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Hallmark's "Heart of the Matter" Trivia QUIZ!

 Heart of the Matter Plot Summary

Andie is devastated by an accidental death of a patient, but as she and the grieving mother overcome their own sorrows through forgiveness, they learn that acceptance leads to hope.

Starring:  Aimee Teegarden, Gail O'Grady, Chandler Massey, and Andrew Zachar

Image:  Crown Media

Chandler Massey in a Different Role

Hallmark fans may remember Chandler Massey from his leading role in 2021's Next Stop, Christmas.  

In Heart of the Matter, Massey plays Henry, a mentally disabled young man who has taken Independent Living classes so he can live in his own apartment.  Though his mother checks on him frequently, he fails to mention that he's been experiencing increasing dizziness.

At his cardiology check-up, he tells Dr. Andie Hodges about the spinning, and she places a heart monitor on him to determine what's causing it.  She gives him a list of instructions to follow along with her cell phone number.

When Henry has another episode, he tries calling Andie, but when she doesn't answer, he tries to drive himself to the hospital and is in a fatal accident.

Massey is outstanding in this role.  Playing a leading man in one Hallmark movie and then a mentally disabled one in another allows Massey to showcase his talent as an actor.  Most Hallmark stars are always cast in duplicate roles, so it's a refreshing move for Hallmark to resist typecasting Massey.


A Story About Forgiveness

Andie blames her own negligence for Henry's death.  With his mental disability, Andie assumes he can't drive.  Had she thought to ask him if he could drive, she would have instructed him never to get behind the wheel during an episode.  She takes full responsibility for her blunder, and despite being advised by the hospital's attorney not to contact Henry's mother, she reaches out anyway to express her extreme sorrow.

Initially, Henry's mom, Gladys, isn't receptive.  She rightly blames Andie for her medical malpractice and sues, not for financial gain (though she is compensated), but to bar Andie from ever practicing medicine again.

Throughout the grieving process, Gladys comes to realize how much Henry had liked and connected with Andie and the extent to which Andie truly cared for him.  She discontinues her legal battle before the matter goes to trial.

One of the great things about this story is Andie's honesty and integrity.  Others in her shoes would have cowered behind a legal team and never admitted to any wrongdoing.  They would have been more concerned about salvaging their careers by any means necessary.  Andie tells the truth despite its potential cost.  Her mentor, Dr. Fisher, commends her for the genuine care and connection she has with her patients and rightly assesses that many doctors miss the mark, saying they are often clinicians with only enough humanity to get by.

It's true--some doctors are all business, and others have more heart.


A Heavier Movie

Heart of the Matter is a drama rather than light-hearted romance.  Although Andie is in a serious relationship with Patrick, she breaks their engagement until she can sort through the trauma of Henry's death.

Gladys also passionately rails to the media about why people like her don't like the word handicapped.  Gladys claims that in the 1500's legislation was passed allowing the disabled to beg with caps in hand because they couldn't hold down jobs and were considered worthless.

Hallmark didn't dig further though, as their explanation for the origin of handicapped is in error.  Before handicapped evolved to mean disability, there was a betting and bartering game called hand in cap where two people exchanged items with a mediator to make sure the transaction was completed fairly.  You can read more about it here.  Hallmark cherry-picked history to fit their movie theme despite its inaccuracy.

Regardless, Heart of the Matter is a movie about the fallibility of humans and how forgiveness is the key to finding peace. 

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