Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Movie Review: 'Til Death Do Us Part - An Aurora Teagarden Mystery

Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Characters, mystery, wedding
Cons: The obvious budget issues for the wedding (which are universal to TV weddings)
The Bottom Line:
Roe and Nick’s big day
But must solve a murder first
Great movie for fans

“Why Do I Bother with Pleasantries?  I Should Have Known You Two Would Be Up to Something Ghoulish.”

We have reached a major milestone for me – this is the first time I am watching a wedding in a Hallmark movie.  Granted, I tend to stick to the mystery movies, but this is the first time a mystery franchise has lasted long enough to get the main couple down the aisle.  Even then, it took Aurora Teagarden two boyfriends and sixteen movies to get there.  Naturally, Roe and her fiancĂ©, Nick Miller, have to solve a murder before they can get to the wedding in ‘Til Death Do Us Part.

As the movie opens, it is four days before the wedding, and the guests are beginning to arrive.  Roe (Candace Cameron Bure) is thrilled that Nick (Niall Matter) is finally going to meet her father, Charles.  Meanwhile, Sally (Lexa Doig) and Aida (Marilu Henner) are still trying to nail down the final details of the wedding, not always agreeing on what they should be.

In the middle of all of this comes word that a human skeleton has been found buried under concrete in a warehouse that is being renovated.  One of Aida’s clients has just bought the warehouse, and the previous owner was one of Charles’s friends from when he lived in town.  When the remains are identified as belonging to Sam Woods, Charlies realizes he knows the victim.  With her dad now caught up in a twenty-four-year-old murder, Roe can’t help but try to figure out what is going on.  Can she solve it before her wedding?

If you are at all familiar with this Hallmark movie franchise, you won’t be surprised to learn that Roe gets clues and hunches at the absolutely worst time given all that is involved in a wedding.  That adds some comedy to the movie, and I’m not complaining in the slightest.

We get a fabulous mystery here.  The suspects are good, and the twists kept me engaged.  I wasn’t sure what was going on until we reached the end.  Because the suspects are people Roe knows, it seems to hit a bit closer to home, which contrasts with the happy subject of a wedding, yet the movie balances the two perfectly.

Because of the wedding, the movie doesn’t focus exclusively on the mystery.  I’m happy about that.  If it had we wouldn’t have been satisfied as fans.  Newcomers to the franchise might not be quite as invested as long time fans are, but it is a minor issue, and the mystery does still take up the majority of the running time.

Which brings us to the wedding itself.  I am of two minds about it.  The first is a complaint that I have had with many TV weddings – the lack of a budget to do the wedding right.  Oh, I’m not complaining about the looks of the wedding, which was wonderful.  But poor Nick didn’t even get his brother to come be his best man?  Seriously?  And I’m not buying that excuse they gave.  It just always feels like the budget constraints are an issue.  I’m just picking on this movie, but I have felt that way about most weddings I watch on TV, even on hit TV shows.  Also, what was up with Aida’s purse?  She looked awkward carrying it as she walked up and down the aisle.

On the other hand, when we got to the ceremony itself, it was wonderful.  No, we didn’t see the entire thing, but I absolutely enjoyed what we got to see.  It fit the characters and the franchise perfectly.

If you’ve been following the Aurora Teagarden movies for a while, you’ll be satisfied with ‘Til Death Do Us Part.  Catch it as soon as you can.

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