Getting to Hire Ground
Oliver O'Toole (Eric Mabius - A Christmas Wedding) and his team from the dead letter office find themselves with the task of cleaning out an office of a dear friend when they come across a letter which was destined for their dead letter office. The letter is from Gabe Recolte (Keb' Mo') who had just met Hattie (Karen Holness - The Christmas Train) in a club when Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans and he was forced to evacuate without telling her how he felt about her. It proves a very difficult case for the Postables and whilst this is all going on Oliver and Shane (Kristin Booth - Holidaze) find themselves trying to remain professional because outside of work they have started dating. On top of this Oliver's father, Joe (Gregory Harrison - My Christmas Love), having retired, is finding himself becoming interested in a woman gardener in a nearby allotment.
Having watched and enjoyed all the previous movies in the "Signed, Sealed, Delivered" series of Hallmark movies I was of course looking forwards to "Signed, Sealed, Delivered: Higher Ground". But whilst "Signed, Sealed, Delivered: Higher Ground" certainly entertains delivering that expected blend of touching, funny and sweet, for me this one didn't leave that lasting impression which the earlier movies in the sereies had achieved, although this one certainly benefits from the wonderful singing of Keb' Mo.
I suppose the trouble is that the "Signed, Sealed, Delivered" formula is now becoming too familiar and as such you know when the lost letter ends up in Oliver's hands Shane will start searching on her computer, Norman and Rita will hit the books and as a collective they will use their insight into human nature to read between the lines and fill in the gaps in the mystery. Yes there is the touching side to this as through the letter we discover the back story whilst we also get a glimpse into the sweet relationship which is forming between Oliver and Shane, one which unsurprisingly has a bump in the road. But it doesn't distract enough from the formula which "Signed, Sealed, Delivered: Higher Ground" is working to, even if when it comes to that romance which is classily handled and even brings a touch of golden age cinema to the screen at one point.
But whilst I waffle on the most important thing is that "Signed, Sealed, Delivered: Higher Ground" is still entertaining with that group of actors; Eric Mabius, Kristin Booth, Crystal Lowe and Geoff Gustafson still making their characters feel like the friends you enjoy catching up with. And we have those extra characters who are now part of the series with Zak Santiago bringing plenty of fun as Ramon whilst Gregory Harrison brings sensitivity as Joe O'Toole.
What this all boils down to is that "Signed, Sealed, Delivered: Higher Ground" is still entertaining and will make fans of this Hallmark series of movies happy. But at the same time the formula which drives it is a little too familiar in places.