February 8, 2016

The Magic Of Ordinary Days


It is always a thrilling thing to discover a new book or movie, especially when you thought you knew everything there was to see or read. Such was my case with period drama. I had by no means seen all the period films that I wanted to, but I thought I knew of all the "good" ones, the only ones that would be worth my time.

Boy, was I ever wrong!


magic of ordinary days:

I was searching for header pictures on Pinterest (a favorite hobby of mine now :) when I ran across a lovely picture of a 1940's era woman in a lavender dress and what looked like lilacs on her hat. Since it was so fitting, I used it. Before long, I got a comment or two saying how it was from The Magic of Ordinary Days, and what a good movie that was.
"Well, color me intrigued", I thought. Well, maybe not those exact words, but you get the idea. :) I felt obligated to watch the movie if I was going to use a picture from it on the header. So it wasn't long before I got it from the library. ("from the library" is a phrase you'll hear me say A LOT.) I saw that it was produced by Hallmark, and to be honest, that made me a bit skeptical. Perhaps this is unfounded prejudice, but I had always had the notion that Hallmark films were sweet, but a bit corny or cheesy, and made on a low budget.
This movie proved me wrong. Did it still have a simpler, happier plot? Yes, but in my mind it was a movie and story well-worth watching.
Well, over-explanatory introduction aside, here is my review of The Magic of Ordinary Days!

                                      

We first see Olivia, the main character, on a train headed for the middle of nowhere, Colorado. Her situation is an uncomfortable one: she is unmarried, and pregnant. Her father has sent her away to marry a farmer in need of a wife. What makes this so crazy is that she has never met him before! On top of this, Olivia somehow plans on getting back together with her soldier sweetheart when he comes home. (Don't know what she was thinking there. Does she not understand marriage?)

                                    

 Olivia meets her husband, Ray Singleton on the same day they get married. An intense awkwardness ensues, from their first meeting to about two-thirds into the movie. And who could blame them?
Actually, I could. Ray actually loves Olivia and wants to make her happy, but her efforts to appreciate him and get used to being his wife are minimal and very gradual, to put it nicely.




Though the pace is slow, "Livy" and Ray have a lot to learn from each other. Livy learns how to cook and drive a car, and befriends some of Ray's farm hands, who are from Japanese internment camps. Ray, in his eager but quiet attempts to please Livy, digs her a swimming hole, takes her to the library, and even learns about her favorite subject, archaeology. 

                                                       

I wanted to put in a picture of the ending, but I'm not sure if that can be done in reviews. So I'll play it safe and not reveal the ending in case it's a blogging review faux-pas! Believe me, the ending is good and happy (could it be a Hallmark movie if it wasn't?), but not without plenty of problems along the way. Overall, I loved this film's developing love story, especially the unique setting of falling in love with a stranger to whom you are already married!

                                                           
Some other things I loved about The Magic of Ordinary Days:

  • The Hair and Costumes: Very well done! They fit the time era perfectly, but were not cookie-cutter, fill-in-the-blank 40's outfits. There were several really cute novelty print dresses and hats throughout. And of course Livy's lavender dress is gorgeous. 
  • Livy's sister's name is Abby. :)
  • The Scenery: Really cool scenery that kept me engaged, even though the majority of the film was on Ray's farm. I liked how barren the farmyard and house seemed at first, and I could totally feel Livy's pain as she saw room after plain and undecorated room of the farmhouse. The town scenes were also really neat and well done. 
  • Certain scenes: I love how Livy loves history and archaeology. She finds an old dugout of Ray's grandparents, and she decorates the once-bare farmhouse with antiques from the basement. That scene makes me squeal for happiness. :)

                   Do you have any opinion of Hallmark movies in general?        
                   Have you/are you planning to see The Magic of Ordinary Days?      
            Be honest: was this OK for my first review? What should I change or improve?           





14 comments:

  1. Abby, it was absolutely marvelous for ANY review! Let alone a first. :)

    This movie is so fresh and cozy even while dealing with some rather difficult themes and you encapsulated everything perfectly. Now I desperately want to see it again!

    And yes, I just love Hallmark movies! So many of their Christmas films are just adorable. :)

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    1. Thank you, Eowyn! I was terribly uncertain at its quality when I published it. Now that I'm not so prejudiced against Hallmark films, I'll have to check some of their Christmas ones out!

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  2. P.S. And thanks for the blog follow! Have a lovely evening. :)

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  3. Ahh. Okay, so I love this movie and sort of hate it in the same way. Livy tended to annoy me so much. Ray is completely like the guy every girl dreams of (he builds her a pool, for goodness sake) and she kind of shuns him at every turn, waiting for a guy who is most definitely never going to come back for her. Aside from that it was a great movie. The costumes and the setting of the movie were all gorgeous. I'm so glad you got to watch this movie!

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    1. I know what you mean, Anna. I had a hard time liking Livy too, but she grew on me throughout the movie. Sometimes I just thought "What's the matter with her?!" I'm just glad that she and Ray eventually click; he was so kind to her!

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  4. I'm so glad you were able to see this, Abby! And you did a lovely job with your review. Quite seriously. . . it's lovely!! ;) *grinning* And this is funny, but I'm actually right in the middle of working on my own review of this for Rose's 40's week. :) What timing!

    I don't know. . . I think my experience with this one might be opposite to a lot of people's (i.e. how I started liking it, that is). I've heard people talk about Ray a lot, but for me, the very very first time I saw it (while I definitely thought he was great), for various reasons that part just didn't click that crazily for me and I much more strongly identified with Livy. And then now the more times I've seen it, I've seen more and more just HOW incredibly amazing he really is (kind of along the lines of Livy herself realizing), which also incidentally makes me identify with her in a different way, too. (Except now I really do get put out with her in a couple early scenes. ;P) So altogether, I suppose you could say we have a long developing history together. Anyhow, I'm super looking forward to finishing mine, too and then we can compare notes again! :)

    And your other question: in general, I think I have a very similar overall impression of Hallmark movies (i.e. they can be kind of hit and miss) -- but then I guess makes that makes it all that much more exciting and unexpected when a really great one comes along and makes you fall completely for it! :)

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    1. Oh, thank you Heidi! I'm so glad you liked it, though I'm sorry to have stolen the thunder on your review!
      I can definitely see how the characters have different effects on people; they don't necessarily have clear-cut personalities. Even though I didn't always like Livy's attitude, I connected with her in many different ways, like her interest in history/archaeology and her shock at the un-decorated house. That's so cool you've had that experience with Livy! I love when one grows with a character like that. :) I can't wait to see your review!

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  5. A splendid first review!! ;-)
    Now I REALLY want to see this.

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  6. This was an excellent review, Abby! Honestly. I'd never heard of this movie before, but it sounds very interesting. :)

    As to Hallmark movies in general...I know what you mean. I sort of tend to think of them as corny, too. But actually, I've seen some very good Hallmark movies that were totally realistic and not at all cheesy. Have you ever watched 'Sarah Plain and Tall' and 'Skylark'? Those are two of my family's favorites. :)

    Thanks for the review, Abby! :)

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    1. Thank you Miss March! Yes, this is definitely not a well known movie, but maybe I can help change that. :)
      I've read the Sarah Plain and Tall/Skylark books, but have not seen the movies yet! But those sound really good; I'll have to see those soon!

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  7. I love this movie! I've read the book too, which is quite nice, but the movie is better, I think. :)

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  8. This was a wonderful first review! (It was your first review?!?!)

    I love this movie so much :) Haha, yep, most Hallmark movies, that I've seen at least, are like that. But this one is such a gem!

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  9. My opinion of Hallmark movies is one of cautious optimism. Sometimes they're great (like this sounds, and I think Shadow on the Mesa was a Hallmark movie), and sometimes they're goopy and syrupy and bleah.

    You and Heidi Peterson have made this sound amazing, and I'm hoping to see it sometime!

    For a first movie review, this was very nicely done :-)

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