Tuesday, January 05, 2021

Tonight's Movie: Sense, Sensibility & Snowmen (2019)

The Christmastide spirit continues here on Epiphany Eve with the Hallmark Channel's SENSE, SENSIBLITY & SNOWMEN (2019).

Erin Krakow (WHEN CALLS THE HEART) and Kimberley Sustad (CHRISTMAS BY STARLIGHT) play sisters Ella and Marianne Dashwood, who run a party planning business in Chicago.

Marianne is down-to-earth and practical, while the creative Ella is more free-spirited, leaving Marianne uncertain how committed Ella is to the business they inherited from their parents.

Ella's personality also initially clashes with an important new client, Edward Ferris (Luke Macfarlane), who has recently taken over running his family's Ferris Wheel Toys.  They first meet taking in a piece of modern art, to which they have very different reactions.

As they work with one another, Ella helps Edward open up to spontaneous fun and enjoying the Christmas season, while Edward gives Ella ideas on how to move forward creating concrete plans she can share with Marianne to grow their business.

I quite enjoyed this lighthearted film.  The plot is fairly simple, but it's played with charm by the leads.  The bubbly Krakow has very good chemistry with both Macfarlane, as the buttoned-up exec who learns to unbend, and with Sustad as the more uptight, responsible Marianne.  I frequently found myself smiling, which in and of itself seems like a good endorsement.

(But what's with Krakow's pronunciation of "Wabash"?  Maybe someone on the production staff should have Googled it...)

The script by Samantha Herman, based on a novel by Melissa de la Cruz, lightly riffs on Jane Austen character names and themes -- for instance, Marianne's new boyfriend is named Brandon (played by Jason McKinnon), Edward's assistant is Charlotte (Shiraine Haas), and Ella's competition is Lucy Steele (Anna Van Hooft) -- but just enough to provide fun moments of recognition without overpowering the rest of the story.

There's a lot of fun to be had as Ella and Edward gradually realize how their different personalities complement one another, and there's an enjoyable secondary romance between Marianne and Brandon.  I mark this one down as another winner from Hallmark.

This 83-minute film was directed by David Winning and filmed in Vancouver by Tyler Walzak.

It's available on DVD.


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