Confused and Complicated
On the surface, this was pretty standard stuff as far as plot and character. But if you look harder, it featured some very awkward elements and a very Strange-for-Hallmark romance. First of all, 2 very contentious and competitive butterfly wranglers not only in the same city, but booking parties right next door to each other? I had no idea that releasing butterflies at parties was such a booming dog-eat-dog business! Our heroine, Emily, hates her rival Mandy because Mandy treats butterfly parties as a business instead of a calling. Plus, she’s cheaper. She does not have a deep personal connection to the insects like Emily does. Emily suspects Mandy of salting her butterfly releases with moths and actually has the gall to also do Puppy and Kitty parties as well. Hopefully, these dog and cat parties don’t involve releasing them into the wild like the butterflies. Better just shrug and move on. This is one of those Hallmark set-ups that you can’t think about too hard.
Emily’s love interest is a single Dad who hires her to give a party for his daughter. The romance is unusual for Hallmark. Emily is very attracted to him but is worried that he is still hung up on his ex. They actually have a pretty lengthy conversation about that issue, and guess what? He actually is! I don’t know why because she is rude, pushy, bossy and they have nothing in common except a 2-year history. He says “It’s complicated.” End of. He thinks. But no. Emily wants the cards on the table and good for her. He admits he really likes Emily but he is very “confused.” He is so “confused” that after thinking about it long and hard, he chooses the ex over Emily and drives off for the airport, New York City, and a high-paying career! And Emily is perfectly OK with that. In fact, she says that “she’s never felt better!” She seems to mean it because although she looks sad for about a minute, there are no tears or hanging around in her PJs eating ice cream out of the carton. Although this spoke volumes for her strength and self-sufficiency and not needing a man to complete her, it kind of sucked for the romance. At this point, the Hallmark Gods had to intervene because God forbid a woman is alone with friends, family, and a thriving business at the end of a Hallmark movie. He changes his mind off-camera and comes back. And now she is really really happy. We get the final (and only) kiss and fade out before he can change his mind again.
In addition to the problematic romance, We have a creepy and possibly mentally ill father. His antics at a party near the end were not funny. He was horrifying. And I found his conversation with Emily about her attraction to Garrett inappropriate and uncomfortable. Throw in Emily’s self-righteous and judgmental attitude towards Mandy, a truly hateful and psycho bride, an abundance of dead and diseased caterpillars, and losing the entertaining Mandy for most of the movie until she is resurrected and rehabilitated at the end, this movie had me feeling caterpillars, not butterflies.
March 14, 2022