Tag Archives: Hallmark movies

The Convenient Groom

Dr. Kate Lawrence, PhD. (Vanessa Marcil) is a small-town celebrity for giving no-nonsense dating advice. She’s about to announce her surprise engagement to boyfriend Brian, the elusive “no red flags” guy, proving to her fans that she can walk the walk. Kate thinks this incontrovertible proof that her relationship advice is the real deal will push her career in the right direction, so she allows her agent to nudge her engagement announcement into a very big, very public thing, which is pretty inconvenient when Brian unceremoniously dumps her in the middle of a live feed. Luckily (or shall I say conveniently), his identity has remained unknown to fans, so at the last minute, Kate’s old high school bud Lucas (David Sutcliffe) subs in, pretending to be her future groom.

With a book deal, not to mention her reputation, on the line, they agree to carry on this ruse for the foreseeable future. I don’t think anything could go wrong, do you? Her agent of course insists they go through the motions of planning their pretend wedding, even setting a date just three months hence. If you’re wondering what’s in it for Lucas, he’s harbouring a secret crush on her and has been since they were kids. Naturally. Very convenient indeed. Anyway, for lots of couples, planning a wedding can be quite stressful, but it turns out if you’re a fake couple planning a fake wedding, it can almost be kind of romantic. Especially when you’re doing it in front of cameras. Apparently.

You know what? Don’t worry about Kate and Lucas. They’re going to be okay. Plus they’re going to get to taste-test some raspberry-filled chocolate cake that they don’t ever plan on needing, so don’t feel too badly for them. perhaps feel a little badly for David Sutcliffe who once upon a time played Lorelai Gilmore’s baby daddy and is now reduced to this. Which is almost slightly better than average because he’s in it, and he’s a better than aver Hallmark actor. However, Vanessa Marcil is a worse than average addition to the cast, and her confusion between acting and hair tousling makes for a frustrating viewing experience. So the two cancel each other out, leaving just the story to make or break your experience, and it’s a pretty weird and contrived premise, even for Hallmark. These two are clear soul mates, only because between them they don’t have an ounce of dignity, and that’s makes us an awkward third wheel.

Love on the Slopes

Alex (Katrina Bowden) wants to be a travel writer but her boss at the travel mag tells her that travel writers are courageous and impetuous, things that she is not. But Alex really wants this new job and is determined to show her boss he’s wrong, so she decides to go on an extreme sports vacation even though using a paperclip where a staple would normally be required is usually as extreme as she gets – and even that scenario makes her sweat a little.

Anyway: does she have a panic attack causing a human pileup on the chair lift? Possibly. Did Sean invent the word “helichopter” because helicopter just wasn’t extreme enough? Undoubtedly. Was that a Hannah Montana reference I just heard? No idea. But hang on to the seat of your snow pants, folks, you’re in for a pretty wild ride – ziplining, suspension bridges, extreme tobogganing (well, it was pretty regular tobogganing, to be honest, but down a larger than average hill). Nothing so extreme it smudges Alex’s lip gloss, but extreme for the Hallmark channel, thanks to her “guide,” adventure photographer Cole Taylor (Thomas Beaudoin). Now, it is difficult to sift the bad dialogue from Beaudoin’s awkward delivery, nay, impossible, but there’s more than enough blame to go around.

Well guys, what do you think? Will Alex uncover a roaring desire for extreme sports? I mean, it’s Hallmark. They’ve got to channel their horniness into something productive, amirite? Those hormones have to go somewhere – might as well be off the side of a very high cliff.

One Winter Weekend

A recently dumped travel writer goes on a ski getaway with her best friend and they find themselves double booked with two eligible men. 

That’s what IMDB, indeed the movie itself, would have you believe it’s about. Let me make a few corrections. First: recently dumped? Not quite. More like, the guy she was seeing for all of 3 weeks kissed someone else on New Year’s Eve. She didn’t stick around for a dumping, if such a thing is even necessary after only 3 weeks. In fact, I think she’s the one who decided their fate when she simply turned and left. Next: travel writer. Not at all. Currently writing about relationships, formerly about beauty, aspirationally mysteries, never travel. And last: ski getaway. I mean, they are in fact vacationing at a ski resort, but all 4 people are avowed snow boarders, so let’s be accurate.

Cara (Taylor Cole) and her best friend/colleague/roommate Megan (Rukiya Bernard) take a weekend snowboarding trip up a cold, snowy mountain, which is usually the kind of thing I run away from on vacation, but there’s no accounting for taste. Cara is a relationship writer who’s currently on a dating cleanse; she’s contemplating novel writing and grad school instead, and working on all of the above even though this is very much just a two-and-a-half-day weekend. The powder is fine and no one’s complaining about the cold, but they’re less enthusiastic about the fact that both Megan and some random dude Sean (Dewshane Williams) both accidentally booked one half of the same ski chalet. Sean, a handsome young surgeon, and mysterious buddy Ben (Jack Turner), are also there for a quiet friend getaway, but now they’re on some sort of awkward double date, all four of them getting cozy and intimate against their will…until it’s not. Love ensues, as it always does. They got that part right. Love, to Hallmark, is inevitable. Soul mates magically come in pairs, and even though they all meet while on vacation, they also discover they live within blocks from each other back home.

But first there will be apr├Ęs-ski fondue (the only part of skiing of which I approve), a medical emergency, lots of trivia, and even some paparazzi. How does it all equate to love? Spend a winter weekend of your own finding out on the Hallmark channel.

Frozen In Love

January is the most depressing month of the year; the 24th has the unfortunate reputation of being the absolute worst day of all. The joy of the holidays is over, the bill are due, the work has piled up, and there’s lots of long, cold winter months ahead. Maybe you’re feeling down because you’ve already broken your new year resolutions, maybe you’re feeling blue because you’ve hardly seen the sun, or maybe it’s because what feels like a “winter wonderland” on Christmas feels more like a “snowy, slushy shithole” just a week later – pass the Advil, my back is killing me from shoveling all that goddamned snow.

Bear with me, I do have a point. OR MAYBE the reason you’re feeling a little less happy is because the Hallmark Christmas romance movies have dried up, and you’ve had to tuck away the corner of your heart that enjoys them in the same storage bin as the wreath and the wrapping paper. But rejoice! The Hallmark channel is actually all year round now, and you can be enjoying generic winter romance movies like this one RIGHT FREAKING NOW!

Mary (Rachel Leigh Cook) is the owner of a severely struggling book store (also just known as a book store these days). It’s facing closure if she doesn’t magically rebrand it into something people will choose to overpay for books at in a really big way. She’s got a friend in PR who vows to help, but I think we should check her credentials because her great idea is to use a “buddy system,” pairing 2 of her clients (her only 2 clients as far as we know) together to somehow turn each other’s luck around. If Mary, a book store owner, doesn’t know how to run her book store profitably, why would anyone who is not a book store owner? And Mary doesn’t wind up paired with anyone, she winds up paired with Adam (Niall Matter), the bad boy of hockey. He’s been kicked off any number of teams and has recently received a 10 game suspension for being naughty again. He has to rehab his image and you know what they say: only a failing book store can do that!

Naturally, Mary and Adam hate each other at first; she’s a know-it-all but never-do, and he’s a jerk. But working together to solve their common book store-hockey problem turns their animosity into instant attraction. Hubba hubba! Only one problem: if they’re successful and his team takes him back, it’ll take him away from Mary and back on the road to unspecified glory. Oh well, that little wrinkle is their problem, not yours. It’s January. Take some time for yourself. Pour generously. Sit cozily. Munch happily. And watch guilt-free, because you deserve it, year round.

Winter’s Dream

Anna (Lizzie Boys) and her dad Ty (Dean Cain, yuck, I know) trek across the country to Bliss Mountain so that Anna can train with former Olympic skier Maddie Lastname. Anna’s eager to learn but isn’t really responding to Maddie’s tough cookie approach, so she seeks out Maddie’s less successful former teammate Kat (Kristy Swanson), who lives in town and teaches on the mountain. Teaches, not coaches, as in bunny hill novice skiers under 10. But although Kat’s still pretty gun-shy after her flameout on the slopes many years ago, she agrees to continue providing pointers and other fun lessons for technique. It makes her and Maddie a little competitive once again, but that’s not what this particular Hallmark movie is about.

First, Bliss Mountain is failing because its flashier counterpart Epic just 20 minutes down the road is drawing away all of its customers. Kat is chairing the Winter Fest committee, hoping to draw fresh blood and new dollars to town, and she’s not above drafting Ty to her committee even though he’s a paying customer. More importantly, of course, is the business of having Kat and Ty fall in love. Ty is a widower who lives on the other coast. Kat isn’t exactly splashing about in the dating pool herself. But honestly: how long can they keep telling us they’re just friends and expect us to believe it? We see the way he hangs banners for her. It’s hung at a pretty flirtatious angle if I do say so myself.

So. Kat will have to overcome her own fear of failure to train Anna. Anna will have to overcome her fear of wiping out to win an exhibition race. Ty will have to figure out how to commute all the way from New York. And Kat’s dad will just stand around wiggling his eyebrows at everyone. Sound good to you? Perfect. Winter’s Dream may be set on a mountain, but it will keep you nice and warm where it counts – right in the feelings.