Low-Key but Nice.
Leah’s “milestone” 30th birthday is coming up on Christmas Eve, the same day her brother is getting married. She is a little down because she thought that by now, she would have made more of a success of her life like the rest of her family and friends. In particular, she has never acted on her lifelong dream of travel. In addition, she has a feeling that her family is going to forget this most important birthday because of all of the excitement over her brother’s wedding. Holy Molly Ringwald in Sweet Sixteen!
When she confides in her childhood friend and former crush, Drew, who is also visiting town, he decides to do something special with her almost daily to help her celebrate. In the background, we learn that the reason why she hasn’t done more with her life is that she is afraid to leave her Dad, who has had a few health scares (despite the fact that her mother is a cardiologist-at least they try to explain this weak excuse). The airline has lost her brother’s fiance’s wedding dress, sending it to all the wrong destinations. “Her dress is better traveled than I am!”. The fiancé is a type A personality and though nice, is a little picky and difficult. Her brother, who rubbed me the wrong way, has decided to “surprise” her by buying back her beloved childhood home and changing the wedding venue to there from Leah’s parent’s home behind her back. So there’s some cloak and dagger going on while the fiancé is getting more and more anxious that her wedding won’t be perfect and something is being kept from her. Also, Drew has decided to sell his Nana’s home because he no longer has ties to the community and that makes everyone sad, including Drew.
In summarizing the plot, it sounds like there is a lot going on, but there really isn’t. This one doesn’t aim for high comedy or drama. It is gentle and low-key, yet I wasn’t bored. There were a lot of layers and more intricacies to the story and it doesn’t always take the obvious path. Drew and Leah’s love story takes center stage and it is sweet. It develops slowly and tentatively but was engaging and romantic. The chemistry ended up being very strong. I felt the uncertainty and the emotion. The climax is touching and I loved the ending which wound everything up in a creative and upbeat way instead of with a lone chaste kiss. I must add, parenthetically, that Hallmark and the clones have really jazzed up the kisses this year.**almost an 8**
December 5, 2021