Hallmark Knocks It Out of the Park With "Five More Minutes"

Five More Minutes Plot Summary A woman's Christmas wish is answered in unexpected ways when her late grandfather's journal turns up and reveals an untold romance.  Starring :  Nikki DeLoach and David Haydn-Jones Image:  Crown Media Five More Minutes Achieves the Hallmark Gold Standard Hallmark was once synonymous with good storytelling and clean movies you could immerse yourself in to escape the cares and stresses of this world. When Wonya Lucas took over as Crown Media CEO, fans noticed an immediate an unwelcome shift.  As if we aren't confronted with politics at every turn already, Hallmark began weaving political talking points into their movies, such as feminine empowerment, racial diversity, homosexuality, and social "justice" issues.  Hallmark is no longer a safe space where you can let down your guard.  If you possess conservative values, you must now filter the movies and ignore the agenda behind the scripts or change the channel when the usual wokeness

Hallmark's "A Christmas Treasure" Shows Why Singers Should Stick With Singing

 A Christmas Treasure Plot Summary

After opening a 100-year old time capsule and meeting a charming chef, Lou questions whether or not she should move to New York after Christmas and further her writing career.

Starring:  Jordin Sparks and Michael Xavier

Jordin Sparks and Michael Xavier star in Hallmark's "A Christmas Treasure"
Image:  Crown Media

Jordin Sparks Wows With Her Singing, Not Her Acting

Have you ever heard of the Peter Principle?  It's a term sociologists use to describe how people rise to their highest level of incompetence.  When people are good at their jobs, they continue to be promoted until they reach a level where they are inept.

Fabulous singers often attempt crossing over into acting, and though some are brilliant at both, it's rare.  Successful singers-turned-actors include people like Will Smith, Queen Latifah, and Cher.  In the class of legendary singers who bomb as actors we have Madonna, Mariah Carey, and Prince. 

Jordin Sparks is an uber talented singer who rose to fame via American Idol, and in A Christmas Treasure, we are treated to hearing her belt out O, Holy Night and This Christmas.

Jordin Sparks in Hallmark's "A Christmas Treasure"
Image:  Crown Media

Hallmark could include talented singers in their movies without casting them as the main characters, especially when their acting is sub-par.

Let's just think back to Fall Harvest's Roadhouse Romance.  Lauren Alaina stars opposite our beloved Tyler Hynes in this movie, and her acting falls completely flat despite her talented vocals.  Hallmark fans still bemoan the horrid acting by Mariah Carey in A Christmas Melody, even though that was released clear back in 2015!  Wynona Judd fans may have enjoyed her in 2020's A Nashville Christmas Carol, but her acting is never great--and she's been cast in a lot of roles outside of Hallmark.  

Hallmark scores big when they use Broadway stars who can both sing and act.  Just think Kristen Chenoweth in A Christmas Love Story or One Royal Holiday with Aaron Tveit and Laura Osnes.  There are many Hallmark "regulars" who are actors who happen to be able to carry a tune, too, like Niall Matter, Lucas Bryant, Jessy Schram, Jesse Metcalfe, Jessica Lowndes, and Alicia Witt.  

As lovely as Jordin Sparks' voice is, her acting is unemotional and monotone.  

There's a lot of eating in this movie, and Sparks is awful at pretending to eat. Did you notice how obvious she made it look to be biting an empty fork?

A Christmas Treasure Isn't The Best Script

It's important for a movie to make sense whether it is cheesy and cliché or not.  

The worst part of the script is this:  Lou has been working on a novel for 8 years, and she's just now starting chapter three.  Yet, we're supposed to believe it's a smart move for her to relocate to New York City--one of the most expensive cities in the USA--to pursue this dream.  

Statistics vary, depending where you look, on how many manuscripts are submitted to publishers annually.  Some claim it's close to 300,000 new titles while others insist it's over a million. Less than one percent of these submissions result in publication.  

If Lou writes a well-crafted novel, becoming a successful author isn't impossible, but the odds are against her.  It makes no sense to leave her job and live without employment in an expensive city, even though she's splitting the rent with someone, when the chance for failure is so high.  The smart alternative is to finish the book right where she is without giving up her regular income.  After all, she's not married and has no kids, so she definitely should be able to carve out more time to write than most.

How many Hallmark plots about writers do we need anyway?

Who decided Marcy's winning entry in the "Taste of Christmas" contest should be called Caroler's Stew?  Viewers get to see the recipe and can take note of the apostrophe, but since beef stew contains beef and chicken stew has chicken, what's the main ingredient in caroler's stew?  

Marcy's stew supply is running low, so she scans the crowd, looking for more carolers. Image: Crown Media

Hallmark fans fell in love with the idea of time capsules after watching the third Evergreen installment, but this idea is being recycled.  It's still fun, but it capitalizes on another movie's success instead of generating original content.

Movie-Sparks Correlation

Lou's mom is white and her dad is black because a memo must have gone out at Hallmark saying diversity dictates a biracial couple be incorporated  into every movie these days.  I'm wondering how Robyn Bradley feels about it--the actress who plays Lou's mom.  She's been in several Hallmark supporting roles, but she came across as cold, sour, and unloving in this one.   

Lou's parents, with mom attempting to smile for a change.  Image:  Crown Media

Interestingly, Sparks does have a white mom and a black dad, so maybe Hallmark was trying to keep in real for her.

Jordin Sparks's parents
Jordin's parents.

Regardless, A Christmas Treasure is a blah 2021 release that isn't worth watching more than once.


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