Home ยป blog ยป Karen Kingsbury’s The Bridge, Part 1 – Hallmark Christmas Film about Second and First Chances

Karen Kingsbury’s The Bridge, Part 1 – Hallmark Christmas Film about Second and First Chances

the bridge

Whether or not you read her novels, I doubt there is a reader (in the inspirational fiction fan club) who hasn’t at least heard of the best-selling author, Karen Kingsbury. Because of this (and given the number of films based around similar novelist Janette Oke’s works), it was only a matter of time before some of her books were adapted into cinematic form. As a part of their “Countdown to Christmas” campaign, Hallmark Channel took on Karen’s Christmas short story of the same name, The Bridge.

Molly Allen (Katie Findlay) is ready to spread her wings. Only trouble is, she doesn’t really know where that might lead. As the only daughter of a wealthy businessman, her father expects her to take over his company. Molly grew up under that umbrella, but she isn’t sure that’s what she wants. She escapes her father’s overprotective arms when she exchanges the west coast for Southern charms where she attends college. In Tennessee, she meets Ryan Kelly (Wyatt Nash). Ryan’s life is very different than Molly’s. He’s the son of a single mother raised in a modest home, and he’s passionate about music. Still, it takes Molly to encourage him to dream beyond his safely constructed future…

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the bridge
Wyatt Nash as Ryan Kelly in The Bridge.

Charlie and Donna (Ted McGinley, Faith Ford) run the small town bookstore, The Bridge where the entire community gathers for good fellowship. Though their own life didn’t pan out as they planned, the pair is fulfilled with a passion for their business and the outreach they offer the customers whose many lives they’ve touched… including those of Molly and Ryan.

It’s surprising Hallmark hasn’t adapted any of Karen’s novels before now considering their lean towards Christian fiction like Janette Oke, who’s novels have found a home on this channel many times over. Having not read the book (I didn’t have the extra time), I don’t know how the book is set up, but I found the film curious. It’s been broken into two parts, which seems unnecessary given the book is shorter in length. That being said, be prepared to leave these characters with many untied threads at best plus “part 2” doesn’t arrive until Christmas of 2016. (How we are meant to wait until then, I don’t know.)

Moving beyond my puzzled question of “why,” I’ll say this: the acting was really quite good in this one. I enjoyed the newcomers in the roles of Molly and Ryan. They seemed to suit the idea of a Karen Kingsbury book (I have read a handful of her other novels) and the chemistry that develops between them is memorable albeit without any tawdry implications which makes it all the sweeter. Each of their scenes together is lovely and I enjoyed watching their friendship blossom into something genuine.

the bridge
Karen Kingsbury’s The Bridge. Katie Findlay as Molly and Wyatt Nash as Ryan.

Like any of the television films airing this season, The Bridge is a great option for those wanting something good yet lighthearted to watch. The tradition continues in this film with wholesome values that isn’t just about romance. No, there are some real issues and struggles presented that are relatable while still retaining its sunny nature. The Bridge accomplishes that though as I stated earlier, I am a bit miffed that December of 2016 is the next time I can step inside this book shop. That’s simply too long to wait on the choices facing Molly and Ryan. Until then, perhaps I’ll have a chance to read the novel and hope, for the sake of the characters I grew to enjoy, a happy ending is in store for them.

Have you seen The Bridge? Do you plan on watching it tonight or have you read the book? Comment down below with your thoughts.  The Bridge premiered last night on Hallmark Channel and scheduled to re-air several times in December.

Photos: Hallmark 


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“Happiness in marriage is entirely a

matter of chance.”

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By on December 7th, 2015

About Rissi JC

Rissi is a self-diagnosed Bookaholic and TV fandom addict. Sheโ€™s currently an avid blogger and reader who enjoys interacting with readers, and often dreams about finishing her first novel. When not writing or reading, she can be found working as an INSPYs advisory board member or contributing to e-zines. Her scribbles are housed on her blog Finding Wonderland (https://www.rissiwrites.com).

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19 thoughts on “Karen Kingsbury’s The Bridge, Part 1 – Hallmark Christmas Film about Second and First Chances”

  1. Great review! I have to agree, waiting until 2016 is not cool!!!!

    I was super excited about this one because it’s a Kingsbury story. And I’m hoping they will follow with more adaptations (or a Baxter family series, hint hint, Hallmark). When I heard this would be part of their lineup this season, I finally read the novella a few months ago.

    They have stayed fairly true to the story, or at least the earlier portion of it, while shifting the perspective slightly. The novel is actually set in present day (2014, I think?) with periodic flashbacks telling the early story of Molly and Ryan (the early story we see in the film). I’m not sure why they chose to do that, maybe for continuity and because they split it into 2 films. Also, the faith element was downplayed a little bit for the movie.

    I also really liked the cast, especially Charlie and Donna. They stole a few scenes, I think!

    I hope you get a chance to read — or at least skim through — it before part 2, so you can share your thoughts further! It’s a pretty quick read (with a happy ending).

    • Right!? How networks expect is to wait is beyond me! ๐Ÿ™‚

      I’m glad the book and film compliment each other, Courtney. Having watched this and knowing it was split into two parts, I wondered if the book was more about Molly’s and Ryan’s present vs. their past, and in order to make the story a two-parter, they chose to write an early days love story. It’ll be interesting to see where part two takes the story and I agree. The cast is amazing in this one!

      Thanks… the plan is to read the novel prior to part two. Seems like a reasonable amount if time to get to it, right!? ๐Ÿ˜‰

  2. Does anyone know where this was filmed? I actually attend the real Belmont University in Nashville, but the campus in the film is DEFINITELY not ours. xD
    I freaked out when it said Belmont, and I saw Bruiser the Bruin walking around. xD

  3. I have read the book and looked forward watching the movie….. Which I really enjoyed watching. I get to the end and there is the notice, ‘to be continued.’ I thought I missed something. I checked the schedule, maybe it is a 2 part mini series? Thank you for putting this article together and posting it. I wouldn’t have known that the continuation is taking place next year!!!! Which seems riduculous?!? I’m glad I read the book. I hope I don’t forget that I want to see this bookstore/movie again.

    • I’m glad to hear from a reader of the book that this was enjoyable as a film too. I plan to get the book read prior to the “part 2” continuation and am hopeful things will turn out well (I hear a happy ending IS in store).

      I agree. A wait until 2016 is a little ridiculous (a month or two would have been kinder), but I’ll enjoy seeing part 2 when it does come about. Thank you so much for stopping by and the comment, Conchi. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Absolutely dumb to not let viewers know ahead of time that this is a two part film with the second part to premier a year later. Knowing that I would not have watched it.

  5. I absolutely loved The Bridge Part 1. I was quite upset at the end of the movie when they announced Part 2 wouldn’t air until Dec 2016!!

    So I googled it and read one explanation: the only reason Hallmark did this was that they ran out of time to finish production of the entire movie!! Don’t know how that could happen, but it sounds like it might be possible?!

    Since I didn’t want to wait to learn the outcome of Molly and Ryan, I then googled the book itself. Apparently, there are a number of differences between the book and the movie version, at least from what I could tell. So I won’t say anything about that.

    I’m just hoping that when Hallmark does finish production of Part 2, they’ll decide to air it then. You know they’ve had to have unhappy viewers’ comments!

      • Hi, Jacqueline! Thanks so much for commenting about your findings regarding ‘The Bridge.’ I didn’t read that about the production – what a strange reasoning! I’m glad to know there is a reason though.

        …thanks so much for sharing the update! I’d *just* seen that too, and am excited. At least now we don’t have to endure such a wait. ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚

        • What happened is crazy, but I fully expected Hallmark to air the second part as soon as they finished production, considering how upset viewers were with them!

  6. It got moved to March of 2017 and then it was moved from the Halmark Channel to the Halmark Movie and Mysteries Channel. Seems so foolish to make a movie people want to see the ending of…then can’t see for a year plus. Stupid move halmark


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