A Strong Debut from the New Kid on the Block
I always enjoy modern riffs on classic works particularly Jane Austen ones. This is Shakespeare and it was well done. Setting it in England, presumably London, and all of the English accents added to the overall charm. I like that they explained why the American mother and daughter’s home was in England. A sweet young couple fall in love, practically at first glance. He is a young advertising executive, Claude, who, along with Ben, works for Don. They are about to try to win a contract with LeonaLloyd, a rich and powerful head of a major corporation. She is also the mother of Haley, who is sweet and down-to-earth. She heads the charitable end of the corporation and is the best friend of Bea, who once dated Ben, Claude’s friend. It did not end well. Anyone who is familiar with the Shakespeare comedy can guess where this will go. The conflict between the young lovers, Claude and Haley, comes not from suspected infidelity, but because Haley does not tell Claude the truth about who her mother really is. She just wants to be treated like a normal girl. When he finds out the truth, in a very dramatic fashion, he is humiliated and dumps her and she is devastated.
The casting was on point. I’ve never seen Susie Abromeit before but she was fantastic. I was not impressed with Torrance Coombs in a previous Hallmark production, but he was perfect in this, playing Claude. Sweet and love-struck when called for, and cold and unyielding when needed as well. The Bea and Ben romance was wisely very much in the background. The relationship between Leona, Hailey, and Bea, and the advertising agency’s efforts to win Leona’s favor provided interesting background to the romance.
Although there have been some stale plots and casting in Hallmark Christmas movies this year, in general, they have upped their game. If this is because of strong competition from other productions like this one, I’m all for it.
November 12, 2021