The Best & The Worst Of Hallmark's "Her Pen Pal"

Starring:  Mallory Jansen and Joshua Sasse

Released:  2021

Summary:  An event planner is put in charge of planning her best friend's Paris wedding, and she decides to reconnect with a childhood pen pal.

Have you ever visited Paris? Image: Crown Media

Her Pen Pal Is A Fun Movie

All-in-all, Her Pen Pal was an entertaining addition to the 2021 Summer Nights line-up.  Most fans loved it, with only a small number of dissenters saying it didn't keep their interest.  That's okay!  We're all allowed to have an opinion, and it's so lovely when we can disagree on these things amicably!

The movie scored big on some aspects and tanked on others.  Let's take a look at both.

The Best Parts Of Her Pen Pal

  • The movie setting is Paris--one of the world's most romantic cities!  Hallmark has filmed other movies in Paris too, like Paris, Wine, and Romance with Jen Lilley, but we could use more.  Hallmark gives us an inside peek at many famous landmarks, like the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe, and that is a real treat for those of us who may never travel overseas to see them in person. 
  • Jacques is exactly how you might picture a French man:  suave, self-confident, forthright, and dripping with romantic words and gestures.  Added bonus--who doesn't LOVE a French accent?
Is Joshua Sasse hot?  Oui oui! Image: Crown Media

  • The whole pen pal angle is fresh, not overused like so many Hallmark plots.  Since Victoria and Jacques corresponded for so many years, they really know each other in all the ways that matter, making a whirlwind romance more believable.
  • The ending parallels life a little more honestly.  While the viewer assumes Jacques will proceed with transforming his chateau into an event venue and Victoria will join him because she's gotten bored with wedding planning, nothing is finalized.  Victoria has a successfully established business to consider, and all of her family and friends live in the States.  Neither of them declare their love, as Hallmark couples typically do after spending ten seconds together.  Not having all the details hammered out for a fairytale ending is more realistic.

The Worst Parts Of Her Pen Pal  

  • Mallory Jansen is pretty and fits the part of a Hallmark leading lady, but she over-acts.
  • Victoria admits she doesn't cook and eats fast food almost every night.  Herein lies the movie's true fairytale--no one can eat from a drive-thru bag daily and stay that skinny.
In real life, that croissant would go straight to her thighs.  Image: Crown Media

  • Joshua Sasse is British--not French!  I want him to be French.  I knew I shouldn't have Googled his name and learned the truth!
  • Have you ever witnessed a husband fussing over his pregnant wife the way Seth does with Nathalie?  That was more than a tad ridiculous.
  • It seems like 75% of Hallmark movies cast their leading actors as writers or event planners.  There are literally hundreds of possible occupations these characters could have.  Not every movie needs to have a portable career.  
  • Hallmark has gone full-blown "woke" when it comes to their insistence on pairing couples in supporting roles from different races, and it's so blaringly obvious that it overshadows their stories. Don't hear what I'm not saying--I am not against diversity.  There is nothing wrong with interracial relationships.  What I'm saying is it's okay for Hallmark couples to be of the same race, whether they are Asian, black, white, Indian, Latino, etc.  Only 10.2 percent of America's population is in an interracial or interethnic marriage.  Judging from Hallmark's casting, you'd think that statistic is closer to 90%.  Hallmark's fan base is getting turned off by this woke garbage.  In Her Pen Pal, there are two couples in interracial relationships, and since this is happening in nearly every new movie, it comes across as forced and unnatural and too political rather than genuine.

Would You Watch It Again?

Fans often judge a Hallmark movie this way:  They either say, "I would watch it again," or "I'm erasing it from the DVR."

As long as the majority will vow to watch it again, the movie will survive.  

Would you watch Her Pen Pal again?

Most of us would.  It's not every day we get to visit Paris on the arm of a handsome Frenchman (who is really British). 

Dear Jacques--will you be my pen pal too? Image: Crown Media

Want To Take A Quiz On The Movie?

Want to take a fun 8-question quiz on this movie?  I usually include them in these blog posts, but I created one exclusively for our Facebook group:  Hallmark Movies-Seasons of Love.  If you're not already part of our Facebook community, we would love you to join us!  Click on the group link to join, and the quiz will be pinned under the "announcements" tab through the end of August 2021. 

Hallmark's "The Color of Rain" DVD GIVEAWAY!

Summer Is Winding Down

It's hard to believe kids will be heading back to school soon and that Labor Day is just around the corner--didn't summer just start?  

Don't worry, you still have time to do a few more cannon balls from the diving board.

Summer Nights movies are still showing on Hallmark Channel through August, so we are going to continue celebrating what's left of the season with a DVD giveaway!

What Are We Giving Away

We are giving away the DVD The Color of Rain, one of the most poignant stories told through a Hallmark movie.

If you've tried to find this DVD online, you know it's either unavailable, or people are asking a fortune!

The Color of Rain tells the true story of Gina Kell and Michael Spehn losing their spouses, finding love again, and blending their two families.  It is a tear-jerker!  

Read more about the Spehn family's true story.  

How Can You Win?

The only catch is that you have to be a member of our Facebook group, Hallmark Movies-Seasons of Love, to enter the giveaway drawing.  We hold periodic contests and giveaways in our group to show our members how much we appreciate them participating in our cozy, Hallmark community.

If you're not already a member of our Facebook group, just click the link above to join.  

You must also be a legal resident of the USA , age 18 years or older.  Unfortunately, this contest is not open to our international friends.

Once you've joined the group, click on the "announcements" tab where you will see a post about this contest, along with a link to this blog post that explains all the details.  Once you see that Facebook post, go to the comment section and let us know which Warren Christie Hallmark movie is your favoriteHe's been in fourThe Most Wonderful Time of the Year, The Color of Rain, If I Only Had Christmas, and Crashing Through the Snow.  

Do NOT respond at the bottom of this blog post with your favorite Warren Christie Movie!!  You must comment in the Facebook group

What's The Deadline?

We want everyone to have ample time to learn about this contest and join our Facebook group for a chance to win this rare and beloved DVD, so you can enter from now until Friday, August 20, 2021

The winner will be announced on Saturday, August 21, 2021.  The winner will then have until Tuesday, August 24, 2021, to contact the Facebook group admin with his or her mailing address.  Failure to provide an address by the deadline will result in forfeiture of the prize, and a new winner will be drawn.  Don't worry--the winner's address will be used for no other purpose than mailing the giveaway prize.

Giveaway Is Not Associated With Hallmark Or Facebook

This giveaway is offered by Hallmark Movies-Seasons of Love Facebook group and blog and not sponsored, endorsed, administered by, or associated with Facebook or Hallmark, and participating in this giveaway is done independently by each person.  Facebook and Hallmark are released from any responsibility to entrants or participants.

Help Keep More Giveaways Coming!

I'm just a blogger and Hallmark fan who loves hosting giveaways because they are so much fun for our Facebook group members.  

One way you can help me sponsor more giveaways is by shopping through my amazon affiliate links and visiting any of the google ads that appear on your screen that interest you.  I happily reinvest a portion of my earnings into contest prizes.  Thank-you! 

Hallmark's "The Baker's Son" Movie QUIZ!

Starring:  Eloise Mumford and Brant Daugherty 

Released:  2021

Summary:  When a baker who is known for his brilliantly made bread loses his magic touch, the local islanders panic over their loss and turn to the man's true love for help.

Childhood friends, adult sweethearts.  Image: Crown Media

Mayor Seeks To Revitalize Windward

Tourism is down in Windward, so Mayor Walter plans a Pioneer Days Festival to celebrate the island's 200th anniversary.

Mayor Walter Rasmussen is played by Haig Sutherland  Image: Crown Media

When Mrs. Dean brings a ballet troupe to Windward, it's just the break the town needs.  Mrs. Dean pulls a few strings, and the news media arrives to cover the story of a ballet company being in town.  

Matt Duval (Daugherty) is instantly smitten with the lead ballerina, Nicole (who is a real-life ballerina, by the way).  His infatuation inspires him to bake the best bread of his life.  When the TV crew tastes it, they are impressed enough to mention it in their broadcast, and it's just the plug the town needs.  

Nicole is played by real-life ballerina, Maude Green.  Image: Crown Media

Travelers flock to Windward for Matt's magic bread, but when Nicole decides to pursue her career instead of a life in Windward with Matt, his bread loses its flavor, and the townsfolk panic.  Patrons are leaving the bland bread on their plates, so residents hatch a plan to help Matt fall in love again so he can return to making his acclaimed bread that will boost their local industries.

Best Friends?

Annie McBride has been Matt's best friend since grade school, and they schedule a weekly movie night together, which strikes Matt's ex-girlfriend as weird.  They both consider their relationship platonic, at least until Matt is charmed by Nicole.  At that point, it dawns on Annie that she's loved him all along.  Since it hurts too much to be in the same community and watch Matt fall for another woman, Annie decides to sell her business and move away.  

Image: Crown Media

Matt is perplexed by Annie's cold shoulder, finds himself a little jealous when Annie starts dating Philip (the ballet director), and he is gutted when he learns she's leaving town.  The thought of losing her jolts him into the realization that she's his true love.  To prove it, he bakes bread again, and it's his best yet.  He rushes to the ferry to stop her from leaving, but it appears he's too late.  Lucky for him, Annie is still at the dock waiting for the next ferry, they declare their love, and all ends happily.

Does Windward Really Exist?

The Washington island town of Windward is fictional.  The movie was filmed mostly in a Vancouver Island.

For more information on where the various scenes were shot in Vancouver, check out this interesting article.  

Join Our Facebook Group!

Our Facebook group enjoys all seasons of Hallmark movies, and we have a lot of fun.  Join us!  You can find us here:

Not a fan of Facebook?  You can also connect with us on GabMeWeTwitter, and CloutHub!  

You Can Catch Mumford & Daugherty In These Hallmark Movies

Eloise Mumford:

Christmas with Holly (2012)

Just in Time for Christmas (2015)

A Veteran's Christmas (2018)

Brant Daugherty

Mingle All the Way (2018)

Timeless Love (2019)

FUN FACT:  When Daugherty was filming the dock scene for The Baker's Son, his wife gave birth to their first son!  They named the baby Wilder David.  You can read more about it here.