A Breath of Fresh Air
Jake and Darby have known each other for 15 years and engaged for 10. Yes, I know. But there was a career-derailing skiing accident and Nana ( the wonderful Paula Shaw) had health issues. It will be no surprise that they are in a rut and have lost that special spark. In fact, they are about ready to call it a day and break up when their parents and friends enter them in the “Wedding of a Lifetime” competition on national television. Rather than hurt their loved ones’ feelings they decide to enter and lose on purpose. Unfortunately, they both are pretty competitive and hate to lose.
This was a breath of fresh air. Even though we all knew where this was going, the plot was new and fresh, not one of the usual in the Hallmark grab bag. The acting by Jonathan Bennett was top-notch both in comic scenes and dramatic scenes. Brooke D’Orsay is always very appealing and lends sweetness and authenticity to any production, but this one gave her more to work with than usual. Her scenes of heartbreak were very affecting and her comedic ones were amusing. She is one of the best criers at Hallmark, the other being Allison Sweeney.
The couple acted like rational mature adults. Even though they have an argument, they don’t flounce off in a snit. Darby gets great news via text right in the middle of it, and the argument is forgotten and Jake is happy for her and supportive. The next day, they apologize to each other. What a concept!
Thanks to working together as a team they find their way back together and decide to give their relationship another chance. They win the competition, and “The Wedding of a Lifetime”. But it’s not over yet! When Darby has to deal with a hilarious wedding dress from hell (see picture but with braids like Heidi), and Jake is given fake groomsmen, they both quit in despair and walk out at the same time. Is it the notorious “Big Misunderstanding?” It’s about 15 minutes til the end, after all. NO! They embrace in solidarity in the middle of the street. Damned if it’s not the opposite of “Big Misunderstanding!”
With the gratifying side story of their failing businesses saved by the publicity from the show, this would be an 8 out of a 10. But I’m adding a point for the cute graphics, the funny bickering TV hosts, and the excellent cast of secondary characters. Not to mention a pretty hot scene on a balance beam.
September 20, 2022