The Beach House is a rare, welcome departure from typical Hallmark movies in that it depicts a troubled family, characters that are multi-dimensional (for the most part), and emotions that are not all positive and cheery. It also provides the viewer with two eye-catching visual experiences. One is the lovely, mature Andie MacDowell..and the other is Tybee Island, a beach and community South of Savannah, GA.Having spent many summers at Tybee Island, this viewer can confirm that it is still one of the most unspoiled, peaceful and beautiful communities. The filmographer who takes us there in this movie certainly confirms that description of the island. The beauty of the scenery, the ocean waves, the foliage, the stately, yet simple homes..are all photographed with respect and reverence for this undiscovered island.The other treat for ones eyes is Andie MacDowell, who portrays a woman beset by both family and personal problems that need to be resolved. This fine , serious actress is a pleasure to watch as she goes through seemingly insurmountable roadblocks to resolving her many issues. her performance is nuanced and not diminished by any needs to appear glamorous. The other lead roles in the story are handled in more typical Hallmark fashion. The prodigal daughter, who has left her troubled family to succeed in the big city, comes home after a disappointing work experience. Her island boyfriend, again in typical Hallmark fashion, has not moved on with his life after losing her. Minka Kelly, as the daughter, brings almost no drama to her role. She is beautiful and she smiles lot. Chad Michael Murray, as the boyfriend, is an undefined character, who simply seems to be someone to lean on and fall back on in difficult moments. Both actors belong in a more typical Hallmark movie, rather than in this one, which explores so many deeper issues in a complex life. There is also one other cast member, a young pregnant woman, who seems to have no definition in the story except, perhaps, to serve as a Greek chorus in reflecting the family's unresolved and secret issues.The subplot of the film revolves around the protection of sea turtles, and reflects a symbolic reference to birth, life, death and renewal. However, all that notwithstanding, this film belongs to Donny Boaz, who plays the family son. This young actor, relatively unknown (at least to this viewer) portrays the rich Southern son with such authenticity and swagger, it is impossible to take ones eyes off him..He embodies the Southern attributes of confidence that comes with wealth. He is arrogant, he knows his place in the bright light of Tybee. The actor looks the part..with his body gestures, his perfect not-quite-too-long hair, perfectly coiffed, and his snarling mouth. This viewer has known many of these young men who are born into privilege and who never become more than this cliche persona. Boaz depicts this son with pitch perfect accuracy.The Beach House is a serious family drama, not a typical Hallmark film, and very well worth watching..but bring your Kleenex!
The Beach House
The Beach House
The story follows Caretta "Cara" Rutledge, a woman who's tried to move beyond a difficult past but is forced to grapple with history head-on when she returns to fix the family beach house. During one devastating storm, Cara and her mother save hundreds of sea turtles from certain death and learn some of life's real truths in the process.
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