Taking A Shot At Love

Ryan (Luke Macfarlane) is a professional hockey player who’s trying to come back after a complex ankle injury. None of the usual rehab protocols have gotten him to where he needs to be, so his agent proposes something radical: ballet. The agent’s cousin Jenna (Alexa PenaVega) is a former professional dancer who was able to make a comeback after the same injury, using some fundamental ballet exercises. Since her dance studio is struggling, she agrees to take on Ryan as a rehab patient (although, to be clear: she is completely unqualified to do so) and since he’s desperate to get back to the NHL and has no other options, he’s in too.

This Hallmark movie has a ring of The Cutting Edge to it, certainly enough for a toe pick loving girl such as myself to get a little excited just by the premise. Almost all of Hallmark’s winter-but-not-Christmas themed movies are about skiing, so hockey was a nice change of pace. Of course, it wasn’t really about hockey, it was about ballet and ankle injuries. And it wasn’t so much about ballet and ankle injuries as it was about falling in love on the dance floor.

I am rehabbing from my own ankle injury and have been since…2012. Yeah. It’s a crapfest. I was in actual literal rehab for it right before the pandemic hit, and not so much since, unfortunately. I wore nitro patches on my wonky tendon for the past year and have had several cortisone injections in the joint which has now gone arthritic. I just heard back from my doctor after my second (ankle) MRI, which has now been sent off to an orthopedic surgeon who, mark my words, won’t be able to do anything either. I am doomed to limp in pain forever. Although, to be honest…I haven’t tried ballet. At least not since the ankle injury. I did do ballet as a little girl (and despite my expression in the photo, I was generally pretty thrilled about it) but I don’t remember it being very ankle-forward at the time.

To my surprise, Taking A Shot At Love, despite the horrible title, is an unhorrible Hallmark movie. Jenna’s all about that hygge life, Ryan’s not afraid to be unmanned by a woman, and when the power goes out, they keep each other warm. PenaVega and Macfarlane are in Hallmark’s top tier of talent and their charm and chemistry are not just watchable but delightful. If you’re looking for a cozy Hallmark romance to take the edge off, this new addition to their lineup is a straight up goal.

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