‘Tis the Season to be Merry

“I Just Want Someone to Tell Me Not to go”

I loved Rachel Leigh Cook and Travis Van Winkle in this. They really did have excellent chemistry. The script is witty and intelligent and the acting by all concerned was top notch as well. Merry is a social media influencer with over 3 million followers who specializes in relationships. She is about to publish her first book using her relationship with her fiancé Dale as proof that her rules for a successful relationship really work. Unfortunately, her fiancé does not exist. She just daydreamed him up. She tries to break the news to her publisher, Sonia, but keeps getting interrupted. She decides to accompany her best friend and editor, Darlene, to Vermont to escape awkward questions and figure out what to do.

Merry is concerned that Darlene’s brother Adam might be there, but Darlene reassures her. He does good works for people in third world countries but he is not a missionary. We get no details as to why the concern but assume there was some kind of flirtation or relationship that didn’t go well. Well, Adam does show up and shows up in her bed, which results in a nice bit of physical comedy. Merry gets involved with all of the holiday activities which throw her and Adam together. Meanwhile, Darlene really likes a local boy, James, who seems to really like Merry. Oops. Meanwhile, Sonia finds out Dale does not exist and comes to Vermont after her. Merry has to rewrite her book and come up with the outline by Christmas. Sonia’s a tough cookie, but we see another side of her when she meets the local boy’s father, a fellow Clemson graduate(!) So we have 3 romances going. There is a side story about Adam and Darlene’s parents selling their land and business which had been in the family for 3 generations. Adam has actually come home to settle down at last and is full of plans for the family business that he expects to take over after his parents retire. They didn’t think it necessary to give the kids a heads up pretty much yanking the rug out from under them. Darlene doesn’t care, but Adam is hurt and angry and he pulls no punches with his parents. I love that he didn’t just put on a brave and noble face. They deserve to feel bad. Honestly, I kind of hated them. Of course, they have a right to sell, but without even letting their kids know what their plans were? It had been handed down through 3 generations!

Well, Merry finds her inspiration from her romance with Adam (There are No Rules to a Successful Relationship-must be a short book). She rushes her outline to Sonia at the Airport where she sees Adam, leaving for Asia, since there is nothing for him anymore in Vermont. She yells at him “Don’t Go!” and he doesn’t-The End.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

December 27, 2021

Summer in the Vineyard

Cashing in on a Better than Usual Original. Unfortunately It’s Nothing but a Pale Imitation

A pale sequel to the very good Autumn in the Vineyard. The same beautiful landscapes without any of the interesting suspenseful plot points and multidimensional characters of the original. Frankie and Nate are trying to keep their new venture afloat but have conflicting management styles and suffer from a lack of communication. At the end they learn to work together. Thanks to a miracle at the end their vineyard is saved. Yawn. **4 out of 10 stars**

August 22, 2017

Autumn in the Vineyard


One of the better productions in a long time. Set in beautiful wine country, the country-side was gorgeous. Rachel Leigh Cook makes a great Hallmark heroine and her chemistry with the love interest was very good. It started out with some good conflict with her father who not only took her for granted but figuratively slapped her in the face by denying her her rightful place in his business. She rightly struck out on her own by buying her own vineyard, much to his dismay. I love a good comeuppance story. The plot moved on nicely, forcing the h/h to co-manage their vineyard which was somehow sold to both of them at the same time. They had a history and a rivalry already, which added interest to their romance and the development of their relationship. There was a little hint of a secondary romance of an older couple (the hero and heroine’s parents and the heads of competing vineyards.) and a younger couple. There were plenty of interesting secondary characters to keep things moving along. I really like the actress who played the friend. (Ali Leibert) And it was interesting that his family was kind of sketchy. They avoided a real T.V. remote throwing potential plot twist by avoiding the trap of having her save her dad from bankruptcy by giving up her own successful venture. That would have been a terrible message to send. So thank-you. **8 out of 10 stars**

October 11, 2016