The Wedding Do Over

Odd Premise

This was not too bad. The only major mark against it was that I couldn’t stand the male lead. Neither the character nor the actor who played him. Briefly, he was stalkery, needy, immature, selfish, entitled and I didn’t like his looks. Or his mother. The subplots were interesting and It was a surprise seeing Jen Lilley, a Hallmark princess, in a smallish role. Is there much call for a wedding planner who only takes clients that have to do their whole weddings over again? Why not just take brides who want to get it right the first time?

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

April 22, 2020

Paris, Wine, and Romance

Richie Rich Wine?

This was a very well put together romance. I liked the story of a prestigious wine competition and the underdog Oregonian company taking the snooty French wine culture by storm. The whole set up seemed pretty authentic. And I do love wine, so I appreciated the little tidbits of info. I liked the tour around Paris. I’m not a big Jen Lilley fan, but her acting is OK. I loved the male lead. He was very handsome with a lot of charisma. I just didn’t think he “went with” Jen Lilley. Oh. I see she was pregnant when she filmed this. Nevermind. Lolita Davidovitch was very well cast as the glamorous but gracious loving mother, as was the brother. The resolution to the long distance romance problem was well set up and believable.

I just wish they had chosen another name for Jen’s wine. “Ricci Ridge” sounded like “Richie Rich.” It was distracting, though it did provide a few giggles.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

May 12, 2019

Mingle All the Way

Mom gets Burned by the Boyfriend, Sees the Light, and Drinks Eggnog

I love the Hallmarks where a hero or heroine we like is not appreciated by their family or their boss and is not treated as well as they deserve. We know that, with the help of the love interest, they will finally be appreciated and valued. It always makes a nice satisfying sub-plot to the romance, which is, of course, the main event. Thinking back, many of my favorite hallmark movies have this element. Mingle All the Way does, and they do it very well. I guess I’m just a sucker for comeuppances and nice people prevailing over mean people.

I loved the chemistry between Jen Lilly and Brant Dougherty. The plot device used to get them together was clever and really worked. Molly has to personally test out her new app which, instead of matching couples interested in romance, it finds the perfect “plus-one” for functions for those with no time or interest in a relationship. The writers did a good job of making the viewer understand their initial antagonism with the fight over the angel ornament. They really invested me in their situations by making you root for them by well-written antagonists that you loved to hate. Also, the viewer sympathizes with them being focused on their goals, while all their family and co-workers are interested in is whether or not they have a boyfriend or girlfriend. How disrespectful!

The scene where our hero really tells off her mother was a gem. And I loved the way the angel came back into play in that scene as well. He was truly a knight in shining armor. Lindsay Wagner did a great job with making us really dislike her. She was terrifying. And then, after the hero told her a few home truths, showing us a sincere change of heart. I loved the way the eggnog played into that: very good writing. That whole scene at Molly’s house was worth the price of admission. I wish we had had more of it.

And the same goes with Jeff’s work troubles. She took a less proactive approach with helping him in that department, but she had his back as well as he had hers. And it did the trick. I love the way his rival was taken down. What a jerk and contemptible human being! Good writing and acting on the villain’s part. I just wish Molly had done the taking down.

The only low point was Molly’s silly petulant overreaction to Jeff meeting his ex by chance at a party. But that’s par for the course in Hallmark romance. It’s a plus when it’s avoided. All in all, though, one of the best this year.**8 out of 10**

December 9, 2018

Harvest Love

Nothing to Offer except Ryan Paevey

Nothing. Happens. Move on, Nothing to see here unless you are a Ryan Paevey fan, which on the strength of his charming performance in Unleashing Mr. Darcy, I am. Jen Lilley, the actress who plays the female lead is very pretty with huge eyes. Huge. Unfortunately, her performance is distracting to the max. I might attribute this to the vapid script, but she has a smile plastered on her face throughout the movie, usually accompanied by an irritating titter. Someone should do a spread sheet on how often she completes a sentence by tittering. I doubt it was scripted. I understand her embarrassment, but she made a bad movie worse. Add to this, instead of real scenery we get fake back drops that look like they have been painted on velvet by Thomas Kinkade. I gave it a 4 due entirely to Ryan Paevey’s futile efforts. Choose better next time, Dude. My patience will not last forever. **4 stars out of 10**

October 7, 2017

Eat, Play, Love

Loses Steam Quickly

This one started out pretty promisingly: Cute heroine, and appealing, yet not too handsome to be real, hero, and a great paring of Lindsay Wagner (the Bionic Woman) and Lee Majors ($6,000,000 man) as the older secondary love interests. It also had a hiss-worthy evil rival for the hero’s affection. It did devolve as it went on, though. There was just no reason for the cute vet and the worthy owner of the animal shelter not to be together before the movie was half-way through. The TV reporter rival was thoroughly unpleasant all the way through to absolutely everyone, including the hero. He had an instant rapport with our vet, lots in common, and were childhood sweethearts. The mean girl did not even like dogs! And didn’t even bother to pretend! There was a lame filler inserted that was supposed to keep the soulmates apart and for the movie to get to the end of two hours. The evil one gets him a prestigious national job of his dreams. But it was all a lie to try to get him to New York and was quickly exposed. The whole thing just lost steam less than half way through, and was artificially padded in order to make it last longer. Would have been a better segment on Love American Style or The Love Boat.**5 stars out of 10**

August 22, 2017