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“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights...”
~ James 1:17

Tuesday, September 12, 2023

🎬 My Latest Movie Reviews - 2 Hits πŸ‘πŸ‘ 2 Misses πŸ‘ŽπŸ‘Ž - SEE HERE:




I wanted to share my thoughts today on four recent movies I watched. One of the movies, in particular, left me with such a passionate viewpoint, I simply had to share my take with all of you.

Three of the movies I'm reviewing aired on Great American Family, Learning to Love, 10 Steps to Love, and Dream Wedding, and one of the movies premiered on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, The More Love Grows.

Please be sure to let me know what you think of my reviews or these movies in comments below.



MOVIE REVIEWS:



🎬 Learning to Love – This sweet, lighthearted movie is an ideal romantic comedy for all ages. Children will enjoy that there are two young girls in the story. However, I do want to caution that at two different times in the movie, the sisters are disrespectful and disobedient to two different nannies. They are, eventually, reprimanded for their bad behavior. Overall, the chemistry between the leads is a bit lackluster, but it’s still an enjoyable, heartwarming story. All of the faith elements truly touched my heart, and I was happy to watch the nanny, Steph, gradually bring faith back to Harry and his daughters. ~Net



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🎬 10 Steps to Love – I truly enjoyed this delightful rom-com. Mind you, some of the acting isn’t top-notch, and it took me a few minutes to get into the story, but as soon as Sophie visited the apple orchard and met Mason and his family, I was hooked! Sophie and Mason had wonderful chemistry together, and you could feel their sincere desire to come up with a business plan to save the orchard. Everything about this movie is sweet, including Mason’s mother’s special apple bacon nutmeg ice cream recipe! This movie is sure to leave you feeling good inside and give you the desire to take a trip to your local apple orchard. 10 Steps to Love is sweet as pie, apple pie, of course! ~Net



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🎬 Dream Wedding – Oh boy, what can I say? This movie was just plain awful. Due to pressure from her little sister, Rebecca Dalton’s character, Kate Wilde, claims a dream wedding prize, although she isn’t engaged and she doesn’t even have a boyfriend. Jesse Hutch portrays Andy Swenson, a photographer who sets Kate up with a fake fiancΓ©, Paul Thompson, a bodybuilder and model, who is basically an airhead completely obsessed with his looks, muscles, and tattoos. For me, he wasn’t appealing, but Kate seemed to think he was drop-dead gorgeous. I usually try to find the silver lining in movies, but for me, this movie had none other than the fact that the leading stars, Rebecca Dalton and Jesse Hutch, are great actors who simply needed a much better script. ~Net



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🎬 The More Love Grows – (this review contains Spoilers) I agree with a lot of the other reviews on this movie. At first, I was totally Team Helen! I wanted Rachel Boston’s character, Helen, to move on with her life after her husband, Paul, of 20 YEARS, walked out on her and requested a separation. I also loved the story with the dogs (by the way, who doesn’t know dogs can’t eat chocolate?), and Helen’s new eccentric friend, Cindy, was such an interesting character, but I didn’t like it at all when Paul wanted to try one more time to save their marriage, and Helen said no, she knew moving away was really what he wanted, even though he was pleading to give their marriage one more try. That part of the story really disappointed me. Sure, Paul was a jerk for initially wanting a separation, but they were married 20 years and have a daughter, Aly, together, so saving their marriage should have been a priority. Helen seemed way too eager to end it and move on with her new friend, Ben.

Plus, the title of the movie is “The More Love Grows.” Helen’s mother’s advice was – “The more you tend it, the more love grows.” That is truly beautiful advice, but apparently, Helen decided not to take it. Instead of tending to her marriage and trying to hold on to it, she decided to let it go. It was truly disheartening to see this story about divorce, which made it appear to be easy. I believe "The More Love Grows" is a disillusioned view of the heartbreak separation and divorce typically brings to a husband and wife and their family. Please know, I realize divorce is not always the fault of both individuals; however, in this case, Helen is given another chance to make her marriage work and without taking time to even think about it, she declines to try.

"Heartland" fans will recognize one of the supporting characters, Alisha Newton (Georgie). Alisha portrayed the daughter’s college roommate, who is a carefree slacker who wears sleazy clothing and likes partying. She influences Aly to skip classes and take part in the party life. That sort of lifestyle was thankfully shown to be wrong, and it hurt Aly’s chances of keeping her scholarship.

Another star spotted in the movie was Andrea Brooks ("When Calls the Heart"), who, in one short scene, had a cameo role as a yoga instructor.

Overall, the acting in "The More Love Grows" is excellent, but the storyline with Helen and Paul suddenly ending their marriage so easily left me feeling very disappointed. Husbands and wives should take their marriage very seriously; it is a sacred commitment and covenant before The Lord. This movie is a Hallmark glossed-over version of divorce, and it is definitely not a keeper for me. ~Net



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So... that's my latest reviews. Did you have the same opinion, or do you have differing views on these movies?

A special thank you to Maria, Florence, Clara, melnewlife, CH Mom, Susan Ann, Paula, Joan, MPT, and 2 Anonymous reviewers for previously sharing your movie reviews of these films with us. You can read their reviews of these movies by clicking on their movie titles: Learning to Love, 10 Steps to Love, Dream Wedding, and The More Love Grows.

If anyone else would like to share your thoughts on these movies or others, please feel free to share in comments.

Happy movie-watching!
Net 🎬


44 comments:

  1. I only fully watched and reviewed the Top 2 movies, so I agree with you reviews of those movies. -Maria

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    1. Hi Maria - I just wanted to wish you a Happy Birthday today! I hope you have a very enjoyable day as you celebrate #22! (I think you may be one of our youngest IAWM family members!) And thank you for all of your movie reviews and other thoughts that you share with us!

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    2. Maria, Thank you! I always appreciate your great reviews, too! :)

      I also wanted to say...

      πŸŽ‚πŸŽ‰ HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MARIA!!! πŸŽ‚πŸŽ‰

      I hope your day is beautiful... filled with lots of sunshine and laughter! ☀️

      You have become such a dear friend here and a special part of this It's a Wonderful Movie family!

      Sending you heartfelt wishes for a joyful celebration and a year ahead that brings you good times with family, lots of fun movies to watch, and many wonderful reasons to smile!

      πŸŽ‚πŸŽ‰ HAPPY BIRTHDAY, again!!! πŸŽ‚πŸŽ‰

      God's Blessings to You on your special day and in this year to come!!! Net

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    3. Thank you so much Net! I love this site, and I hope you will keep this site going for many more years to come.

      And I also have some good news to share from Deadline: Great American Family and Pure Flix have rebranded to Great American Pure Flix, and Bill Abbott did a long interview with the site:

      https://deadline.com/2023/09/great-american-media-bill-abbott-pure-flix-faith-family-programming-interview-1235545223/

      -Maria

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    4. Maria, Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful interview with us!

      I'm especially loving this exchange with Deadline and Bill Abbott...

      DEADLINE: Is there a strategy you have for original series? Is there any old titles you’d love to dust off?

      ABBOTT: We did a Christmas movie around When Hope Calls a couple of years ago. We think that there’s a lot of merit to continuing that as an original series.

      My response is... Yes! Yes! Yes! Please continue When Hope Calls; it is such a beautiful, heartwarming series. But please, if you do, Grace must come and visit Lillian here and there, and Chuck must visit his mother, or it just won't be the same without them!!! :)

      This gives me some hope! ~Net

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    5. Maria, I pray your birthday is filled with many blessings and sweet things today!! You have become a dear friend to all of us here! πŸŽ‚HaPPY BiRTHDaY!!πŸŽ‰

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    6. Thanks Mark! -Maria

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    7. Hope you had a great Birthday, Maria with lots of nice prezzies - Florence

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    8. I did Florence, in fact, my presents were some very nice Hallmark movies I've enjoyed in the past, including the big 9 film collection that this site featured earlier this year! -Maria

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    9. Maria, I think I know the DVD you may be referring to. Is that the one with Love at First Dance and Tulips in Spring? Those are two of my classic Hallmark favorites. That is such an excellent gift!

      So happy to hear you had such a great birthday! :)

      Happy movie watching this weekend!
      Blessings to you, Net

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    10. You are correct, Net! :) -Maria

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  2. I am not really fan of allowing husband to have fun with one night stands or to live with another woman for some time and then allowing him return to home, so i actually understand Helene from The more love grow. People should carefully think through their decision about divorce. Helene clearly accepted it and for her their marriage became a closed chapter.

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    1. I agree with what you are saying here. Was it mentioned or implied that Paul was with someone else? Did I miss something? ~Net

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    2. You didn't miss anything. The husband said that they had just grown apart and didn't try hard enough to reconnect, and she agreed. I really liked the movie but then again, I usually like any movie that Rachel Boston is in (especially A Gift of Miracles). I didn't watch any of the three GAC movies so I cannot comment on those. But the couple of GAC movies that I did watch (at least part of) were pretty awful. I'm Team Hallmark all the way!

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    3. I’m team Hallmark as well. GAC really should consider filming fewer movies and make them higher QUALITY. They feel so low-budget, except the ones w the big names.
      That said, I hate where Hallmark is headed. I find myself buying up all the older films on DVD when they were clean and witty and fun. Does anyone know if the movie this Saturday (abt trading houses/lives) includes a gay male couple? That’s what the trailer seems to imply, but I’d really like to know before I DVR (and support) it. That’s why I came on here today. I’m disappointed there are no previews for this weekend’s lineup. I really rely on these posts!πŸ’›

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    4. Anonymous, Yes, the new movie from Hallmark this weekend includes a male same-sex couple.

      You visited today just a few minutes before my weekend post came out.

      See here:
      https://itsawonderfulmovie.blogspot.com/2023/09/find-your-perfect-fall-movie-match-this.html

      It looks like a lot of the new movies coming this Autumn and Christmas to Great American Family will be quality films - so stay tuned!!! :)

      Blessings, Net

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    5. I can see what you're saying Anonymous.

      At the minute I think Hallmark has the better movies to GAC but recently a lot of GAC's output has been "acquired" and while some have been below par others have been really good.

      I see Net is calling the new Fall and Christmas movies "quality" and I hope she's right.

      Certainly there many great pairings but we'll have to wait and see about the scripting.

      I was expecting great things last Christmas but along with others here found the movies at best average with tired old plots - tbh there were none that I would rush to re-watch.

      Really hoping they can really prove their mettle this year - Florence

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    6. Absolutely! I want so much to love GAC! I feel sick when I think how quickly Hallmark has embraced the inappropriate. I still buy DVDs of old shows that are family viewing. Last week I ordered “If I Only Had Christmas.” My favorites are the ones w snappy, witty dialog. (“Walking the Dog,” “Love at the Thanksgiving Day Parade,” “Window Wonderland,” etc). So far, GAC has not had anything clever like that. I will keep watching, but I hope they get some better writers, as well as put a higher budget w fewer films. I want films to watch over and over and over.πŸ’›

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  3. Delighted to read your review of Dream Wedding, Net.

    So often I am a minority (sometimes of 1!) with my reviews but you always manage to see the best in things so when you say

    "I usually try to find the silver lining in movies, but for me, this movie had none"

    you know it must be bad.

    I feel vindicated.

    A truly awful movie - Florence

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    1. Florence, Oh yeah, we definitely share the same opinion on this one. That is so funny how you said, "I feel vindicated."

      It's most unfortunate two great actors had to be in such a terrible story. ~Net

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  4. Thank you Net, for including my movie reviews, which do tend to align with yours. I haven't yet watched "Learning to Love", but I'll post my thoughts on that one ASAP. Thanks again for giving us a platform to critique these TV movies.

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    1. MPT, I also appreciate your reviews very much!

      I hope you enjoy "Learning to Love." Like I said, the romance is a little lackluster, but the faith part of the story is what touched me.

      I'll look forward to hearing your thoughts on it. ~Net

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  5. Thank you for your reviews Net. Because of your review on 10 Steps to Love, I am going to record it tonight. I know it was on one day and I was watching on and off cause i was doing chores. I thought i might like it being the orchard theme. I will give it a try and watch fully. I did see bits and pieces of The More Love Grows. I had feared by the end of the movie she would declare her love for Warren Christie character, so I am glad that didn't happen. I can't see it getting a part 2 cause ratings weren't good, but many movies have bad ratings and get a sequel so who knows. It was sad to see the daughter when she found out her parents were divorcing, and that family home, no longer her whole family home.

    Thank you for the reviews and I look froward to 10 steps to love.

    Sabrina

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    1. Sabrina, I hope you enjoy watching "10 Steps to Love". It did take me a few minutes to really get into it, but it ends up being such a sweet story. Mason's old-fashioned country charm is really what pulled me in to the movie.

      Happy watching! Net

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  6. Hey Net - Did you see that you hit another milestone - 28 million visits!! Your popularity just grows and grows...and no doubt it is because of all of your hard work on this site! I know many of us have said this before, but don't ever think that we don't know and appreciate everything that you do! You are a blessing to all of us visitors, and I for one know that my faith is stronger because of you and everyone else here who shares their beliefs!

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    1. Mark 25, Oh my goodness, I noticed it was getting close last week, and today I saw that it went over.

      Wow! I'm truly overwhelmed by each and every one of you who visits and shares. It also blesses me when I see some of you interact and comment back and forth with one another, like your special birthday greeting to Maria today.

      Your special words above truly touched my heart today. I'm so grateful this blog has brought together so many great friends, who share the same similar values.

      I know The Lord has brought so many of you here and for that, I'm so grateful!

      I appreciate you noticing this special milestone, for taking the to share, and for being such a special member of this It's a Wonderful Movie family!

      It won't be long before we're *Mark*ing under 25th together! Blessings, Net

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    2. Ah, that's amazing!! -Maria

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    3. Oops... that should be -
      *Mark*ing another 25th together!

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  7. Thank you for these thorough reviews Net!
    I so appreciate the time you put into these, many movies I have watched based on your recommendation and the recommendation of others here on the blog. And Happy Birthday Maria 😊
    ~Paula

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    1. Paula, Thank you so much! I so appreciate you and hearing your thoughts on movies, etc...

      So good to hear you've enjoyed many movies based on reviews here, as well! ~Net

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    2. Thanks, Paula! -Maria

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  8. I just wanted to say I loved When Love Grows, the acting was great and I’m sorry, her husband was a jerk and I’m glad she moved on, too bad he didn’t think of the consequences before he left.
    On the brighter side, I just watched Sara Drew’s new movie and I have to say it was one of the best movies Hallmark has had in years, the acting, the story, just had me emotional the whole time, excellent movie!
    Susan Ann~

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    1. Susan Ann, Thank you for sharing this review with us. I do agree that the acting in "When Love Grows" is excellent, and I appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts with us on both movies.

      I shared your review for "When Love Grows" here:
      https://itsawonderfulmovie.blogspot.com/2023/06/hallmark-announces-august-2023-movie.html

      And your review for "Guiding Emily" here:
      https://itsawonderfulmovie.blogspot.com/2023/07/hallmark-announces-september-2023-movie.html

      Blessings! Net

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  9. Happiest of birthday to you Maria. Yes, you are definitely young! I am jealous. LOL

    Net, thank you for your reviews and for passing another huge milestone. I simply adore you and this site. I have never met you but I know we would be instant friends. :-)

    I agree with you on these latest reviews. I liked the ones you liked and disliked the ones you didn't. The 'Dream Wedding' was a complete disaster. It was terrible.

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    1. Thanks, Joan and KitKat! -Maria

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    2. Joan, Oh my goodness... Your sweet comment instantly warmed my heart! God bless you! I'm sure we would be best of friends in person! That is sooo sweet. I'm so glad you are a part of this It's a Wonderful Movie family!

      *Hugs* to you, my friend! Net

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    3. Hi Net,

      You are very welcome! Hugs back at you my friend!
      And thank you for your sweet words too. :-)

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  10. There isn't a lot of time for me to spend watching movies now but when the time changes again, I will catch up. Maybe. I did enjoy 10 Steps To Love and Learning To Love. I did not watch the other two.

    Happy Birthday Maria! Hope it has been a beautiful day.

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  11. Dream Wedding is awfully movie & what’s up with camcorder? Kate & Megan are Sisters, they’re joking around to enter local wedding expo when one of them to win a wedding package. Joanna McKenzie is a sleazy lady who works for Bob Heins, snooping around Kate. Megan & Drew are getting married. Later on, Kate & Andy are getting married the next day after Megan & Drew’s Wedding Day.

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  12. I'm so glad that you pointed out that "Georgie" from "Heartland" was in "The More Love Grows." I didn't recognize her (we are several seasons behind with "Heartland") so I am recording the movie again to catch her. Thanks for everything you do! Amy G.

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    1. Amy G., So wonderful to hear from you! I'm glad I could share this "Heartland" cast news with you.

      Alisha Newton (Georgie) is all grown up, (well, college age), in "The More Love Grows." She was such a young girl when she joined the cast of "Heartland."

      Thank you for your sweet comment; again, I enjoyed hearing from you! :)
      Blessings, Net

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    2. Alisha Newton as Dana & Alex Rose as Justin are in “The More Love Grows”, their Uncle passed away who owned the dog named Duke (Rachel Boston’s character named the dog named Elmer)

      What’s kind breed of dog is Elmer?

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  13. GAF’s “Learning to Love” is an inspirational story about a woman who’s new to the Miami area and who takes a job as a tutor for a wealthy architect’s two daughters. The chemistry between Stephanie (Ina BarrΓ³n) and Harry (Philip Boyd) went beyond their blossoming romantic relationship and demonstrated their mutual love for the two girls (who, by the way, were terrific in their roles). Stephanie’s outward love of God helps Harry finally overcome the loss of his wife and open his heart to romance again. And Stephanie’s optimism, bubbly personality, and strong Christian faith brings Harry and the girls back in the fold, where they can flourish as a family.

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    1. MPT, Thank you for this lovely review of “Learning to Love.” I'm so glad you also enjoyed the faith elements in this film.

      Your review was posted here:
      https://itsawonderfulmovie.blogspot.com/2023/07/great-american-family-august-summer-movies-schedule-2023.html

      Blessings to you! Net

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