In Conversation With… “The Christmas Cure” Screenwriter Marcy Holland


There’s nothing better than getting to open up a present earlier than expected. That’s exactly what Hallmark Channel’s Christmas in July programming event feels like because we get to watch new Christmas films SIX MONTHS before the actualy holiday. It’s the cure to our Christmas withdrawals.

Speaking of cures, one of the doses of Christmas movie medicine we’re recieving is tonight’s (July 15) premiere of The Christmas Cure, written by the fabulous Marcy Holland and starring the talented Brooke Nevin and Steve Beyers.

To get the full scoop on this new Christmas film, Millennial Hallmarker caught up with Marcy (via email) to chat about writing holiday movies, working with Hallmark, and which of her TV movies she’d love to make a sequel to!

Millennial: You’ve written a bunch of TV movies, with your first one being the hit Sexting in Suburbia, how did you get your start in screenwriting?

Marcy: After film school, I spent a few years writing specs and developing projects that fizzled out. I was incredibly grateful to Lifetime and the producers of “Sexting in Suburbia” when they brought me on and gave me my first real shot.


Millennial: Most of your TV movies have been thrillers with only a couple being romance, which do you prefer to write?


Marcy: I read a lot of romance and I’m obsessed with true crime podcasts like “My Favorite Murder.” So I love that I get to do both.


Millennial: Also, most of your movies are Lifetime movies, how does it feel to have written a movie that is going to premiere on Hallmark Channel? Is there a difference to you where your movies air?


Marcy: I’m really excited to have a movie on Hallmark. Especially a Christmas one. I had my ringtone set to Jingle Bells while I was writing in April. But both networks have been dream jobs.


Millennial: Your upcoming TV movie, The Christmas Cure, premieres on Hallmark on July 15th. What’s your favorite quote from the movie? Favorite scene?


Marcy: My favorite scene is kind of a spoiler… but I will say that it involves a Young Adult book series that gets referenced throughout the movie.


Millennial: Writers aren’t usually involved in casting, so how did you like the casting in this movie of Brooke Nevin and Steve Beyers?


Marcy: I think they’re perfect for the roles. These movies really rely on the chemistry of your leads. Brooke and Steve have a great dynamic.


Millennial: Did you know going into this that this Christmas film would premiere in July instead of December? What are your thoughts on Hallmark’s Christmas in July programming event?


Marcy: I found out right before I went to script. I think the Christmas in July event is a fantastic idea. And I know that Hallmark fans look forward to it.


Millennial: Did you come up with this story and write it, or were you given the plot and asked to write the script? Which of those is usually the case with the movies you’ve written?


Marcy: There was a one page summary when I came onboard. A lot of the big story points were there.
I’ve entered projects at all different stages – sometimes there is a single logline. Sometimes there is a full outline. Sometimes there is an entire script that needs to be rewritten.


Millennial: How do you come up with your storylines? Do you ever get stuck? If so, how do you deal with writer’s block?


Marcy: I make iPod playlists and walk with a notebook. I try to play out the movie in my head, and scratch down notes as a go.
The best way to deal with writer’s block is to have structure. I break work into daily page count goals. And I do timed writing sprints multiple times a day. Writer’s block comes from being away from the page too long – just keep moving.


Millennial: Which of your movies would you most want to write a sequel to? What would happen in the sequel?

Marcy: “Last Hours in Suburbia.” It’s about two best friends but takes place after one of them has died. I’d write a prequel about their misadventures together.

Millennial: Were you able to visit any of the movie sets for the movies you’ve written? If so, which ones? Which of the movies’ stars did you get to meet and what was it like to see them bring your characters to life?


Marcy: I’ve visited three (“Sexting in Suburbia,” “Last Hours in Suburbia,” and “The House Sitter”). It’s really exciting to watch the actors take creative chances and make a scene much better.


Millennial: I just wanted to say thank you for writing Lifetime’s film, Christmas on the Bayou, which brought together two former One Tree Hill stars, Hilarie Burton and Tyler Hilton. Had you ever watched them on the series? Would you ever want to write a sequel and what do you think would happen with these two?


Marcy: That reunion was really fun to stage. I’m glad so many people seemed to enjoy it. As for a sequel – I’d probably set it at their wedding, and introduce two new characters to fall in love.

Millennial: Had you watched a lot of TV movies prior to writing them? What’s your all-time favorite TV movie and why?


Marcy: I watch a ton of made-for-tv movies. Lifetime. Hallmark. SyFy. Disney.
My favorite TV movie of all time is probably “A Diva’s Christmas Carol” with Vanessa Williams. Super funny and has excellent music.

I also have a lot of affection for those 90s Disney movies like “Brink” and “Horse Sense.”

Millennial: What can you tell me about your upcoming films, Mississippi River Sharks, Spruces and Pines, and Fan Girl?


Marcy: “Mississippi River Sharks” is part of SyFy’s Sharknado week. A bunch of the “Ozark Sharks” team got back together for it. Sharks attack a fishing tournament on the Mississippi and everything goes sideways.
“Spruces and Pines” is a Romeo and Juliet story set on rival Christmas tree farms. We filmed on actual Christmas tree farms in Massachusetts, so the locations are really beautiful. And festive!
“Fan Girl” is a psychological thriller about an author and her fan. Lots of
twists and turns.

Millennial: What are you working on now? Are you currently writing any other movies or possibly shows?


Marcy: I’m finishing up rewrites on a project that starts filming soon. I can’t say too much more about it yet.


Millennial: What’s your advice for someone that wants to get in the screenwriting business?


Marcy: Embrace collaboration.


Millennial: At Millennial Hallmarker, we believe that TV movies aren’t a guilty pleasure, simply a pleasure. Do you believe that? What do you have to say to people who don’t understand why you would want to write a TV movie or watch one?

Marcy: Don’t feel guilty. Find people who like the same things. Be best friends.

Millennial: Is there anything else you’d like to add or tell fans about your movie, the cast, Hallmark Channel, or yourself?

Marcy: I hope everyone enjoys “The Christmas Cure!” If you have twitter you can follow me @hollandnotes. I’ll be tweeting during the show.

The Christmas Cure premieres on Hallmark Channel tonight, July 15, at 9pm!

*Be sure to subscribe to this blog and follow along on social (Twitter/Facebook/Instagram) for a personal take on news, reviews, interviews and everything in-between.*

New TV Movies From Your Favorite Channels: See The July 2017 Lineup!

Time to put up those Christmas lights! Listen, I know what you’re thinking, “But Millennial Hallmarker, it’s only July!” While that might be true, that doesn’t mean we can’t have a little halfway-to-Christmas celebration, especially since Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movies & Mysteries is making it a whole lot easier for us with new Christmas-themed movies!

If Christmas films aren’t your favorite, no worries. PixL has your back with the premiere of its new rivals-to-lovers flick Bad Date Chronicleswhich sounds like the literal definition of a rom-com.

So you don’t miss out on a new movie that could easily become a favorite, Millennial Hallmarker has all the details on July’s TV movie premieres for you right here.

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In Conversation With… Disney Channel’s ‘Get A Clue’ Screenwriter Alana Sanko On Its 15th Anniversary

Get a Clue, would ya?! It’s the DCOM’s 15th anniversary!

Everyone knows Lindsay Lohan really kicked off her career as the adorable twins in 1998’s The Parent Trap, but it was Disney Channel’s Get a Clue that helped catapult her into the next, more grown-up phase of her career.

The ’02 DCOM, written by the talented Alana Sanko and directed by Maggie Greenwald, focused on a rich, fashionable student, Lexy (Lindsay Lohan), who works to solve the mystery of her missing teacher with the help of her best friend Jennifer (Brenda Song), her student paper rival Jack (Bug Hall), and his friend Gabe (Al Mukadam). The Disney Channel Original Movie is filled with gadgets, hi-jinks, high fashion, and hi-larity.

Get a Clue started a stream of movies for Lindsay, leading to the likes of Freaky FridayConfessions of a Teenage Drama Queen, and Mean Girls. But it’s not just Lindsay that should be thankful for this film. We all should be.

It featured a great cast with fabulous chemistry. It was non-stop fun and one of the most interesting DCOMs. And, I mean, how cute were Lexy and rival-turned-bf Jack??

Most importantly, the characters were all bada** on a channel that doesn’t even allow that word.

That’s why today (June 28), the film’s 15th anniversary, is so important. And should be celebrated as such.

To commemorate the momentous occasion of Get a Clue‘s 15th anniversary, Millennial Hallmarker caught up with the film’s screenwriter (via email) Alana Sanko to find out more about the cast’s amazing chemistry, what it was like to write the hit DCOM, and her thoughts on a sequel!

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Lake Bell And Ed Helms Muddle Through Marriage In ‘I Do… Until I Don’t’ Trailer

Lake Bell is back in the director’s chair!

Bell, who previously directed 2013’s fabulous In A World, is returning to the impressive world of doing it all AKA directing, writing, producing, AND acting in her upcoming indie comedyI Do… Until I Don’t.

Featuring not only the very talented Lake Bell, but also Ed Helms, Amber Heard, Wyatt Cenac, Mary Steenburgen, Paul Reiser, Dolly Wells, and Chace Crawford, this is one September movie that should *definitely* be put on your must-see list.

But what is it really all about? Here’s the official film synopsis:

I Do… Until I Don’t is an ensemble comedy following three couples stuck in the web of a jaded filmmaker (Dolly Wells) looking to prove that marriage should be a seven-year contract with an option to renew.

For Alice and Noah (Lake Bell, Ed Helms), more than a hint of boredom is setting in as they approach their first decade together and the prospect of parenthood. Meanwhile, Alice’s funky sister Fanny (Amber Heard) is sure her “open marriage” to Zander (Wyatt Cenac) is the key to their free-spirited happiness. And then there’s Cybil and Harvey (Mary Steenburgen, Paul Reiser), a pair of empty-nesters wondering what the next stage will be.

Now that you’ve got the scoop on the multi-couple comedy, check out the trailer below to see how it all comes together!

Noah: “Meet me in the bathroom in five.”

Alice: “I don’t know if I need five minutes to get there, hun.”

For more laughs, be sure to watch I Do… Until I Don’t when it opens in theaters on September 1st!

*Be sure to subscribe to this blog and follow along on social (Twitter/Facebook/Instagram) for a personal take on news, reviews, interviews and everything in-between.*

‘Bring It On 6’ Is Almost Here, & It’s Going Global

On August 25, 2000, the world was given the gift of the original Bring It On film and everything changed. It was pure fun, sexy, brutal, ridiculous, hardcore, and teen-and-cheer-tastic.

Now, 17 years later, one August 29, 2017, the world is about to receive another present from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment and Beacon Pictures: Bring It On: Worldwide #Cheersmack, the 6th movie in the franchise.

After seeing the first five films in the series about 50 times each, I’m thrilled to finally be adding another into the mix!

Featuring Degrassi: The Next Generation‘s Cristine ProsperiDance Academy and The FostersJordan RodriguesVikings‘ Sophie Vavasseur, and the one-of-a-kind Vivica A. Fox, the latest Bring It On is set to be yet another worldwide sensation.

What aspect of the cheer world will we be experiencing this time around? Let Universal Pictures’ official summary explain:

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Why Amanda Bynes’ Plan To Return To Acting Means Everything To Me

Amanda Bynes wants to return to acting, and it’s about damn time.

In her first interview in four years, Amanda told Hollyscoop’s Diana Madison that she’s been working on herself for the last few years and that she’s ready to get back to acting, starting with TV.

This is the greatest news I could ever ask for. Amanda has always meant so much to me, both growing up and now. Her work stands for so much more than just kid and teen content. It stands for everything that girls should aspire to be.

Right now we’re basking in the female glory that is Wonder Woman because we appreciate and crave strong women in our movies and on our TV screens. Gal Gadot gave us that with this latest superhero film and it is everything.

But that saying “not all superheroes wear capes” is completely true. Gal’s Wonder Woman is just the latest (and largest-scale) strong female character that we’ve had. As we continue to hope for more and more women to add to that list, we must also remember those who have in the past. Amanda Bynes is most definitely one of them.

She’s shown girls, who are on their way to womanhood, that it is OKAY to be yourself, unashamedly so. Amanda was never afraid to take on roles that made her look goofy or required her to not be in the “prettiest” state. She was the Kristen Wiig of the YA world. She was the Kristen Wiig of my world. Scratch that, she was simply the Amanda Bynes of world and the stood for a lot on its own.

Unfortunately, so many actresses, especially young ones, give in to society’s idea that they must look the right way in every scene of every show or movie they do, or that they must never make strange/weird faces, even in comedies, for fear of that’s how the world will see them. As if that’s a bad way for them to be seen.

Amanda didn’t give in to that pressure. She showed society and, more importantly, the girls growing up in that society, that not only is it okay to act however you want, but it should be encouraged. When you watch I watch her onscreen, I don’t think “Oh, she’s funny for her age” or “She’s funny for a girl,” I just think, “She is funny as hell. Period.”

There’s a reason in the late ’90s to early ’00s she made the jump from giving it to us good as part of the cast on Nickelodeon’s All That to giving us even more as the lead of her own series on the network, The Amanda Show. She’s just all that and more.

                       

But Amanda wasn’t just the queen of Nickelodeon; she was also the queen of the movie scene. She starred as Frankie Muniz’s second-in-command in 2002’s Big Fat Liar, showing us just what she could do given the full length of a feature film. She threw “normal” right out the window.

Enough so that she moved on to being the lead in her own movie, What a Girl Wants, in 2003. Her love interest in the film, Oliver James as Ian, told Bynes’ character essentially what she tells her audience through every role of hers…

Amanda proves over and over again in each and every show and movie that she does that she isn’t afraid to stand out, even when the industry continues to tell her not to.

From 2002-2006, Amanda showcased her talents on WB’s What I Like About You and I couldn’t help but to continue to like EVERYTHING about her. Not only was this show a blessing because it was simply good, but also because it gave us Amanda on our TV screens every week, giving us more of Amanda’s brilliant facial expressions.

 

Now Amanda is saying she wants to get back into TV acting and all I can say is: CANCEL EVERYTHING, GIVE ME AMANDA, PLEASE.

From there, hopefully she’ll begin to do movies again, as well. While I’ve seen all of Amanda’s shows a million times, it’s her movie that came out a week prior to What I Like About You‘s series finale that I’ve seen a billion times and quote every chance I get (pretty much every day). I’m, of course, referring to She’s The Man.

I remember watching previews for this movie and not being able to focus on anything except for the days until it was to release. You can then imagine my excitement when I got tickets to a free advance screening of the movie about a girl pretending to be a boy so that she could prove that she’s just as good, if not better, then the male soccer players. Feminism at its finest.

I recounted this fond memory to the movie’s director, Andy Fickman, who I was lucky enough to interview last year about the movie’s 10th anniversary. It was one of the best interviews I’ve ever done, as it felt more like a conversation between two people who thoroughly enjoyed all that they were discussing. As someone can’t remember how many times she’s seen She’s The Man, just that she can remember every line spoken in it, it was surreal.

Amanda Bynes’ comedic timing has always been excellent, but her incredible physical comedy and dialogue delivery in She’s The Man were both just on a whole other level.

She was fun, funny, interesting, intriguing, genuine, exciting, imaginative, breathtaking, brave, tough, determined, silly, confident, unique, creative, and carefree. If that’s not everything that we want girls growing up to know that they can be, then I don’t know what is. If that’s not the makings of a strong, independent woman, then I don’t know what is.

There aren’t enough of these types of characters out there to assume that it was the role, and not Amanda herself, that was the source of this strength. Whether it happened to be the intention of every(!) single(!) role on her IMDB credits list to be so candidly strong and silly or not is debatable. What isn’t debatable is that Amanda Bynes was one of the only young actresses with the fearlessness and talent to bring out that strength and silliness in the roles.

Who cares what is “lady like?” Amanda doesn’t and neither should we.

It’s like she was shouting to her female audience: “Ladies, get in formation.”

Her work in Hairspray and Sydney White only further showcased this. With Amanda, in the latter, just giving it to us as straight-foward as she could. She’s a dork, she’s okay with, we should be too.

                  

So, yes, she’s been gone from the entertainment industry since being in Easy A in 2010, she’s been going through some interesting times and she’s now trying to get her life back on track, but those years away are not nearly enough for me to forget all the amazingness she’s done and everything she’s stood for in my life. No amount of years would be.

Amanda Bynes announcing that she intends to return to the world of acting, thus making her return to my life, makes it into the category of “Best News Ever” and rightly so.

To sum it all up, this is how I feel about Amanda Bynes finding her way back to me:

To all the haters that just don’t get it, I say:

*Be sure to subscribe to this blog and follow along on social (Twitter/Facebook/Instagram) for a personal take on news, reviews, interviews and everything in-between.*

In Conversation With… Hallmark Channel’s ‘The Perfect Bride’ Screenwriter Rick Garman

From writing plays and travel guides to writing novels and TV movies, Rick Garman has truly traversed the world of the written word.

His work seems to have focused in on screenwriting for the time being, with his next TV movie, The Perfect Bride starring When Calls The Heart‘s Pascale Hutton and Kavan Smith, premiering this Saturday (June 10) on Hallmark Channel!

While it may feel like we’ve been waiting for this June Weddings movie for a while now (just because it looks *so* good), we haven’t been waiting nearly as long as Rick has for his movies to makes its way to our screens. Screenwriting has been a long way coming for him, but this is now his fourth movie and he shows no signs of stopping.

Having made his way to screenwriting later on in his life, it’s only fitting that Rick’s first movie was called Late Bloomer. In the end, it doesn’t matter how long it took for him to find his way here because we’re all just so glad that he did.

If he hadn’t, then we wouldn’t have the Taylor Cole/Michael Rady-starrer Christmas in Homestead, Italia Ricci and Madison Pettis‘ Late Bloomer, the almost-here The Perfect Bride, or all the TV movies to come!

Lucky for all of us Millennial Hallmarkers, Rick has not only given us the gift of these romantic and fun TV movies, but he also kindly agreed to an email interview, giving us a glimpse into our favorite world, that of the rom-com.

Keep reading to get all the intel on your favorite HEA-filled, Rick Garman-written  past and future films set to air on both Hallmark Channel and PixL (including this Saturday’s (June 10) Hallmark premiere of The Perfect Bride), what it takes to make it in the industry, and his thoughts on sequels!

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New TV Movies From Your Favorite Channels: See The June 2017 Lineup!

Romance is in the air! We’ve made it to June, which means we’ve made it to the Christmas halfway mark AKA the halfway mark to Christmas movie season. But that doesn’t mean we just have to sit around and pout in the meantime because we’ve got plenty of movies this month to put a smile on our faces! June is the month of weddings, after all, and it seems like Hallmark Channel knows all about that.

There’s not a June weekend without a TV wedding and that is definitely cause for celebration! But Hallmark isn’t the only one with new movie premieres, as PixL is ready to show off its new Shenae Grimes-Beech headlined flick.

So go on out and do some shopping for new formal wear because you’ve got a few weddings and premieres to attend this month. To keep your schedule in check, Millennial Hallmarker has all the details on June’s TV movie premieres for you right here.

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‘Everything, Everything’ Review: Amandla Stenberg And Nick Robinson Awaken Teen Genre With Sincerity And Sweetness

Whimsical. That’s the number one word I would use to describe Nicola Yoon’s writing in “Everything, Everything,” the book that started it all. Meaning it, whimsical, is the number one characteristic I hoped would shine through on the big screen adaptation. Magically Skillfully, by the director, writer, producers, and the stars it did just that. Everything, Everything was lovely. Just. Lovely.

And that’s, above all else, what I want from my love-infused movies, for them to be lovely. To watch the images move across the screen and not want to lose focus, ever, not even to blink. To hear the words coming from the characters’ mouths and to have the words, the sounds, their meanings permeate through me and make me feel everything (everything). To feel swept up in the love, to feel lovely. Amandla Stenberg and Nick Robinson made me feel just that.

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