Last but not Least
The script was not a challenge for good actors: no great emotional highs and lows, but the whole cast of seasoned Hallmark actors did an excellent job. All handled the good humor and banter with aplomb. I particularly enjoyed Matty Finochio as the assistant, Stanley.
Tracy, played by Alison Sweeney, the third woman in the triumvirate of Wedding Veil owners begins her story by breaking up with her boyfriend, Finn. It is handled very maturely. He has gotten a great job across the country, and Tracy does not want to leave New York or her own great job. They are sad to part ways, but as we have gathered from the previous two installments, they have grown apart lately anyway.
Tracy takes the veil to a tailor(?) to have a snag repaired and meets Victor Webster getting fitted for a tuxedo. There is some good-natured raillery. Allison is planning an important party for her job and is in the market for a new caterer. Her search brings her to a new restaurant accompanied by Autumn and Lacey. Lo and behold Victor is the head chef and part-owner with his family. The meeting between the women and Victor is chuckle-worthy thanks to the three actresses’ comic timing and easy rapport.
The side story of Tracy’s mission to obtain a newly discovered early draft of the famous Emma Lazarus poem for the museum where it can be enjoyed by the public is interesting. It adds some suspense and provides the pretext (Victor might know an investor), along with picking out art for the new location of Victor’s restaurant, fun with food, and rug hauling around, for the promising couple to spend more time together. Alison and Victor make a good pair both age-wise and in physicality.
Unlike the second installment, the plot is tightly written. There are quite a few little stories, but the focus remains on the couple and their developing relationship. Every individual side element gets tied into the whole, including the Emma Lazarus poem welcoming immigrants to America. The continuing mystery of how the veil got to San Francisco is well incorporated into this final chapter and provides a satisfying conclusion involving a lovely coincidence and a twist. After the veil does its job of finding husbands for the three likable friends, it finds its own happy final home.
Of the three movies, I rank the first one the best for its humor, this one second for the well-constructed plot, and the second one my least favorite. 7 1/2 stars
February 21, 2022
In part two of the trilogy, The Wedding Veil Unveiled, Autumn Reeser is going to Italy to teach an Art History class for a month or so. She is taking the veil with her to confirm that it is the same veil in the portrait, and if so, to learn the history behind it. For one thing, how did it get to San Francisco? First of all, if I were Lacey Chabert or Alison Sweeney I would be royally P.O. ed that Autumn Reeser got to go to Italy for her part of the trilogy, and I didn’t. The beautifully photographed scenes in that country were one of the best parts of this one. While Autumn and her love interest are investigating the story behind the veil worn in the portrait by the fictional artist Amici we vicariously explore some beautiful destinations including Venice, Verona, Burano, and Padua. No Rome, and I didn’t miss it at all.
It seemed like there were more side stories in this one than is usual. The story behind the Veil was intriguing and well thought out. They brought in some hurdles for Autumn to overcome in teaching her Art History class which were engaging. It was good that they had the capable and poised Autumn screw up a little bit. Her buttoned-up personality needed to be loosened up. Her love interest, Paolo, had his own problems. He was part of a family that has been in the lace business for generations. We get to know his large loving family, which was nice. But he wants to expand the business, and his father is too cautious and conservative. One of the stories, about the young student who couldn’t afford the tuition came out of left field and was basically a time-filler since it was completely untethered to anything else going on in the stories. Since we didn’t have baking shenanigans, ice skating, or snowball fights? With the extraneous details given about the boy’s situation, it seemed like they were going to hook it in somewhere, but in the end, they just didn’t get it done.
Although the male lead was handsome and likable, the romance was just so-so, and more than a little routine. But I liked the meet-cute and the meet-cute part II. And when the final scene showed them getting married I admit I had an “Awwhh” moment. Maybe there was just too much other stuff going on.
I just want to add that Autumn’s wardrobe in this was beautiful and well-chosen and she looked great. I questioned a lot of the choices for (or by?) Lacey Chabert in part I, but the only thing that was a little questionable in this one was her choice of shoes to go sightseeing in. She looked very uncomfortable. Part 3 featuring the cynical unromantic Alison Sweeney character was well set up and I’m looking forward to it.
February 15, 2022
Lacey and Lace
This was pretty entertaining and I’m looking forward to the next 2 installments of the trilogy starring Autumn Reeser and Alison Sweeney. This first one featured Lacey Chabert with Kevin McGarry playing the love interest.
Three friends are in San Francisco for their yearly get-together. They are out antiquing and Lacey spies a beautiful vintage wedding veil. The owner tells them that the veil comes with magical powers. Whoever owns the veil will meet their true love while it is in their possession. The girls decide to all buy it together, and Lacey will take it home. She soon meets Kevin McGarry and they have an instant connection. Coincidentally they both live in Boston where they plan to continue to see each other. While at the airport, Kevin sees the wedding veil with Lacey and overhears her having a conversation about planning a wedding that he assumes is hers. (It’s not.) He immediately gives her the brush and leaves. Lacey is confused and disgusted.
They keep meeting up while in Boston because Lacey is an assistant curator of a museum and he is the rich philanthropist who is hosting a gala to raise money for the museum. What follows is a quite amusing series of encounters between the two where Lacey seems very open to a relationship while Kevin thinks she is about to get married. He acts very attracted to her and then keeps backing off, confusing and angering poor Lacey to no end. Meanwhile, he can’t understand why such a seemingly nice woman is acting like a cheat and a tease. It’s Cute. The truth finally comes out after an hour and 15 minutes. The subplot is also interesting. Lacey discovers a dirty and faded 19th-century portrait of a bride wearing a very familiar-looking veil in the Museum’s basement and finds out it is a lost masterpiece. She wants it to be the centerpiece of the gala but it has to be restored in record time. So there is a lot of running around and intrigue over that.
Lacey’s wardrobe choices in this were very odd. She wears a lot of flowery floating low cut off-the-shoulder dresses one of which, I swear, looked like a filmy nightgown. You could see right through much of it. They would have been OK for a formal garden party but not for shopping, at work, or rooting around filthy basements. I’m also not sure I liked the pairing with Kevin McGarry although they were fine individually. The chemistry between the 3 queens of Hallmarkland was off the charts, however.
After Lacey and Kevin tie the knot, Autumn Reeser will be taking the veil to Italy with her to have it researched to see if it’s the same veil in the portrait. The suspense is killing me.
January 10, 2022
A Party Pooper
This was a pretty tired story not helped by some problematic behavior on the part of our heroine. Lacey “Giggles” Chabert’s younger sister, who is somewhat of a goofball gets herself fired from a premier event planner’s affair. The sister is played by Ali Hardiman, and she does a good job portraying the goofy girl. She looks like a cross between Tara Reid and Heather Mattarazzo of The Princess Diaries. She has a very expressive face. The same cannot be said of Lacey, I’m sorry to say. Unfortunately, she looks like she had her forehead botoxed and something else seemed off about her cheeks as well. It is not very exaggerated, but it is enough to notice especially since Miss Muggy McRubberface is acting with her much of the time.
The two ex-waitresses are touring an Irish castle and overhear the owners lamenting that their party planner quit. The younger sister lies that she and her sister are not only party planners, but that her sister is the world-renowned event planner, Paige Monahan, who is a person of color, which Lacey is not. And the very one that recently fired them. When the brother and sister look up her website they are very impressed. (Isn’t there a picture of her anywhere?) Lacey and her sister agree to take over. Lacey doesn’t like it but the Lord and his sister need help and are desperate. You know that this will not end well before it does end well (of course). The Lord and Lacey (that goes together) fall for each other. They overcome some serious challenges and manage to put on a pretty good party. The inevitable disaster occurs when the elite party planner hears that the two waitresses are impersonating her and comes to Ireland to open a can of whoopa$$ on them. And who can blame her? They do manage to get themselves forgiven, and near the end when a happy coincidence occurs, the sentence, “It’s a real Christmas miracle” is actually uttered. Crazy Credits: Paul Campbell wrote this. This is your mulligan, Paul. Sean McGinley was in this. He is a very famous and respected Irish actor (Braveheart, Michael Collins, George Gently, the Republic of Doyle, Shetland, etc.) In fact, all of the actors are Irish or English, except Lacey, even the Americans.
December 3, 2021
Reliable Lacey just didn’t do it for me in this one. This movie was made 8 years ago and Lacey Chabert hasn’t changed a bit. And I’m not sure that’s a good thing. Same hairdo, same lipstick, same signature eyeliner. Honestly, couldn’t she even wash her face before going to bed? On the other hand, If she ever wiped that eyeliner off, I don’t think I’d recognize her. Same affected giggle: It would make a good drinking game. I didn’t think she had much chemistry with her co-star, and the plot was tired and dull. Cupcake maker Lacey is invited to her bosses home for Christmas and she is hoping for a marriage proposal. On the way to meet him she meets a magic santa claus and is picked up by her bosses really nice friend/assistant. They are stranded on the way to her bosses vacation home. While Lacey and the assistant are falling for each other with the help of magic santa, her boss meets an old flame. And that ties it all up and puts a bow on it.
Maybe I just need a break from Lacey, because she can be a good actress, and is great with comedy when comedy is in the script. Unfortunately that’s a little difficult, since watching Hallmarks is kind of a silly hobby of mine. On a promising note, I have seen her in more recent efforts and she has been fine.
Florence Henderson, John Ratzenburger, Robert Pine, and Lin Shay, of Insidious fame, add some credibility. And I did like her love interest. On his own though. I’d like to see him pared up with someone else.
November 23, 2020
I Came Here to Solve a Mystery
I couldn’t figure out why I didn’t remember watching this movie, because I know I would not have missed it. I really like the Crossword Mystery series and have it set up to record on the DVR. After relentless promotion, the movie never aired. Well now I know I’m not crazy. What the what Hallmark? ***finally saw it, after a 3 month delay.*** This installment was a disappointment although, in general, I think the Crossword series is going to be my favorite mystery series by Hallmark. Brennan Elliot’s investigative skills leave a lot to be desired. They consist of asking everyone in sight, “did you see anything unusual/out of the ordinary/strange?” Lacey Chabert is really starting to get on my nerves with her little “Heh-Heh” giggle after what seems like every other line she delivers.
October 27, 2019
Not the Worst, but Pretty Darn Bad
Lacey Chabert has some good comedic chops when the material is there. It wasn’t in this one. Also, someone needs to take Lacey aside and tell her to lose the ever present nervous giggle and the eye-liner. They are both seriously distracting. One is a very tired look, and the former threatens to be the next Hallmark inspired drinking game. Also character she played seemed a little man hungry.
Even for a Hallmark, this was cheesy, trite, and dull. Cupcakes, baking competition, small business in trouble, dumped but still game heroine to the rescue, successful lucrative career given up for love and a childhood dream, royalty in the house, Cinderella entrance at a ball…was there any Hallmark cliche left behind?
The stars I did give it were for the location filming in Bruges, a pretty hot kiss at the end, and for Brittany Bristow who played the owner of the B&B. She was a charmer.
February 21, 2019
A Waste of a Good Idea
This one was a pretty solid effort which kept my interest. it was somewhat multifaceted with some interesting corporate politics along with the usual city girl v. small town Christmas. I liked the pairing of Lacey Chabert with Brendan Penny. Lacey is a solid actress, and with this one, she seems to have tamed, a bit, her nervous giggle tick that she seems to have developed in later years. I liked her family, especially Sherry, who was one of the stars in one of my favorite Hallmark-like romances, This Matter of Marriage, which was actually produced by Harlequin. It was great to see her again. This one did feature the usual boring boyfriend, but it was refreshing that she really just let him go and didn’t hem and haw about it.
Like another Hallmark movie this year, I think it is pretty shameless to try to reel in Jane Austen fans, with the title of the movie, while not incorporating any of the themes in the actual plot or character. It’s too bad, because the role reversal of the heroine taking the Darcy role, and the hero taking the Elizabeth Bennett role could have been great. I don’t recall that that gimmick has ever been done before. Would have been pretty interesting. **7 out of 10**
December 4, 2018
Bring on Part III!
All of my Heart is one of my top five Hallmark romances (although I apparently never wrote a review for it) thanks to the performances of Lacey Chabert, the very intriguing secondary characters ( Tommy, the goats, even Casey), and the brilliant comic stylings of Brennan Eliot. Just kidding, but seriously, he was really good!) The two leads had great chemistry and the script built the romance with just the right amount of humor, conflict, and relationship building. There were enough loose ends to make a sequel something I very much looked forward to. (Unlike 2 other totally unnecessary sequels that leap to mind.) I especially was interested in more about Tommy. AoMH: Inn love was not a disappointment, I am happy to say. Lacey was as reliable as ever, and I still loved Brennan Eliot’s character and his way with a line. As the two struggled to get their B & B up and running they met with more than their share of setbacks and expenses they could not afford. Brian’s return to Wall Street to make money kept my interest. Predictably, this created the main conflict as the two protagonists felt themselves growing apart. Of course, this was inevitable, but Lacey’s passive-aggressive sulking and pouting were a little hard to understand, considering the circumstances, and kind of made me hate her for a bit. There was more Tommy in the story, and I like the other side stories of the B&B blogger who was unexpectedly defanged and the other guests. Yes, I can see another sequel on the horizon and I will be front and center. Some advice: Tommy needs to move on from his current love interest and needs to go back to the taciturn mysterious guy he was in the first one. It needs to be more about him next time, and Casey as well. **8 out of 10 stars**
October 12, 2017
Hallmark Takes a Daring Step Forward
It’s not often Hallmark actresses get to portray anguish on camera. Luckily they have a real pro and bona fide actress in Lacey Chabert, who did a very credible job. I can think of very few in the stable of regulars who could have pulled off the scene where she learns her beloved sister and brother-in-law have been killed. I cried. The whole ensemble handled the story very well. You can tell they pulled out the “big guns” to meet the challenge of a script that actually called for a range of emotion: Gregory Harrison and Teryl Rothery as the parents, good ole Peter Benson as the city boyfriend who gets dumped for the small-town coach, who was played by the always welcome Tyler Hynes. I appreciated that they got a normal-looking kid who could act to play the introverted son.
There were very real problems and conflicts that had to be resolved. The father was a good guy, but too controlling. Gregory Harrison managed to keep him likable. I groaned when they were setting up for the customary Hallmark food fight ( or snowball fight if it’s winter) but it was actually funny, thanks to the performances.
It was good to see Hallmark break out of its own box a little bit. Fear not, most of the usual templates were still in place, but baby steps! Kudos.
May 17, 2021
P. S. I just noticed that Lacey Chabert was actually one of the writers. You go, girl! **8 stars out of 10**