A Waste of a Good Idea Which is Getting Few and Far Between at Hallmark
Two life-long friends might have a romantic future despite the disparity in their levels of maturity and success in life, and the fact that she is engaged to another man. This was a good idea for a romance, but the plot was wasted on a nondescript leading lady, wasted opportunities, and failure to take advantage of the considerable talents of Frances Fisher and George Wendt.
Natalie Hall is pretty enough under all that make up (even on her daily run in the park?) but she brings nothing to the table as far as charm or charisma. Honey, you’re still young (even now, 8 years later) and have nothing to hide. Let that fresh beauty shine through. Her acting is not bad, but it’s nothing to write home about either. The smarmy boyfriend is well portrayed by a Ray Liotta look-alike. He certainly does his job making him hate-able. Darin Brooks is appealing and perfectly cast as Jennifer’s life-long best friend and love interest, Kevin.
As far as the writing goes, I can’t help but think some scenes were cut or never written in due to time considerations. There was an inexplicable time jump right to the rehearsal dinner of at least 3 or 4 months. Bad pacing. The lovable best friend is called a parasite by the mean fiance and although this was harsh, in truth, he is absolutely right. Cute and “merry-hearted” he may have been, but he was not much of a match for Jennifer who had an important and prestigious career. He didn’t even graduate from college with only 6 credits to go! Come on, dude! He is pretty much a lazy loser and moocher throughout the movie and that is not a good look for the “hero.” A little ambition to go along with his kind, fun-loving sweet persona, would have made his character more admirable.
Although the cheating jerk of a fiancé did get dumped at the end, the scene was wasted. He needed to be publicly exposed (especially in front of his boss, the wonderful Frances Fisher) in a dramatic and delicious scene or two. Or three. He needed a major and humiliating take down. Instead, the reason for his downfall was because he couldn’t name Jennifer’s favorite color? And a fib about where he got the engagement ring? She was mad because he didn’t get it for free from his granny and instead shelled out thousands of dollars for the biggest rock in the jewelry store? Wut? THIS is why she broke up with him instead of learning he was a serial cheater as well as acting like an evil controlling selfish S.O.B. from his first scene to his last?
The set up and idea for this one was good, but it was poorly executed and would have been so easy to fix. It’s a shame.
August 1, 2020