Smart Cookies (2012)

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Celebrating a centennial event last year inspired this telefilm starring the always adorable Bailee Madison (Once Upon a Time) and telling a surprisingly cute, if not common story centered on the Girl Scouts. It’s a script that left me thrilled to pieces by its endearing prowess at its conclusion.  

Moving from no-where-ville Alaska to a smaller community that actually has a population seemed like a good idea at the time. With a move comes the opportunity for young Daisy (Madison) to make new friends – which is just what her father wanted for her, but she soon realizes that she is quite unprepared to hold together the barely there girl scout troop 114 when the gang of misfits have no leader. Yet, the job falls to her. Enter Julie Sterling (Jessalyn Gilsig), a determined real estate agent who’s made her living lying to clients just to get prestigious titles and enviable promotions. Much to Julie’s dismay, her boss (Patricia Richardson) – who just happens to be a former troop herself, volunteers Julie to lead the Fireflies as a part of a community outreach. Now instead of neat showings and a perfectionist lifestyle, Julie is car-pooling and trying to lead a group of girls who are each struggling with feelings of being invisible or challenges at home.  

Julie Sterling, saleswoman extraordinaire may have met her match.  

Writers – whether they are of the publishing or screen sector, seem to lack brilliant or even mediocre approaches when it comes time to wrap a story; writing really good endings to otherwise sweet stories seems a failing these recent years. Coming from a girl who actually likes fuzzy romantic comedies (even those awkward television films – clearly this movie is proof!), there seems to be an even worse decline when it comes to ending movies. Specifically speaking of this film, I thought it hit all the right strides – there was cuteness overload, lessons learned, a group of kids learning self-worth, and then just when you are nestled in that cocoon of sweetness and goofy grins, comforted that there actually are movies you could show to a ten-year-old,  the movie loses it. Like, why-is-are-the-girls-crying, running-after-a-bus losing it. The whole ordeal seemed overly dramatic and more of an awkward scene meant to inspire emotion – what writers tried to do and what they didn’t do are two very different things.  

Distracting from the usual flaws is a fun cast! Though unfamiliar with Gilsig’s credits, I liked her in the lead role as well as seeing Patricia Richardson in something again – and of course, the always brimming with personality Bailee Madison was adorable in the role of daughter and girl trying to keep together a failing troop. Also in the cast list is Ty Olsson and Michelle Creber. Several instances of the script were fantastic – like the girl’s barbs toward Julie (particularly one of them “assessing” whether or not there is chemistry between Julie and a romantic interest) or the mishaps in the house showings, and then there are the commonalities that an audience pegs long before even the story is ready to reveal them. Once all is said and done, this is a darling charm of a movie. It’s got some pizzazz and there are no “baddies” to wish ill-will on. (For a crime-loving fandom girl like myself, that can sometimes be a welcoming breath of fresh air!) It’s sassy and sweet  - kinda' like a thin mint cookie.

(Rated TVPG; there are some minor issues parents might wish to be aware of in the form of some insinuations a girl overeats or the sweet attempts another makes at matchmaking – a third girl is also “boy crazy” though it never goes too far. Some pranks are played on rival troops.)


  1. I enjoyed reading your review, this is a movie I would watch. Have you ever watched Troop Beverley Hills? It's also about a bunch of misfit girl scouts only they rich. I think that it's refreshing how you say that there are no baddies in the movie, usually there's some kind of evil developer threatening to take away the youth centre or forest or a rival troop.

    1. Thank you for taking the time to read it, Carlyn! Appreciate you stopping by. :) No, I haven't seen the movie you asked about. Perhaps at some point I will; sounds like a really cute premise. I hope you get a chance to see Smart Cookies at some point.

      For a girl who is a part of SEVERAL crime show fandoms, a movie that's wholesome and cute is always refreshing! :)

  2. Aw sounds adorbs. LOVE your last line.

    1. That it is, Juju. Who can resist a cute Hallmark, right!?

      ...I couldn't resist. ;)

  3. I like Bailee Madison. I've seen her in a few other movies and think she's quite a good actress for her age! I didn't watch this one when it came on the Hallmark Channel, but it definitely sounds cute. :)

    1. It sure is, Kara! I enjoyed it very much. Any Hallmark makes me smile though I have certain ones that rank "better" than others. :)

      Hope you can see this one soon.


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