The Body in the Barn
Business is business, so when Sandra (Kirsten Robek - Jingle All the Way 2), an old college friend of Jennifer's (Lori Loughlin - Northpole: Open for Christmas), shows up to say she is closing her antiques store Jennifer can't feel too bad for her especially as Sandra is allowing her to have fist pick from her stock and only taking a percentage on what she sells, which is a good thing as money is tight at the business. But when Jennifer goes looking through Sandra's stock at an old barn she discovers a dead body, a former boyfriend of Sandra's, and when Sandra is arrested on suspicion of murder Jennifer once again turns amateur detective with a little help from her computer genius son.
I think it was back in 2014 when I first noticed a trend forming for made for TV movie franchises surrounding someone, usually a small business owner, playing amateur detective, and for a time I really enjoyed these movies. But one after another has been made and just two years later my enthusiasm for these amateur detective movies has truly waned. As such when I sat down to watch "Garage Sale Mystery: Guilty Until Proven Innocent" I did so with a slight air of reluctance because at best this movie was only going to be average and more than likely highly telegraphed with a lot of unsubtle clues.
And sadly "Garage Sale Mystery: Guilty Until Proven Innocent" delivered exactly what I expected which in fairness is a continuation of style from the previous movies with Jennifer unable to resist turning amateur detective, her husband knowing that means she will end up getting in to trouble whilst the local detective realises warning her off is pointless. The thing is that like so many of these movies the crime solving isn't really that important as it is more about the likeable Jennifer doing her thing. And for me whilst those earlier "Garage Sale Mystery" movies worked thanks to the likeable nature of Lori Loughlin now it is not enough to prevent all the unsubtlety and face pulling from being cheesy. The trouble is that "Garage Sale Mystery: Guilty Until Proven Innocent" treats the audience almost as if they are idiots and forces everything so early on when Jennifer asks her computer whiz kid son to get out and get some fresh air you just know his skills with a computer will come in to play at some point.
What this all boils down to is that "Garage Sale Mystery: Guilty Until Proven Innocent" is at best only okay and between there being too many amateur detective movies and this one over doing the forced nature of being unsubtle it walks very close to the line of being too cheesy at times.