Hallmark's "You Had Me At Aloha" QUIZ! Plus How Kavan Smith & Pascale Hutton Create Such Fun Banter

Starring:  Pascale Hutton and Kavan Smith

Released:  2021

Summary:  A television show replacement is paired up with a man who promises to push everything for the ratings, and the two of them grapple for control.

Pascale Hutton & Kavan Smith  Image: Crown Media

Fun Banter Between Hutton & Pascale

Aside from the breathtaking scenery from the island of Oahu, one of the best aspects of You Had Me At Aloha is the back-and-forth dialogue between Paige Marshall (Pascale Hutton) and Ben Burton (Kavan Smith) as they co-host the travel program, Next Destination.  

The clever ribbings they give each other are so natural and fluid.  How do they interact so unscripted and real?  The answer is Hutton and Smith created the story and invented their own characters, so the script is a perfect fit.  The two actors work together on When Calls the Heart and starred in both The Perfect Bride movies, so they have fallen into a good rhythm with one another that feels organic and seamless.  


Hutton and Smith also invited Rick Garmin aboard to help write the script.  Garmin is known for being a funny writer who creates playful and humorous banter between characters.  

Faithful Hallmark viewers can attest that many movies are redundant in repackaging the same old thing when it comes to comedy.  For example, how many times do characters in Christmas movies drink hot cocoa and wind up with an exaggerated amount of marshmallows or whipped topping on their noses and upper lips?  It's cute once and then quickly goes flat in subsequent movies.

The wit in You Had Me At Aloha is refreshing and original.

Millie volunteers Ben & Paige to do the hula at a luau.  Image: Crown Media

Paige & Ben Balance Each Other

Some people argue that opposites attract while others insist the more two people are alike, the better.  

Before my husband and I were married, our pastor wisely stated that if both of us were exactly alike, one of us would be unnecessary.  

Paige is ultra organized, well-researched, and prefers a plan and a script.  She's very content watching the action from the privacy of a dark office.  Ben flies by the seat of his pants, prefers to ad-lib, and craves hands-on adventure.

Kavan Smith is still quite the hunk at age 50.  Image: Crown Media

In an interview, Hutton shares that in real life, it's just the opposite.  She does advance research on a culture, but then she allows things to unfold on its own once she arrives at the destination.  When it comes to traveling, Smith is actually the one who likes to create a plan and stick to it to maintain control.  

As the movie progresses, we see both characters bend so they can meet happily in the middle.  Paige tries to "chill" and enjoy unplanned fun, as the opportunity arises, and Ben engages in a little more research, strategizing, and at least partially sticking to a script.  Whether it's dealing with a co-worker, family member, or significant other, it's a good lesson to learn--value the input of those around you and find ways to compromise.  

In other words, Paige and Ben bring out the best in each other, which is one reason why, when Todd Harper returns to host Next Destination, Paige quits.  The onscreen magic she creates with Ben cannot be replicated with Todd.

What Bad Experience Still Bothers You?

Although most of us probably haven't been chased by screaming goats and mocked by 10 million people from the subsequent YouTube footage, the concept of allowing our past hurts to put a damper on future progress is very relatable.

Maybe you've had your heart broken, so you hesitate to open your heart to anyone else again.  If you've ever been criticized and embarrassed by something or had a damaging experience of some kind, you never want to put yourself in a position to allow it to happen again.  You stop taking risks, and the result is you allow one traumatic event to define and shape you and prevent you from being an overcomer who lives life to the fullest and embraces your full potential.

Paige is ridiculed as "The Goat Lady."  The one time she dared to go off script to film herself with goats was the biggest mistake of her life.  People still laugh at her or mock her with "baaaa" sounds, and it cuts her to the quick.  It's why she stopped hosting programs and became a producer--so she could hide behind-the-scenes.  

If Paige would just learn to laugh it off, maybe she wouldn't feel so baaaaad.  Image: Crown Media

What's holding you back?  It's time to shrug it off and not let it stop you!

Similarly, Ben wasn't always a daredevil.  He had been in a serious relationship where he planned to settle down, have a home, and raise a family.  When the relationship ended, it pushed him the opposite direction where he avoided settling down or following a regimented schedule. 

When we are hurt, we try to find ways to insulate ourselves, but it only builds barriers without healing the damage.  

Ben takes a chance on love again, and Paige finally moves forward on creating a mystery destination show that she co-hosts with him.  Both leave their baggage in the past to embrace a promising future.  We should all do the same. 

Vacation Bubbles

Another relatable aspect of the You Had Me At Aloha is how vacations make you feel like you're living in a happy bubble.  

When the stresses of work and daily living are absent, vacations broaden your boundaries.  You can act without as much restraint because you aren't trying to maintain an image.  Most likely, you will never see the people you encounter on vacation ever again.  That means you can dress differently, go without makeup, and not worry about keeping up appearances.  You don't have to stick to a tight schedule, and you feel more daring to try new things you'd never attempt back home.

Under the spell of the romantic atmosphere of Hawaii, Paige forces herself to duck Ben's first kiss.  She loves the Hawaii bubble, but the reality is she plans to return to New York while he heads to L.A., and it will all be over.  Why risk a broken heart?

Still, the two enjoy participating in a Tahitian dance, snorkeling, finding restaurants off the beaten path, a sunset cruise, time at the pool, fireworks, and a trivia challenge.  Wouldn't it be nice if we could live life every day as if we were in a vacation bubble?  

Shake it, but don't break it!  Image: Crown Media

To learn more about the Hawaiian locations where the movie was filmed, click here.  

Who Loves Pineapple?

Hawaii is famous for its pineapple farms and boasts the sweetest fruit in the world.  People usually love or hate pineapple.  Where do you land?  

In the summer, pineapple is delicious grilled along with meat and veggies in kabobs, in smoothies, or just grilled by itself.  You can find one of my favorite grilled pineapple recipes here.  

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Hallmark Spring Fling 2021 Movie Trivia Challenge!

Hallmark 2021 Spring Fling Premieres Recap

Hallmark celebrated spring with five new Spring Fling premieres in 2021.  Let's take a quick look back at them to make sure you're prepared for the trivia challenge.

Which Spring Fling movie did you enjoy the most?  Keep scrolling for a chance to vote!

Chasing Waterfalls

Chasing Waterfalls, with Cindy Busby and Christopher Russell, kicked off the steady "stream" of Spring Fling features.  

Busby played a photographer trying to land a career break by finding scenic waterfalls, particularly a mythical one that had never been photographed.  Her attractive guide helped her discover all of them, and they fell in love in the process. A remote lodge and idyllic natural wonders added to the magic. 

Chasing Waterfalls   
Image: Crown Media

Don't Go Breaking My Heart

Starring Italia Ricci and Ryan Paevey, Don't Go Breaking My Heart was about a psychologist running a boot camp for the broken hearted to help them recover from failed relationships.  Paevey played both a client and a reporter who was investigating the boot camp to see if it was a scam or a phenomenon.

Hallmark fans are crazy about Ryan Paevey but aren't impressed with Italia Ricci.
Image:  Crown Media

One Perfect Wedding

One Perfect Wedding is the third movie in the trilogy that began with One Winter Weekend and One Winter Proposal and culminated in wedded bliss.  In this installment, Cara and Ben booked the Clara Lake Resort, the place where their romance began, as their wedding venue for an intimate gathering of friends and family.  

Along with mystery being sprinkled in with the romance and Sean popping the question to Megan, this movie was a little more multi-faceted than normal. 

Taylor Cole and Jack Turner tie the knot in One Perfect Wedding.  
Image: Crown Media

As Luck Would Have It

JoAnna Garcia Swisher and Allen Leech took us on location to Ireland, which was dazzling to see and the perfect backdrop for romance.  Who doesn't love an Irish accent?

As Luck Would Have It was about a woman, Lindsey Johnson, who visited Ireland to search for a plot of land to build a future resort, but the town didn't want to give up their historic castle to make the deal. To gain the favor of the town council, Linsey participated in the town's annual Matchmaking Festival and wound up in love with Brennan O'Brien.

There was history everywhere Swisher and Leech stepped foot in As Luck Would Have It.
Image: Crown Media 

Right in Front of Me

Carly (Janel Parrish) had a second chance at romance with her college crush but didn't know how to act around him until her new friend Nick (Marco Grazzini) gave her advice.  She quickly learned who the right man for her really was.

Janel Parrish and Marco Grazzini starred in Right in Front of Me.
Image: Crown Media

Vote For Your Favorite Hallmark Spring Fling 2021 Movie!

Did you enjoy all the Spring Fling movies this year?  Which one did you love the most?  Vote for your favorite below and then check back to see the results to find out which movie won in our poll.  

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Take The Hallmark Spring Fling 2021 Movie Trivia Challenge!

You've probably watched all the Spring Fling premieres more than once, so you've got this!  The trivia questions start with Chasing Waterfalls and end with Right in Front of Me, so they follow the order in which the movies were released.  Good luck!

Hallmark's "One Perfect Wedding" Combines Love & Mystery

Starring:  Taylor Cole, Jack Turner, Rukiya Bernard, and Dewshane Williams

Released:  2021

Summary:  A longtime engaged couple decides to do away with plans for a grandiose ceremony and instead books a small venue for friends and family to attend.

Ben & Cara return to where their love began in One Perfect Wedding. Image: Crown Media

"One Perfect Wedding" Is Part Of A Trilogy 

In 2018, Hallmark brought us One Winter Weekend where best friends Cara and Megan head to a ski getaway.  Once there, they learn their room has been double booked with two other eligible men--Ben and Sean--which leads to romance.

The second installment, One Winter Proposal, aired in 2019.  Although Megan and Sean didn't have the traction they needed in the first movie to get their relationship off the ground, they find another chance.  Ben has two proposals to make, one to Cara and one for a business venture.

It only makes sense that One Perfect Wedding would take place at the same lodge where love began.  

Between Ben's snowboard business and Cara's new book tour, the two are barely going to see each other.  They only have a matter of days to throw together a wedding, after deciding a courthouse ceremony doesn't feel right.

Organization and attention to detail is Megan's super power, so she does the heavyweight planning for the Clara Lake Resort wedding.  In fact, she misses Sean so much that the work and the planning provide a much needed distraction. 

Multiple Mysteries To Solve In "One Perfect Wedding" 

Mystery #1:  Cara catches Ben speaking privately to a resort employee, and he doesn't share the secret.  Execs from Weatherly Hotels have plans to buy the Clara Lake Resort, but they will make some bad changes, like axing the Camp Snow program--a program that helped Ben immensely when he was a kid. Ben decides to buy the resort, but it's complicated.

Mystery #2:  There are three investors in Clara Lake Resort.  One investor owns 45% and will sell to Ben, but the other 45% shareholder will sell to Weatherly Hotels.  No one can track down the third party who owns the remaining 10% and is operating under the name Aldera Creek.  

Mystery #3:  The original owners of Clara Creek Resort were a married couple, Max and Clara, but as Daniel, the front desk employee, rifles through old boxes of photos and letters to curate them on the walls of the resort, Cara concludes the happy couple's marriage ultimately ended in divorce after the war.  No further pictures of the two together could be found.

Mystery #4:  Sean is conspiring with Ben on how he can propose to Megan even though he can't join them at the lodge, and once Ben finally shares the good news with Cara, the two of them coordinate their efforts to make it happen. Their antics raise Megan's suspicions.

Mystery #5:  Before Cara can leave on her book tour, her publisher wants a pitch on the next installment of her mystery series, but what will happen with her characters is a mystery to Cara, too.  Her weekend at Clara Lake Resort gives her the inspiration she needs to hatch her next plot line.

Turns out, Aldera Creek is an anagram.  Goldie, the resort pianist, is also named Clara, and her parents are Max and Clara--the original owners.  She is the mysterious 10% shareholder, and she agrees to sell to Ben.  

Goldie loves Agatha Christie novels.  Image: Crown Media

Although Cara assumes an old letter she discovers on the resort's wall was written by Max in 1948, regarding his divorce to Clara, she learns from Goldie the signature of "M" stands for "Mom," and it was written to her in 1978, when she was going through a divorce.  Mystery solved!

Why were there no pictures, then, of Max and Clara?  Goldie points out her parents were very much in love, but in those days, you didn't have to post a bunch of pictures on social media to prove you were happy.  We could all take a lesson from that!

Sean virtually proposes to Megan at their favorite spot on the slopes, too, so all the loose ends are tied up nicely.  

Lucky for Megan, her career is portable so she can move to marry Sean. Image: Crown Media

Your Career Often Directs Your Perspective

Cara is a mystery writer, so she seems to see the mystery in everything around her.  Don't we all do that to some degree?  

Pastors see situations as material for their next sermon; crafters look at odds and ends and envision how they could be used for their next DIY project; gardeners imagine the possibilities in an empty backyard; police quickly hone in on suspicious behavior; engineers always have ideas for efficient improvements on existing designs; chefs are inspired by different foods and concoct unique recipes that blend flavors in new ways.     

The training and expertise you have in your field often influences your perspective.  

Best Movie Line In "One Perfect Wedding"

My favorite line from the movie is this:

Flaws can turn out to be virtues--it just depends on how you look at it.

Do you agree with that statement?

One could argue that Megan is almost manic with her wedding planning and perfectionism, but her organizational skills and attention to detail are virtuous.

People who always focus on the silver lining in bad situations might be considered unrealistic by some but as eternal optimists by others.

Think of the people closest to you.  Their flaws might be glaringly obvious to you, but how could you flip the script and see their apparent vices in a better light?  

A Lesson In Flexibility

When life doesn't go as we plan, many of us get stressed; however, One Perfect Wedding teaches us the key to letting go of stress is learning to be flexible.

Cara and Ben plan to have a magnificent wedding in Rome, but when they realize their schedules aren't going to jive, they scale down their plans considerably, understanding the most important thing is simply being together.  Even when they head for the Justice of the Peace to tie the knot and it doesn't feel right to Cara, no one flips out when she pivots.

The scene where Sean initiates a proposal, only to learn Ben and Cara have the box with cuff links rather than Megan's engagement ring, forces the three of them to ad-lib and wait until another opportunity.

Can you imagine pulling your wedding dress out of the garment bag and experiencing the horror of having it be purple?  Zoey makes one doozy of a mistake with the dresses, and Cara and Megan almost panic, but it all works out because Cara's dad brought her mother's wedding dress with him.

Megan & her mom do most of the work for Cara's wedding. Image: Crown Media

Finally, an unexpected snowstorm hits, meaning no DJ, surf & turf, wedding cake, and more, but necessity is the mother of invention.  Megan's mom officiates the ceremony and DJ's, brats (the bride and groom's favorite food) is served in place of the surf & turf, and plain cakes are transformed into something spectacular by the lodge's chef.  "Things" aren't as important as sharing life's best moments with your friends and family.  We worry too much!

Which "Look" Is Better On Jack Turner?

In the first two installments of the trilogy, Jack Turner sports some great hair, but in One Perfect Wedding, he's bald.  Hair gives him a boyish charm, but the bald look lends his character a certain, sexy maturity.  Which look do you like better?

Do you prefer Jack Turner with hair.....  
Image: Crown Media

....or without?  
Image: Crown Media

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One Perfect Wedding is a love story tucked into fun mystery.  Image: Crown Media