Signed, Sealed, Delivered: From the Heart (2016) The film follows four young people, Oliver, Shane, Rita and Norman, as they face personal challenges following Valentine’s Day after they discover a 200-year-old valentine that could change history.
Actor: Geoff Gustafson, Aaron Craven, Holly Elissa
Director: Lynne Stopkewich
Country: United States
Duration: 90 min
First of all, if you have not read my interview with Crystal Lowe (Rita), please check it out here. Secondly, although I do my best to keep this as spoiler-free as possible, know that there is a chance you will read something you didn’t know about this film. If you are worried about spoilers, do not read any further!
Chris Gauthier as Serge
Let’s begin with one of Norman’s cousins. Remember how he always has those infamously offbeat cousins who turn up in a variety of places? Well, early on in the film, we are introduced to Serge as played by Chris, and the scene is absolutely hilarious. This picture gives you just a taste of what to expect. I wasn’t sure I had seen Chris before, but his resume is quite extensive. In fact, I remember him from Hitched for the Holidays. As Serge, he is simply ideal–just an example of a cast member who knows how to make himself unforgettable.
Jill Morrison as Hazel
And Jill has returned as that endearing mail carrier, Hazel, who is unwittingly responsible for the tension and sorrow existing between Shane and Oliver. But her bubbly personality makes it impossible to stay vexed with her. Again, a small role, but a fun actress in a zany part that won’t soon be obliterated.
Emilie Ullerup as Dale
All right, Postables, hold onto your hats. This lady could be a potential threat to the ultimate happiness of Oliver and Shane. But in the long run, I don’t think we have much to be worried about. Emilie plays Dale, a pivotal character who may be inadvertently responsible for minimal sadness and a truly funny moment between Shane and Oliver. The memory of her is longer than her actual time on the screen. More interesting than all that, it would seem that she made another appearance on the series some time ago as a completely different character. Regardless, there is no real chemistry between Dale and Oliver, so no reason to get too distraught, right?
Candus Churchill as CICU Nurse
As the nurse who will not bend the rules for anyone (until the right someone comes along), Candus plays that unyielding worker who is more concerned with protecting her patient than unearthing the truth. Interestingly enough, we saw her on another episode where she played the judge (I remember her now), and she played that same kind of role with as much austerity as she could muster. She was also featured in Mr. Miracle, so Hallmark has seen how well she plays these determined female roles, and it looks like her “star” is on the ascent. Rightfully so!
Debate Judge (Edwin Perez)
While I wouldn’t typically comment on such a minuscule role, Edwin is one of those actors who continues to pop up when I least expect him. No matter his part, he has a signature style that makes him memorable, and he has displayed that even in this role of the debate judge. You may have seen him featured in Dashing Through the Snow and even Ion TV’s film last week Heart Felt (my favorite role of his to date). I hope to see him featured in even bigger roles very soon–please Hallmark!
Austin Obiajunwa as young Garrison and Nick Purcha as young Ryan
As per normal, much of this film is told in flashback, as we unravel the history behind a “lost” letter. You may recognize young Nick (playing young Ryan) from Angels in the Snow as well as the last Garage Sale Mystery. Chances are that Austin is a new face, however. Together they make up the teenage debate team where showmanship is valued above facts. Austin plays young Garrison, and while he is not on the screen much, he certainly deserves an honorable mention.
Nick depicts Ryan impeccably. From the debate team to the love story to the unbelievable tragedy, he is always in character and takes his role seriously. It is his actions that change a life (and several others) forever. But he is also a reminder that redemption is a possibility for all. Nothing is beyond the reach of the hand of God, and mistakes (even significant ones) are fundamentally forgivable, even though one must live with the consequences.
Arielle Tuliao as young Becca and Mackenzie Cardwell as young Maddie
I couldn’t recall where I had seen Arielle (who plays the suspicious young Becca), but when I saw Stolen Daughter in her list of credits, I remembered immediately. And Mackenzie is another “Hearties” alumnus, and as young Maddie, she is superb. Becca is responsible for setting a few things in motion that lead to a tragedy, and Mackenzie is the one who possibly suffers more from Ryan’s actions than anyone else.
As the young debater, she has a wonderful smile, and there is no doubt that she is heartsick as reality takes her by storm. Ryan may not be coming back to claim her affections, and she only wants to know why. Sadly, a letter is lost, and fifteen years pass…