Top positive review
July 7, 2019
This is a three-pack of Hallmark movies with a summer theme, of sorts. None of the movies included would probably be considered classics or top-ten movies, but all of them are watchable and decent Hallmark movies.
Summer of Dreams:
This is basically a Hallmark variation of the down-on-their-luck teacher who takes over a down-on-their-luck kids music group with the requisite happy ending. In this one, Debbie Gibson, a real-life famous singer plays a movie famous singer who loses her contract and moves back home with her sister. She ends up agreeing to teach an after-school class of kids preparing to sing at the prom. She also meets the school counselor. Gibson does a relatively decent job in her role. She has some chemistry with the counselor character. I wouldn't call it one of the most engaging romantic pairings ever, but it does work. The movie is fairly predictable throughout. This movie has Pascale Hutton as the sister character. She is another Hallmark star who does a good job in this movie too.
I think this is the best of the three movies. This one is the story of a widowed mother who drops her daughter off to summer camp and then heads off to a summer internship at a tech company. She is a good student but a bit more traditional and is surrounded by younger tech-savvy interns. She ends up working for the chief financial officer who is supposedly a tough boss. The CEO of the company is a bit more free-wheeling and immediately takes a liking to the main character. However, it becomes clear fairly early on that she will not end up with him. This movie ends up being a variation on the new guy creates a winning strategy formula. It is done fairly well and ends up being a feel-good story, even though there are a few bumps along the way. The main character in this movie is played by Rachael Leigh Cook, of 90s teen-flick. She does a really good job with her character but is somewhat less convincing as a romantic partner. There is a little chemistry between her and her eventual pairing, but it could be better. The characters are very likable in this movie and it's just different enough from most Hallmark movies to be engaging.
This is the hardest of the three movies to rate. The scenery is gorgeous in this movie with rolling vineyards and and lake scenes. Most of the characters are very likable and do a good job with their roles. However, the movie is non-typical in that it starts out with the eventual couple already being together as new owners of a vineyard. In this movie, they end up getting the chance to host an annual wine-tasting festival but there are hiccups and issues with it. There is also a side-story about a brother and cousin getting together that never gets very well-developed. The main characters in the movie are played by Rachael Leigh Cooke and Brendan Penny, two fairly well-known actors for Hallmark movies. They do a good job as usual, but don't seem very convincing as a couple. They don't actually seem to be in love with each other as much as they are with their duties at the vineyard. This is kind of an interesting movie because it's a bit different than the usual Hallmark movie but I would say it's probably the second-best movie in this collection.