If you were a 90s kid, one of the family-friendly shows you may have watched was CBS’, short-lived Christy. Based on the classic by Catherine Marshall, it’s the television show that gave recognition to titular star Kellie Martin. Since then, her roles have been something I have kept an eye on.
Smooch (2011) Hallmark Film Review
Fairy-tales and frogs are what Zoe’s life is all about. She’s enamored with her storybooks – her favorite story being The Frog Prince. This is much to the dismay of her hard-working, single mother, Gwen (Martin). Zoe (Kiernan Shipka) has it in her head that even fantasies from fiction can come true and that her daddy wants his girls to move on; to find someone who will cherish them as he had. During a school experiment, Zoe sets free her frog and gives him a kiss but when a momentary distraction takes her eyes off her amphibian friend, she thinks she’s found her very own frog prince.
Turns out, Percy (Simon Kassianides) is suffering a touch of amnesia after losing his memory. Zoe takes home the confused Brit, hoping he’s the answer to all her dilemma! First, she must convince her mother that Percy is the right man for the job – as her new “manny.”
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Once in a blue moon something so charming comes along that you forget (almost) its flaws. Smooch is such a tale. (Even the name makes it impossible to resist!) Though a smaller markert, Hallmark wants to make its mark on the trend that is re-tooling fairy tales. Modernizing the “Frog Prince” story is the subject here, and lacks no shortage of pizazz. The opening of the film re-enacts Zoe’s tale and is a slap-happy demonstration of over exaggerated imaginary, which may lead you to believe that the entire film is when in fact, it isn’t a case of silly theatrics.
As a mother-daughter story, this is adorable. Kellie and Kiernan are good together, and adding Percy to the mix is just what both need for different reasons. (The picnic scene is precious!) His honest and upstanding manners are hilarious in this setting, but is also (even in a loose sense) a reminder of the kind of guy we should hope to find. The script isn’t brilliant but complements to the writers for how well they handle the scenes between Percy and Zoe (some of which needed the careful touch). When all is said and done, there’s something that I cannot put my finger on; suffice to say, delightful is the best word I can use to describe Smooch.
That said, the staging is sometimes “off,” and the music sometimes plays up the sappiness of the moment. All of the acting is good and I thought the two leads share a nice easy-going chemistry but it’s Kiernan who steals the show. She’s adorable. From finding “Percy” and hauling him to the bathtub (in a shopping cart, no less) to her hiding him, fearing discovery, she carries her character very well.
If you like any modern fairy tale, chances are this will rank among them. Putting a spin on a classic isn’t always easy but again, with its adorable ending and charismatic characters, this one is simply enchanting.‘Smooch’: A Cute and Fun Romance from Hallmark! A review of the 2011 film from Hallmark with Kellie Martin & Kiernan Shipka. #Hallmarkies #Hallmark #Romance #CleanRomance #FWArchives Click To Tweet
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Content: There is a kiss or two. Twelve-year-olds navigate school crushes. Zoe sasses her mother on occasion. Out on the town, Percy becomes drunk once while at a bar.
Photos: Hallmark Channel / Crown Media Productions