Banner 4th of July (2013) Christian Campbell, Brooke White, Michael Barbuto, Mercedes Ruehl

They're Putting the Band Back Together

When they were younger Desiree Banner (Brooke White) with her brothers Mitchell (Christian Campbell) and Johnny (Michael Barbuto) were part of the successful band The Banner Project. That is until Desiree left the band to strike out on her own causing some ill feeling and even more between her and Mitchell when she got married despite his concerns. But now the siblings are heading home to Pinewood Hills as their mum Rosalind (Mercedes Ruehl), who is also the town's Mayor, has had a heart attack. But with Rosalind concerned that the town faces bankruptcy over a bond repayment the siblings find themselves trying to put their differences to one side to help save the town in time for the 4th of July celebrations.

I don't know how they do it and by that I mean how the Hallmark Channel manages to get away with showing so many similar movies and yet remain so popular. Take "Banner 4th of July", which I might add also has the alternative title of "Star Spangled Banners", at the heart of this movie we have some family conflict combined with financial worries. Now usually these tend to be a child having issues with an elderly parent whilst the family business is in trouble and so having some sibling conflict combined with a town in trouble is a little different yet still familiar. Adding to that sense of familiarity is the obligatory layer of romance and of course a comically meddling mother. Basically "Banner 4th of July" is at its heart an extremely typical Hallmark movie with little in the way of surprises.

The thing is that, and I find myself saying this more and more, the Hallmark channel know who their audience is and know why they watch and in pretty much every movie they deliver what the audience want. That ranges from being easy to follow to being inoffensive and as such whilst "Banner 4th of July" is not going to entertain everyone being such a typical Hallmark movie but will entertain those who it is intended for. Part of that comes down to what is simply a pleasant cast with Mercedes Ruehl stealing a few scenes as the mischievous mum.

What this all boils down to is that "Banner 4th of July" is another typical Hallmark Channel movie built on the familiar cliches of conflict, financial trouble and resolution which means it is really only going to work for those who tend to enjoy the familiar, easy to watch nature of a Hallmark movie.