Movie Critique – Edge of the Garden
Stars: 4 / 5
Recommendation: Time travel romance plot delighting you at every scene; amazing the viewer with the imagination of how one can share space years apart; and at the same making you think some times love is timeless.
Edge of the Garden is a 2011 American romantic time traveling film released by Hallmark Movies & Mysteries Channel; Directed by Michael M. Scott; Produced by Harvey Kahn; and Screenplay written by Duane Poole. The film stars Rob Estes, Sarah Manninen, Kelly Monaco and David Lewis among others.
A workaholic Brian Connor (portrayed by Rob Estes) moves to Maine where his new job is, when his fiancée Julie (portrayed by Kelly Monaco) breaks up with him when he misses his own engagement party while busy working. He buys an old abandoned home in the new place. Soon after he starts to feel presence of people, and eventually meets Nora Hargrave (portrayed by Sarah Manninen). Only problem is that both are fifty years apart, and somehow culminates in that house where both times exist together; share the same space.
I always like a book or film that has time traveling element tied to it. I posted a film of similar genre a while ago - the 1998 The Love Letter, also released as part of Hallmark Hall of Fame series. In that the primary characters exchange letters that travel across time to go back 100 years. Naturally I was drawn to Edge of the Garden for the basic concept of the plot. But it charmed me more once I saw the film.
Although a few questions certainly raise in my mind about the logic of it all, but again it's a fantasy film. So simply enjoy it. Originally I had watched the movie a few years ago, but was waiting for it to be aired again so I could post my thoughts on it. So here we are! :)
Rob Estes as workaholic Brian finds his peace with the abandoned house, and learns some key life lessons from his partner from past, Nora Hargrave. This was my first movie that I had watched of Rob Estes. But I saw him later in two films from the anthology film series Signed, Sealed, Delivered by Hallmark Movies & Mysteries Channel - the 2014 Signed, Sealed, Delivered for Christmas and 2017 Signed, Sealed, Delivered: Home Again.
But he made a very mean and sadistic Nick Townsend, ex-husband of CSI Natalia Boa Vista (portrayed by Eva LaRue) in CSI: Miami, American police procedural drama television series. It did come as a shock to see him in a romantic light when I saw his film the first time. He fit well into Brian Connor's shoes playing the workaholic character who learns the meaning of love.
Sarah Mannihem as Nora Hargrave is sweet, and pretty wife of the 1960s who is no meek one. She has a strong back and stands up to her bullying husband. Again this is the first time I think I am watching her film although she has been in the industry since 1998.
Kelly Monaco plays the ex-fiancée Julie, who loves and hates Brian. If you are a fan of the American dance competition television reality series Dancing with the Stars, then you would know that she was the winner of the very first season of that show. Somehow as much as earthy and genuine Sarah's Nora looked, Kelly's Julie came across as plastic and artificial. It was no brainer that Brain and Julie were not a match at all in the plot.
The story is quite fascinating even though it is a fiction and a fantasy flick. I loved the wardrobe work for Sarah Manninen. Costume design by Rebekka Sorensen-Kjelstrup is spot-on keeping it with the period setting for Sarah and modern times for Julie.
Does the story remind you of 1985 American sci-fi fantasy film Back to the Future? Sure it should specially about the part to change the future by making a change in the past. :P However in this the past collides with present and both exist at the same time in that house.
Time travel romance plot delighting you at every scene; amazing the viewer with the imagination of how one can share space years apart; and at the same making you think some times love is timeless.
1) Movie Trivia:
a. Karen Elizabeth Austin played the role of older Nora whom we meet at the end of the film. Sadly she had passed away a month before the film was released.
b. Viv Leacock as Dr. Stan is cool and hip. I remember him for his role of Private Investigator Fincher Garland from Hailey Dean Mystery Movie series again by Hallmark Movies & Mysteries Channel.
2) Grammatical / Historical / Location / Character Errors:
a. How did the ivy on the house doesn’t change in 50 years? At least it should be in shambles in present time…but when you see both times together the ivy is similar and seamless.
b. In Dr. Stan's email, he prescribes 500 mg Tetracycline once per day, but in the letter Brian writes to Nora he lists it to be taken four times per day.
c. The first time Brian looks up Thomas Hargrave, we see that he is living at 14 2nd Ave with a telephone number of 207-555-7932. Then it changes to Nora Hargrave later in the film with a phone number of 207-555-7892. But when Brian later goes to Nora's house it is numbered 14.