“Groundswell” Hallmark Movies & Mystery Movie Review

📸: Hallmark Gold Crown

I give this movie 9 out of 10 vomits


🟢 Plot 🟢

On the heels of a personal and professional setback, Chef Emma travels to Hawaii where she meets Ben, a handsome, reclusive surf instructor whose lessons help her to regain her footing.

🟢 The Stars 🟢

Lacey Chabert – Emma

Ektor Rivera – Ben

🟢 Non Spoiler Spew 🟢

What a great movie! It was so refreshing to have a Hallmark movie that where the plot felt natural and the chemistry between the cast was on point. This is a definite step up from all of the other new movies this year. It is a wonderful and Hawaii is always beautiful. This movie was based on the book Groundswell by Katie Lee.

I am ALL IN with this script. What I love the most is the believability of this movie. With all the other movies I have seen they are enjoyable, but not all that realistic. Groundswell is the first movie in a long while that actually felt real. Yeah there are things that could have been a little better, but I have very minor gripes about the script. It is almost perfect.

Lacy and Ektor are my new favorite Hallmark couple! They are PERFECT together! Their chemistry is ON POINT and oozed off the screen. Ektor is pretty spicy too though if you catch my drift 😉 You could tell they were in to each other. There were some parts where I said “OoOOOoOo” out loud. At points I had to fan myself because it was gettin a little hot 😅

Acting was also the best that I have seen it in a while. You could tell that everyone involved were really into the writing and wanted to do this movie justice. Every emotion that was displayed on screen I would feel it too. I got sucked in and I love that. This all has to do with the actors being casted perfectly and with the actors giving it their best. Everyone just fit in perfectly with each other and you could tell that they were all having fun with each other while filming.

Hallmark movies from here on out really need to take a closer look at this movie to see what having true chemistry on screen looks like. They really need to hold this movie to a higher standard for people to look back on. This was a near perfect movie. If Hallmark was like this from here on out I am sure MORE people would watch.

🔴 Summary Spoiler Spew 🔴

Emma is a chef in her boyfriend’s, Garrett, restaurant. A famous food critic is there and loves the food. Garrett takes all the credit while it was Emma’s recipes that were served. Emma breaks up with her boyfriend while the food critic comes back because they forgot their phone. Emma goes to Hawaii to be with her aunt.

At a local restaurant owned by Emma meets her aunt’s friends who are brothers, Frankie and Ben. In the surf shop connected to the restaurant, Emma asks Ben if he will be willing to teach her how to surf. He reluctantly agrees. Frankie learns Emma is a chef and asks her if she will join him in the food competition show.

I love when Emma sees Ben she was automatically attracted to him. A lot of these movies make it to where they two leads take a while to get attracted to each other. But we all know people can be instantly attracted to someone. So I did appreciate when Ben was doing his Baywatch run down the beach that Emma took notice.

At the first day of shooting, the guest chef mentor turns out to be Garrett. Ben wishes Frankie and Emma luck, and Garrett completely ignores him. Garrett sees the flirtatious looks between Emma and Ben and Garrett tells Emma she is not there to just cook. This distracts her in her cooking.

This part was funny because Ben tells Frankie to break an egg. I laughed way more at this than what I should have.

Emma and Ben hang out to go surfing and he takes her to a local market for empanadas. After the market they go to his house to eat. Ben tells Emma he stopped surfing due to his wife passing away.

At this part is when I started to get a little sweaty. Ektor was giving that Spanish charm.

During day two of shooting Frankie tells Emma he went to the market and everyone was talking about her and Ben being together. They pass day 2 and are now in the finals.

During surfing Ben and Emma bond more over the death of his wife and the death of her mom. One day out surfing Ben’s wife was in a car accident, was alive for about an hour, then died. During this time Ben was out surfing and missed 38 calls. Emma was supposed to go visit her parents in Hawaii but canceled. This is when her mom had a heart attack and passed away.

This part was so gut wrenching. I could not imagine coming back to your phone have having 30+ missed calls. The whole scene with Emma and Ben got me right in the feels. You could see that both actors were believing the words they were saying because you could see that they both had watery eyes and you could even see Lacy shedding real tears. 

Emma helps her aunt at her distillery to help her throw a party. During the party Emma and Ben confess their feelings. Garrett is at the party and tells Emma that he wants to go into business with her. He wants her to open his new restaurant in Atlanta and to be the head chef. Garrett tells Ben, and Ben tells Emma he can no longer coach her on surfing and for her to follow her dreams.

One thing about this movie that I wished would happen was for Garrett to play more of a bigger role. I wanted him to try to win back Emma. Just so it gave the movie a little more drama. That way when Ben and Emma end up with each other it would give more of a spark.

Frankie is at Ben’s house telling him not to leave and to stay with Emma. He says he can’t because he likes her too much to bake her give up her dream. On the way out, Ben knocks over a photo of his wife and finds a note written from her. It says that she is thankful they were together.

Last day of shooting and Frankie and Emma win the food competition. One of the judges was so impressed she took them out to dinner to discuss a business proposition. Ben comes back to surprise Emma and to be with her.

This part I was not too fond of because we did not see the final cooking competition happen. It just jumped straight to the end. I would have liked to see the process of Frankie and Emma collaborating to present the winning dish.

6 months later

Thanks to the celebrity chef, Frankie and Emma own a new restaurant. Frankie runs the new one while Emma runs the run on Oahu to be with Ben and her aunt.

The famous food critic is at the restaurant in Oahu and he tells Emma that his phone was recording so he heard about Garrett taking all the credit for her recipes. He tells her that he is going to do a magazine story about her and Frankie.

I was hoping that Garrett would get into a little more trouble since he was taking the credit for Emma’s recipes, but I guess I can’t get too mad since she was working in his restaurant. So they weren’t exclusively hers.


  1. Of many Hallmark Movies I have watched, this one has been by far, my favorite one. The characters Emma and Ben work well together and their acting is heartfelt.


  2. I was very disappointed when Groundswell kept blacking out due to technical difficulties. Mortified when the last several minutes blacked out and I didn’t get to see the ending.


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