Careful What you Wish For…
When I saw this starred Matt Cohen, I was prepared to love this, and it didn’t let me down. I loved him in Holiday Date, and his funny delivery and endearing demeanor were on target in this one as well.
Rachel, played by lovely new-to-Hallmark, Alexandra Turshen, is a sculptor and art teacher who is content in her life but has always wanted to be an artist, rather than just a teacher. She also would not be adverse to a serious boyfriend, but she is very very picky. “Her ideal man is a complete fantasy. If you’re human you don’t stand a chance.” Too picky for her obnoxious almost bullying mother who wants nothing more than for Rachel to get married and have babies. Veteran Hallmark actress Teryl Rothery as the mother has never been so unpleasant and unlikeable. God, she was terrible. Teryl overplays it a bit. Thank goodness, Rachel has a backbone, does stand up to her, and refuses to be manipulated into dates with men her mother relentlessly arranges for her. One evening, Rachel and her best friend, played by Illeana Douglas, are in her studio and Rachel shows her her life-sized sculpture of “her perfect man” who is “ Kind, smart, loyal, dedicated, and someone I can bring home to my Mother. He’s a hopeless romantic, we are always on the same page, No conflicts, A best friend.” Illeana tells her the Jewish legend of the Golem, and with the help of an ancient amulet, Rachel’s “perfect man” comes to life the next morning. Meanwhile, we have met David Cohen, Rachel’s soon-to-be brother-in-law’s best friend. We know right away that he is the one. Although he is a lawyer, he is following his dream of being a professional stand-up comedian. Besides being very attractive in a slightly unconventional way, he is funny and smart. He seems to like Rachel, but kind of sees through her tough exterior as well. Another point in his favor is that Rachel’s mother does not like or approve of him.
Rachel and “Clay,” the statue come to life as her perfect boyfriend, become an item. Funny scenes ensue, including the introduction to her mother, his love of eating all the time (he turns out to be a wonderful cook), and generally just being a fish out of water. He becomes a model because he has a perfect body thanks to Rachel’s skill as a sculptor. The humor flows naturally from the fact that he really is perfect. He is smart and kind, loyal and dedicated. He loves Rachel, is a hopeless romantic, and is even a good kisser. Rachel is enamored. At first. Rachel also gets to know David, who has well and truly fallen for her (those longing looks!) but believes he does not have a chance against her perfect boyfriend. Even he cannot help but like the guy! But she likes David. “He is blunt, sarcastic, and doesn’t care if he annoys me. He is the opposite of Clay, but I like talking to him. He makes me laugh.”
It all comes to head as Rachel is trying to get up the courage to enter a prestigious art contest. She confides that she is afraid to risk rejection. Clay tells her not to do it because he doesn’t want her to be sad if she doesn’t get in. “If it makes you feel bad, it must be wrong.” David challenges her to follow her dream despite the risk, just as he is doing in his own life. At last, Rachel realizes that a partner that always agrees with her, likes everything she likes (or pretends to,) and will never challenge her, is not what she wants.
When Rachel wins the Art Contest, Clay cluelessly steps up to propose in the middle of her big moment thank-you speech. It is a funny and chaotic scene with friends and family either thrilled or incredulous. In the confusion, David, who was supposed to be across town having his big break, runs up with a half-dead bouquet of flowers and confesses that he is in love with her. “This is the most exciting exhibit we’ve ever had!” says the museum director. A flower breaks off (symbolically) and Rachel has found her happy ending with the perfectly imperfect guy. Clay is gracious in defeat. David remarks, “he’s even perfect when she’s breaking up with him!” The highest compliment I can give this Hallmark is that it does not have a lot in common with a typical Hallmark except for familiar faces and a happy ending. Very satisfying wrap-up as well.