A Bridesmaid in Love

“The Big Misunderstanding”

I really like Tori Anderson and her pretty smiley eyes. She’s been in at least two other Hallmarks I’ve seen, and she was the primary reason why those movies were at least watchable. In one, she was the only bright spot, and in the other, she was an important ingredient in a production that worked in several ways. In this one, everything was going along fine, until towards the end when we came to “big conflict” time.

Let me back up. Tori plays a freelance writer whose specialty is tips and advice for brides and weddings. She is kind of like a wedding planner, but she actually is a “professional bridesmaid” who solves problems or possible disasters that crop up and adds great ideas to make good weddings even better. She does this for brides in exchange for a healthy contribution to a worthy charity. Then she writes about it. When her childhood friend whose brother Matt was also once one of her best friends, is planning her wedding, Tori steps up. She has recently broken up with her loser boyfriend of 1 year, and Matt is the love interest. I really liked Matt. He was very attractive in a guy next door kind of way and was super sweet, like Tori. They were perfect for each other and were soon well on the way to googly eyes and true love, with Tori saving her friend’s wedding from disaster right and left. Venue, caterer, dress, you name it and Tori saves it.

Everything was burbling along fine, with a few side plots in addition to the wedding adventures. Her veterinarian ex starts to pop up as well, which added to the anticipation and suspense. We see that he is regretting his assholery, and we are seeing that Tori (along with the viewer) is wondering what the heck she saw in him in the first place. I mean, when he shows up at her Dad’s coffee shop on his way to the “Hamster Rehabilitation Conference” and her eyes start to dart around looking for escape, we know she has moved on. But he is clueless and he makes time in his busy busy Kitty and Puppy schedule to trap her alone so he can propose marriage.

And this is where the movie takes a turn for the worse. Nice Matt sees him getting down on one knee and, despite their burgeoning love, good times, soulful gazes, and intimate conversations, he turns his back and leaves the premises without bothering to see the outcome. Because of course if a guy gets down on one knee, there is only one conclusion one can make, right? The girl has to say yes. No. There are two possible outcomes, Matt. “Yes, I will marry you,” or “Thanks, but no thanks.” To make his insulting conclusion jump much worse, he acts like a total jerk to her for the last 20 minutes of the movie. He gives her the cold shoulder and is very rude. Tori is confused and heartbroken, and I was irate. It was a very very bad example of “The Big Misunderstanding”. The utter stupidity ruined a pretty decent movie.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

March 11, 2022

Spotlight on Christmas

Started off Very Promisingly, but Fizzled in the Last Half

This started off strongly with the great casting of Tori Anderson as a believable A-list movie star. I also liked the actress that played her little half-sister, though I was at first confused about the family dynamics. I found Victor Zinck just OK as the hometown love interest and was underwhelmed by the chemistry. I didn’t believe him in the role. I am apparently in the minority on this issue.

Olivia returns to her hometown after a long absence to escape from the paparazzi after a messy break with her country-western star boyfriend. Alas, she is followed. I immediately liked the character of Olivia, because she was so pretty and nice. Unfortunately, her story got slower and more boring as the movie went on. Interestingly I noted a small cameo by one of my favorite Hallmark actresses at the beginning of the movie, Kimberly Sustad. Had she continued her small contribution in the role of the conflicted paparazzo, it might have added a needed spark to one of the dull subplots. I also noted that it was directed by another favorite, Ali Liebert. Hallmark Actresses Unite! Good for her and better luck next time. I would like to see more of Tori Anderson in these Hallmark-type movies.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

December 24, 2020

Love Under the Olive Tree

At Least You Can Learn About Olive Oil

Even though this Hallmark has a relatively high rating all of the reviews seem to be very negative. So I feel like it’s my duty to give it a good review. First of all yes, yes, yes, it does incorporate many many many of the Hallmark clichés and stock storylines. What a shocker! Alert the media. First of all, I liked the Olive Oil making plotline. It was certainly different and I enjoyed the fresh setting other than chocolate, wine, and cupcakes. It was interesting, unlike blueberries or pumpkins. The two leads had good chemistry. The family conflict and rivalry kept my interest. I liked that the grandfathers who started the feud were actually more reasonable than their offspring. It was realistic. I also loved the secondary romance of her best friend and the coffee shop owner. It was sweet. I was invested in the outcome of the olive oil judging and wager and happy that there was a clear winner and it was the one I was rooting for.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

June 27, 2020