Following a tragic personal loss, Charlie and Donna Barton are driven to pursue their dream: owning and operating a bed and breakfast. They lease a beautiful property and begin renovating it and open it for business, calling it The Bridge. They seek to make personal connections with their customers through hospitality and real books. The Bartons are able to see many personal stories unfold, including the developing love between Molly Callens and Ryan Kelly. Though Molly and Ryan are from very different worlds, they find common ground in making future goals and in discovering their true purposes in life. As they grow closer together, little do they know that their relationship is about to be tested to its fullest.
Production Quality (1 point)
Hallmark is usually known for their high production quality, but corners were obviously cut in The Bridge, Part 1. For starters, there is far too much soft lens camera used, like they are trying to cover up things. This only lends to the overall plastic feel of the film. However, there is some good camera work that mostly saves the production from being horrible. The sets are severely limited, only showing The Bridge over and over again, a couple of house and outside scenes, and that old truck. The editing is very confusing, dropping viewers in the middle of circumstances with no explanation. The 90 minutes of runtime are very poorly utilized. The Bridge also makes use of Hallmark’s most annoyingly loud soundtrack. In short, this film was obviously thrown together just for the sake of making it.
Plot and Storyline Quality (.5 point)
The Bridge is not up to par with a typical Karen Kingsbury plot, and it can be understood why, since the movie departs from the original book concepts. In this forced two-part movie, there is far too much repetition. With 90 minutes to work with, the characters should be very deep and believable. They are not. Rather than being authentic, they are swept along by the plot without any control over their circumstances. They make unexplained decisions, such as poor communication at convenient times, and are affected by coincidences just to extend the plot. Besides this, the characters have a strange obsession with The Bridge and the Bartons have an unexplained perceptiveness. The Christian message is watered down and replaced with trite Christmas superstitions and a crusade against ‘downloads’. The only consolation in Part 1 is that there is a small amount of potential in the plot concept, yet it is squandered. The end makes no sense and is anti-climactic, thus making this entire movie a waste of time.
Acting Quality (0 points)
Hallmark has coached some infamous casts before, but this collection takes the cake. Filled with overly syrupy happiness, the actors and actresses seem like they are snorting helium. With constant overdone smiling, they robotically deliver their lines with no emotion. This is not to mention the very amateurish makeup jobs. There is really nothing good to say here.
We maintain that Hallmark contacted popular Christian author Karen Kingsbury and instructed her to write a plot that closely follows the mindless romance storyline they are so deeply obsessed with. Hallmark essentially used Kingsbury’s popularity among Christians to spin out another two-part movie about their typical themes. They are obviously convinced that their audience constantly wants to see mindless romances time and again. This movie was forced to be two parts, thus totaling up three hours of runtime, which was totally washed down the drain. Karen Kingsbury is not at fault here—this is just another typical Hallmark disaster.
Final Rating: 1.5 out of 10 points