Hallmark Channel Movie Recap: At Home In Mitford

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Last night the new original movie At Home in Mitford debuted on the Hallmark Channel. The film focused on best-selling children’s book author Cynthia Coppersmith (Andie MacDowell from Cedar Cove), who leaves Boston to spend time at her late uncle’s small town of Mitford with the hopes of alleviating some serious writer’s block. Once there she meets Episcopal priest Father Tim Kavanaugh (Cameron Mathison from the Murder She Baked movie franchise) and various other residents of the picture-perfect little town, who make her feel right at home. One in particular is youngster Dooley (newcomer Nicholas Holmes), whose parents have recently been deployed and is staying with his grandfather.

As the movie opens, we learn that Cynthia has a cat name Violet who is her muse and is the basis of her well-known series of books about a magical cat. She is under intense pressure to complete her latest book within 45 days. In order to defeat her severe writer’s block, she travels to the small town of Mitford to stay at her late Uncle Frank’s cottage where she hopes inspiration will strike.

Once in Mitford, but before she makes it to her final destination, she has an unexpected run-in with a very tall man on a wayward bright red scooter. No one is injured in this run-in, but it certainly rattles them both especially when they discover they are neighbors. Throw in a massively large lost puppy (eventually named Barnabas), who takes a shine to Father Tim, makes quite an impression on Cynthia after he barrels through the gate between their properties, wrecking the failing garden in her backyard. Talk about having numerous met-cute moments within the first half hour of the film, but it is a Hallmark Channel movie so the leads have to be thrown into all those usual tropes, right?

Naturally, since she is visiting a small town, everyone knows everyone else and because of her uncle everyone in Mitford is very aware of who she is and her work: her uncle was very proud of her. She soon makes friends with Father Tim as well as the local veterinarian Hal and his wife, bookstore owner Marge as well as Jack Emery, who has set his sights on Cynthia.

Then there is young Dooley, the grandson of a parishioner at Father Tim’s church, who ends up spending a lot of time with Father Tim and eventually Cynthia, especially after his grandfather Russell takes a pretty bad fall that lands him in the hospital for a while. Dooley soon enough takes quite a shine to Barnabas and begins to open up to both Father Tim and Cynthia, who take on the role of substitute co-parents to the young boy.

While Jack tries to sweep Cynthia off her feet – she is recently divorced and part of her writer’s block is due to her ex-husband no longer being there to talk to about her writing – her friendship with Father Tim deepens; and it becomes obvious to everyone else – except Cynthia – that Father Tim cares about her more than just as friends. But, she is only in Mitford long enough to complete her book before the deadline and to sell her uncle’s home. But, as is the case with all of the Hallmark Channel movies, she soon realizes that visiting Mitford has done more for her than just giving her inspiration for her latest book: she has found a real home and a new love.

Father Tim takes a leap of faith at the Labor Day picnic, by kissing her in front of the whole town; and once she learns that Father Tim was the one who replanted the entire garden on her uncle’s property – in preparation for the sale of the cottage – she realizes how she really feels about him and allows herself to be caught. Her closing line, “I’m yours, but I’m driving” just reaffirms that their fateful meeting between her car and his scooter was more than just a mere near accident.

At Home in Mitford was a sweet look at small-town life and how a friendship can become so much more if each person is willing to take the leap.

Photo Credit: Kailey Schwerman

Using her favorite online handle, Rueben is an East Coast-bred gal who is now a permanent Californian and a lifelong tv-oholic. She watches at least 25 TV shows a week, goes to the movies as often as possible, listens to music every waking moment, reads every day and “plays” on the internet every chance she can. Some of her current favorite TV shows are Outlander, Blindspot, The Blacklist, Killjoys, The Brave, The Shannara Chronicles, Good Witch, When Calls the Heart, The 100, Jane the Virgin, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and The Fosters. Follow her at @ruebenrambling or contact her at rueben@nicegirlstv.com.


  1. Dee Lucas

    August 21, 2017 at 5:43 pm

    Missed this Sunday night! Love the Mitford books and cannot find when the movie will be repeated. Anyone know when it will be aired again?

    • Chris

      August 21, 2017 at 6:21 pm

      Not like the book at all. Very disappointing.

  2. Bess

    August 21, 2017 at 8:59 pm

    Only saw a little of this movie, loved the books, but Father Tim was about to retire because he was in his 60’s. Bad casting of Cameron Mathison as Father Tim. Want to know when it will be reshown because I want to be able to watch the whole movie. Dooley in the write up dosn’t look like a good fit.

  3. Mary Richmond

    August 21, 2017 at 10:56 pm

    So disappointing. Nothing like the book. Sterile characters, no depth, typical predictable Hallmark movie. Why would the screen writers whitewash such a wonderful best selling book? I’m sure Jan Karon must feel awful after seeing how her beloved Mitford characters became Stepford-like. I hope they don’t do a sequel.

    • Rueben

      August 22, 2017 at 1:28 am

      Wow, I guess some folks didn’t enjoy the movie. I’m sorry to hear that. I’m not familiar with the book so I can’t comment on the changes made in the movie. I can’t see where Hallmark Channel will be reairing the movie so folks may have to check their local listings to see if it will reaired in their specific areas.

  4. c. eiben

    August 26, 2017 at 9:11 am

    It would have been a benefit if someone at Hallmark had actually read the book. Poor casting decisions. So disappointed – this movie has not done justice to the writing skill of Jan Karon. Why cast MacDowell and Mathison? – She is actually 12 years older than him and he wasn’t even a good choice for Father Tim. Hallmark – there has to have been better choices. Also, the storyline in the movie was so weak – not at all like the books – it was just another ho-hum Hallmark romance movie.

  5. Jane

    August 27, 2017 at 8:09 pm

    I was so sad as I watched the Mitford Hallmark movie last evening which I had recorded. Popcorn in my lap, I simply couldn’t wait to watch. I own every copy of this beloved series and have read all of them at least twice and have started a tradition of reading Shepherds Abiding at Christmas time each year. Oh, my, what a huge disappointment!!! Father Tim begins in the first book as a sixty-year old bachelor with diabetes and packing a few extra pounds. Cynthia, his neighbor, is a pretty blond with blue blue eyes, always smelling of her trademark perfume which Father Tim adores. Hallmark missed the mark completely with this movie, including the rug outside on Cnthia’s patio. I was expecting a sweet little town and had hoped for at least a bit of an appearance by some of Father Tim’s dear friends who he lunched with every day. For all of us fans, the latest book is coming out in mid-September. Hallmark, please don’t bother to make any more of these movies as you’ve really not even come close to portraying Jan Karon’s lovely, detailed, thoughtful books, woven with characters who could be your next door neighbors, not someone bringing carmel macchiatos by in a thermos. Really??? Turn off the television and start with the first book — I guarantee you won’t want to put them down! Happy reading. . . .

  6. Cheryl

    August 29, 2017 at 11:46 am

    my recording of At Home in Mitford was deleted due to my DVR going bad – cannot find when it will air again (since Aug) anyone know of any repeat dates?

  7. Rueben

    August 29, 2017 at 4:37 pm

    I’m not aware of any reairings of the movie at this time. I suggest keep checking your local listings/online guide to see if it will be reaired at some point.

  8. Joy

    August 30, 2017 at 10:40 am

    I don’t know if Hallmark looks at your page but I just had to share my thoughts and if you have anyway to get this to the powers at be I would really appreciate it because I am sure we all wanted to love it. First and foremost I love Hallmark no question about it. However, a multi-million dollar corporation could have splurged on having their writers actually read the series or at least the first book. Maybe they would have earned themselves some praise. This could have been a wonderful series that would have lasted for years had they taken the time and effort to do it properly and not rewrite the book. Instead of all the cookie cutter movies they show each week, this should be a weekly series based on the actual storyline and characters in the book. It is not rocket science….the reason Hallmark Channel is so popular is because we are all looking for– no craving for that feel good movie that you can share with your whole family. This just had $$$$$ signs attached to it as another movie completed and in the box ready for sale come this Christmas–It surely was not based on the beloved Mitford book series. I am sure most of us watched this movie because we really did read all of Jan Karon’s books and were ecstatic when we learned it was going to be made into a movie. Shame on Hallmark for putting money ahead of it’s integrity and ahead of it’s loyal audience. If you ever do another one of her books, please read it first, visualize the characters, take your time, and yes spend some of your money and develop a wonderful series. You don’t need to change the storyline, or redefine the characters–it is already there for the taking. Miss Rueben, if you get a chance to read this wonderful book, you will know what we are talking about and I know you will enjoy it too.

  9. Ella Surrette

    August 31, 2017 at 5:49 am

    Could not wait to see the movie because I have read (reread) every one of Jan Karon’s wonderful books. Only watched about half the movie before turning it off…horrible casting, especially Father Tim. Was hoping to see some of the wonderful characters in the book. I will pull out my books and read them again.
    It was as bad as the recent remake of Dirty Dancing, where Baby couldn’t dance and never learned.. lol

  10. patricia bowman

    August 31, 2017 at 9:45 am

    i missed it. when will it be on again?

  11. Heddy

    September 3, 2017 at 8:39 am

    When will it be shown again? Thank you!

  12. Joyce Brandt

    September 13, 2017 at 6:10 pm

    Is Hallmark planning a sequel to At Home in Mitford? I loved the movie!