Friday, May 30, 2014
Adapting true stories are often the films that will reach out and tug at the heartstrings of its viewers the best. This sweet, tender romance is one of those scripts that while bittersweet in its early scenes moves forward to become one of healing and hope.
For three years, Gina Kell (Lacey Chabert) has lovingly cared for her cancer stricken husband. His death may not have come as a surprise, but coming at Christmas makes it especially difficult for her and her two young sons (Sean Michael Kryer, Seth Isaac Johnson). Now two months later, feeling a stranger in her own home, she is trying to resume normalcy for her family. Putting them back in school and searching for something to keep her busy, she inquires of an office position at her school. It's then when she learns that a woman she met at her husband’s service – a former classmate of Matt’s, has suddenly died leaving behind a family of her own.
Michael Spehn (Warren Christie) is having a rough time moving beyond his own wife’s death and seeing Gina at her service offers Michael a chance to talk with someone going through the same thing. Trying to do everything without adjusting to his in-laws swooping in to relieve his juggling act, Michael finally finds a schedule with his three kids that works, and after a dinner between the Kell and Spehn families for support, Gina and Michael slowly begin to heal, opening their hearts to the possibility of a brighter future.
Starting out sluggish, what was high hopes for this drama turned into disappointment as I sat through the opening 8-10 minutes, though I couldn’t really put my finger on what I didn’t care for (perhaps, it was the somber tone or the flipping back and forth from past to present), something just wasn’t “right.” It wasn’t long before things picked up and the viewer is swept up into a tender drama that is more than just about the romance. Perhaps it’s because this is based on a true story and the writer’s wanted it to feel genuine or maybe the people behind the characters had input, either way, I respected that aside from perhaps one or two instances, this film is relatively (over)drama free preserving more dignity that some films have previously displayed.
TV fans will recognize Lacey from various telefilms and programs and – hello! – Hallmark aficionados will be glad to see Christie in something again (particularly fun is the fact that this is a role with much more depth) after the cute Christmas flick The Most Wonderful Time of the Year. The entire cast does a splendid job conveying the emotions of the characters they are depicting, and I liked all of the relationships with the kids, too. The struggle that the writer’s (or in this case, the real-life inspiration) put everyone through felt very genuine, and I loved that. Especially lovely was seeing it in a televised film since most the time, these are more about “fun” than risking a story that’s more serious in nature. In the case of The Color of Rain, that's what makes it shine.
Despite a weaker opening, this turned out to be a lovely, inspirational, genuine story full of equal parts sadness and love, that makes us realize the fragility and beauty of life – and no matter what happens, we can find that ray of sunshine again.
Catch the premiere of The Color of Rain on the Hallmark Movie Channel
on Saturday, May 31st!