The first cassette tape that I owned was “Out of the Blue” by Debbie Gibson, and my “electric youth”-scented childhood was played out with her music as the soundtrack. So, when I saw that the newest Hallmark movie, “Summer of Dreams”, featured my childhood idol, I couldn’t wait to see this fusion that must have been created with me in mind.
The Story– Debbie Gibson plays “fictional” Debbie Taylor who happened to burst onto the pop scene when she was 15 with the hit single “Only in my Dreams” and has been making music ever since. (This role must have been a huge stretch… ) Debbie has been dropped by her label, pushed aside by her sort-of boyfriend, and sang her last concert in a mattress store. She needs a change of scenery, so she heads to her sister’s cozy, ideal house and life to regroup.
My Thoughts– Although the story was a bit trite like most Hallmark Movies, the acting was pretty good, especially from Ms. Gibson and the actress who plays her sister, Pascale Hutton. Would I have preferred to watch Debbie Gibson sing her back catalogue for an hour and a half instead? Yes, but as far as Hallmark Movies go, this wasn’t a bad one. It was certainly better than Mariah Carey’s movie from last year where she just made me feel uncomfortable every time she was on screen. (Come to think of it, she was the soundtrack of my teens.) The love story, while not entirely captivating, was chill and believable, and most of the kids in her Glee-style choir were watchable. But, when Debbie Gibson sings, you just wish it wouldn’t stop. She obviously has loads of talent and stage presence.
Season Satisfaction– While advertised as a summer movie, the kids are in school and there is nothing mentioned that is summer-related. But, Debbie Gibson does seem like a summery person, so I guess it works…? Seriously, I read that she came to Hallmark with this idea and they fast-tracked it, so I imagine they called it whatever they needed to air it ASAP.
The Bottom Line– If you like Debbie Gibson, Glee, or teacher movies, you will enjoy this like a nice mint julep on a summer’s day. It goes down easy and puts a smile on your face.