Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Good mystery bring past to modern times
Cons: 70’s fashion not represented; one sub-plot; usual cheese
The Bottom Line:
Wedding dress with clue
To an open mystery
That happened in past
An Old Dress Reopens the Mystery of the Missing Groom
It’s always tricky when you try to use a mystery from the past and bring it into the present. You have to make sure that the story has consequences for someone in the present, so that adds an extra layer to the story. The Garage Sale Mysteries on the Hallmark Movies and Mysteries Channel have all had an element of the past in them so far, but none as pronounced as The Wedding Dress. While the movie isn’t perfect, it does handle the past and present coming together perfectly.
Jennifer Shannon (Lori Laughlin), garage sale enthusiast and owner of Rags to Riches, never passes up an estate sale. And she’s found a real treasure at the most recent one – a wedding dress from a top designer in excellent condition. She should be able to sell it and make a nice profit.
However, when Jennifer examines it closer, she finds a hidden pocket with a blood stain in it. Always up for solving a mystery, she begins to dig into the history of the dress, even tracking down the bride, (Cheryl Ladd). She soon learns that the groom vanished between the wedding and the reception and was never heard from again. With the bloody pocket, Jennifer thinks she may know what happened. Is she correct?
This was actually a good mystery. It may be 35 years since the groom disappeared, but the story unfolds logically as we watch Jennifer try to piece things together. I didn’t have things figured out before the ending, although I felt foolish for not picking up on it beforehand.
On the other hand, I did have a sub-plot involving her husband pegged from the get go. And can I just say that women who won’t tell their husbands what is bothering them are bigger idiots than they think men are? Seriously, that entire sub-plot annoyed me like crazy.
I’m sad to say that Jennifer’s son Logan is not in this movie. I’ve always loved the character and the way the actor interacted with Lori Laughlin. Instead, he spends the movie at computer camp. Looks like he’s been recast for the next one, which means all of Jennifer’s family has been recast at this point.
The acting is standard for a movie in this franchise with a hint of cheese to it, something that is not helped along by the dialogue the actors are forced to say. Know what you are facing going into the movie, and you’ll be fine.
But can we get to my real complaint about the film? If you’ve done the math, you’ll figure out that the wedding that started the entire thing took place in 1979. And yet, the actors and the styles that everyone wore look like it could have been a wedding from last week. And we get several flashbacks to that wedding, too. It always threw me out of the film. And you know it’s obvious if I’m commenting on it since I know nothing about fashion.
Overall, The Wedding Dress is a decent mystery that will entertain you for an hour and a half. And really, what more could you want?