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Holiday Love, Double Dumps, and Emotional Expression

Sarah Walton has a thing for romance. An accomplished writer in Hollywood of numerous romantic comedy films including Jump! (Official Selection of the Burbank International Film Festival LA & Cinefest LA), The Dating Ring, Stage 3 Clinger, Em Pathetic, and others, Walton has made a career of manifesting the heartfelt moments for which true romantics yearn. “Write what you know” is what they say in the business; if that’s true then Sarah’s life has been a stream of self-affirming moments. The stories and characters fall under the heading “too good to be true” which is exactly the way Sarah and fans of these movies like it. It’s romantic escapism at its best, which doesn’t reject the yin yang of real romance. Still, there’s a good dose of suspending reality in her latest project Holiday Switch Up. Sometimes you go to your favorite restaurant, confident in their ability to prepare that dish on the menu exactly as you like it; the same is true for the films of Sarah Walton. She is the best proponent of stories that still cling to the fantasy of true love, even if it is found via trial by fire.

Walton is an ardent champion of the Rom Com genre. While she’s found this to be a major asset in Hollywood, the same was not true in her native home of Australia. She recalls, “Producers in Australia always wanted to change the ending of my films. They’d say ‘You don’t want to tie a bow on the end of it!’… but I love the bow, the bigger the bow the better I say! I’m now in negotiations with a major international network for Holiday Switch Up and have an A-list star in consideration for the lead.” A head of development at the film’s production company announces, “The character growth in Holi was so perfectly written that it remains to be seen why audience members fall for characters as hard as they do. Watching Holi open up and accept all parts of herself was beautiful and really made me root for her throughout the story. Zach is written so sweet and honest; the kind of pure that can feel so far away in people’s reality that it added a refreshing touch to this story. Walton made sure that page after page was full of cheesy, over the top scenes depicting a hilarious and heart-warming story. From a wide range of loveable, personable characters to the magic of connecting with your own emotions, this story will definitely be able to keep an audience intrigued”.

Sarah collaborated on the concept of Holiday Switch Up with Timothy O Johnson of Johnson Production Group, who has produced over twenty Hallmark Channel films as well as CBS Golden Globe winning TV series Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman. It’s the story of Holi, a woman who has repressed her dreams of becoming a dancer and the grief of losing her father 10 years ago and instead set her sights on marrying her fiancé Brad. But when a double date with Brad’s coworker and her fiancé Zach Goodall, turns out to be a double dump, all Holi’s plans crash down around her. Zach is a kind, compassionate, emotionally expressive man who is also a dancer! When the two strike a deal to accompany each other to their respective family homes for the holidays and impersonate the other’s former fiancé, the situation provides ample canvas for crying, laughter… and crying with laughter. It’s notable that Walton has written scenes where Zach wells up with tears, exemplifying the type of sensitivity and emotional availability that lacks prevalence in male film roles. The writer agrees, “I’ve always been a sucker for a man who cries. I love vulnerability, I think it’s beautiful. I have no other expectation for my wedding day except that as I walk down the aisle toward the love of my life, they will be at the altar with tears in their eyes…or balling their eyes out works too.”. This kind of vulnerability is exactly what we need to see more of on screen in this day and age, promoting characters with healthy emotional expression, especially for men, is quickly becoming a wide spread phenomenon. Through her films, Walton paves the way for championing women to stand in their power and for men to feel the empowerment of vulnerability, leading to a more balanced gender dynamic, and sending the message that love and emotional expression are, and always have been, strength.

Author: Kelly King

Holiday Love, Double Dumps, and Emotional Expression Reviewed by JaamZIN on 7:21:00 PM Rating: 5
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