It is true that as an adaptation of the wonderful book series that calling 'At Home in Mitford' severely wanting is a big understatement. The series is so loosely adapted to the point of being unrecognisable, other than the film's title and the character names. That's where any sort of fidelity ends. Am however always somebody who sees a film or television adaptation on their own merits, there are plenty out there that are not good adaptations but good and even brilliant on their own.
'At Home in Mitford' is not one of those film adaptations that work well as a standalone, and not only are the details of the series lost in translation but also the spirit of it (even if it wasn't 100 percent faithful it would have been a little nice to have glimpses of the series' spirit). Basically it is the standard Hallmark formula but with nothing new and with very little to it on an emotional level. Really wanted to like it as Cameron Mathison is always watchable, though had real doubts about his casting this time, but it just didn't work at all.
Not completely irredeemable by all means. It looks nice, with the picturesque scenery being shot in a non-overblown or static way.
That is pretty much it for the good things regrettably. The acting is really not good, not even Mathison works. He does try but he comes over as bland here and even those who have not read the book series will have the feeling that he is too young for the role, especially if aware of what his type of character are like. Andie MacDowell fares worse, she comes over as too pompous and also looks bored. Everybody else can't do anything with such under-baked characters.
Character writing is barely existent, with what were quite complex characters before being reduced to typical Hallmark cliches and tired ones at that. The chemistry between Mathison and MacDowell isn't there and very little is done with the relationship. The direction is rather pedestrian as is the pacing, especially in the draggy and too slight middle act. The music could have been used less and been more subtle.
Didn't care for the script, which here came over as corny and clinical as well as too verbose. The story never comes to life and on an emotional level is bland, the quaintness and charm completely gone. Any light-hearted-ness one gets a lot from Hallmark is also gone in a film that takes its subject too seriously while also keeping the story and characters firmly on the surface and never skin deep. The story can be very thin and is very predictable throughout, and everything with Mathison's character is handled in too relaxed a fashion.
Overall, very poor as an adaptation and as a Hallmark film. Of the 2017 Summer Nights films (which it doesn't even feel anything like),this is the worst by quite some way. 2/10.
At Home in Mitford
Drama / Family
At Home in Mitford
Drama / Family
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With a case of writer's block, a children's author escapes to small town Mitford for a change of scenery. She soon finds the heart and soul of the southern town in a priest as they work together to care for a young boy who's lost his family. With heartbreak in their pasts, each must find the courage and faith to grab an unexpected chance at true love.
Uploaded by: FREEMAN