Review: Operation Cupcake


This weekend I caught the new made for TV flick Operation Cupcake on the Hallmark Channel. Sorry, but I am a sucker for TV movies and always take an interest when they involve the military.

Here's the synopsis (Courtsey of Hallmarkchannel.com):

When Army Colonel Griff Carson (Dean Cain) returns home from Germany on a two-month leave, he considers retiring if he doesn't get promoted to General. Being away on deployment has been hard on Griff, separating him from his wife Janet (Kristy Swanson) and two teenagers, Kim (Galadriel Stineman) and Ollie (Alec Gray).

With his kids growing up and his wife busy opening a second bakeshop with a slimy business partner, Griff suddenly feels he no longer fits into his own family. Hoping to give him a sense of duty, Janet assigns him to help run her quaint cupcake shop. At first reluctant, Griff starts to take a military approach to his new job, never expecting it to backfire. Soon the bakery is a war zone, and one final screw-up almost sends the place up in smoke. Frustrated, Janet threatens to cut him out of their lives for good if he can't adjust to civilian family life. Refusing to give up, Griff is determined to prove to his family he's ready to be a full-time father, or else face the lonely life of a solitary military man.

As you might anticipate, the movie is predictable. It is also filled with inaccuracies about military life. But both of these are par for the course when it comes to TV movies depicting us. For instance, Col. Carson has spent his entire career separated from his family, which is uncommon in real army life. Plus, there are always the uniform faux pas that always get us military folks in a tizzy.

But, for all it's flaws, I have to give Hallmark channel props for putting out this movie. It does hit home on one of the biggest issues facing military families. It does a great job of portraying the complicated emotions of homecomings and reintegration. For instance, the family is ecstatic when they find out that Col. Carson will be with them for two months, but the frustrations of trying to reconnect after a long separation are quickly apparent. He has trouble adjusting to all the changes that have occurred since he last spent time with his family, and his family have trouble accepting his hands-on approach. Personally, these are the two biggest hurdles my family faces when going through post-separation reintegration.

So, thank you, Hallmark, for bringing some of the struggles we military families face to the mainstream audience. And to you military spouses, if you are in the mood for a light hearted flick that hits close to home and don't care about those "little" things like uniform accuracy, check out this film.

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