Summer of Dreams (2016) – A Story About Rediscovering Happiness

Sunday, August 28, 2016

The last days of summer brought with it the final installment in Hallmark’s Summer Night’s campaign.

Once upon a time Debbie Taylor (Debbie Gibson) was the Taylor Swift of her era. She shot to stardom at the young age of 15 and enjoyed success after success. Now, as a washed up pop icon, the best gig her agent can manage is singing at a mattress store. Feeling irrelevant and lost, she leaves behind the Big Apple in search of something and winds up in Ohio on her sister’s front door.

Debbie and her sister Denise (Pascale Hutton) haven’t always seen eye to eye nor are they close. But then that’s what comes when two sisters are so drastically different. Where Debbie lives the glamourous life, Denise is content working as an educator with a family. When she learns that her sister is home for more than a visit, everything changes – for both women. 

Unfortunately this was the only of Hallmark’s recent summer originals I was able to see. Several of them piqued my interest and excited me, but seeing them was not didn't happen. Regardless this story is charming, as all of its peers are or have been. Since it stars well-known and respected musician Debbie Gibson, much of this script felt like a distant semi-autobiographical take on her life. As a teen “pop princess,” Debbie may not have eventually find her niche teaching a group of talented kids, but she furthered her successes on Broadway.

The cast is a great ensemble. Including the leading females, Robert Taylor and the cast of young talent who grace the screen. I was impressed by more than one of the students and the leads had a nice ease with one another. Best of all, Hallmark devotees will love seeing When Calls the Heart’s Rosemary (Hutton) in this. Her role and character greatly differs from that of her loveable ‘Heart’ busybody character, and it’s wonderful to see.  

To give the story a sense of completeness, there are laughs aplenty (note a certain "pineapple" scene) and I enjoyed the interaction Debbie had with her students. If you like inspiring stories or stories with heart and plenty of good music, check out Summer of Dreams. It premiered last night, but you can catch a re-air of it today and at various times next month.  

Tell me, did you like this latest original? What were your thoughts – good or bad? Comment down below. 

Photos: Hallmark Channel

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