Hallmark’s “Color My World With Love” revolves around love interests with Down syndrome at its heart
Hallmark’s new romantic film Color My World With Love breaks screen barriers by telling a new kind of love story. The film features love interests with Down syndrome at the core of its romantic plot. People with Down syndrome rarely see themselves on screen. Color My World With Love changes that by putting this enchanting story front and center so the world can see and experience love through a different lens.
Color My World With Love follows Kendall (Lily D. Moore), a veteran artist with Down Syndrome, who creates beautiful Impressionist-style paintings that reflect the reality of her subjects as she sees them. Thanks to the support of her mother, Emma (Durance) and grandmother, Bev (Karen Kruper), Kendall is happy and thriving. Kendall is independent, strong-willed, and always upbeat about her life. Her life takes an exciting turn when she meets Brad (DeSanctis), who also has Down Syndrome, at a cooking class at the local center for diverse learners. As fate would have it, they fall in love and begin a relationship.
Kendall’s relationship worries Emma as she doesn’t want her daughter to be emotionally hurt. Unlike her daughter, Emma is cynical about love because of her own past heartbreak. Emma has spent the last 22 years protecting her daughter and has reservations about this new relationship, especially when it’s quickly taking a serious turn. Brad lost his parents in an accident and his only family is his “brother from another mother” and longtime family friend, Nic (Ayres). Paralleling Kendall and Brad’s budding romance, Emma and Nic also share an attraction to one another. However, both are scared of falling in love as similar to Emma, Nic has also experienced heartbreak in the past.
Trouble in Paradise continues as the film progresses when Brad proposes to Kendall, much to Emma’s shock. While both Kendall and Brad are happy, Emma worries their relationship is moving too fast. She asks her daughter to postpone her wedding and take her time. Emma doesn’t think Kendall and Brad are ready to face the challenges of life and love. Kendall’s engagement also created distance between Emma and Nic.
The film also points out that people with disabilities are far too often primarily defined by their disability. There is a significant scene in the film where Kendall tries on her wedding dresses. The saleswoman roughly snatches the dress from Kendall and makes a snide remark that the dress is not available for her “special guy”. There’s also a scene where a woman is surprised that Kendall is such a talented artist despite her disability. Despite being Kendall’s greatest champion, Emma is also quite concerned about Kendall and Brad’s relationship and marriage plans as she doesn’t think they will endure the challenges of love. Your need for love and connection is often questioned—or even the right to have that need.
Lily D Moore is known to viewers from Netflix’s Never Have I Ever. She is excellent in her performance of Kendall and expresses all shades of her character with sincerity. “Color My World With Love” is DeSanctis’ breakthrough role and he also puts on a memorable performance. Their chemistry is so refreshing and honest that we wished there were more scenes of them in the film. Props to Erica Durance for her role as Emma and for effortlessly expressing the tiny fears of an overprotective mother.
Color My World With Love is certainly Hallmark’s signature film that embraces and supports people with disabilities. It explores a love story that many people might not see on TV or in movies. The film not only advocates love for couples with disabilities, but also enlightens viewers with a little more knowledge and lessons about what people with disabilities can do. The film inspires that everyone has a story to paint with endless possibilities. It emphasizes that everyone has the right to dream and fall in love despite their circumstances. Hallmark has successfully managed to strike a balance between engaging audiences and addressing social issues that don’t often find a place in the stories we typically see.