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  • This is an absolutely bog-standard Hall Channel TV movie. Jessalyn Gilsig is a fast-talking, glib real estate saleswoman whose wardrobe consists solely of business suits. She is trying to sell a hideous ultra-modern home by having the kitchen repainted mushroom and putting an apple pie on display to give it that lived-in look. Of course her boss decides she is just the woman to lead a troop of girl scouts, each of whom has enormous issues -- presumably this is to give them personality and some obvious hooks to hang their improvements on.

    This being exactly like every other poor Hallmark TV comedy, it quickly becomes evident that 1: no one has any talent for physical comedy; 2: Gilsig will fall in love with the obnoxious working-class father of the girl scout who talks the most; and 3: they will become involved in a fierce competition to sell more cookies than the perfect girl scouts and will win through grit and gumption.

    There's nothing wrong with this plot and were it offered with any sign of someone on hand to do anything to make it stand out, I might be less harsh in this review. However, the only thing that stands out is the abrupt change in lighting levels, from a gloomy flat lighting in the beginning that suddenly changes to a brighter, yellower level to reflect the change in attitude of Ms. Gilsig. The actors on hand seem handsome and competent, even if their performances are exactly like those of every other actor in the equivalent roles in other bad Hallmark TV romcoms.

    Unfortunately, whether because they considered this an undesirable job or because they are simply hacks with no real interest in their jobs, the people behind the cameras have performed their work by doing whatever is obvious and easy. It takes more than showing up, putting out an apple pie and smiling at the customer to sell a house. It also calls for more than that to make an interesting TV movie.
  • By Margie Barron on August 10th, 2012 Printer-Friendly

    "Smart Cookies" airs on the Hallmark Channel.

    Winding down the two weeks of the television press tour, one of the last great gatherings was for the Hallmark network to make some big announcements. During an elegant luncheon at the Beverly Hills Hotel, Hallmark's president and CEO Bill Abbott talked about the full schedule of movies, specials, and daytime shows. Bragging about the "incredible talent we have," Abbott looked around the room at the stars of the upcoming original movies, which are at the core of the Hallmark Channel's "robust family content."Abbott announced that Smart Cookies, premiering Aug. 18, is another great movie with a mission, "to help celebrate the 100 year anniversary of the Girl Scouts of the USA,".

    Patricia Richardson (of Home Improvement fame), who stars with Jessalyn Gilsig (Glee) and Bailee Madison (Just Go With It)said "Smart Cookies" is about a real estate agent who helps a hapless Girl Scout troop with their annual cookie sale competition. Behind the scenes, executive producer Jimmy Hawkins, who was a popular child actor in the '40s '50's &'60's and played Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed's son Tommy Bailey in the Frank Capra classic It's a Wonderful Life."Smart Cookies" is based on Hawkins story "Be Prepared". Nowadays he's producing great family friendly movies for a new generation. Richardson said she was "so delighted to work with him because when you do a production like this, we all become like a family. He's one of the nicest guys in show business, and when you are working with children, when you have a producer who knows what it's like, it brings a great quality to the set."
  • Warning: Spoilers
    It's the typical Hallmark Movie but give me a movie every time with a positive thought and ending.

    It really wasn't explained fully why the real estate hot-shot is assigned by her boss to lead a group of girl scouts.

    It is typical that she will not want this, there will be problems at first, she will fall for the widower father of one of the scouts, and that there will be another troop, constant winners, led by a know-it-all who has really forgotten the meaning of what it means to be a scout.

    That's why this picture is so good. By its end, the underdogs do achieve, but the full meaning of being in the scouts is established.

    Working as a team in a positive way always succeeds.
  • It is a harmless, safe, movie with a good moral. If this were a feature film with A-list celebrities, I would probably expect more drama and more intense dialogue and rate this eight stars but it's a Hallmark movie and produces what one watches a Hallmark movie to get: comfort food that isn't junk food. It has affable characters, a cute plotline, and a happy ending. Since it does everything it is supposed to do, namely, produce light yet wholesome audiovisual fare for a lazy afternoon, I give it ten stars.
  • valeriejhamilton11 January 2013
    I am a lifetime Girl Scout and while it was a cute Hallmark movie, I was disturbed to see how they would place an adult in a troop role with no suggested training for her. She clearly was not provided training which is not he Girl Scout way and the very first meeting she attended she took the girls off site in her vehicle. I understand there are some artistic licenses but I was watching it going that would never happen! Another discrepancy was the two troops discounting the price of the cookies! Again, this never would fly and I'm a bit surprised Girl Scouts agreed to this script as shown. A cute movie in general but not the known standard for what goes on in troops.