Hallmark Channel, the channel that is made for that softly, candle cozy family gatherings, where no explosions are allowed, no gun shoot outs, no ninjas and no female strippers. And i can understand why, this is a channel that is especially made to make TV friendly movies for families who love romance, decorations, coffee moments. It is almost like walking into a world i don´t recognize ( except when you visit someone who clearly is a Hallmark addict ). In early 2003, i used to have Hallmark Channel on my decoder box. I did not choose the channel, it was included in the channel package. I can´t remember how many films i looked at during that time, but i would probably say 3 films, within a time period of 5 years. One of the films i do remember is a western film with actor Kevin Sorbo. The film is called Avenging Angel, where Kevin Sorbo plays a gun shooting preacher ( my kind of preacher, we should have more of those ). The film may not have been a masterpiece, but as a western film it was fun seeing Kevin Sorbo doing a western film with gun shootings ( though you did not see much violence, maybe because it was a Hallmark film ). Over the years, you can watch Hallmark Christmas movies on TV, where especially 2 channels in Sweden show different Hallmark films. My wife watch these films sometimes, and i recently watched 2 film with her. I can´t say i throught they were really good. But earlier this autumn i made a decision, that i would review a new Hallmark Christmas movie on my movie review blog. I knew this would be a risk to take, that i might choose a film that would be so corny, so soft, that i would fall asleep. But i ended up choosing a film called The Mistletoe Secret, where Dallas actor Patrick Duffy is included. Is this the greatest Christmas movie of all time, or should we cancel Christmas completely after seeing The Mistletoe Secret ?
Aria Eubank ( Kellie Pickler ) lives in the small town of Midway, who have been selected as one of the candidates to the travelling TV show Masters Of Travel Contest, what city is the best feature destination during Christmas. TV host Sterling Masters ( Christopher Russel ), sends Alex Bartlett ( Tyler Hynes ) to Midway, to make sure he digs deeper into what makes Midway a special place during Christmas.
I was prepared to have a bad experience with The Mistletoe Secret, since every Hallmark film is usually pretty bad, except for a few titles. But this is not as horrible as i expected, and we have especially one actor to thank for this. Legendary TV series actor Patrick Duffy, who most of you remember as Bobby Erwing in the TV hit show Dallas back in the 80´s. Even if this is not a great performance, there is something charming about seeing Patrick Duffy here in a Christmas movie. He has a natural way to make characters feel joyful. So is there anything else positive about this film ? The Mistletoe Secret does manage to bring out a Christmas feeling, especially from a small town perspective where everyone helps making the town prepare for the holidays. But let´s be honest here. If you are looking for great acting, you won´t find it in The Mistletoe Secret. Especially from lead actress Kellie Picker. She looks great, but when it comes to acting she needs to work more on her performance. I know that she is a singer as well, and to be honest i have only seen her before on American Idol, and not in any other film. Actor Tyler Hynes is also in this film ( who i especially remember from the Flatliners remake ). Unfortunately, his character is not anything special, and quite predictable. So that leaves us to the rest of the film, the contest if Midway will be chosen by a travel TV show of being the best Christmas location to visit. If the contest would have included some surprise, i might have enjoyed it more. But this film never really do much about the contest itself, and focus more on the romance between Aria and Alex. Director Terry Ingram clearly loves Christmas, but focus too much on predictable characters, than giving us anything unexpected. The Mistletoe Secret is probably a great choice if you are addicted on Hallmark Christmas movies, i personally feel that the only reason to watch this film is to see legendary TV actor Patrick Duffy deliver some Christmas joy. Who is up for a Christmas whiskey with me, and a Christmas meal ? I believe i might have more joy with this combination then what i had with The Mistletoe Secret.