Many Fans Disappointed By Hallmark's "Follow Me to Daisy Hills"

Starring:  Cindy Busby and Marshall Williams

Released:  2020

Summary:  A woman faces uneasy feelings when her father tries to save their failing family general store by calling in her ex-boyfriend for some help.

Image:  Crown Media

Cindy Busby and Marshall Williams Aren't Powerful Leads

We Hallmark fans have our favorite leading Hallmark actors, and when they star in a new movie, we can watch them over and over.  My favorite is Lacey Chabert, and I never grow tired of her.  For you, it may be someone else.

Across the board, Cindy Busby does not have a strong appeal with the Hallmark fan base. Ryan Paevey groupies enjoyed her in the Mr. Darcy movies, but when she popped up in consecutive seasonal releases--A Godwink Christmas:  Meant for Love, Love in the Forecast, Romance in the Air, and now Follow Me to Daisy Hills--fans are losing enthusiasm for movies where she's the lead.

Why can't Busby win over Hallmark fans?  She's cute, upbeat, and her acting performance is professional.

Many refer to her as "whiny," but I don't think that's the right word.  Her voice has a nasally sound, as if she suffers from perpetual sinus congestion, so maybe this is what fans mean.  

Think about your favorite Hallmark actress.  Now, think about the characters they play in the various Hallmark movies in which they have appeared.  They always act the same, don't they?  Regardless of the story, they portray the same type of character, so their "personality" for each character is always the same. We accept that and find it comforting most of the time, but Busby's mannerisms and movie persona grates on the nerves of many Hallmarkies.  

If you love Cindy Busby and disagree, you are entitled to your opinion.  It's okay to like her!  When you read posts on social media from die-hard Hallmark followers, however, you will find you're in the minority.

Marshall Williams is too soft-spoken and non-descript to convey a commanding presence on the screen.  He and Busby score a net-zero when it comes to chemistry.  Were you even able to focus on anything but his greasy, slicked-back hair?

One unexpected surprise in the movie is the kiss comes much earlier than normal, even though it isn't toe-curling or heart-stopping.  Many viewers say the couple looks too much like siblings to be romantically attached.  Do you agree?

Image:  Crown Media

Whacky Call to University of Iowa

Throughout the movie, Sofi Mason, Jo's sister, struggles to decide if she should pursue her dream of being a writer and going to the college her heart desires, the University of Iowa, or whether she should delay her education and help with the family general store.

Let's hope "Sofi" can write better than she can act.  

When Sofi falls asleep on the couch after writing an emotionally moving piece about her family and the general store, Jo sneaks off to the dining room table to read it.  She pauses for a quick trip to the kitchen to grab a wine bottle and wine glass that just happen to be sitting on the counter, waiting to be poured.  

Unless you're an alcoholic, who leaves wine bottles uncorked and sitting out on the counter?

After two sips of wine, Jo calls the University of Iowa and leaves a maniacal voicemail regarding why they should recruit her little sister, despite Sofi declining their acceptance.  Jo sends them Sofi's most recent piece, but in fact, she accidentally posts it to Iowa's page, causing it to go viral.

We're supposed to assume Jo gets tipsy from a couple drops of wine and that the University of Iowa is impressed by insane people who leave them emotionally crazed messages.  

Regardless, Sofi's article attracts people from everywhere who want to visit the general store, and the family business is saved!

Image:  Crown Media

How is This a Fall Movie?

One reason Hallmark fans have been hyped about new Fall Harvest releases is because we are anxious to experience the sights, smells, and "hallmarks" of the fall season.

Did you see any emblems of Fall in this movie?

Aside from the cast wearing light jackets and maybe a mum or two in hanging baskets, it could have been early spring.  No fall festival, cider sipping, pumpkin-themed activities, or any other component of this movie qualifies it to be worthy of a Fall Harvest line-up.

Do you feel let down?

Any Country General Stores Near You?

One redeeming quality of the movie is its focus on the charm of an old-time, country general store.

Is there a general store in your area?  If you've ever visited one, you know they are a quaint, blast-from-the-past.  

In the movie, people swarm the Daisy Hills General Store from miles around.  Think that sounds far-fetched?  It's not.

Here in Ohio, we have two general stores I love to visit when I'm passing through their respective towns.  One is in Deersville, OH, a town so small you could miss it if you blink.  This store receives a ton of traffic from nearby Tappan Lake, but it's so famous for its delicious ice cream that people travel great distances for a scoop.

Located in Deersville, Ohio, this general store is famous for its ice cream.

Another Ohio landmark is the Roscoe General Store in Coshocton.  It's located in the middle of Roscoe Village, a restored, historic canal town.  People love stepping back in time for old-fashioned toys and gifts, homemade fudge, antiques and collectibles, souvenirs, and so much more.

Roscoe General Store is located in the heart of Roscoe Village in Coshocton, Ohio.

If you are old enough to remember the movie saga, Centennial, from the 1970's, you might be interested to know that a scene from the movie was filmed at Roscoe Village.

Follow Me to Daisy Hills is sweet in the way it reminds us that small towns are filled with creative, talented people, not just country bumpkin stereotypes.  The general store begins to thrive again when it solicits local entrepreneurs to showcase their creations and resources--wood carvings, flowers, vinyl records, and good food.

The Daisy Hills General Store even has a must-have staple for a great general store--a creaky front screen door! 

Best Lines in the Movie

We find out through Sofi's writing that their mom taught them three precepts:

  1. Family first
  2. Every neighbor is family.
  3. Every member is responsible for the whole.
Boy, if everyone lived by that motto, maybe we would all experience more peace in our lives!

Sofi also quotes Jo, saying, Some folks love what they know, and others know what they loveWhich type of person are you?  Maybe you love what you're doing because it's familiar, comfortable, and doesn't stretch you or require you to take risks.  If you are really passionate about something, you find a way to pursue it and are fulfilled because you follow your heart and achieve your goals.

Image:  Crown Media

If you've ever experienced the ups and downs of romantic attachments before you found "The One" and settled down, you probably have heard the other quote from the movie that is expressed through the wood carving Henry gives Jo and Blake:

If you love something, set it free.  If it comes back to you, it's yours.  If it doesn't, it never was.    
It's such an appropriate gift, even though it's so cliche, because it sums up the relationship between Jo and Blake.  She always wanted to stay in Daisy Hills, but she knew he craved the experience of leaving town and heading to the big city.  Even though she loved him from a young age, she set him free.  But, he comes back, and now he's hers.

Apparently, he's not bothered by her being 37-years-old and still living at home.

Are You in Our Facebook Group?

If you're already a member of Hallmark Seasons of Love Movies Facebook group, thank-you for being part of our Hallmark-loving community!  Even if we aren't particularly fond of EVERY Hallmark movie, we keep our sentiments "in the family."  Everyone gets to share freely!

Want to join us?  You'll find us here:  Hallmark Seasons of Love

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1 comment:

  1. Hallmark likely acquired this movie because all their previous filming plans were derailed by the pandemic that's why this movie was not particularly made for fall. Also, Busby's character said that she moved back home to help her dad and sister after the mom passed away. I don't think she'd be living at home if she had the choice.