Love in the Maldives

Armchair Adventure.

For some reason, I didn’t hate this, although I probably should have. The plot did not deviate from the standard Hallmark playbook except for the geography and had some silly eye-rolling elements in it to boot. But the setting in the Maldives instead of Small Town, U.S.A counted a lot in its favor. It was nice.

Rae is a writer for a magazine whose regular feature is her solo action-packed physically challenging adventures in dangerous places. Emphasis on the solo. She climbs mountains, rafts down raging rivers, goes on polar expeditions, slashes through jungles with snakes, and stuff like that. Her magazine is changing focus, however, and her boss sends her to a luxury resort in the Maldives. To Her Horror. (!) She wants her to write something personal and introspective instead of her usual which is the opposite of that. Can she even do that? Her job depends on it but it doesn’t seem likely. When she gets to the beautiful partially underwater resort, she keeps looking around for exciting adventures in defiance of her intimidating boss’s direct orders but all she finds is a yoga class. Not her thing.

But right off the bat, she develops a sweet relationship with an older widow, they talk and help each other and go to couple-oriented activities together. I really liked this part and the actress, Lucy Newman-Williams, was just great. Rae gives Debra the courage to strike out and do things on her own without her beloved husband, and Debra gets Rae to give her own solitary existence a critical second look. She also gets to know the yoga guy who is the “Experience Director” of the resort. Jared’s yoga class is part of a program he wants to “take international” called “Clarity and Connection.” You get the picture. They start to fall in love while snorkeling, dancing, shopping in nearby Mali, meeting his friends, and rescuing sea turtles. He also knows where the location of a famous shipwreck that sunk with a plundered treasure on board is. That is right up Rae’s street. This is the main eye-rolling part. Rae agrees to keep it a secret and not write about it if he takes her to it and he does. What a chump. But by this time, she is starting to buy into this turning inward instead of outward deal. He takes her out to the wreck which is sticking right up in the air in shallow water in full view of any passing plane or drone or Josh Gates. She is agog. Why haven’t all of the greedy treasure hunters discovered it? “Because it’s not near anything.” Plus it’s called the “Wandering Shipwreck” because every time there is a typhoon or monsoon, it is carried off again to a new place. Wait a minute. Could the ship be a metaphor for Rae’s life up to now? I’ll put a pin in that one.

Rae screws up and takes a selfie with the famous lost ship in the background which her boss sees because they have a shared hard drive. She forgot about that. Of course, her boss gets all excited and books a whole block of bungalows for a camera crew to film the exploration of the ship which Rae discovered and do a whole big thing. Secrets out. Tourists, treasure hunters, and reality show hosts will not be far behind disturbing the peace of paradise (and the exclusive $15,000-a-night resort.) Yoga guy Jared thinks she betrayed him on purpose, and yadda yadda yadda until all is resolved very patly with the shipwreck remaining a secret, the treasure staying in the Maldives, and him taking his Clarity and Connection program international with Rae’s collaboration. Her “Reservation for One” feature has turned into “Table for Two.” Awh.

The two leads in this are married in real life and seemed very comfortable working with each other. I liked Jocelyn Hudon in this though she has been in a couple of stinkers and one good one in the past. Her husband though. Nothing against the actor, but he came across as a slightly vacant teenage surfer dude while Jocelyn was believable as a successful worldly professional. It was as if Christopher Atkins had been marooned on The Blue Lagoon with his Highschool English teacher instead of Brooke Shields. He even had Christopher’s same tousled frosted tips. Just FYI and in fairness, in real life, they look to be a nice young couple and Jake Manley (yes) is actually 5 years older than his wife. I was surprised. I would not be averse to seeing them work together for Hallmark again as long as he lets his hair grow out and buys a comb.

Rating: 7 out of 10.

16 thoughts on “Love in the Maldives

      • I don’t recommend it but it was sweet and they were cute and there was a minimum of conflict that was quickly resolved very satisfactorily. I’ve watched it more than once when there was nothing else.


      • I haven’t had a chance to watch yet but I will later. I’ve fallen in love with this story and I’m getting ready for the game. My next wife:

        This’ll be so much fun this afternoon at 2:30 Central. What a huge thing for those involved and from Iowa to boot. I crave moments like this. Hard to imagine the adrenaline flooding her veins. What fun.


  1. I like that your reviews are up so fast after the movie airs. I had only watched the first two acts before I read your review. I’ve seen so many of these movies that I try to spot the thing that is going to cause the inevitable crisis between the two romantic leads as soon as possible. That thing is always planted early on. When I saw the shipwreck sticking up out of the water, first I laughed, and then I thought, here it is, the thing that he lied to her about and which will cause the crisis. Jocelyn Hudon has a natural talent for comedy. She should be cast in a feature romcom. She could pull it off. I think From Friend to Fiance (if you can overlook the gap in ages between the two leads) is one of the better Hallmark movies, because she is so much fun to watch in that one. Jake, her husband, was good in the two acts I saw. They did have chemistry, but you’re right, he did seem younger than her for some reason.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I try to get them up as fast as I can, but I’ve been lucky lately. Some are harder to write than others. I did like Jocelyn Hudon in this one but that has not always been the case, sad to say. They are a young couple and I hope they will be in more Hallmarks. There have been more fresh faces lately, and that is a good thing.


  2. I agree with you on this one. I thought their chemistry was good (and didn’t know they were married). The dream sequences were a little odd. And the lame misunderstanding and the shipwreck sticking out of the water were major WTF moments, but otherwise it was enjoyable. And we got some good bikini shots!

    Liked by 1 person

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