-law battling through wedding planning from start to finish. Like most Hallmark movies, there's no challenges here, as the conflict is centered on the character's moms, but it is a nice watch just because it has a different feel hovering over the same story we've seen already. The fact that it's remarkably sweet, funny, and charming is just icing on the cake.

Hallmark Movie Poster!   
✓ Okay Make Me a Match
(June Weddings • Rushi Kota and Eva Bourne • June 24, 2023)
Few things are more exciting that the gorgeous spectacle that is an Indian Wedding. Which is why I was happy to see that in addition to a Jewish wedding, we'd be getting an Indian wedding as well. The story is a bit cringe... it's basically a woman exploiting a matchmaker to create a dating app that can make matches with a high success rate. Except this is impossible, because Indian matchmaking can't be reduced to a computer program in your phone. By the time the woman figures this out (and falls in love with the matchmaker's son, natch) you get carried along with another culture that's not a copy/paste of every other Hallmark wedding movie. The movie was a pleasant surprise, though I wish it had a better budget and really sunk its teeth into an actual Indian wedding. Once again I'm going to bring up the Netflix movie Wedding Season, which did it so much better. But even so... it's nice to have Hallmark finally start giving us new window dressing for the same old story.

Hallmark Movie Poster!   
A Royal Christmas Crush
(Christmas in July • Katie Cassidy and Stephen Huszar • July 8, 2023)
I unapologetically maintain that Stephen Huszar is Hallmark's best-kept secret. He's regularly shoved into supporting roles where he excels, so it's nice when he's given a leading role. But before we get to that, it's important to mention that the movie leads actually starting dating during the making of the film, which means the chemistry on-screen is really real. It's also important to note that this is the first movie I can remember seeing where the lead character has visible tattoos! Katie Cassidy's arm tattoos are on full display early in the movie. BUT ANYWAY. Katie Cassidy's uncle designs an ice hotel in the pan-Scandinavian country of "Friorland" where people inexplicably have pan-European accents. AND ONLY HER AMERICAN INTERIOR DESIGN SKILLS CAN SAVE THE PROJECT! Her uncle is a bit of a Dr. Who in that the hotel is bigger on the inside than the outside, not that it matters. Because the real story in this film is the comic book villains Brigitta and Von Trier. Their shenanigans to doom the blossoming romance between Prince Stephen Huszar and Tattooed American Designer are absurd, but there's not much else.

Hallmark Movie Poster!   
✓ Good Take Me Back for Christmas
(Christmas in July • Vanessa Lengies and Corey Sevier • July 15, 2023)
Okay, we get two Christmas in July movies this year, and this one is clearly superior. A woman wishes for a different life and, thanks to yet another Hallmark Magic Santa, wakes up to find that she has the life she always dreamed about... except her and her husband aren't together. She makes it her mission to get him back. Except... her mother, who died in her other life, is alive in this one. Which adds a spin to this oft-told-tale that's very much welcome. I enjoyed how everything played out, and how everything comes together to lead to a really nice conclusion. No, the story isn't new, but this version is very well-done from every angle, which was a nice surprise considering I expected to be bored to death.

Hallmark Movie Poster!   
Aloha Heart
(Summer Nights • Taylor Cole and Kanoa Goo • July 29, 2023)
A conservationist heads to Hawaii for her friend's wedding. There she meets the manager of the resort who was given the job by his parents (who own it). From there she decides to school the manager on how to be more eco-conscious and disaster looms for the pending nuptials. Thrilling. And oh-so-romantic. What's disappointing is that Taylor Cole and Kanoa Goo gave it their all and deserved so much better. They could have gone a dozen different directions with the story, but this is what they went with? Bummer.

Hallmark Movie Poster!   
Making Waves
(Summer Nights • Holland Roden and Corey Cott • August 5, 2023)
Look. I fully understand that there will always be a level of suspension of belief when it comes to Hallmark Channel movies. The writers are more about the romance angle than logic, and everything else is secondary. This is true on even my most favorite movies, and I can usually get past it. But this latest movie is just so outrageous that I couldn't get past it. A woman toiling at a record label convinces her ditzy boss that she should sign a band called "The Figure 8's" then goes back to where she grew up because that's where the band is at. AND... HOLY CATS! ONE OF HER OLDEST FRIENDS (and old crush) IS THE LEAD SINGER OF THE BAND! AND SHE HAD NO IDEA! Because apparently she's too dense to Google the band... and nobody who has ever seen the band ever took a photo?? WHAT THE HECK? That's not just illogical... it's offensively illogical. Why wouldn't she Google the band before going to meet with them? Is she a lunatic? Does she smoke crack? Apparently! This is the depths that Hallmark has reached.

Hallmark Movie Poster!   
✓ BAD A Safari Romance
(Summer Nights • Andrew Walker and Brittany Bristow • August 12, 2023)
This film is hilarious. I was dying watching it. Almost literally... I choked on my salad. "THAT'S A REAL-LIFE GIRAFFE!" How Andrew Walker read that in the script and thought "Yes! That's what a real person would say!" I honestly don't know. And while we're on the unbelievable... good Lord, Hallmark... I get how you hired the whitest white woman ever to write a story about a white man falling in love with a white woman (sporting her Africa continent necklace)... but having a Black woman unironically say "Oh white woman... you are so smart and resourceful! How I admire you! I don't know how you manage to work part-time and finish your PHD... your life must be so hard!" (or whatever the heck that was) is just bonkers. Are there any persons of color in your script review process to flag this absolute nonsense?

Hallmark Movie Poster!   
Never Too Late to Celebrate
(Summer Nights • Alexa PenaVega and Carlos PenaVega • August 19, 2023)
The only thing more painful than the artificial way that they shoehorned Mexican culture into this movie is Carlos PenaVega's frosted tips. Woman seeks to recapture her lost Mexican heritage by taking Spanish lessons with a teacher at her mom's school. She gets a lot more than that as ol' frosty tips drags her through a blur of all things Mexican. What's so frustrating is that it would be so great to have a good movie revolve around Mexican culture which didn't rely on having to hand-hold the gringos in such a fake outing as this.

Hallmark Movie Poster!   
Napa Ever After
(Summer Nights • Denise Boutté and Colin Lawrence • August 26, 2023)
Partner attorney inherits her grandma's winery in Napa. Decides to pause her career for six months so she can renovate the vineyard operation. Fortunately a strapping local (and his daughter) is on-hand to give her a hand. So to speak. And good thing too... because she's COMPLETELY HELPLESS WITH EVERYTHING! She can't even do minor work without looking like she walked through a hurricane with sticks in her hair and everything.

Hallmark Movie Poster!   
Love in the Great Smoky Mountains: A National Park Romance
(Fall Into Love • Arielle Kebbel and Zach Roerig • September 2, 2023)
Joy. Another movie with a white woman saving Native American culture for Native Americans. Sure there's Native American characters in the movie, but they aren't allowed to headline it? This is so embarrassing for Hallmark, and the only thing worth watching here is the scenery. Because the utter nonsense of this woman "discovering" a secret cave from legend that nobody has discovered before even though the Native American character LITERALLY DREW A MAP TO IT? Not enough eyerolls.

Hallmark Movie Poster!   
Fourth Down and Love
(Fall Into Love • Pascale Hutton and Ryan Paevey • September 9, 2023)
Groan. GRROOOOOOOAN! The people in these movies are all too often completely ignorant of their actual careers. Photographers using the wrong lens. Designers not knowing how to communicate with their work. Executives not knowing how to run a company. It gets really, really old. And now we have an NFL player who doesn't understand sports injuries despite having just been out on an injury. "I know I have a bunch of fractured ribs, but you gotta let me play, coach! It's just downhill from there. Pro football player gets injured (again) and goes back home where his college sweetheart just happens to be. There it's one cliché after another... right down to coaching his niece's girls' football team and "ZOMG! I HAVE TO LEAVE BEFORE I CAN DIRECT THE CHRISTMAS PLAY!" Oops. I means "ZOMG! I HAVE TO LEAVE BEFORE I CAN COACH THE BIG GAME!" Are Hallmark writers really so uncreative that they can't come up with one of hundreds of options that haven't been done to death?

Hallmark Movie Poster!   
✓ GoodNotes of Autumn
(Fall Into Love • Ashley Williams, Luke Macfarlane, Marcus Rosner, and Peter Porte • September 16, 2023)
The whole "Let's switch homes to get out of our ruts!" trope has been used to death... but this has a nice take on it. First of all, one of the couples is two men, which makes this a fresh take for Hallmark regardless of the story. Second of all, there's a third fictional story with some surprising casting for Hallmark fans which made me like it even more than I already was. Best friends Ashley Williams and Luke Macfarlane decide to switch places to get inspired in their lives. And of course they meet the friends of their friend which leads to romance. But, in the end, this was a fun watch that was bucking a trend of boring sameness that Hallmark seems stuck in. Maybe THEY need to switch places with somebody?

Hallmark Movie Poster!   
✓ GoodRetreat to You
(Fall Into Love • Emilie Ullerup and Peter Mooney • September 23, 2023)
This is an okay story about a couple of high school friends getting lost in the woods after 17 years apart while at a retreat... that's elevated by the two leads. Emilie Ullerup has been in some Hallmark movies before, but Peter Mooney I only remember from Rookie Blue a decade ago. He's got some surprisingly vulnerable scenes that he completely nails and she's consistently good throughout. I could have done without some idiotic pratfalls that were not at all funny or entertaining, but overall it's worth a watch.


Hallmark Channel Originals 2023

Hallmark Movie Poster!   
A Nashville Legacy
(Mahogany • Andrea Lewis and Pooch Hall • February 26, 2023)
Haven't seen yet.


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