Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Movie Review: Hearts of Spring on The Hallmark Channel

My Review for Hearts of Spring, A Movie for The Hallmark Channel

Just in time for the warm weather season, Hearts of Spring is a delight and will bring a smile to full bloom on your face! It will also make you appreciate the beauty and special meaning of various flowers while restoring your hope in true love.

Lisa Whelchel leads the sweet story about a single mom (Carly Ashby) who is balancing the raising of her daughter Sadie (Clancy Cauble, who happens to be Lisa’s real-life daughter), with running her flower shop and blogging, which is her true passion. She blogs under the name, “Bestie Mom.”

Enter Dr. Andy Sommers (Michael Shanks), a pediatrician who’s popular with the ladies, and Lisa’s life is thrown off balance. Dr. Sommers moonlights online as “Jugglingdad.” He challenges Bestie Mom’s parenting advice to her readers with contrasting comments of his own. His challenging and at times, disparaging comments rile Lisa but at the same time, intrigue her and pique her interest. It is the back and forth banter and verbal brawl that drives more traffic to Lisa’s blog and makes the readers look forward to the next comment.

Lisa does not know that Andy is ‘Jugglingdad.’ When she first meets him, she falls in love with his personality and heart. He’s a good-looking guy but it’s their friendship and mutual respect for each other as parents that draws them close.

The tension between Andy and his son Troy is evident from the first few scenes of their interaction. It’s clear that Andy’s strict parenting style that he uses to raise his teenage son, is not working as well as he hoped. His son has moments where he resents his dad for keeping him on a short leash such as enforcing an early curfew on a school night. However, when Andy starts dating Carly, his rules begin to relax and he starts to listen to his son about his life instead of bossing him around and enforcing strict rules with no breathing room. It's clear from the start that Carly and Andy have their own unique challenges of raising their kids. It’s interesting how they end up helping each other better understand their kids. Andy’s advice to Carly about how to raise her daughter plays a significant role in this movie too.

The cinematography of this movie was colorful and well lit. I especially enjoyed the colors of Carly’s flower shop. The picture inside the store was vibrant and the flowers nearly come alive on the screen. The color scheme throughout the movie matched each scene and was the perfect hue. The lighting gently graced and enhanced the skin tones of the actors. The viewer of the movie truly saw the characters in their “best light.”

The tone of this movie is sweet and soft. There’s conflict but the tone remains calm despite the series of upsets. It gives the audience hope that the movie will end on an up note. However, there are moments that make you wonder how the story will pan out in the end, which is good because it keeps the viewer’s attention.

The instrumental music in the movie is used to whet the viewer’s appetite from the opening scene of the movie. It’s also used in strategic places in the movie to build tension. The music fits the movie like a tailored suit.

The acting is second to none. Each actor embodies their character and plays their role with ease and confidence. They truly make the viewer believe that Carly is a florist who’s not looking for love and that her daughter Sadie is a free spirit who wants to travel the world before going to college and that Dr. Andy Sommers needs a life outside of work and a wife.

I cannot share more without giving away the plot. I can say though, that this movie deserves a “thumbs up” for every point. It’s a beautiful story that’s relatable to real life.

Watch Hearts of Spring on The Hallmark Channel this Saturday night (April 9) at 9:00 p.m. (EST)

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