So Bad It’s Almost Good. No, Not Really, It’s Just Bad.
Cindy Cordella is a seamstress at premier dress designer Rebecca’s dress shop. Little does anyone know that it is Cindy the Drudge who is doing all of the dress designing without proper recognition. Rebecca’s shop is hired to do the dresses for the wedding of the year that Prince Ronan is expected to attend. Cindy hopes that if she does a good job her loyalty will be rewarded. Prince Ronan visits the shop, meets Cindy, and they hit it off much to the displeasure of two jealous females. Does this sound familiar?
I guess someone there at Hallmark supposes that the narrow-chested, delicate, bland looks of the actor who played Prince Ronan convey an aristocratic aura because this is the second time he has played a prince. To me, he is miscast as a romantic lead unless it is in a romantic dark-horse underdog role. The testosterone is low in this one. And I don’t always prefer a Steve Bacic or a Ben Ayers, Kris Polaha, or Antonio Cupo. I also like sweet and funny types like Luke Macfarlane and Paul Campbell.
Now on to Natalie Hall. Apparently, Hallmark has decided that she is the go-to female lead when youth and prettiness are required. And when I say youth, I mean closer to 30 than 40 or 45. Unfortunately, she has little else to offer. She’s not bad but nothing to be especially worthy of scoring 6 Hallmark lead roles in 2 years. The usual Hallmark work-horses had better watch their backs even though most of them have more acting talent, charm, appeal, and charisma despite their age.
Others have pointed out many of the ridiculous plot points that abound in this disaster. Tip: Don’t eat greasy pizza while handling your dress materials. Tip: don’t roll your rack of dresses anywhere near a chocolate fountain. But their ballroom dance at the end was my pick for “most cringe-worthy scene.” It looked like a losing effort on Dancing with the Stars. I thought it couldn’t get worse until she broke into a solo routine that would have embarrassed famous bad dancer Elaine Benes from Seinfeld. I thought at one point she was going to drop to the floor and twirl around on her butt. The worst thing in the whole mess was the lack of resolution to the mismatch of how a King was going to unite with an ambitious workaholic partner in a global corporation. It’s scary to think this one might need a sequel.
March 9, 2021
A Waste of a Good Idea Which is Getting Few and Far Between at Hallmark
Two life-long friends might have a romantic future despite the disparity in their levels of maturity and success in life, and the fact that she is engaged to another man. This was a good idea for a romance, but the plot was wasted on a nondescript leading lady, wasted opportunities, and failure to take advantage of the considerable talents of Frances Fisher and George Wendt.
Natalie Hall is pretty enough under all that make up (even on her daily run in the park?) but she brings nothing to the table as far as charm or charisma. Honey, you’re still young (even now, 8 years later) and have nothing to hide. Let that fresh beauty shine through. Her acting is not bad, but it’s nothing to write home about either. The smarmy boyfriend is well portrayed by a Ray Liotta look-alike. He certainly does his job making him hate-able. Darin Brooks is appealing and perfectly cast as Jennifer’s life-long best friend and love interest, Kevin.
As far as the writing goes, I can’t help but think some scenes were cut or never written in due to time considerations. There was an inexplicable time jump right to the rehearsal dinner of at least 3 or 4 months. Bad pacing. The lovable best friend is called a parasite by the mean fiance and although this was harsh, in truth, he is absolutely right. Cute and “merry-hearted” he may have been, but he was not much of a match for Jennifer who had an important and prestigious career. He didn’t even graduate from college with only 6 credits to go! Come on, dude! He is pretty much a lazy loser and moocher throughout the movie and that is not a good look for the “hero.” A little ambition to go along with his kind, fun-loving sweet persona, would have made his character more admirable.
Although the cheating jerk of a fiancé did get dumped at the end, the scene was wasted. He needed to be publicly exposed (especially in front of his boss, the wonderful Frances Fisher) in a dramatic and delicious scene or two. Or three. He needed a major and humiliating take down. Instead, the reason for his downfall was because he couldn’t name Jennifer’s favorite color? And a fib about where he got the engagement ring? She was mad because he didn’t get it for free from his granny and instead shelled out thousands of dollars for the biggest rock in the jewelry store? Wut? THIS is why she broke up with him instead of learning he was a serial cheater as well as acting like an evil controlling selfish S.O.B. from his first scene to his last?
The set up and idea for this one was good, but it was poorly executed and would have been so easy to fix. It’s a shame.
August 1, 2020
I don’t feel this couple was very well matched. Beside looking very much younger than Michael Rady, the character of Cleo acted like an immature and spoiled High School girl as opposed to Gabe, who responded to her antics in a mature level-headed way. She pulled a dirty trick on him by ordering all that food she didn’t need while she could see that he was being slammed. What a brat! And then, when he successfully delivered it, he didn’t even charge her for it. Did she even apologize? I don’t remember. And then, when he offered to drop out of the competition, she had a tantrum because he was being egotistical instead of taking it kindly the way it was meant. Was he being egotistical? Maybe. but so what? That was his problem.
I’ve always liked Michael Rady, but have been unimpressed by Natalie Hall. She is just another over made up pretty face, and brings nothing special to the table. The story was actually pretty interesting and I did like that there were no big misunderstandings. A nice epilogue at the end further justified the half-hearted “7” that I gave this effort.
April 8, 2020