TV Review: Hallmark Hall of Fame’s ‘In My Dreams’

Hallmark Hall of Fame in My

After a decidedly rough patch, the Hallmark Hall of Fame gets a bit of its mojo back in time for Mother’s Day with “In My Dreams,” a magical-realist-tinged romance pairing Katharine McPhee (no, she doesn’t sing) with “Under the Dome’s” Mike Vogel. As is often the case with the brand, the slight premise requires a bit of goodwill to sustain things through to the well-telegraphed ending, but the central duo is so dreamy and the idea so unabashedly romantic it should put those who bother to watch — a challenge since the franchise landed on ABC — in a card-buying mood.

It doesn’t hurt that McPhee and Vogel look like prototypes for the top of a wedding cake, although writers Teena Booth and Suzette Couture, along with director Kenny Leon, manage to scatter enough hurdles to make them helpfully vulnerable.

Vogel’s Nick is a serial one-and-done dater still smarting from a failed relationship, while his mother (a very fun JoBeth Williams) nags him about opening up to someone new. He’s also an architect, slaving away under a boss who turns a blind eye to his big ideas. Meanwhile, Natalie (McPhee) has inherited a family restaurant from her late mother, but is resisting the changes necessary to potentially make the business succeed.

A chance non-encounter in the park sees each cast a penny into the same fountain, and the coins (metaphor alert!) land one on top of the other. In short order, when Nick and Natalie fall asleep, they encounter each other in their dreams, forging a growing bond that has them so starry-eyed that neither ever thinks to somniloquently ask for an address or phone number.

Awake, each principal doubts the other truly exists, and the story keeps bringing them together only to have them tantalizingly miss each other. Natalie’s attention also is deflected by her handsome new chef (Antonio Cupo), while Nick’s ex (Rachel Skarsten) tumbles back into his life.

Although the story is perhaps more naturally suited to Hallmark’s traditional pre-Valentine’s Day window, this is one of the more satisfying movies the storied franchise has delivered in some time, after a string characterized by misfires and mediocre ratings that appear to have cast doubts over its broadcast future.

Granted, this simple yarn still doesn’t rank with the Hall of Fame’s greats, but in terms of Hallmark’s reputation for gently plucking at the heartstrings, that’s precisely the stuff “Dreams” is made of.

TV Review: Hallmark Hall of Fame's 'In My Dreams'

(Movie; ABC, Sun. April 20, 9 p.m.)


Filmed in Vancouver by Hallmark Hall of Fame Prods. in association with Sony Pictures Television.


Executive producer, Brent Shields; producer, David A. Rosemont; director, Kenny Leon; writers, Teena Booth, Suzette Couture; story by Booth; camera, James Chressanthis; production designers, Richard Paris, Linda Del Rosario; editor, Priscilla Nedd-Friendly; music, William Ross; casting, Molly Lopata. 120 MIN.


Katharine McPhee, Mike Vogel, JoBeth Williams, Jessalyn Wanlim, Antonio Cupo, Rachel Skarsten

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  1. Sam says:

    Does anybody know the name of the songs played in the nightclub scene the two were dancing to?

    Cannot find it anywhere on the net

  2. Deb says:

    Worst Hallmark movie I have seen

  3. GetFiddle Man says:

    Brian Lowry does not give details of his opinions as any real reviewer/critic should do.

  4. Becky says:

    I had to speed up a lot of this movie as I had recorded it. It was so boring and no chemistry between McPhee and Vogel. I love her singing and her acting isn’t bad, but this was a snoozer and not up to par for Hallmark!

  5. film critic says:

    Sorry but this movie was terrible….the female actor came across as trying too hard to act in her role. Sorry to be blunt but she was just plain awful.the male actor was o, k, but I have seen him in better acting roles….the femake actor needs acting lessons or take up a new profession….Hallmark wake up

  6. DeeDee says:

    Very disappointed with this Hallmark movie. It is not up to their usual standards. Katherine McPhee is so talented in all aspects

  7. Sonja says:

    I was disappointed with tonights movie. It took them the whole movie before getting together. Hallmark had never disappointed me until now .

  8. Jeannie says:

    Who played the flower lady in the movie

  9. Doris says:

    I loved it, but I want to know the name of the song that was played throughout the movie. It was beautiful and sounded familiar.

  10. Matt says:

    I thought it was a good movie. McPhee and Vogel were great.

  11. Arline winkler says:

    Worst movie I’ve seen in a long time. Most definitely not up to Hallmark standards Couldn’t wait for it to end

  12. Theresa Kaveney says:

    I am thoroughly enjoying tonight’s movie, in your dreams, but was turned off by the comercial in spanish. I understand that they may not speak english, but they are living in my country and they should speak our language. If I was in their country, I wouldn’t expect the comercials to bd in english. There are stations that broadcast in spanish only. Thank you for reading this. I don’t want to be negative, but this is americz and if you live here you should learn the language. If I lived in a spanish speaking country, I would learn the language and not expect others to cater to me.


    • james woods says:

      Spanish isn’t my language either, but, language wasn’t the point of the commercial.

    • Jasmine says:

      I understand your opinion on the spanish commercial, but considering that… The point of the commercial was that the grandmother felt her grandson was losing a part of his heritage by not speaking spanish fluently. The daughter had stated to the grandmother she can come as often as she wants to the house to visit her grandson, but the grandmother felt out of place cause she understood her grandson but her grandson didn’t understand her. Although it’s good the child knows English, it’s also good for the child to speak another language. Nothing’s wrong with knowing two or more languages in a country that’s filled with diversity.

  13. meme says:

    Excited for this movie with McPhee & Vogel . . . definitely gonna watch it!

    • james woods says:

      We all wish love was as easy as this was, but, most of us know it isn’t, The love of my life was killed by a drunk driver in 1984. life has not been a “BOWL OF CHERRIES”

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