Hallmark Channel Movie Recap: At Home In Mitford
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