Schmaltzy romance used to be a Christmas staple but has now become a year-round commodity (horray?). Netflix offered this up as autumnal fare but Netflix lied.
Love By Chance is what happens if Must Love Dogs mates with Because I Said So and has an idiot baby. In Because I Said So, Diane Keaton plays an overbearing meddling mother who takes out a personal ad and interviews men to find the perfect boyfriend for her daughter, who is a pastry chef, and sets them up without her daughter knowing. Hey wait a minute. This movie is exactly that, only without the charm and warmth of Diane Keaton and Mandy Moore. A meddling mother (Brenda Strong) trolls for men with a secret dating profile for her oblivious daughter Claire (Beau Garrett), who just happens to be a pastry chef. Actually, can someone get the Because I Said So writers on the line? There is definitely plagiarism happening here. I suspect the only thing preventing a lawsuit is that Love By Chance is such low-hanging fruit it’s likely not worthwhile.
Anyway, the one thing Love By Chance does have going for it is that it made Sean ask “How do you catch Ebola?” and I got a good dose of distraction while I looked that up for him and then got to say things like “touching diseased bodies” and “cleaning up poo” and “bushmeat” and believe me – no Diane Keaton movie has ever made me say that before!
What else can I say about a low-budget rip-off? Not much, apparently. The dialogue is sometimes cringy and the acting is at best benign. It’s mostly just a thing that exists and looks and feels somewhat like a movie, is movie-shaped, is found on Netflix hiding among other movies. It would be insidious if it wasn’t so cheap and embarrassing. Ah well, it fills a hole I suppose, and if your hole is for third rate rom-com knock-offs and meddlesome realtors in colour-block dresses, then this movie fits that very narrow bill.