It’s a Sin to Tell a Lie
As of this writing, this same movie is on IMDb two times with different titles, different ratings, and different reviews. Both iterations have the release date as March 4, 2023, but one has 9 reviews dating back to February 10. And that right there is the most interesting thing about this movie. Will this ever get corrected? I’m betting no. They still have two Cindy Busby movies, Heart of Down Under mixed up with Follow me to Daisy Hills mixed up with Love on the Menu and it’s been 3 years. This one, titled The Love Club: Nicola’s Pen Pal or just Nicola’s Pen Pal or just The Love Club (episode 1) is the first of a 4 part series. Each episode is a stand-alone and features one of the 4 women in the club. The Wedding Veil double trilogy seems to have been the inspiration for this concept. It is a good concept and a pretty clever strategy to theoretically increase the ratings of all 4 movies. Once people start on a set of something, it is human nature to try to finish it. Unfortunately, this was not good. Any romance based on lying and cheating is just not good. Do not recommend. Nope. FGI (For Get It).
On New Year’s Eve, 10 years ago, Nicola is stood up by her anonymous male pen pal she has grown close to through their correspondence. His support and compassion saw her through a difficult period. At that New Year’s Eve party, she meets 3 other women who are also dealing with romantic disappointment. They form The Love Club and agree to help each other through romantic problems and crises. Despite her recent engagement, she has never been able to forget her connection with “J.” When her unsuspecting fiance leaves for a business trip, she finds her old letters and decides she must find “J.” to see if he is “the one” instead of her fiance. With the help of her 3 friends, she narrows the field down to 2 possibilities. Instead of going to see him and just explaining the situation and asking whether he could be her pen pal of long ago, she conceives this elaborate plot to impersonate the interior designer he has hired for his Bed and Breakfast to covertly figure out if he is J and see if they still have a “connection.” (despite the fact that he stood her up all those years ago and they haven’t been in contact since.) Believe it or not, it just gets even more silly and stupid from there. I won’t belabor all of the boring ridiculousness-es that follow. But for one, it turns out that Josh (J.) is her pen pal, but he did not write the letters because he had dyslexia at the time. He confesses this after they start to fall in love so she is all angry, betrayed, and self-righteous. Keep in mind that she hasn’t told him she is engaged to be married and has been and still is impersonating a professional colleague behind his back. It is not until the end that it comes out that even though he didn’t put pen to paper, he actually dictated his thoughts to a guy who essentially wrote them out for him. So after all of the drama, shenanigans, and resulting stupid rabbit holes (and more lies) which I won’t even go into, he actually, for all intents and purposes, although a cheater, was her pen pal after all. Why didn’t he just say that at the beginning? Dyslexia of the vocal cords? So I guess he was kind of lying about lying? she surely wouldn’t have had a problem with him being a cheater in his class. With her being a cheater too and all.
All of this hot mess, which includes a very uncomfortable and creepy massage scene, is acted with the energy of a deflated wet balloon. The two leads are Hallmark veterans Marcus Rosner and Brittany Bristow. Marcus does the best he can and isn’t too bad. But Brittany acts her role as if she is under some kind of duress or a spell of some kind. The other three in the series have already been made and are showing somewhere mysterious. Possibly Canada? But I won’t be seeking them out.