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Hallmark Channel
Jeff Fahey is the father in the new Hallmark Channel movie "Lake Effects," shot in Smith Mountain Lake, Va.

So here's the basic plotline: High-powered, uptight, lawyer lady returns to her hometown for her father's funeral. She finds an old boyfriend who still pines for her, people who've been wronged by today's snobby boyfriend and that she's made a huge mistake when it came to understanding her dad.

What do you think will happen?

Yup, it's pretty predictable, but it still makes for an enjoyable, 90-minute movie set at picturesque Smith Mountain Lake in Virginia.

The people are real and although it's fairly standard Hallmark fare, there are still some fun moments, such as the appearance of the Smith Mountain Lake version of the Loch Ness monster and the country bumpkins trying to impress the TV producer played by Sean Patrick Flannery.

Jane Seymour effectively portrays a woman both brokenhearted by loss and angry at her dead husband. She's going to sell the family home to pay the second mortgage she discovers after her husband's death, a debt being called in by a heartless real estate company taking advantage of homeowners caught by the recession.

Scottie Thompson makes the most out of her character, Sara, as she negotiates family territory she thought she left far behind. She walks a fine line between being a big city lawyer and a dutiful, if bitter, daughter.

Madeline Zima plays her sister Lily, left in the Smith Mountain Lake area to paint while Sara headed off to the big city. She just keeps trying to make peace with everybody.

Eyal Podell is the handsome suitor from Sara's past, and Casper Van Dien plays the hotshot boyfriend, greedy and expendable as far as the storyline goes.

The people of Smith Mountain are friendly and kind but when the "other woman" sobs at the funeral, Sara can't ignore the secret letters that incriminate her father. She is convinced he betrayed her mother and the weekly roses do little to convince her otherwise.

There are some small surprises here, but while they are as predictable as the romance and conclusion (anybody see a moonlight swim coming?), they are kind of unlikely.

Some include ghostly appearances. Others link the present to the past with no apparent logic.

Some just seem really convenient.

The rose on the bed pillow at the end is a nice touch, though.

Sharon Haddock is a professional writer with 35 years' experience, 17 at the Deseret News. Her personal blog is at sharonhaddock.blogspot.com.

Email: [email protected]