This spring The Hallmark Channel debuted four new and original movies to kickoff the season. Here is my review and ranking of this season’s movie premiers. I am categorizing each movie into various sections to support the ranking. Each movie will list the pros and cons in these areas: acting, writing, setting, engagement. I start the list with my least favorite movie of the Spring Fling 2020 premier, counting down to my favorite. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this season’s movies in the comment section, and if you have the same ranking. This post may contain spoilers/ information viewers who have not seen the movies may want to experience by watching instead of reading, first.
Spring fling 2020 movie ranking:
“Cleo Morelli, an aspiring Portland chef, tries to win a food truck competition while the competition tries to win her heart.” – The Hallmark Channel
RATING: 1.5/5 Stars
I freaking LOVE Natalie Hall. In fact, I just watched another one of her movies last night! She bring bubbly energy to all of her roles and I can’t help but smile when she’s on screen. In this movie, she is like that long lost best friend I’m reconnecting with. I enjoyed her interpretation of her character’s motivations and she delivered a great range of emotions. Michael Rady is another phenomenal actor (it wouldn’t be The Hallmark Channel if there was anything less, amirite?). He was not who I would have pictured in this role but he by far exceeded my expectations and I liked the rustic/ adventurous spirit he brought to the table (literally). His ability to roll with the punches and make it look like second nature was fun to watch.
Not to sound harsh, but this script was horrible in my opinion. I couldn’t tell you how many times I just sat staring at the television embarrassed. I honestly feel like the script was a major disservice to the actors and everyone working on You’re Bacon Me Crazy. The “awkward” moments were stale, weird, and felt out of touch for the Hallmark Channel audience. It was as if I was watching a movie that was mislabeled and supposed to premier on a children’s channel. I didn’t enjoy the tone of the scrip and how much back and forth was involved. It felt as if three or four different movies were chopped up and then sewed together. There was too much contradicting dialogue and too much packed into one movie. I think this would have run a lot smoother if the writers focused on one thing instead of packing in two goals: the food truck competition and the restaurant. The restaurant would have been a killer hook for a sequel- I would actually watch a sequel if it focusses EXCLUSIVELY on that storyline and the development of where the movie ended with the restaurant decision. In marketing there is a term “brand confusion” this movie was the definition of such thing. At times Cleo was this hip, up to date Portland Millennial then at times she was this unknowledgeable, flighty Millennial- it was very contradicting and confusing.
I thought the setting was cute! I loved the twist with showcasing food trucks instead of restaurants a lot of the other food based Hallmark Channel movies write in. I was disappointed that we had yet another major city/ Portland movie but I quickly got over that with the visuals and amazing locations the scouts selected for the scenes. They were almost good enough for me to forget about the horrendous script.
The progression at times hard to follow, the information was overbearing, and there were multiple times I was bored during this. I had high hopes for this movie and it turned out to be a major disappointment. I would not watch this movie again. The only thing saving this movie from being a complete failure in my eyes was the casting and the focus on food trucks- that was clever.
“City girl Katie is writing a magazine feature on a glamping resort. Far from sporty, she faces her fears trying the camp’s activities with help from Will, a rugged outdoorsman and nature guide.”- The Hallmark Channel
RATING: 4/5 Stars
I was excited to see both Christopher Russel and Emilie Ullerup in a NEW Hallmark Channel movie beacause I feel like I don’t see them as much as I would like to. They are both majorly underrated actors on the channel and I like that these two were the lead in this movie. Emilie is one of my favorites for those comedic moments and Christopher is great in these scenes, as well- he really has a knack for the punny/ sarcastic scenes and can deliver those quite well. Both Emilie and Christopher were able to utilize those talents through Nature of Love while sprinkling in more serious and heartfelt moments.
Overall I enjoyed the script. There were a few things that I would have wanted to see differently but examining this movie overall, I am content and would recommend others watch this movie. At times I was a bit confused by the progression but it was surrounding more supporting versus major scenes and characters, so it didn’t pull the focus off of plot or derail the path the writers had set the characters on.
This was finny. At times the scenes were absolutely stunning and amazing then the contrast would be with an incredibly obvious green screen or digital background that was cringeworthy. But, as odd as this was at times, it wasn’t bad enough to completely pull away from the storyline.
The soundtrack was stuck in my head after I watched this and I felt so uplifted and happy. This movie was incredibly cute- slightly cheesy, but that’s why I love it! I would watch this again and be excited to experience it a second time around.
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“After years organizing fashion in the city, Lauren decides to move home. In exchange for her organizing services, mover Rob makes it his mission to help her see the beauty of Seattle.” – The Hallmark Channel
RATING: 4/5 Stars. I would watch this movie again.
Kat and Kendrick had amazing chemistry! It wasn’t cringe worthy to watch or feel forced. I appreciate the diversity in this casting. It was refreshing to see two talented non-caucasian actors having their moment to represent more of the community and display their path to success both personally and professionally. I love that the Hallmark Channel provided an opportunity for young children to see how people color can succeed especially with how much prejudice can surround our society.
As many times as we’ve seen this variation from the Hallmark Channel, Fashionably Yours brought a sense of freshness that I wasn’t expecting. In all honest I was prepared for this to be my least favorite movie of the Spring Fling 2020, but the writing caught me off guard. There was the perfect balance between humor, cynicism, and vulnerability while encompassing those childlike innocent dreams, turning them into adult goals.
A+ location in my opinion. I didn’t find anything in the background and think “green screen alert”. Overall the setting was believable and easy on the eyes. The design team did an excellent job prepping and contributing to the movie.
This movies comes in second for me because I enjoy the casting and the script. Overall the movie flowed well. The scenes were easy to follow without appearing to be dumbed down or predictable. The locations and backdrop were
Pop culture writer and aspiring novelist Vanessa Sills lands the interview of a lifetime with the illustrious, elusive and reclusive mystery author Martin Clayborne in his quaint rural town only to realize her own aspirations, dreams and romantic life have taken a back seat along the way. When Vanessa returns home to Portland and a mysterious gift arrives from Martin, she then makes a surprise decision, and finally takes her own advice to “go boldly in the direction of your dreams and live the life you imagine.” -The Hallmark Channel
RATING: 5/5 Stars
Bethany Joy Lenz is by far one of my favorite actresses. I know her from back in the day of One Tree Hill. A few years ago when she started appearing on the channel, I became more excited. As her other movies, Just My Type was phenomenal. Bethany brought her A- game to set and helped deliver a performance that truly connects viewers to her character and the movie. I found myself attached to this storyline more so than other movies. Each tiny facial expression, head nod, and “awkward” moment she portrayed helped bridge the gap between some character in a movie to what we all may go through in various seasons of life. On the flip side, I couldn’t recall previous movies Brett Dalton had been in that I watched. I know I’ve seen his other work, but I couldn’t place him because his acting never really stood out to me- until this movie. When I think of Brett Dalton I will automatically associate him with Just My Type. I enjoyed the emotional journey he took us on. I could feel every crossroad he came to and understood his character decisions as if they were a debate of my own. His energy, interpretation of the script, and the chemistry with Bethany’s character were top notch and I could not imagine this movie without him. Bethany and Brett worked in harmony to achieve this Spring Fling masterpiece.
The script was witty, heartfelt and adventurous while feeling like home. The dialogue was smooth and the scripted awkwardness wasn’t cringe worthy or redundant. I also enjoyed the supporting character’s dialogue. Oftentimes I’m annoyed with the lines the best friend or family members deliver but I can tell how much intentionality and time was put into creating this particular script. I particularly loved the symbolism and puns incorporated. The screenwriters did a phenomenal job of zooming out of the character’s adult lives and showed us how their childhood dreams and behaviors had foreshadowed were they were today. It was all around refreshing to watch a movie that was about love but not the entirety of every single scene or line between the male and female lead. This movie showcase the importance of community support, confidence, and disciple in addition to true love. I particularly like how the relationship was developed between Vanessa and Martin. There wasn’t a big dramatic fall out or moment of betray- this movie showcased a very real side to navigating love and relationships that other Hallmark Channel movies have simply missed out on. Just My Type proves you don’t need scenes dripping with drama to deliver a beautiful love story. The natural journey of life mixed in with timing are compelling enough to tune in.
I loved everything about the locations. Throughout the entirety of the film I found myself wanting to visit the town and stop by all the places we see on screen. At commercial I even tried Googling for something similar near me!
I have watched this movie every time it has been on since the original premier and I have the next showtime scheduled in my calendar. I absolutely adore this movie and I find something new in it each time I watch. There aren’t many movies in general I willingly sit down to re-watch, but Just My Type is the exception. Next year is going to be difficult coming close and surpassing the likability and quality of this movie.