Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Movie Review: Redemption in Cherry Springs

Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Characters and setting are fantastic
Cons: Mystery a little easy
The Bottom Line:
When friend disappears
Melanie investigates
Light but fun movie

“I Find You Mentally Exhausting.  Does That Count as a Workout?”

For the second time in recent months, Hallmark has released a mystery movie with new characters they haven’t advertised as the first in a new franchise.  I went into Redemption in Cherry Springs with a complete blank slate, and I quickly found myself caught up with these new characters.

Melanie Abrams (Rochelle Aytes) has returned to Cherry Springs to sell her late mother’s home.  Not that she is in any hurry since it is giving her a chance to reconnect with her uncle Joe (Frankie Faison) and her childhood friends Rachel (Hanna Lee Sakakibara) and Diana (Hannah Barefoot).  What none of them know is that she is trying to hide from the fallout of a recent article she wrote for the Boston Chronicle.

Unfortunately, while Melanie is home, Rachel’s husband, Tony (Rajiv Sharma) vanishes.  He’d been acting strangely lately, but Rachel was expecting him to just vanish.  Will Melanie’s investigative report skills help her figure out what is going on?

As I said at the beginning, I knew nothing about these characters before sitting down to watch the movie, but I was quickly pulled into the story.  While there is a hint of underlying danger, we get a sense for these characters and their friendship quickly.  I was right at home and enjoying the cozy vibes I was getting.

Once the plot kicked into high gear, I was fully engaged in the mystery.  I fingered the perp early on, but I didn’t have the motive figured out until Melanie pieced it together at the end.  And the twists and turns were still enough to keep me entertained.

This was one of the better Hallmark mystery movies.  The acting and writing were both decent.  And that’s saying something considering how much exposition we got in the first few scenes.  We needed it to understand the characters and their relationships.  I appreciate how the writers tried to give us that information without making it an obvious data dump.

I am hoping we get at least one more movie with these characters since one plot thread was left purposely dangling at the end of the movie.  Well, that, and we need to see Melanie’s romance with Jake Collins (Keith D. Robinson), the new cop in town.

Even if Redemption in Cherry Springs doesn’t turn into a new franchise this movie is worth watching.  The characters and their relationships will make you feel right at home in no time.

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