Most of the aging TV romance actresses should take a page from Sarah Drew’s book. Sarah is 42 years old but looks 10 years younger. It might be genetics, but in my opinion, it was the minimalistic lowkey way in which she was made up. Of course, that gorgeous red hair doesn’t hurt either. I love that tomboyish girl next door look. As the hero says about her character, “She is a breath of fresh air.”
Mackenzie “Mac” is a high school science teacher in her old hometown school. A former classmate who is now a famous movie action star comes to town to help his pregnant sister, whose husband is deployed. He goes to the school to visit his nephew in the middle of class. There must have been a good reason for this, but I don’t remember what it is. It turns out that Mac had a crush on Chase back in the day, and Chase started to return her feelings when they were on a field trip together to a science fair in New York City. But when they got back home, he dumped the school brainy nerd to hang with his usual popular kids’ group.
Mac is still devastated by the grief of losing her beloved father a few years before and can’t move forward. We learn later that she completed medical school but quit her residency when her father died. She is torn about going back. She would make a great doctor but loves her community and teaching. “Big grief puts things in perspective,” she says.
Chase’s career has taken a downward turn and he wants to branch out to more serious movies. While competing together in the “Reindeer Games” for charity they renew their acquaintance. They help each other, start to flirt, and ultimately fall in love. I think they might even have gone to bed together off-screen. There are a few subtle hints. Chase is even thinking of not going back to Hollywood as he has fallen for Mac and the joys of small-town life. Mac still doesn’t entirely trust Chase because of his history of getting swept up in the moment but moving on when he comes down to earth. He begs her for a second chance to show he can go the distance. He encourages her to read the last Christmas Eve letter from her dead father, and she is inspired to complete her residency and become a doctor. At this critical juncture, his agent shows up with the 3 picture deal of his dreams which will revitalize his career and probably win him an Oscar. But he has to go to Munich and will be away for months making these movies. This is trouble. She breaks up with him (before he can break up with her) so they can both pursue their career dreams on opposite sides of the universe. Don’t worry, love triumphs in the end. I won’t say how but it involves a crossword puzzle. They both will pursue their dreams and their relationship deciding they will just “figure it out” somehow. I liked that.
This was one of the usual plots, but it was good. It had plenty of humor, including both situational and funny one-liners, but it also had some sadness and heartbreak too. It was well-balanced and well-rounded with no silliness. Her grief for her father was a little over the top, but it was well-acted. Justin Breuning who played Chase was good too and he and Sarah Drew were good together. Mac’s gay friend was overdone and got on my nerves. I explained Mac’s whole story up front, but in the movie, it is slowly revealed. I liked wondering what was up with her and Chase and why a girl who was nicknamed “Pre-Med” in high school wasn’t a doctor, but a teacher. Good show.