The other day I went hiking at one of my favorite regional parks in the Bay Area. It’s basically a straight path through a canyon. A ways in you can turn left and start to go up to the top of the canyon. Although my leg was hurting, I decided I hadn’t been up there in awhile, so I did it. When I reached the end of the path and looked down at the canyon my iPhone starting playing Captain & Tennille singing Love Will Keep Us Together in Spanish. Had no idea I had that in Spanish.
This is one of those Love Will Keep Us Together Hallmark movies. Just The Way You Are is the worst of these I have seen. Lead With Your Heart is the best. Love, Again is very much on the Lead With Your Heart end of the spectrum.
The movie opens up with our couple on the beach with their daughter. They are Chloe (Teri Polo), David (Paul Johansson), and their daughter Amanda (Chloe Babcook). The look all nice and happy. Then cut to 15 years later, and things don’t look so good anymore.
The separate sinks and the distance between them represent the distance in their marriage. Not so subtle. But not as blunt as what happens next. The two of them go downstairs, get into their cars, and both try to pull out at the same time nearly hitting each other. That’s where this movie’s biggest issue is. Nothing is subtle about the problems with the marriage. It’s all blunt force trauma to the head stuff to make sure you know they are in trouble. However, they never really give a reason why. Yes, their daughter no longer lives at home, but that’s all. The marriage just seems to have gone stale like bread.
In Lead With Your Heart, their children were leaving home, a new job opportunity opened up for the wife, and the movie was about adapting their marriage to new circumstances. Here, it’s more a journey of rediscovery. They never really adapt, just remember. Hence the title.
After talking about divorce a little, their daughter comes home much to their surprise. But she isn’t alone. She has a fiancee in tow. Chloe and David don’t want to rain on her parade so they decide to pretend they are okay.
It’s now off to Camden, Maine where the wedding is going to happen. The soon to be married kids and another couple’s stories run parallel to the main characters. Their part of the story isn’t that important. The focus is on Chloe and David. There’s more of the obvious stuff you would expect from a couple who is only pretending to be happy. But there are also moments here and there where they get a glimpse of reality. That being they still have strong feelings for each other.
The centerpiece of this whole movie is a bridge. Chloe is afraid of heights. While the family is out hiking they reach it and Chloe just can’t cross it even with encouragement from David. He turns back to stay with her. She feels sorry that things like this prevent her from stuff like skiing with him. He tells her that’s simply not true. That they have had great trips with each other. Then they go back to the resort together.
This is a bit of a turning point in the story. Things shift somewhat from them finding stupid signs that their marriage is in trouble to finding real signs that they simply have forgotten their feelings for each other.
An example of the stupid things comes very early in the film when they poor some wine for each other, their daughter, and the future son-in-law. The wine isn’t good. He says that ’89 must have been a bad year. Of course she responds that they were married that year.
An example of something that reminds them of their love is when they loosen up a bit and dance together. They also play limbo. They wind up sharing the bed that night.
Near the end of the movie Chloe grabs David and they return to the bridge. This time she summons up the courage to try and cross it. She doesn’t make it all the way, but she gets as far as she does because she let’s herself be more than she can be alone. She listens to David’s words and trusts that no matter what happens, he will be there for her. He then goes out and joins her.
As you can see, the bridge wasn’t very high at all. However, making this happen finally shifts their mindsets back to being greater than their individual selves.
It’s a nice symbolic touch that I thought worked well. It reminded me of the father counting in Love Under The Stars and the china in Bound By A Secret.
With the couple’s love reignited, the wedding goes ahead even though the rain chases it inside.
This was one of the best Hallmark movies I’ve seen so far. I just wish there was less of the brick to the head obvious they are in trouble stuff. I think they should have dialed that back. I believe it would have worked better.
There was one thing that had me confused. When they show up at the resort they run into a guy they once knew and a story about a missing necklace comes up. Later it seems like that same guy has the necklace or a similar one. I’m not sure if that was meant to indicate that there was an affair at one point or not. It wasn’t clear to me. However, it didn’t make any difference for me.
Also, cause I always seem to notice this stuff. They replace the tablets and docking station company names with a fictional one called Lintus.