Community v. Condos
This was very engaging due solely to the performances and personalities of the two leads, Sara Rue and Jordan Bridges. In addition to their talents, they had excellent chemistry together. Sara Rue is just a delight. And she has been a delight in everything I have seen her in. She radiates warmth and humor that seems to come not only from her acting but from her real personality. She may be a real “rhymes with witch” for all I know, but if she is, she is a witch with a ton of charisma. Jordan Bridges is another favorite, and he was particularly good in this. The decision to give him a beard was genius. Somehow, it adds to his power and intimidating persona which makes it even more enjoyable to see Sara worm her way under his skin. As she slowly charms him out of his stubborn cynicism, and he gives her a fresh perspective as well, they fall in love. And it is a pleasure to watch.
The story is all Hallmark. Vikki manages a community garden that Chace is buying in order to tear it down and make way for the condominium he is building. We see the conflict from both sides. They are both justified in their position so it’s a matter of finding a compromise, not one side seeing the light and changing their minds. Of course, the viewer sees the solution long before the two combatants do. When we note that there are 20 minutes to go and Chace heads to the roof of his office building to have a think after he and Vikki seem irretrievable at odds, we think “at last!” after mumbling “rooftop garden, dummies,” from the couch from the half-hour mark on.
The well-drawn secondary characters add to the likability of this movie and keep the rather well-worn plot fresh and involving. **8 out of 10 stars**
June 9, 2021