Hallmark Knocks It Out of the Park With “Five More Minutes”

Five More Minutes Plot Summary

A woman’s Christmas wish is answered in unexpected ways when her late grandfather’s journal turns up and reveals an untold romance.
Starring:  Nikki DeLoach and David Haydn-Jones
Hallmark's Five More Minutes
Image:  Crown Media


Five More Minutes Achieves the Hallmark Gold Standard

Hallmark was once synonymous with good storytelling and clean movies you could immerse yourself in to escape the cares and stresses of this world.
When Wonya Lucas took over as Crown Media CEO, fans noticed an immediate an unwelcome shift.  As if we aren’t confronted with politics at every turn already, Hallmark began weaving political talking points into their movies, such as feminine empowerment, racial diversity, homosexuality, and social “justice” issues.  Hallmark is no longer a safe space where you can let down your guard.  If you possess conservative values, you must now filter the movies and ignore the agenda behind the scripts or change the channel when the usual wokeness rears its ugly head.
Five More Minutes is a welcome relief to those of us who tune in for magical storytelling, and it’s reminiscent of classic Hallmark Hall of Fame movies Hallmark used to produce before bowing to cancel culture.
When Clara (DeLoach) was a little girl, her grandpa taught her that a wish is when you say out loud what is in your heart.  What’s in your heart? he would always ask her when she needed direction.  As a child, her wish had been to spend every Christmas with grandpa forever.  What grandparent wouldn’t be delighted to hear those words?
Examing what’s in her heart is what helps Clara know what direction to go when she loses her teaching job.  It helps her know how to respond to Blake’s proposal, too.

If You Could Have Five More Minutes With A Loved One, What Would You Say?

Losing loved ones is part of life, and it’s something we must face sooner or later.  We all seek closure, and when we miss the opportunity to say good-bye, we can sometimes be tormented by all the things we wish we would have said.  Did our loved one know how much we loved them, how much we appreciated all they did for us, how sorry we are for that one time we said something we shouldn’t have?
If you could have five more minutes with someone you’ve lost, who would it be, and what would you say?  Share your heart in the comments (it’s possible to do so anonymously, and you can get it off your chest!).
Clara wrestles with this, and it makes her so relatable.  She calls her grandpa regularly, but she misses talking to him by minutes the day he dies.  She longs for his advice and comfort, so she closes her eyes and wishes for just five more minutes with him.
Image:  Crown Media
Clara’s mom, Bonnie, is in over her head with the Candy Cane Confectionary.  The business records, cooking tools, and office space are all in a chaotic disarray.  Clara decides they need to advertise for help, and within minutes of posting a “help wanted” sign on the door, Jay appears and convinces her to hire him.  He says he’d asked her grandfather for a job the year before, who had joked that he’d trade genius for hard work any day.
Jay is a godsend.  He takes over deliveries and gets everything ultra-organized.  Strange coincidences keep happening when Jay is around.  As he declutters, he finds grandpa’s journal.  He sends Clara to the store for batteries where she unexpectedly runs into her old flame, Logan.  He calls to tell her he broke the timer, and when Clara takes another from grandpa’s supply, she finds a letter he had written to his first love, Martha, the one Clara’s been reading about in his journal.

Does First Love Open Your Heart For Later?

It seems a little tragic that Clara’s grandpa had loved Martha so deeply yet never ended up marrying her.  We learn, however, that Clara’s grandma had been a wonderful woman and that Martha had lived a good and happy life as well.
Neither had regrets.
The lesson Clara is supposed to learn is that when you open your heart to first love, it helps you love later.  It certainly seems to be the case for both grandpa and Martha.
Do you agree with that premise?  Share your thoughts in the comments.
One could argue that when you allow your heart to fall in love with someone for the first time, you do learn the depth of emotion and committment you’re capable of feeling.  On the other hand, if your heart is broken and you erect walls to protect yourself in the future, is it possible to ever love deeply again?
Logan is Clara’s first love, and even though he hurt her by enlisting in the military when he knew her father had been killed serving his country, he’s the one her heart still longs for.  Blake just doesn’t “get” her, which is made painfully obvious when he suggests she teach English or history after she loses her job as an art teacher.

What Did You Think Of The Ending? (Spoiler Alert For This Section)

If you haven’t watched Five More Minutes yet, skip this section and go to the next heading so we don’t ruin it for you.
Otherwise, were you surprised by the ending, or did you have it figured out in advance?
Initially, Jay seems like someone who comes along to help at just the right time–sort of like a Godwink moment.
As the coincidences mount, you may have thought Jay was an angel, like in the other 2021 Hallmark release, A Mrs. Miracle Christmas.  This theory is supported when the store motion detector goes off when there seems to be no reason for it, yet Clara finds Jay there saying he’d been replacing bulbs.
When Jay tears up at hearing Clara describe her meeting with Martha, he claims to be a sucker for a good love story, but you start thinking about how in all the flashbacks, you’ve never seen Jerry’s face, and then you remember Martha gave Clara pictures of her and Jerry that we’ve not yet been allowed to see.  When Jay asks Clara what she would want to say to her grandpa if she had the chance and she pours out her heart, you realize she IS getting the five minutes she had wished for.  The light bulb goes on for her too once Jay leaves and is confirmed when she sees only a few of his footprints in the snow before they suddenly disappear.
Jay in Hallmark's Five More Minutes
Image:  Crown Media
The flashbacks are replayed, and the viewer now sees Jerry’s face with Martha as a young man, and sure enough, it is Jay.  The pictures Martha left with Clara confirm it as well.   This is all so well-done!
Some reviewers question how Clara didn’t recognize Jay as being her grandpa.  After all, she lived with him since she was a small child, so she would have had ample opportunities to see pictures of him as a young man.  While that’s a viable plot issue, I would argue that she would have only remembered him as being an older grandpa.  Just think back to your own grandparents.  You likely have seen pictures of them when they were young, yet you spent most of your life around them when they looked much older.  Clara knew he had passed away, so it wouldn’t have occurred to her natural mind that he could possibly come back to visit her.  If she noticed an uncanny resemblance in pictures of the two, she would have immediately dismissed such thoughts.

Five More Minutes Gives Viewers A Wallop Of Emotion

With the largest percentage of Hallmark plots being characteristically shallow, Five More Minutes elicits a very emotional response and offers far more depth than normal.  Clara’s emotions are passionate and raw, and if you can make it through this movie without shedding a tear, you’re stronger than me!
Often times, our favorite Hallmark stars, though we adore them, play the same part in every movie.  Five More Minutes gives Nikki DeLoach the opportunity to prove she’s capable of so much more.
We are treated to the budding romances between both Clara and Logan and Bonnie and Edward, but the focus of this movie isn’t so much on the romance as it is on the sweet story about the relationship Clara shares with her grandfather and learning about the untold love he had for Martha.
Nikki DeLoach & David Haydn-Jones
Image:  Crown Media


If a moral existed within Five More Minutes, it would be this:  never let anything go unsaid or unresolved with the ones you love.  Even though Clara wanted the chance to let her grandfather know how she felt, he already knew.  Our loved ones know how we feel too, most likely, but always communicate with them so your life will never be plagued with regret.

Five More Minutes Based On The Song By Scott McCreery

If you haven’t had a chance to hear the Scott McCreery song upon which this movie is based, you can listen to it here–it’s a song dedicated to his grandfathers, and it will bring tears to your eyes if you let it

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Hallmark's Five More Minutes
Image:  Crown Media
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