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Benicio Del Toro,
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DeeDee returns to her hometown with her 11 year old son, Trooper, 13 years after she ran off with her boyfriend. Her childhood best friend, Sam, is now married and he and his wife, Lydia, are the town's veterinarians. Lydia is a little wary about DeeDee after Sam tells her that they were best friends growing up and DeeDee was his first crush. But DeeDee and Trooper find their way into many hearts of the townspeople with their sweet helpfulness and friendships. DeeDee sets up a candle making business in town square and invites many of the ladies of the town to weekly candle making parties, and through these parties she and Lydia become good friends. One evening after dinner with Lydia and Sam, DeeDee tells Sam she's very sick and she doesn't have much longer to live and she needs his help to find a good family in town to adopt Trooper. Sam later tells Lydia everything and they decide to adopt Trooper themselves if/when something happens to DeeDee. Written by
Sometimes reading some of the other weird reviews provoke me and I am forced to respond. In the first place, there was criticism for the awkwardly done lip-syncing scenes that would have been better left out of the finished product. There were about three scenes that involved some singing, and the first one was done with such fun and spirit and without any concern for the musical aspects, it's hard to see how it could have been done lip-syncing. The other two involved groups of people singing, led both times by Polly Bergen. I don't remember where I first discovered her, but of course everybody knows her roles in such movies as the original "Cape Fear", as Gregory Peck's wife, and "The Winds of War", as Robert Mitchum's wife, and it's obvious that singing was not something she was particularly known, for, not that it would make her uncomfortable - she jumped right into it, singing a James Taylor song, and then a church hymn. How that would have been lip-synced is a bit puzzling. How would Polly Bergen lip-sync her own voice, or why would she? Another frequent criticism of Hallmark productions is their saccharine quality, which some complain about for their dangers to diabetic viewers. It's pretty obvious that sort of criticism must come from those who are under the influence of the "Friends"-"Everybody Loves Raymond"-"Seinfeld"-"Cheers"-"I Love Lucy" etc etc etc syndrome, and nothing is permitted to be played without a generous laugh track. Even a sad story is required to have a generous supply of gags or else it might have the cardinal sin of being syrupy and emotional. This is what this production is perhaps guilty of, as it does not try to pretend it is anything but a very tragic story. But it is something that I don't mind watching if I can see that there are no false moves on the part of any of the actors and it's all believable. I especially admire the way Alicia Silverstone played her part, and the makeup artist who very subtly changed her (authentic) look as she went through the various stages of the story. In fact all the cast were worthy of special mention, but I want to single out Mathew Knight especially, who was only about 12 years old when this movie was released. I have seen him in some other Hallmark movies and think he is a very talented young man, or else credit could probably be claimed by whoever coaches him to make his role utterly believable.
These stories about life in a small town, even if they are filmed around Halifax Nova Scotia, are enough to bring back memories of the way a certain farm looked at a certain time of day, what it was like to come out of a barn with a generous shadow before you, the treatment of the foaling of a horse without glossing over any of the technicalities of veterinary practice. The only thing that might be somewhat questionable would be how well fitted out the veterinarian in the story is with clinic and home lab and animal cages, etc. But perhaps that is to be expected - most Hallmark movies seem to be about people who are comfortable, if not affluent.
There was another scene that called for emergency vehicles, but I won't say any more than that. It could have been done with some special effects, and perhaps it was to some extent, but for the most part what you saw on screen was what was really happening, and I would fault the production for doing that scene with such a profligate waste of natural resources, even if the effect was to show something that was really happening.
Some Hallmark movies are done in a lighter vein, or with more emphasis on a romance between two characters, but this one is something that stays with you, and although I've seen it once or twice before, I feel that just seeing it again was worth the time. Some other very good movies don't seem as appealing for multiple viewings.
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