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 fiancΓ© 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

22 thoughts on “Love by the Book

  1. Not exactly apropos of nothing but out of place here at least…..I don’t know any other way to communicate though… I wondered what you thought about The Irresistible Blueberry Farm and did you see The Dating List? I liked Andrew Dunbar and Natalie Dreyfuss a lot. Aloha With Love is horrid but at least, finally, in a Hallmark Movie, somebody sort of seriously leans on a weasel. Maybe you could email me because it seems inappropriate to use up someone else’s space but there are three favorites I’m dying to know what you think about: “Firelight” (1997) of all things. πŸ™‚ And two that I love so much and what do you know, gasp, Richard Curtis is involved in both. “The Girl in the Cafe” and “About Time”.

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    • According to my rating on IMDb I didn’t care for Blueberry at all. Just saw Dating List and liked it very much. Particularly the Character arc of her boss. Have Aloha on my DVR. Haven’t seen it yet. Loved About Time and Richard Curtis. I think I saw Cafe a few years ago. I’ll have to look into it and the others you mention.


      • I’m glad you saw About Time. I loved it out of all proportion. Everybody should watch The Girl in the Cafe… would do them good. It drove me crazy where I had seen Harry before!! I bet you nailed it but it took me a while. I had to look it up.

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      • In Dating List I play the “I don’t need a junior editor but I do need a partner” bit a lot and I love her scurrying out for the additional chapters, and back, at his house. I get a chill when he says “I’m Dexter Hayes”. It was so well done and now I don’t want to see them with anyone else in another movie. πŸ˜‰ Speaking of books, I meant to send you this video but I’m not sure I did. I think it’s wonderful, even historical…’s impossible for her to imagine her life coming up, right before the caviar hit the fan so to speak!!! πŸ™‚ So proud of selling 30k copies. What she has done is the damndest thing I ever saw I think.

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        • Yes, I am not sure I’ve seen this particular interview, and I will watch it later on today, I hope. I saw one where she visited her old rental where she was living with her young daughter and writing HP. She went into her old bedroom, and the current resident had a well-read set of HP books on the bookshelf. It gave me goosebumps. J.K. R. was blown away.


    • This is a heck of a movie! However, if you sold your firstborn to raise the money to bail your father out of jail and then tracked her down 7 years later and got a job as her governess, much to the father’s dismay, well then you’ll know all about it. The quality is bad but it’ll give you an idea. Jane Austen on steroids? πŸ˜‰


  2. There are two documentaries and the one you mentioned was the best. She teared up visiting her old apartment. There’s a moment in it where the narrator says something like “this is now the most valuable manuscript in publishing history” and I swooned!!! I was interested in seeing her sister too. The one above is the earliest available and means a lot. She had just gotten $100,000 for the American rights to the first book and promptly bought a house for her daughter. What gives me the most pleasure is thinking about how her first husband must have felt!! πŸ™‚ And here’s a really excellent one from the other end of the spectrum right before the last book was released. Jonathan Ross is very good. Nice what 10 years and hundreds of millions of dollars can do for one, isn’t it.

    And while we’re at it this is short and wonderful:

    And continuing with Stephen Fry, this was interesting to me, probably nothing new to you:

    This is all from me about Harry, except Harry and Hermione’s dancing scene was wonderful and wasn’t in the book I guess and she loved it. There’s a wonderful video of JK and the screenwriter(talk about the most pressure packed job in history!!!!) Steve Kloves who added it and worried how she would react and she had had thoughts about something like that herself and loved it. I have to quit this but to me the most interesting thing of all, and I can’t find anything on it anywhere, is how the movies affected her writing. I think she was on book 4 when the first movie came out and now she has concrete images, no longer those for years in her mind, about how the characters look and act and it must have shaped something to some extent? There I’m done. Theoretically. πŸ˜‰ I haven’t read the books and I have only watched the first movie, I’m just fascinated by her and the process. Did you watch her brilliant Harvard Commencement speech?

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    • I agree with everything you said, except I’m shocked (shocked, I tell you) that you haven’t seen all of the movies or read the books! I’ve read the books 3 times and watch the movies once a year. Haven’t seen the commencement speech. And the song Harry and Hermione danced to was O Children by Nick Cave and it was perfect.


      • Yes!! That was it. O Children. O man!! If I had been age appropriate at the time I’m sure I would have been a fan but I came late to the feast. Sorry you are shocked, Captain. πŸ˜‰ In my defense I’ve read all of Fitzgerald and John Updike(and Emily Bronte which didn’t take long). I just watched “A Year in the Life” again and the apartment scene was so touching. You’ll love the Harvard Commencement speech!!! I’m getting ready to watch it again. After you watch it I wish you’d email me because I have some very solid thoughts about how the Dems can bust some asses in Nov. and part of that speech could play a big part because young voters venerate her. I can’t organize and present thoughts cogently like you are able to and I’d like to dump the essentials in a pile at your digital doorstep. It has to do with making the urge to go vote straight D, easy peasy, in and out, quick like a bunny, go viral.


      • It was driving me crazy where I’d seen him and we’re talking daylight and dark in those two roles. I think I’d only seen him in P&P before About Time. Speaking of famous British actors, how great does this make you feel??? (If only, right?! Sorry,I can’t help myself!! Dr. Thorne made me think of Dr. Who, and on and on and on) πŸ˜‰


  3. I like Bill Nighy too. I was pleased to see him in the Dr Who Van Gogh video, I was pleased for Van Gogh too, and I really need to think that he and Kelly Macdonald ended up together. I remember the Fisher-Spassky match in Iceland and I wish I could have liked Fisher better although I pulled for him. I hate chess… have to plan ahead.


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