Love by the Book

Strong Cast Supporting the Hopeless Hapless Heroine

Not one of the better Hallmarks, made even worse by Leah Renee who plays the heroine, Emma Graham, the totally clueless bookstore owner. This Kate Upton lookalike talks in a little girl breathy mincing way which actually kinda fits with her character who is so dumb she does not even know her little book store is failing, has zero business sense, and does not even know what the internet is for. She seems to regard her book store as a fun cute way to indulge her romantic fantasies instead of a business that the community and her employees might find valuable to their lives and livelihoods. When the son of her major investor (what…why?) who is sent to save her business offers a 20 % discount on the book she is reading to the kiddies during story hour, she is horrified. Imagine! A retailer having the crassness to actually try to (gasp!) sell something! Why is she in retail? Please tell me. She just should have been a librarian. One little tidbit that I found quite amusing was all the fake book titles used in creating this bookstore romance.

Of course she hates the guy who is pointing out all of her obviously stupid business decisions (excuse me, scratch the word “business”) about her store and falls for an over-fed smarmy cornball who checks all of the boxes of her “Prince Charming”. Halfway through she finally gets hit with a cluestick and climbs out of her ivory tower and starts to see some sense in business and in romance. Kristopher Turner who plays Eric the smarty whose business it is to save failing businesses was a doll and I enjoyed the character and his performance. He was very cute and kind of nerdy (that’s a good thing). He managed to bump this treacle up at least 2 stars. Stephanie Powers is in this as well playing an employee of the bookstore and she looks amazing. Why they have her married to an overweight old goat who looks like he has one foot in the grave is beyond me. They should have hooked her up with getting better and better with age John Schneider who plays the rich investor. As with many Hallmarks, there is a secondary romance with Emma’s sister and her fiancĂ© which was more interesting than the primary romance. The capable actress who played her sister, looked like a slightly less stunning Scarlett Johannson. I wish the two actresses would have changed roles. That would have bumped it up another two stars. Though the script pretty much locked her in to being an idiot in business and love, it was Leah Renee’s delivery which made her eyerollingly infantile and weak. Cherilyn Wilson who played her sister Jane seemed much more suitable to the lead role. **5 out of 10 stars**

January 15, 2015

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