A Vineyard Romance

Four Strong Performances and a Scene Stealer

I approached this one with not a whole lot of enthusiasm or hope. I’d never heard of the main actress before, and Marcus Rosner has never really stood out for me one way or another. I had just seen him in Love Stories in Sunflower Valley with an actress that I really do not like and I was unimpressed once again. He is very handsome, but not much personality. What a difference an easy rapport and chemistry with your co-lead can make! He was very engaging, entertaining, and even funny in this one. The lead actress was gorgeous in a fresh natural way that really appealed to me. They were a great match.

The movie got my attention right away when I learned Marcus Rosner was actually engaged to an internet influencer and our heroine was sent to do a piece for her magazine on their imminent wedding. They were exes and each thinks they were rudely and coldly ghosted by the other. We only know her side of the story at first, and she is understandably upset to find out that he is the prospective groom. When the love interest is set to walk down the aisle, it really raises the stakes on the tension and anticipation of what is to come. The dialogue and situations were fast-paced and funny. The secondary couple’s courtship was cute and involving. He is a widower and she is our heroine, Sam’s, best friend in the old hometown where the action takes place. The two have massive crushes on each other, but they are shy and scared. It was sweet.

But the star of the show is Leanne Lapp playing against type as the self-centered, shallow, and very bubbly fiancé. I have always liked her but she usually plays the supportive friend or sister to the heroine. I didn’t even recognize her at first. She is hilarious as the bride who is more concerned with getting her wedding perfect and publicized than the actual marriage. On top of that, she is angling to get Marcus away from the small town and vineyard (yes, there’s wine-always a plus) he loves and back to the big city she loves. Despite her machinations, such is Leanne’s take and performance of the character, we somehow still like her. When Marcus finally stands up to her and states the obvious, that they are not a good match, we are relieved for him and her. It was about time. Despite her being dumped she doesn’t have the expected meltdown but is a good sport about it. It was very refreshing.

All ends as it should for the two couples and Leanne, who is not exactly heartbroken. I hope this movie propels this talented actress out of the friend zone and into the lead role she deserves.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

02/22/2022

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