Hallmark's "Sweet Autumn" Best 2020 Fall Harvest Premiere

Starring:  Nikki DeLoach and Andrew Walker

Released:  2020

Summary:  A woman decides to split her candy shop between her niece and a maple farmer, and after seeing letters that she left, they start to understand her reasoning.

Image:  Crown Media

Sweet Autumn a Big Hit With Hallmark Fans

Pairing Hallmark A-listers, like Nikki DeLoach and Andrew Walker, is guaranteed to result in a movie that will delight the fan base. This power couple delivered and brought Hallmarkies the best Fall Harvest movie for 2020.

A close second is Country at Heartfollowed by My Best Friend's Bouquet.  The other two Fall Harvest premieres, Follow Me to Daisy Hills and Falling for Look Lodge don't even earn honorable mentions on our list.  

Matchmaking From the Grave

How fitting that Aunt Dee loved the special owl poem that read:
A wise old owl
lived in an oak,
the more he saw
the less he spoke.
The less he spoke,
the more he heard.
Now wasn't he
a wise old bird.
Aunt Dee was a wise bird, too.  She knew just how to bring Maggie and Dex together, knowing they would be a perfect match.

Weren't the letters Aunt Dee left sweet?

If you've ever lost someone close to your heart, you wish you could hear their voice one last time.  Maggie and Dex get to have that.  Aunt Dee was her spunky self in the video she did for her will reading--accurately and humorously predicting how each person in attendance was reacting. Plus, her daily letters to each of them provided the nuggets of wisdom, encouragement, and guidance they needed for this new chapter of their lives.

Even Aunt Dee's candy wrappers are filled with positive messaging.  That's the kind of person we should all strive to be--the kind who speaks life and hope into the people we meet. 

Fabulous Chemistry

Sweet Autumn is the third movie DeLoach and Walker have starred in together.  You can also find them in A Dream of Christmas and The Perfect Catch.  

Sometimes two people click, and sometimes they don't.  DeLoach and Walker had an immediate connection, so much so that they have befriended each other's spouses!  You can read all about it HERE in the exclusive interview they did with People.  

If you're tired of waiting until the last minute for the kiss, you didn't have to with this movie!  There was P.D.A. and a kiss much sooner, plus the closing kiss SIZZLED!  I got a little weak in the knees on that one!  How about you?

Image:  Crown Media

Closed Book People

Maggie is adventurous and an open book.  Dex is more of an enigma.  

Have you ever met someone you want to know better, but their emotional walls prevent you from getting close to them?

In Dex's case, he's been hurt.  When we make ourselves vulnerable to others, there's always an emotional risk.  It's a risk worth taking because the alternative is to shut everyone out and then end up alone.

Image:  Crown Media

Interesting Lessons on Maple Syrup

Who doesn't love maple syrup?  This movie provides us with some fun facts about the process.

  • You should always tap the south side of the maple tree because it gets warmed by the sun first and will get the sap flowing earlier.
  • It takes 40 gallons of sap to produce one gallon of syrup (no wonder the real kind is so expensive!).
  • Legend has it the Iriquois observed squirrels eating sap and gave it a try.
  • You can make maple taffy by pouring boiling maple syrup onto a clean bed of ice.
  • Maple syrup is healthy?  In its pure form, it is free of artificial additives and sweeteners and contains up to 24 different antioxidants (I added that last part!).
We can be entertained AND learn something?  Win-win!

What Do You Love Most About Sweet Autumn?

If you are one of the fans who think Sweet Autumn is the best Hallmark 2020 Fall Harvest release, share why it's your favorite by participating in the poll below! 

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Buy The DVD!

If you loved this movie and want to add it to your DVD collection, you can find it on Amazon!

Join Our Facebook Groups!

If you love to talk about Hallmark Christmas movies ALL YEAR LONG, then you will want to join our Facebook group where the spirit of the season cheers our hearts no matter what month it is.  Find us here:

Not everyone enjoys talking about Christmas once Christmas is over though, so to enjoy all the other seasons of Hallmark besides Countdown to Christmas and Miracles of Christmas, our other Facebook group celebrates Winterfest, Love Ever After, Spring Fling, June Weddings, Summer Nights, and Fall Harvest!  You can join here:

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Hallmark's "My Best Friend's Bouquet"--Chaley Rose, Superstitions, In-Laws, & Hopeless Romantics

Starring:  Chaley Rose and Nathan Witte

Released:  2020 (Fall Harvest)

Summary:  A hopeless romantic catches the bouquet at her friend's wedding, and she starts letting the bouquet toss convince her that an eligible bachelor is the one.

Image:  Crown Media

Who Is Chaley Rose?

Chaley Rose is best known for her role as Zoey in the drama series Nashville.  Hallmark fans remember her from A Christmas Duet which premiered during the 2019 Christmas season where she wowed us with her musical talent.  

Not only is Rose an accomplished singer and songwriter (too bad we didn't get to hear her perform any tracks in My Best Friend's Bouquet), but in high school, she was a cheerleader, gymnast, on the track team, and her school's first black homecoming queen.  What a woman!

Rose expounds on her heritage--her mom is half black and half white, and her dad is one-quarter white and three-quarters black, despite his fair complexion.  Not only is she beautiful, but Rose's performance in this Fall Harvest production earns her high marks among Hallmarkies.  She is playful, endearing, empathetic, relaxed, and natural.      

Unfortunately, Rose isn't slated to star in any holiday movies during the 2020 season, but let's hope we will see more of her in 2021.

Are You Superstitious?

This movie has a creative twist--the focus is on the power of a wedding bouquet to decide who will get married next.  We know this is the point of the bouquet tossing tradition anyway, but Hallmark takes it a step further and brings the wedding lore to life.

When Athena's wedding plans start falling apart, Josie assumes the blame for throwing a monkey wrench into fate.  If only Athena had caught Emma's bouquet instead of her, Athena wouldn't be dealing with crazy mishaps, like her engagement ring dropping into the pond, her future mother-in-law steamrolling her, or the wedding venue catching fire.

Despite the apparent maladies, we realize the bouquet knew what it was doing all along when it picked Josie to catch it.  She does get married next, and everything works out for Athena--her delayed wedding means she can finish her degree program.

Are you superstitious?  If so, share what superstitions you swear by in the comment section.

As for me, I'm not remotely superstitious because my faith in God means He directs my steps, as the Bible says.  When you know God is in control and guiding you, you can rely on Him--not rituals or old wives tales to decide your fate.

The Interfering Mother-in-Law

Any of you have an interfering mother-in-law?

Some of you may see your MIL as a second mom, but I bet many of you rolled your eyes and identified with Brian's mom in this movie--the kind who oversteps boundaries and interferes too much in your life.  When an in-law offers to pay your expenses, there are often strings attached.

Hallmark doesn't allow us to recoil from the controlling antics of Brian's mom for long.  When we learn she was once poor and couldn't have a wedding of her own, it helps us view her with more compassion.  Her heart is right.  She wants her son and daughter-in-law to have the dream wedding she never got to have.  She finally backs off, Athena is quick to forgive, and peace is restored.

By the way, is there anyone besides me who thinks Athena (Rebecca Olson) looks a little like supermodel Gisele Bundchen?

Gisele Bundchen

Rebecca Olson (photo by Liz Rosa)

My Favorite Scene

One of my favorite scenes from the movie is the part where Josie and Emma go wedding dress shopping with Athena.  It's the perfect "girls day out."  Every time Athena prepares to emerge from the fitting room, Josie and Emma pretend to play a variety of air instruments.  

The actresses engage so naturally with each other that they really seem like the best of friends.  We can picture ourselves out with our own friends doing the same antics.

If you think back to the Summer Nights bomb, Love on Harbor Island, do you remember the scene where Lily and her friend reenact their high school dance number in the kitchen?  It was so forced and embarrassing, and the acting was terrible.  It was nice to see Hallmark get it right in My Best Friend's Bouquet.

Image:  Crown Media

The Problem With Being A Hopeless Romantic

Josie does something many of us have done when looking for the right mate--she keeps a mental list of all the things she's looking for in a guy, but being able to check off the boxes doesn't mean you've found the right one.

Sometimes, our romantic expectations make it impossible for any human to fulfill.

Josie and Alex have known each other since college.  They are the best of friends, which is the perfect foundation for a lifelong commitment.  There's nothing better than marrying your best friend, especially when you have a lot in common.  Josie helps students find success through tutoring, and Alex helps communities via urban development and redesigning green spaces.  They are both do-gooders and the perfect match!

Alex struggles with communicating his feelings, and because of his hesitation, he nearly loses Josie to the wealthy and successful Will Forsythe, whom Josie thinks might be "the one" the bouquet is leading her to.  

When Josie insists Alex try online dating, she's surprised to feel a little jealous when he meets and connects with Marissa so quickly.

Single ladies, if you have your eye on someone and he takes your presence in his life for granted, let this be a good lesson for you.  Don't sit home and pine for him--go find someone else and see if he notices and cares!     

Josie finally realizes Alex has been the right man for her all along, he turns down the job offer in Chicago, and the two wed in the green space he most recently created.  

The bouquet really DID know what it was doing!

Image:  Crown Media

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For a regular dose of all things Hallmark, join our fun Facebook groups.  One celebrates Christmas all year long, and the other focuses on the rest of the different seasons of Hallmark movies.  Find us here:

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2020 Recap: Vote For Your Favorite "Season" of Hallmark Movies

Despite a year marred by a pandemic, Hallmark still managed to entertain fans with scores of original new movie premieres.  

We'll take a walk down memory lane with a quick recap of each "season" of Hallmark, and then you will have a chance to vote on which season of 2020 was your favorite.

We aren't including Christmas movies because their pure, unmatched awesomeness gives them an unfair advantage!  Don't worry though--you'll get a chance to vote on your favorite, new Christmas movie at year's end.  

Not only are we reviewing the Hallmark movie year in pictures, but if you click on the hyperlinked movie titles, you can visit each blog post that includes fun stuff, like quizzes, polls, and more. 


  • Winter in Vail --Lacey Chabert and Tyler Hynes--Chelsea inherits a house in Vail. She meets Owen and gets a much needed break. Together, they put on Strudelfest to highlight the charm of Old Vail.
Image:  Crown Media

  • Love in Winterland--Italia Ricci and Chad Michael Murray--Ally, a final contestant on a dating show, must face her high school sweetheart when she is chosen for the Hometown Date.

  • Love on Iceland--Kaitlin Doubleday and Colin Donnell--Seeking inspiration for work, Chloe gathers her college travel group back together for a trip to Iceland. When her ex, a member of the group, shows up uninvited, sparks fly.
Image:  Crown Media
  • Amazing Winter Romance--Jessy Schram and Marshall Williams--When journalist, Julia, goes back home to find inspiration, she discovers her childhood friend has built a giant snow maze which prompts her to find her way to true love.
Image:  Crown Media
  • Hearts of Winter--Jill Wagner and Victor Webster--An interior designer brings new life to the house of a widower and his daughter and finds love in the process.
Image:  Crown Media

Love Ever After

  • A Valentine's Match--Bethany Joy Lenz and Luke Macfarlane--Fired from her job as a reality TV host, Natalie returns home for Valentine's Day, only to find herself running the town festival's auction with her ex-fiancΓ© thanks to two scheming mothers.
Image:  Crown Media
  • Matching Hearts--Taylor Cole and Ryan Paevey--As Valentine's Day nears, a matchmaker is tasked by her mentor to find a match for an entrepreneur who believes staying single is the key to success.
Image:  Crown Media
  • The Secret Ingredient--Erin Cahill and Brendan Penny--Small-town baker, Kelly, gets a big surprise when she is invited to compete on a Valentine's Day baking show in New York City--and an even bigger surprise when she runs into her ex-fiancΓ©.
Image:  Crown Media
  • Love in Store--Alexandria Breckenridge and Robert Buckley--Two rival home shopping hosts are forced together while competing for a promotion. Along the way, they find their on-air chemistry kindles an off-air spark.
Image:  Crown Media

Spring Fling

  • Just My Type--Vanessa, a pop culture writer in NYC, lands the interview of a lifetime with renowned mystery author Martin Clayborne. It's a rocky start, but as they spend more time together, she learns there is much more to him than meets the eye.
Image:  Crown Media
  • You're Bacon Me Crazy--Cleo Morelli, an aspiring Portland chef, tries to win a food truck competition while the competition tries to win her heart.
Image:  Crown Media
  • Fashionably Yours--After years organizing fashion in the city, Lauren decides to move home. In exchange for her organizing services, mover Rob makes it his mission to help her see the beauty of Seattle.
Image:  Crown Media
  • Nature of Love--City girl, Katie, is writing a magazine feature on a glamping resort. Far from sporty, she faces her fears trying the camp's activities with help from Will, a rugged outdoorsman and nature guide.
Image:  Crown Media

A Little Romance

  • Love in the Forecast--After swearing off dating for a full year, Leah quickly learns her new commitment has made her a magnet for men.
Image:  Crown Media
  • Love Under the Olive Tree--Cabella Oil and Brandini's have been competing oil ranches for decades. However, their grand children discover they may have more in common than they realized--and sparks begin to fly.
Image:  Crown Media

Summer Nights

  • Romance in the Air--After learning her job is on the line, Eden returns to Lake Tahoe where she used to spend her summers growing up. There, she's reunited with her childhood friend, Riley, and finds that the draw of her past might direct her future to a happiness she's been missing in her life.

  • Love on Harbor Island--Interior designer, Lily, returns home to help her Aunt Maggie run her marina-side bed and breakfast when she meets Marcus, a handsome seaplane pilot whose work delivering rescue dogs helps Lily discover that home really is where the heart is.
Image:  Crown Media
  • Wedding Every Weekend--Nate and Brooke are going to the same four weddings, four weekends in a row. To avoid set-ups, they go together as "wedding buddies." But what starts as a friendship soon becomes deeper.

Fall Harvest

  • Follow Me to Daisy Hills--When Jo realizes that her family's general store in Daisy Hills is losing money, her father, Duke, calls in a favor to help. Duke's help is Jo's ex-boyfriend, Blake, a former Daisy Hills native.
Image:  Crown Media
  • Falling for Look Lodge--Lily wants to be an activities director at Look Lodge, and she is thrilled when she's given the chance to do so by helping Noah and his family, who are there for his sister's wedding.
Image:  Crown Media
  • Country at Heart--A struggling country singer meets a Nashville songwriter in need of inspiration. Teaming up to write a song, their work gets complicated but results in both a hit song...and true love.
Image:  Crown Media
  • My Best Friend's Bouquet--A hopeless romantic misses all of the signs of true love when she puts her trust in a bouquet tossed at a wedding.
Image:  Crown Media
  • Sweet Autumn--Maggie, a successful entrepreneur, returns home for a will reading and discovers she's inherited half of her aunt's famed maple candy business. What she doesn't understand is why Aunt Dee's maple supplier, Dex, inherited the other half. Her return also coincides with the town's Sweet Autumn Fest, and through a series of letters Aunt Dee left, Maggie and Dex search for the reason behind her aunt's final wishes. As she and Dex grow closer, Maggie must decide if the life she built is the one she wants.
Image:  Crown Media

Vote For Your Favorite Hallmark Season!

With so many amazing movies to consider (though, admittedly, a few bombs are included), can you pick which Hallmark 2020 movie season is your favorite?

Psssst.....my favorite is WINTERFEST.  

Time to cast your vote!

survey solutions

You Can Order These 2020 Hallmark Movies On DVD

Not all of your Hallmark seasonal favorites have had time to make their way to DVD, but here are the ones that have so far.  Do you see any you want to add to your collection?

#2020HallmarkMovies #Winterfest #LoveEverAfter #SpringFling #ALittleRomance #SummerNights #FallHarvest

Hallmark's "Follow Your Heart" Provides an Interesting Look Into Amish Culture

Starring:  Galadriel Stineman and Kevin Joy

Released:  2020

Summary:  A travel writer leaves her Amish ways behind her, but when she returns home to settle her father's affairs, she is tempted to return to her former lifestyle.

Image:  Crown Media

What Is There To Miss?

When Kathy returns to her Arkansas Amish community, she receives an icy reception from everyone but her friend, Hazel, and her childhood friend, Isaac.  Her own sister, Miriam, makes it clear to Kathy that she is no longer welcome.

Kathy is a successful writer who has traveled the world, and now she has the chance to be on TV with her boyfriend, Jack.

Hmm...be famous on TV or live with no electricity or indoor plumbing?  Be free to roam in a car or airplane, or be confined to the nearby community with only a horse and buggy as a mode of travel? 

I don't know about you, but boiling water to dump into an old wash tub sounds repellent in every way.

Do you wonder how Kathy could even be remotely tempted to return to a primitive lifestyle after experiencing the joys of modern conveniences?

After spending time in her childhood element, she realizes how much she has missed it. She especially loves the sense of community.  

Sense of community?  No one will talk to her.  The Amish come across to Kathy as stern, condemning, cold, and unkind.  Who the heck would want to go back to that?

Why Isn't Kathy Shunned?

Kathy is perplexed why she's being treated like an outsider in the Amish community because she has never officially been shunned.

Once an Amish person leaves the community, they only have a short period of time to return before they are treated like an outsider who is no longer allowed to participate within the culture.  Kathy has been gone for 10 years, so for her to not be shunned seems like fictional license on Hallmark's end.

Read on....there might be a loophole.

Image:  Crown Media

What Is Rumspringa?

When Miriam cleans out her father's room, she discovers Kathy has been writing and sending him money for years.  Even though Kathy tries to mend the relationship with her sister by signing over her share of the family farm, the revelation of the letters and the money brings about a change of heart in Miriam.

Miriam finally admits to Kathy that she's been jealous of her.  Miriam's obligation to the family when they needed her prevented her from experiencing the world as Kathy had during her own Rumspringa.  

The term Rumspringa is a Pennsylvania German noun meaning, running aroundEach Amish community practices this tradition, or rite of passage, differently, but for approximately two years, Amish teens are permitted to live and act "English."  They can dress like society, use technology, drive cars, etc.  Though many teens continue to live with their families during this time, they don't have to.  

Once the two years are up, the adolescent must decide if they want to return to the Amish lifestyle or not.  If they choose to remain Amish, they are baptized into the church and must adhere to the Ordung, which is an Amish set of rules that are the essence of the Amish identity.

Once baptized, leaving the Amish lifestyle results in permanent shunning.  

Roughly 90% of Amish young people decide to remain Amish
.  Are you surprised?  It's hard to imagine Amish teens tasting complete freedom and then returning to what many of us would consider bondage! 

It's not well-explained in the movie, but one could conclude from Miriam's comment that Kathy experienced Rumspringa, was never baptized into the Amish church, decided to leave the community, and as a result, was never shunned.

One thing is certain though--Isaac was baptized in the church, so to marry Kathy and leave would be the end of his welcome in the community, though Miriam leaves the door open to the couple because she sees the generosity and goodness of their hearts.

What Kathy discovers is this:  Home is where you feel wanted and love, accepted because of who you are.  

Image:  Crown Media

A Little Privacy Here!

Isaac initially turns Kathy away after she professes her love to him and even vows to return to Amish life to be with him.  He catches her later, though, at Miriam's.

Did you squirm a little when Isaac got personal and admitted he loved Kathy--all while Miriam stood within their personal bubble, listening to every word?

Do the Amish require unmarried people to be chaperoned like this?

Not usually.  Amish teens often get together at Sunday night sings where they can socialize without adults.  Sometimes, they even go on dates.  Much of the time, however, Amish teens see each other at church, frolics, or visits with the families.  

"Kathy" and "Isaac" Are Married in Real Life

Galadriel Stineman and Kevin Joy have been married for 10 years and have two children, both of whom are in the movie.

You can read an interesting interview with them HERE

Have You Ever Visited Amish Country?

Growing up, I lived a short drive to Ohio's Amish country.  I'm grateful to own many Amish crafted furniture pieces--the Amish are excellent carpenters!  We still visit periodically for homespun decor, though Amish country has commercialized substantially.  Still, the rolling, green hills, the farmhouses, the laundry on the line during all seasons, the buggies along the road--all hold such a unique charm of a simpler life (if you consider farming fields with horses rather than machinery "simpler").

In my 20's, I attended a non-denominational church in the heart of Amish country and met many parishioners who had left the Amish church to become "English."  Yes, they were shunned by their Amish families.  

Many of these people shared that a number of Amish aren't happy.  They have hopes and dreams, but they aren't allowed to pursue them.  All must enter whatever business the family operates, even if the work makes them miserable.

The Amish are well-known for being a close-knit community, not open to outsiders.  This conditioning is evident in the lives of many who left the Amish lifestyle.  Even in church I attended, the former Amish members migrated to other former Amish.  They were always nice and asked you personal questions, but they would never reveal anything about themselves.  

Before I got married, I briefly dated two men who were from families that had left the Amish community.  There was a coldness and severity about them that was too much to take.  It's ingrained!

Image:  Crown Media

Try a Beverly Lewis Novel   

Follow Your Heart is a refreshing Hallmark movie because it breaks from their cookie cutter string of status quo stories.

If you enjoyed this peek into Amish life, you have GOT to try reading one of the scores of books by Beverly Lewis where Amish life is front and center!  

Join Our Facebook Groups!

If you love talking about Hallmark movies as much as we do, we invite you to join our two Facebook groups!  One is dedicated to Christmas only and another celebrates all the other seasons of Hallmark.  Find us here:

Fall Harvest DVD Giveaway--All of My Heart Trilogy!

Would You Like a Chance to Win?

We are celebrating Hallmark's Fall Harvest by giving away a fan favorite, the 3-movie DVD set of All of My Heart, including the original title movie, plus the later installments-- Inn Love and The Wedding

Remember, it was in the Fall that Brian and Jenny tied the knot.  Ah, love.....

We all have our favorite Hallmark stars, and Lacey Chabert is definitely mine.

Take a Quiz on the AOMH Trilogy

If it's been a while since you've watched these great movies, visit the blog post below where you will find a brief plot summary for each, learn some fun facts, share trivia about the different houses used in the film, learn why this film resonates so well with Hallmark fans, and take a QUIZ on the trilogy.

→→Click HERE to visit the AOMH blog post.←←

How Do You Enter?

This giveaway is a special treat for the faithful friends and fellow Hallmark fans within our Facebook group.  Don't worry if you're not a member--you are welcome to join us so you can participate in the giveaway.

Check us out at Hallmark Seasons of Love Movies Facebook Group.

Once you are a member, you will find a post in the ANNOUNCEMENT section of the group page that asks you to share a thought or comment about one of the movies in the trilogy.  If you've never seen any of them yet, you can just note that as your comment.

People always ask, How do I find the announcement?  Don't worry--it's easy.  Once you're on the Facebook home page, you will see several tabs across the top, including the announcement tab.  Here's a screenshot that includes a red arrow pointing to the correct tab.

Once you click on the announcement tab, you will see the giveaway post where you make your comment about one of the movies in the AOMH trilogy, and then you cross your fingers and hope for the best!

**PLEASE DO NOT MAKE A SEPARATE POST FOR YOUR ENTRY!** Be sure to place your comment under the special giveaway post.  We don't want to junk up the feeds of our members.

You Must Be a Resident of the USA to Enter!

Entrants must be legal residents of the United States of America, 18 years of age or older.

Our group has a lot of international friends, whom we greatly appreciate, but we simply do not have the budget for high shipping rates.  We apologize!  

When Will the "All of My Heart" DVD Winner Be Announced?

This giveaway will run from Saturday, October 10, 2020, through Sunday, October 25, 2020.  The winner will be announced on Monday, October 26, 2020.

Everyone who participates correctly will be entered in the random drawing.

Image:  Crown Media

How Will the Winner Be Notified?

One winner will be announced on Monday, October 26, 2020, in the Hallmark Seasons of Love Movies Facebook Group.  The winner will be tagged and must private message the group admin with mailing address to receive the All of My Heart DVD set.  The address will be for prize mailing only and not kept, used, or shared for any other purpose.

Winner must provide mailing address by October 29, 2020, or else forfeit the prize.  A new winner will then be randomly selected.

Promotion Is Not Associated With Hallmark or Facebook

The All of My Heart DVD giveaway is offered by Hallmark Seasons of Love Movies 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.  

You Can Still Get the Movies, Even If You Don't Win

If you don't win this contest, maybe you will win the next one!  In the meantime, the All of My Heart trilogy is available through Amazon.  You can buy each of them separately or as one set. You can find them here:

Take the Movie Quiz on Hallmark's "Country at Heart," Listen to the Song They Perform, & Hear What Fans Are Saying

Starring:  Jessy Schram, Niall Matter, and Lucas Bryant

Released:  2019

Summary:  A struggling country singer stumbles across a Nashville songwriter in need of some inspiration, so they decide to work together to write a song.

Image:  Crown Media

Needing a Hit is a Metaphor for Hallmark

Hallmark set the bar high by providing its audience with hit movie after hit movie for many years--until recently.  The year 2020 started strong with Winterfest and Love Ever After, but by Spring Fling, Romance in the Air, and the beginning of Fall Harvest, many of the premieres left viewers disappointed.  

Some might blame the downturn on COVID-19, but the timing also coincides with the departure of Bill Abbott as CEO of Crown Media, who left early 2020 after serving 11 years.  Once Abbott left, Hallmark hurt its brand by becoming too politically correct. 

Grady Connor's (Matter) career depends on him writing a hit song, as much as Duke Sterling's career hinges on a hot, new release.  Their dilemma could be a metaphor for Hallmark--Crown Media needs some hit movies before their base crumbles and ratings topple.

Looks like Hallmark finally scored with Country at Heart, but it bears noticing this movie had a delayed release and was filmed in August 2019 when Abbot was still at the helm. 

As Fall Harvest wraps up and the Christmas movie season commences, we'll see if Hallmark manages to right the ship, or if the ship sinks.  Let's hope they stay afloat so we can all enjoy the cruise.

Here's What Fans Are Saying About Country at Heart

Unlike the barrage of negative fan comments following Follow Me to Daisy Hills and Falling for Look Lodge, fans had a lot of good things to say about Country at Heart.

  • Loved this movie.  All three actors are great on their own.  I will definitely watch again.

  • Best new movie so far.  I loved it!

  • The love triangle wasn't as annoying as it sometimes is in movies.

  • Love Niall in anything!

  • Love that they are playing their own instruments and are singing.
Image:  Crown Media

Although the majority of viewers said they loved, or at least liked, Country at Heart, not everyone was impressed.  Could it be that after the last few bombs, fans set the bar so much lower that anything decent could surpass sagging expectations?

Here are a few unique observations from fans that have merit:

  • Niall is a misfit doing a cowboy/country music star role.  Is Lucas Bryant in his 50's?  Looks like Jessy and Niall's father.  

  • The writers made the male characters too weak.  A little self-conscious makes sense, but these two had very low self-esteem.  

  • The singing wasn't great.

Personally, I, too, laughed when Lucas Bryant kept tossing back the hair that frequently tumbled into his face.  This "boy band" behavior on an "old timer" wasn't attractive.

I would also add the storyline was a little stale, considering we've seen variations of it in past movies. In A Christmas Love Story, a youth choir director had to create an original song for their annual Christmas Eve show; Our Christmas Love Song was about a country music star accused of plagiarizing her mentor's hit; Jesse Metcalfe played a music star struggling to write new songs until he went home and found inspiration in A Country Wedding.   

Hallmark writers need to think outside the box a little more and hire writers with fresh ideas.

Great Original Music in Country at Heart

Hallmark boasts a multi-talented ensemble of stars who are just good at acting--many have musical talents as well.  

Country at Heart includes enjoyable hits that even non-country music fans can appreciate.  Here's the song, Right in Front of You, that Grady and Shayna "write" together.

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(This group features movies from all seasons except Christmas)

(This group focuses on Christmas movies only)

Can You Ace This QUIZ On Hallmark's "Harvest Love?"

Starring:  Jen Lilley and Ryan Paevey

Released:  2017

Summary:  When a widowed doctor visits her family's orchard in an effort to reconnect with her son, she soon finds herself getting closer to the farm's manager.

Image:  Crown Media

Juggling Kids And A Career

Luna Gilson is a top surgeon at Seattle West Hospital, and she's up for the promotion of her life.  The nature of her work requires her to be on call 24/7 and spend countless hours at work, often sacrificing sleep to take care of her patients.

The biggest drawback to Luna's success is missing so many important moments with her son, Andy.  Soccer games, school plays, the spelling bee--Andy no longer mentions them to her because he knows she'll be too busy to come.  

Luna relies on a sitter and often returns home too late to have dinner with her son or tuck him in at night.  

Does your heart break a little when you watch this?  

Kids are young for such a short time--it's a season of your life you don't want to miss!  Not every mom has the ability, or even the desire, to stay home with her kids.  If you're a working parent, you know the juggling act required to raise your children, attend to your domestic responsibilities, and spend hours at the office.  

How much have you missed?  

Luna decides to take a step back because she's saddened by the broken connection between her and Andy.  Although Andy wants to spend his school break someplace exciting like his friends, he ends up loving his time on the farm.  Small-town life offers a lot of outdoor adventure! 

Love Happens When You Least Expect It

Luna meets Will Nash, the handsome scientist-slash-farm manager.  Will's goal is to buy his own farm, but in the meantime, he's using his talents at the Gilson orchard.  

After spending quality time together and enjoying an abundance of fall festival fun, you don't even have to watch the whole movie to know how it will end.  Luna makes plans to open her own practice in town, Nash buys a parcel of the Gilson orchard for his own, and Andy is thrilled to relocate to Pineview so he can spend more time with his mom. 

Own It!

If you love this movie, add it to your DVD collection.  You can find it on Amazon here: 

Now, see if you can answer these seven questions from the movie.