'Color My World With Love' Review: Hallmark romantic film breaks barriers with its new kind of love story
Hallmark's new romantic movie, 'Color My World With Love' is breaking barriers on the silver screen by telling a new kind of love story. The movie features love interests with Down syndrome at the core of its romantic storyline. People with Down syndrome rarely get to see themselves reflected on screen. 'Color My World With Love' changes that by centering this charming story for the world to see and experience love through a different lens.
'Color My World With Love' follows Kendall (Lily D Moore), a skilled artist with Down syndrome who creates beautiful paintings in the impressionist style that reflect the reality of her subjects as she sees them. Thanks to the support of her mother, Emma (Durance), and grandmother Bev (Karen Kruper), Kendall is happy and thriving. Kendall is independent, strong-willed and always optimistic about her life. Her life takes an exciting turn when she meets Brad (DeSanctis) who also has Down syndrome, in a cooking class at the local center for diverse learners. As fate would have it, they fall in love and start a relationship.
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Kendall's relationship makes Emma concerned as she does not want her daughter to get emotionally hurt. Unlike her daughter, Emma is cynical when it comes to love due to her own heartbreaks in the past. Emma has spent the last 22 years trying to protect her daughter and has reservations about this new relationship, especially when it quickly moves in a serious direction. Brad lost his parents in an accident and his only family is his "brother from another mother" and a longtime family friend Nic (Ayres). In parallel to Kendall and Brad's budding romance, Emma and Nic also have an attraction for each other. However, they both are afraid to fall in love as similar to Emma, Nic has also experienced heartbreaks in the past.
As the movie continues, there is trouble in paradise when Brad proposes to Kendall much to Emma's shock. While both Kendall and Brad are happy, Emma is concerned their relationship is moving too fast. She asks her daughter to postpone their marriage and to take time. Emma does not believe Kendall and Brad are ready to face the challenges of life and love. Kendall's engagement also created distance between Emma and Nic.
The movie also points out how people with disabilities are still far too often primarily defined by their disability. There is a significant scene in the movie where Kendall is trying on her wedding gowns. The saleswoman rudely snatches the gown from Kendall and makes a snide remark that the dress for her "special type" is not available. There is also a scene where a woman is surprised that Kendall is such a talented artist despite her disability. Despite being Kendall's biggest champion, Emma also is quite apprehensive of Kendall and Brad's relationship and marriage plans as she doesn't believe they will endure the challenges of love. Their need for love and connection is often called into question – or even the right to have this need.
Lily D Moore is familiar to the audience from Netflix's 'Never Have I Ever'. She is excellent in her performance of Kendall and emotes all the shades of her character with sincerity. 'Color My World With Love' is DeSanctis’ breakout role and he creates a memorable performance as well. Their chemistry is so refreshing and honest that we wish there were more scenes of them in the movie. Props to Erica Durance for playing Emma and for effortlessly expressing the minute fears of an overprotective mother.
'Color My World With Love' is certainly Hallmark's signature film that embraces and supports people with disabilities. It explores a love story that a lot of people may not see on television or in movies. The movie not only advocates love for the differently-abled couples but also enlightens the viewers with a little more knowledge and lessons on understanding what those with disabilities can do. The movie inspires that everyone has a story to paint with endless possibilities. It highlights that every human has the right to dream and fall in love despite their circumstances. Hallmark has successfully managed to find a balance between delighting the audience and addressing social issues that don't often find space in the stories we usually see.