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Fans Share Divided Reactions to Hallmark's "Shifting Gears" with Tyler Hynes

A Tyler Hynes Hallmark movie is one that Hallmark fans anxiously await. Hynes' fans, affectionately self-dubbed, "Hynies," know that a movie featuring the beloved Hallmark hunk is guaranteed to delight and entertain--at least until recently.

In 2023, Hynes headlined the network bomb, Never Been Chris'd, though fans quickly rallied to his defense, citing bad scripts and poor co-stars, affirming that Hynes delivered his usual outstanding performance, but even HE couldn't save the mess he was handed.

When news broke that Hynes would star in a Hallmark Channel Spring into Love premiere, viewers expected Shifting Gears to remove the bad taste left over from the Christmas flop, but only half of his fan base were pleased with the results.

What Is Shifting Gears About?

After female mechanic Jess Barro (Katherine Barrell) reluctantly agrees to participate in a car restoration show, she is shocked to learn that her ex-boyfriend, Luke (Hynes), is her main competitor.

Sparks quickly reignite between the two, so why did they break up in the first place?

Lukes's grandfather was the founder of Tune Up Wiz, and he wanted his son and Jess's father, Ray, to be business partners. Luke's dad, Steven, cut Ray out of the deal, leaving Ray to start his own business from scratch. Luke knew what was transpiring and never took a side.

Now, Barro's Auto is in financial trouble, and if Jess doesn't win the $50K grand prize, the family business might not survive. Steven positions himself to take over Barro's Auto, but will Luke find the courage to stand against his father this time?

Hynes' Fans Review Shifting Gears and Share Split Reactions (Hallmarkie Mentions)

When you scroll social media responses to Shifting Gears posts, fans appear equally divided--half loved it, and half hated it.

Here are the top "Hallmarkie Mentions" that represent both camps:


I enjoyed the movie very much, recorded it for watching often. Chemistry was there, liked the storyline, really liked the roller skating & dancing in the rain scenes. Great job Hallmark. --Mary T.

I really enjoyed this movie. I liked the story and also I thought the funny parts were actually funny. (That’s not always true). --Michelle P.

It was nice having a Hallmark movie that I was able to get my grown car enthusiast son to watch with me. --Shauna G.

Nice mix of common Hallmark themes with an interesting and new focus - cars. --Paul F.

I loved it and enjoyed the strong, independent woman character! And Tyler is always adorable. The car turned out beautifully too! --Noel-Beth S.

I loved it, this movie is relatable to us women that sometimes prefer a profession that is considered a man’s job. Great job Kat Barrell, No better lead than Tyler Hynes for this movie. Off screen- He is the embodiment of uplifting and encouraging everybody not just women. Always showing his love and admiration for his enthusiasts and especially his mom. --Tammy R.


Just liked Never Been Chris'd, I feel Tyler was cast to get his fan base to watch. This could have been a great movie, but it just missed on several points. There was miscasting on most parts especially the dads. As for Luke & Jess, not a lot the of chemistry there. --Dawn D.

These two were mismatched. There was not much chemistry between them. Her size dwarfed him and made him look thin and slight. Ryan Paevey would have been a better choice. Missed the marked on this one. --Mary C.

It was a snooze fest for me, literally I dozed off watching it. No chemistry between these two…I didn’t even care for the plot…all around big disappointment for me despite Tyler Hynes being a favorite actor of mine. --Victoria J.

I love all his work, but this one wasn’t a favorite. Thought he and the dad weren’t a good match. --Barbara H.

Not good at all. In fact, downright boring. These two had no chemistry. I love Tyler, but this movie failed him. --Marlena C-H.

I love Tyler and was excited about the storyline, but there was absolutely no chemistry between the characters, and they didn’t look good together. I think Hallmark just throws people together because they are available. I actually didn’t even watch the whole movie because I got bored. --Kelly P.

RomCom Review Weighs in on Shifting Gears

After reading so many negative reviews on Shifting Gears, I was surprised to find that the movie was not dull and unwatchable as many Hynes fans had stated. It moved at a reasonable pace, incorporated an atypical plot, and delivered a satisfying ending.

If you didn't know, Barrell's real-life husband (Ray Galletti) plays American High Gear TV host, Wayne Larouche. Barrell was also sick during filming due to early pregnancy, so that may have affected her performance.

I won't watch it again, however, for several reasons.

  • The casting is terrible. As many viewers stated, Katherine Barrell is not a good actress and her size dwarfs the too-skinny Hynes. Onscreen, it just looks odd. As for chemistry, the two had a slight pulse but teeter on flatlining the entire movie. The man cast as Hynes' dad looks young enough to be his big brother, which the casting director must have overlooked.

  • Details are sloppy. For example, Luke gets off his motorcycle at the office with a clean shirt, but by the time he's at the top of the stairs, it's covered in oil. The leads are working on cars for most of the movie, yet Jess only has a smear on her face once. Their hands are clean the entire movie.

  • Teri tries to calm Jess's nerves through Zen. Hallmark used to create movies that inspired faith, not pagan and secular practices like Zen.

The worst part of this movie is the WOKE messaging about female empowerment.

Shifting Gears is nothing but a candy-coated feminist rant.

The whole premise of this movie is about a woman scoring a big win over her male competitors in an arena typically populated by men. It's all about "girl power--" as if women are trampled in life by the "patriarchal machine" and need to rise above the "social construct" to prove they are not just equals, but superior, to men. In this movie, a girl even rescues her own father from financial ruin.

Jess teaches an automotive class to all women, too, symbolizing the call for women to lift each up so they don't need a man for anything. Her work in a male-dominated field is also the inspiration for Teri's daughter's project.

It's political, woke B.S. that infects many new Hallmark films.

The movie is directed by Crystal Lowe and is the first film in Hallmark's Make Her Mark Women's Directing Program, a mentorship initiative intended to create opportunities for more women behind the camera. The program was conceived by actress Ashley Williams. While the goal is well-meaning, it's sexist to the core. It's assuming that women are marginalized, and the solution that is offered for "inequality" is to segregate women into a privileged class of people, as if they couldn't accomplish anything on their own without the boost. To create opportunities specifically for women with the goal of excluding men is sexist.

It's 2024. Anyone, male or female, can work hard and achieve their goals in America. To pretend that women are being hindered by men in the 21st century and must perpetually rage against misogyny is ludicrous.

Feminists hate traditional gender roles and rail against them. While there is nothing wrong with a woman pursuing her passion and being successful, feminists demand emasculating men in the process. God created men and women, and He made them different so they could complement one another. Those differences should be embraced and celebrated, not rejected and termed outdated by a group of angry man-haters.

It's disappointing that Hynes would buy into woke notion that women are downtrodden in modern society when they are not. When the TV host comments about the contestants' craftmanship, Luke corrects him by saying, craftswomanship. Oh, please!

When movies are produced to check political boxes instead of to entertain, they always result in failure. The irony of it all is that to get people to watch this story about female empowerment, they had to rope a man, Hynes, into the leading role to capture his fan base. The only "mark" Crystal Lowe makes with Shifting Gears is proving that a man could have done it better.

10,035 views11 comments


Mar 28

I am surprised at all the animosity directed at Katherine Barrell's size. Did we need Tyler to walk with lifts or have Katherine hunch down to make this work? Of all the WOKE backbreaking Hallmarks is trying to do, do we think a woman's size is that important of an issue?

While I agree with most of the critiques about his latest movie I would like to see real women of different sizes interacting in the real world. As a tall woman myself I was glad to see Ms. Barrell was not forced to walk in a trench to make Tyler seem more "manly."


Mar 27

Tyler is an exceptional actor. The movies he is cast show him to be a very believable and charismatic character. Sure he is handsome, but the way he delivers his lines and the body language he uses envelope the character he portrays flawlessly. When he is cast opposite Erin Krakow or Bethany Lentz, the chemistry is off the charts. "It Was Always You" is one example of Tyler's best films. The Hallmark brass need to search for better scripts that show the talents that the actors possess. Leave all of the woke nonsense out of "entertainment"....if it happened to Budweiser, it will happen to Hallmark. Tyler Hynes is a much too valuable asset to the network to lose …


Mar 27

Well I really loved SHIFTING GEARS! I know that Tyler Hynes is very supportive of all his costars…even though most of us watch his movies BECAUSE OF HIM! This movie had many sweet, positive parts to it…Tyler on (their) vintage Harley, the roller skating segment (neither had ever roller skated…Tyler even skated BACKWARDS!!), the scene of Tyler & Kate in the mirror…Tyler & Kate looking in the car from different angles, the view from the back under the umbrellas, dancing, Tyler’s sweet nieces looking under the hood of a car (their debut!), & in case many don’t know…Kate was about 10 weeks pregnant during the making of this movie & was sick almost everyday! Tyler was so supportive o…


Mar 26

I feel like we didn't watch the same movie. With all due respect, how could this be a "feminist rant" when Jess said to Luke (I believe more than once) something like " I don't think I could have done this without you"? And for me, this was mainly about one particular woman who was trained from childhood to do a particular job. And that job paid off in her helping to save her dad's shop. I'm guessing millions of women go to work every day to help put food on the table and to pay the rent for their families. Many of them are married. Could they be called feminists? Most comments I read were mostly favorable not 50-50.


Mar 25

The only good actor in this movie was Tylers acting, Hallmark has some realy good actresses and it could have been a good movei with a little tweaking. Tyler brings a sensitivity to his movies that few actors have and that is what fans like about him. He is very creative use him wisely.

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