It was my birthday today and I was diagnosed with a hernia today. Apparently, that means Hallmark movies.
Elevator Girl (2010) – Almost every Hallmark movie has to have an excuse to get the boy and girl to spend time together. Sometimes that’s to solve a mystery, sometimes Cupid threatens her love life, and sometimes she’s just a stalker. This one relies on people’s ignorance of how elevators work. It begins at a hotel where a guy (Ryan Merriman) goes up to an elevator and presses the up button. The elevator arrives and he gets in. The hotel has three floors: B, 1, and 2. Despite being on 1, that light is still lit till he presses 2. Then the girl (Lacey Chabert) rushes in and joins him on the elevator. Before the thing can move, the power goes out. Since people in movies don’t know that elevator doors can be opened so you can get out in just such situations, the two open up to each other. Let me emphasize this. He is nothing but a perfect gentleman in these scenes. While this is going on we discover that the people on the first floor are the laziest people in existence. A hotel employee says that the bellhops will carry their luggage if they will walk up to their rooms. Seeing as that means a single floor, it’s quite amazing that no one moves.
Anyways, after straightening his tie to remind us that he needs a wife, the power comes back on and they go to the second floor. They then proceed to the same ballroom. He is there to receive an award. She is helping to serve the food and drinks. All we see in this scene is him give a speech and the camera keeps cutting to her smiling. Yep, didn’t pick it up? Neither did I, but apparently that’s what this film considers being rude because we are then told over and over by various characters that he was nice in the elevator, but a jerk at the party. That never happened! The movie just seems to expect us to believe that because he has money and she doesn’t that of course he must have been a jerk. He even says he was a jerk and apologizes. Like I said before, all we saw was him being the nicest guy in the world. I’d bet there was a scene of him being rude, but it was cut. That seems to be a theme in Hallmark films. Mysteriously missing scenes that people and events pretend exist in the movie when they don’t.
Well, this is one of those movies that’s kind enough to put a metaphorical sign around Chabert’s neck that says “This one!” and “Not this one!” around the other girl’s neck. A lady at his office is way too interested in his love life. Priscilla Barnes from Three’s Company is in this. By that, I mean they show her face for a few seconds at the beginning and at the end, but she’s still in the opening credits. Maybe she was getting credited for scenes that hit the cutting room floor. And it all boils down to an average, but somewhat irritating romance movie. The only other thing to note is that the tonal shift near the end is like an asymptotic jump on a graph you had to draw in high school.
So You Said Yes (2015) – This was a bit of a jump for me. Last I saw of Kellie Martin on Hallmark she was solving mysteries. Now she’s quoting Field Of Dreams about opening a wedding shop. She also reminds us several times that women wrote and directed this movie by giving us annoying body image commentary. Annoying because it doesn’t really need to be there nor does it add much to what supposedly makes her wedding dress shop new and hip. Also, this is the same channel that at least where I am advertises a tightwaisting product, weight loss programs, and products that fix the damage you do to your hair so you can keep damaging it (that’s nearly a direct quote from one of them). That is, when they aren’t running one of their many ads about pee and poop. But at least it’s humorous to watch the kid try and poop in a large vase and hear about a traumatized plastic gator that is forced to watch you defecate.
Oh, right, there was actually a movie I watched in between all those things. That poster is a little misleading. Martin’s hair doesn’t look that good in the movie. In fact, someone insults her hair calling it the bedhead bob and I kind of agreed when I wasn’t supposed to. Well, unlike the majority of Hallmark movies, this one isn’t about finding an excuse for the boy and girl to spend time together. It’s about pairing them up quickly, then finding an excuse to keep them from being together till the movies decides to end.
Martin opens up a new wedding dress shop to try and be more modern, less conventional, and cater more to what the bride wants rather than what other people tell her she should want. In other words, exactly what her competition does in her shop. Guess who her competition’s son is?
A guy comes in to try and tell her that her car is being towed and instead of letting him talk, she berates him only to discover her car was towed. They eventually find each other again and decide to be together. Meanwhile, his mom fights the relationship. She gets so spiteful that in one scene she actually questions a bride’s patriotism for wanting Japanese food at her wedding. Delightful!
This movie is decent. Martin is kind of shoe horned into a character that doesn’t quite fit her. They try to tailor it to her, but the character and her earlier films don’t quite match. We do have a couple humorous shots.
Just remember, if you are watching Hallmark movies on TV, then don’t watch episodes of The Cinema Snob during the commercials. Martin says she’s going to “downward dog him out of her system” in this movie. Enough said.
Puppy Love (2012) – Here the excuse for the boy and girl to be together is they share a dog. Share a dog. Yes, share a dog. The beginning of the movie has the guy going out of town when his dog escapes the house. This happens after he left though. He plays baseball. Having owned dogs my whole life, I of course kept looking for a collar and license. The dog has a collar, but no license. The dog is picked up by animal control, but not until after the girl’s daughter sees it. The whole timeline of these scenes is mysterious, but basically the dog is put up for adoption almost instantly and then adopted by the girl and her kid. Of course he figures it out and shows up at her house. Amazingly, despite the daughter loving the dog, she is willing to let it go without a fight. He strikes a deal with the daughter that while he is out of town, she can take care of the dog.
That’s the movie’s way of getting the two people to spend time together. Love over a shared dog. According to reviews on IMDb, this originally aired with commercials urging people to adopt dogs. Great, but why does no one mention that this guy didn’t have a license on his dog? Oh, but thank god you got in that line that all men are slobs. Let’s make sure that people still broad brush men and women, but that having a license on your dog possibly meaning the difference between life and death for them isn’t as important. Once she gets the dog, she puts a license on it. We can see it, but there’s only the slightest reference to it from her. Seriously, I really couldn’t push past that.
Still, to be fair, as a love story, it’s just a little below average. By the way, if you watch the movie and notice something I missed, then tell me. I don’t claim to be perfect.
Keeping Up With The Randalls (2011) – This movie is a lesson in what happens when you miscast your lead actors. We have Kayla Ewell as our leading lady whose other acting credits in Senior Skip Day, The Vampire Diaries, and The Bold And The Beautiful seem to be much more appropriate to her type. We have Thad Luckinbill who was also a soap star, but on The Young And The Restless. Neither is either good enough to, or allowed to properly play against type here. Look here.
And that’s not the only time that the movie seems to be saying, “Look we got a hot girl here!”
Yeah, one look at this guy in any other movie and we’d expect to find him in bed with another girl after appearing to be a decent guy. But putting aside the miscasting and that this hair commercial seemed to be trying to tell me something…
what we have is a meet the parents story. Luckinbill brings Ewell along to a wilderness getaway with his family. His family runs a sporting goods store. Been in the family for generations. His father expects him to take it over despite the fact that Luckinbill’s sister, who looks like Debbie Gibson, is already running it just fine.
What follows are scenes of Ewell trying to prove herself, issues within the family, and the family hurling stereotypes at Ewell. Really, that’s it. They spend some time with her, he gets a backbone about not wanting to be part of the sporting goods business, and his parents come around to reality.
With that out of the way, this is the second Hallmark film directed by David S. Cass Sr. that has an old established actor playing Wii Sports. Seriously. In this one, Marion Ross does boxing. In Murder 101: New Age, Dick Van Dyke played tennis. She is the best actor in this movie and they don’t waste her either. She has good moments.
Of the four films here, go with So You Said Yes. You won’t be wondering when he was rude, you won’t be wondering where the dog’s license is, and you won’t be wondering how these people got cast.