Each movie listed includes:
(1) Title (2) Rating (3) Genres (4) Starring (5) Synopsis (6) My Personal Review (7) Scoring 1-5
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Bottled With Love
Genres: Drama, Romance
Starring: Bethany Joy Lenz and Andrew Walker
Synopsis: After being stood up, Abbey gets inspired to open her heart in a letter, put it in a bottle and toss it out to sea. Months later, a man fishing discovers it and opts to reach out.
Review: This is such a special movie. Abbey is communicating via messages with the man who found her letter but slowly developing feelings for her coworker, Nick. Nick, the son of Abbey’s boss, is falling for the mysterious message woman but not sure about Abbey. We watch as they have a layered and realistic relationship in person and an ideal one via message. Waiting to see what will happen when they figure it all out made this movie really hold my attention. It’s a step above your typical love story.
A Brush With Love
Starring: Arielle Kebbel and Nick Bateman
Synopsis: Jamie Spellman struggles to balance her dream of painting with the reality of such a difficult career choice, while having to choose between two men who seem perfect, but for very different reasons.
Review: I loved the beauty and (pardon the pun) art of this movie. We see a woman trying to find herself but hesitating because of a lack of confidence in her abilities, the men in her life, and her own judgement. Using art to wind her path is an interesting approach and it’s a sweet story.
Genres: Comedy, Romance
Starring: Danica McKellar and Paul Greene
Synopsis: Feeling disconnected with her teenage son, a protective mother decides to step outside of her comfort zone and take him camping. But as soon as she arrives, she begins butting heads with her handsome cabin neighbor, a single father and outdoorsman who is also in search of a connection with his teen daughter. Friction soon sparks a flame as these opposites attract.
Review: Yes, I know this has many typical plot points. The single parents, opposites attract, and a vacation. But McKellar and Greene do such a good job with their characters, as do the children, that you can’t help but get sucked into the story. I won’t spoil the end, as if you didn’t predict it before watching it, but I’ll say this is one I enjoyed.
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Fantasy, Romance
Starring: Adrian Pasdar and Amy Huberman
Synopsis: Before an American company can build a smelting plant outside a small Irish village, they have to send their top troubleshooter to find a way around an antiquated law that protects the leprechauns supposedly living on the property.
Review: This is another movie I love. Besides the beauty and culture of Ireland, we have one of the things that makes Ireland so amazing, their magical tradition of leprechauns. As Michael tries to get Sarah to declare the land leprechaun free, he gets to experience all of Ireland from the people, the food, and the traditions. He doesn’t just fall for her; he falls for all of it. There’s a touch of magic in this movie.
Darby O’Gill and the Little People
Genres: Adventure, Family, Fantasy
Starring: Sean Connery, Albert Sharpe, and Janet Munro
Synopsis: A wily old codger matches wits with the King of the Leprechauns and helps play matchmaker for his daughter and the strapping lad who has replaced him as caretaker.
Review: This movie truly captures the fun and fancy of Ireland. The special effects aren’t bad for 1959. It really transported me. You get to see a fantastical land. I will say I remember watching this countless times as a child so I think it also takes me back there and may be why I enjoy it so much.
Flip That Romance
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Romance
Starring: Julie Gonzalo and Tyler Hynes
Synopsis: Rival house flippers, Jules Briggs and Lance Waddell, renovate dual sides of a duplex and rekindle an old romance.
Review: I love the way this relationship unfolded. It wasn’t completely expected or full of surprises. It was just the right combination of both. The remodeling of the duplex was more of a background setting. It was a means to an end rather than the main focus. It’s definitely worth a watch.
Hearts of Spring
Genres: Comedy, Romance
Starring: Lisa Whelchel and Michael Shanks
Synopsis: A successful mommy blogger decides to re-enter the world of dating and discovers the man she has been falling for is the same man she has been sparring with online.
Review: We expect the combating duo to eventually fall for each other. It’s only natural. Here we get to see the point of view of a super Mom blogger and her detractor. Of course, they’re falling in love in real life and eventually real life and the cyber relationship shall meet. The anticipation for that event, the fallout, and the reconciliation keep it interesting to watch.
Love Takes Flight
Starring: Nikki Deloach, Jeff Hephner, and Barbara Niven
Synopsis: Old, widowed Walter invites Quinn and her mom, Dr. Lizzie, for tea. There, Lizzie meets his son, Charley, a pilot she's just hired for the hospital. Both Walter and the 50+ years younger Quinn need a friend. Lizzie and Charley, too?
Review: It’s everything you’d expect from a Hallmark Hall of Fame movie. The story, acting, everything is top notch. The characters have depth and their relationships move the story. Walter and Quinn are really special. There was even a moment where I held my breath. Don’t miss this one.
Love To The Rescue
Genres: Comedy, Family, Romance
Starring: Nikki Deloach and Michael Rady
Synopsis: When two families want to adopt the same rescue dog, single mom Kate faces her fear of falling in love again after agreeing to shared custody of the pup with single dad Eric and his son.
Review: This one is so much fun. Kate who is just like Eric’s son and Eric is just like Kate’s daughter. This enables them to relate to each other and get along. The parallel between her animated short development and their relationship adds depth. Of course, the kids and dog add that extra awwww.
Lucky In Love
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Romance
Starring: Jessica Szohr and Deidre Hall
Synopsis: When Mira's April Fool's Day tricks materialize, she finds herself promoted to the perfect job, dating the perfect man and living in the perfect home. Mira's newly upgraded life even involves working with her CEO and her good friend, on a coveted work project. When these seemingly positive changes result in big challenges, Mira realizes that the pursuit of perfection is a fool's errand. In order to achieve a life that's perfect for her, Mira must let go of perfection and chase what brings her true happiness.
Review: This movie was different from many Hallmark movies in that Mira’s experience was the main plot line. The romantic relationships were secondary. We get to see someone learn that you have to be careful what you wish for, even though she technically didn’t wish for them but did want them, and to learn how to grow without leaving herself behind.
Moonlight In Vermont
Genres: Comedy, Romance
Starring: Lacey Chabert and Carlo Marks
Synopsis: After Fiona gets dumped, she escapes to her family's Vermont Inn for a few days to evaluate her life. When her ex Nate shows up with a new girlfriend, Fiona devises a plan to win him back: pretend head chef Derek is her new boyfriend.
Review: I know all Hallmarkies can predict the ending just from the synopsis. Don’t let that turn you away. There are some silly antics and some moving moments. I can’t talk specifics without ruining it but all the relationships and interactions are worth watching the movie for.
The Perfect Catch
Genres: Drama, Family, Romance
Starring: Nikki Deloach and Andrew Walker
Synopsis: Jessica, a single parent, owner of a struggling diner, finds the inspiration she needed when her high school boyfriend, Chase, a professional baseball player returns to town.
Review: The story has so many levels and moving parts yet stays so centered it’s easy to follow. It shows us that all too familiar situation where you let yourself hurt to make the person you care about happy. It also reminds us we have choices. What will Chase do? Will he follow his dream of a second chance or will he stay with the people he loves? Watch to find out.
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Family, Romance
Starring: Bethany Joy Lenz and Will Kemp
Synopsis: An NYC matchmaker is hired by a king to find his son a suitable wife in time for a national celebration. As the clock ticks towards her deadline, the matchmaker finds him the perfect wife -- only to realize that she's fallen in love with him.
Review: From the beginning I had trouble understanding how this American matchmaker was going to another country where she doesn’t understand royal ways to find the prince a match. It seemed far-fetched even as the story goes on. However, if you love the regular girl falling for the prince, and you’re willing to look past the oddness of her being hired, you’ll love that fairy tale aspect of it.
The Sweetest Heart
Genres: Drama, Romance
Starring: Julie Gonzalo and Chris McNally
Synopsis: Maddie, who owns a cupcake business, gets help from an investment banker, but a potential new romance between them is complicated by the unexpected return of her first love, Nate.
Review: This movie does a good job of highlighting how a first love always stays in your heart as well as how growing up can sometimes mean growing apart. It’s a little slow and expected but it’s still an enjoyable movie. Nate’s fellow doctor and Maddie’s assistant going back and forth with each other is an extra layer to enjoy.
True Love Blooms
Starring: Sara Rue and Jordan Bridges
Synopsis: Spring is in full bloom when urban gardener Vicki fights to save her community garden from a handsome real estate developer. Both are caught off guard when it's not just the flowers that are blooming, but also love.
Review: This is one of those movies where you can feel the passion the characters have for their points of view. They communicate it without making you feel preached to. I wasn’t sure how they’d find a compromise that would allow them to stay together and I was quite surprised.
Tulips In Spring
Genres: Drama, Comedy
Starring: Fiona Gubelmann and Lucas Bryant
Synopsis: An interior designer must halt her work on a big project in order to return home and assist her injured father at her family's tulip farm in rural Washington state.
Review: The movie manages to highlight tulips, as if they were another character, without getting so specific and wrapped up in the technicalities of growing them. The closeness of the family and the addition of Tom is moving.