Hallmark’s monthlong Loveuary function continues with Welcome to Valentine, a movie set in the real town of Valentine, Nebraska (pop. 2,613). With a identify like Valentine, you know that city goes all out each individual February 14 — but will all that mushy pageantry get through to 1 major town CEO-to-be? Or will our Valentine lady go yet another year with no a person exclusive?
The Gist: Kathryn Davis (Jupiter’s Legacy) performs Olivia, a compact town lady who moved to New York Metropolis (pop. 8,468,000) to go after an artwork profession. Now two many years have handed and she’s continue to waiting for her significant split and operating as a aspect-time caterer to make ends meet up with. Her condition goes from tenable to awful before we’re even performed with Act 1. Olivia loses her gig, ruins her rep with one particular of the biggest gallery house owners in NYC, and she loses her condominium when she finds out her bestie Tess ( Sophie Bastelle) booked a sequence typical work on a show filming in Chicago. And on major of all that, Olivia cannot even pay for a airplane ticket house to Valentine, Nebraska in time for the annual Valentine’s Day parade. She can not afford to pay for a ticket… but what if she received a trip?
Enter Sophie’s distant cousin George (Surface’s Markian Tarasiuk). He’s acquired a sweet classic vehicle (Big Red) that he’s gotta generate across country — and Chicago and Valentine just so take place to be located throughout the country! A few edits later on and George is dropping off Olivia with her sister Vanessa (Kara Duncan)… and then Huge Red poops out. That’s often a fret with individuals vintage automobiles! Now George is stuck waiting for repairs in Valentine on the eve of his ascension to CEO at his dad’s corporation, and Olivia has to deal with the point that she’s nowhere in the vicinity of as successful as everyone back property assumes. And on major of all that, why does absolutely everyone else uncover George so charming? And why is Olivia bringing out George’s delicate side? Ugh, it is like these two are every single other’s Valentines or a little something!
What Flicks Will It Remind You Of?: The smaller town electricity of Valentine and the major fish/smaller pond comedy might remind you of Sweet Dwelling Alabama or Doc Hollywood. Oh — and it ought to be observed that though this movie is set in the true little city of Valentine, Nebraska, it was filmed in Ottawa (pop. 994,837). Don’t get worried — it does search like a town which is 1 4-hundredth of that dimensions.
General performance Value Watching: I’m giving this to Sophie Bastelle as Olivia’s major town close friend Tess. Bastelle brings a large, borderline manic electricity to Tess that’s a total whole lot of enjoyment. She comes throughout as form of a Hallmark-accepted Edi Patterson, and that is a vibe I did not know I desired in these motion pictures. I was immensely bummed when the road vacation dropped her off in Chicago!
Unforgettable Dialogue: Olivia explains Valentine’s relationship with Valentine’s Working day to George: “Well, Valentine’s Day is the biggest party of the yr, y’know. Like, Xmas is the warmup but Valentine’s Day is the marathon.” Also I have to point out that at one stage, the movie’s villain seems as if from nowhere to say, “The parade is nigh.”
Our Just take: There’s been a thing quietly extraordinary about Hallmark’s Loveuary lineup, when when compared to the juggernaut that is Countdown to Christmas. With out all of the holly jolly trappings of that season’s movies, the formulation that we all know by coronary heart in fact feels significantly less formulaic. These movies — this 1 and A Paris Proposal and Sweeter Than Chocolate before it — really feel a bit significantly less restrained. Of course I have to level out that this past year’s vacation movies had been remarkably first, but you get my point. A Paris Proposal gave us mature romance, Sweeter Than Chocolate felt very Christmas-y just with out all the environmentally friendly in the coloration plan, and Welcome to Valentine exists somewhere in the middle.
Sure, Welcome to Valentine checks off a great deal of the boxes. We’ve bought a lady seeking to make it in the big city who will come back again house to a just one stoplight town. We have received a organization-brained bro who can make a awful first (and next) impression on the guide. There’s a massive parade to prepare for and dead parents (Hallmark films really like a lifeless parent for some rationale). But as formulaic as all that sounds, it all feels a tiny bit fresher for not owning to use all the exact same tunes cues and phony snow. Like, this is a film that opens at a New York Metropolis artwork gallery celebration — and it truly seems to be like a New York City artwork gallery event!
I basically consider that because the movie does not have to adhere to the usual holiday themes, it’s in a position to veer off into diverse territory. The potential customers of this motion picture are each trapped in transitional phases of their life, where by they’re questioning what they’ve accomplished up right up until now and questioning where all those selections are foremost them. And, wouldn’t you know it, the “villain” (Louise Kerr) is dealing with the correct very same thing! It’s a wonderful small touch that can help tie almost everything alongside one another, even if just subconsciously.
As for the guide performances, Davis and Tarasiuk give the story a total whole lot of coronary heart. Davis has an earnestness that radiates off the display screen, sort of like Mary Tyler Moore. You just root for her — and you can not assist but be charmed by her, even if everything is going the erroneous way for the character. Tarasiuk’s role as George is basically a little bit more complicated, as he has to stroll a line between grumpy, stuffy, snobby prosperous child and warmhearted passionate curiosity. Tarasiuk performs George with a little bit of cluelessness that can take his edge off, and it provides George that identical — I never want to say pitiable but… pitiable appeal that Olivia has. You just want what is very best for these two.
General, Welcome to Valentine is not redefining the style and it may well not even be a Hallmark motion picture that you are going to remember by the time Christmas starts off in October. But it is a pleasurable enjoy and it is a further movie that demonstrates how Hallmark is tweaking their solution ever so marginally, and its in the proper direction.
Our Phone: STREAM IT. Valentine may be a modest town but it has a whole lot of coronary heart.