Hearts of Spring (2016)

18% – Critics
18% – Audience

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Hearts of Spring Movie Reviews

Bland hearts

This is not coming from somebody who immediately hates on anything made by Hallmark. Have actually many Hallmark films in all their seasonal blockings, and quite a lot of them to me were above average. There are also ones that many fellow Hallmark regular viewers disliked that to me were not that bad while still being very flawed. Was hoping deep down that ‘Hearts of Spring’ would be one of those, despite not caring for the previous 2016 Spring Fling film ‘All Yours’, as the premise did sound cute.

‘Hearts of Spring’ just didn’t work and do have to agree with all the criticisms pretty much. Don’t think it is quite as bad as has been said, with there being a few redeeming qualities, but there is a lot wrong with it and it is another case of the worst aspects being awfully executed. ‘Hearts of Spring’ is not quite one of the worst 2016 Hallmark films (think ‘Unleashing Mr Darcy’, ‘Ms Matched’), but it never reaches mediocre at best level. There were some good Hallmark films in 2016, this is not one of them.

Michael Shanks does a good job in his role, with a nice easy going charm and subtle charisma, and did find his character mostly quite likeable up to a point. The supporting cast do more than competently with what they have, despite their material mostly being quite weak.

Production values are quite lovely, especially the scenery.

Lisa Whelchel however tries far too hard throughout with more exaggerated mannerisms and gestures than one can count. Also really disliked her character, too smug and self-righteous, and her cold treatment of Shanks’ character. A character who is much more likeable and easier to get behind, but he comes over as too nice and desperate in the latter stages when he didn’t need or deserve to, which was frustrating. The two have no chemistry or spark together, the relationship is underdeveloped, too underplayed and progresses suddenly too late in a contrived way.

As others have said, the writing and story are very weak. The dialogue is very artificial and never has a natural flow, also found it very cheesy to cringe worthy effect and at times juvenile. The story is very thin and predictable, with a lot of draggy pacing and very heavy on overplayed contrivances. The conflict lacks tension and feels really forced and like it was shoehorned into the film, while the ending is too neat in a way that doesn’t make any sense.

Concluding, very mediocre and that is being kind. 4/10.

Their parenting views

Lisa Whelchel who has been mostly doing the Christian entertainment circuit since leaving The Facts Of Life in the 80s stars in this Hallmark Channel movie with her own daughter Clancy Cauble playing her own daughter in Hearts Of Spring. The resemblance is unmistakable and does add a note of realism to their scenes.

I wonder how many Hallmark viewers caught that this was a remake of The Shop Around The Corner with a reverse twist. In that Ernst Lubitsch classic co-workers James Stewart and Margaret Sullavan bicker constantly at the department store they work for. But are passionate correspondents by mail.

To update it to the 21st century, Whelchel is a florist who is a blogger who writes an Ann Landers like column on being a single parent. Her views are diametrically opposed by Dr. Michael Shanks who is also a single parent and replies to her with his own screen name. They get a running feud going and entertain her internet followers.

But when Whelchel and Shanks meet in real life it’s the real deal for romance. Unlike in The Shop Around The Corner where it’s the characters they create in their letters where Stewart and Sullavan fall for each other. Still if you are a fan of the Ernst Lubitsch classic you know where this is going.

Hearts Of Spring is a pleasant easy to take film, but I wonder how many watching this recognized the origin.

Very enjoyable and easy to watch

I haven’t yet read the reviews, and seeing the overall rating of 5.9 compared to my 8, I imagine I’m outside the main stream of Hearts of Spring. I really enjoyed it.

The two main characters were great, I enjoyed their interaction with each other and I thought their chemistry was enjoyable. Their development with each other from beginning to end was strong.

I’m not real familiar with Lisa Whelchel but she stood out in this movie and I enjoyed her, I favorited her. Same with Michael Shanks. I will follow both of them.

Very nice movie.