Judge David Johnson has a note for you. "Do you like him? Circle yes or no."
Miracles come to those willing to believe.
Based on the novel by Angela Hunt, this made-for-TV drama tells the story of hapless newspaper columnist Peyton MacGruder (Genie Francis) as she happens upon the story of her life—something that captures the imagination of her readership and leads to some gobsmackingly touching Hallmark moments.
Following a plane crash, a note surfaces. It was written by an unknown father to an unknown son or daughter. Peyton takes it upon herself to track down the target of the note and immediately realizes she's struck emotional paydirt. Her readers are glued to her columns, which describe the meetings she had with potential note recipients. Trouble is, a shifty network guy catches wind of the story and attempts to steal the scoop out from under her. With the support of her potential boyfriend and fellow columnist (Ted McGinley, Revenge of the Nerds), Peyton soldiers on, finding new and compelling human interest stories and maybe, just maybe, stumbling upon a little miracle of her own.
It's pure schmaltz, sure, but it's good schmaltz. This thing is packed silly with crying and sweeping feel-good orchestral scores and heartfelt confessions and slow and measured speaking and hugs—oh the hugs!—and Christmas messaging and so much @#$%&%$# love you won't know what to do with yourself.
Francis and McGinely are both authentic and understated and their budding relationship is the most compelling and emotionally satisfying plotline going on. This is Peyton's story first and foremost, but her romance always seemed to be front and center. This is fine—it worked the best, even compared to the individual side character stories related to the note, which, frankly, came off as half a loaf of saccharine.
The story hums along in an easygoing manner, with just enough twists tossed in to make it less than predictable. There's no chance you're going to guess the ending, which a more cynical viewer would brand as ridiculously contrived, but in my book, if you're going to go for the touchy-feelies, you go whole hog baby.
I wasn't sold on the sleazy anchor guy story, though. It was the closest thing you were going to find for an antagonist—aside from the faulty engineering on the plane—and obviously someone wanted a molecule of conflict to toss into the proceedings, but it just seemed a distraction to me.
The Note is syrupy to the max and busting with sentimentality, but fans of family-friendly, Hallmark-like TV movies will find a treasure trove of positivity and middle-aged sexual tension here.
The DVD: 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen and 5.1 Dolby Digital, both decent, and interviews with author Angela Hunt and Genie Francis are your extras.
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