Happy 4th of July!!! I hope all of you Hearties in the USA are having a ton of fun today, and that you don’t have time to read this until tomorrow. But, if you’re having a lazy day, or if you live in another country, or if the threat of rain is keeping you inside, (like me), I hope this is a good read.

Let’s talk weddings one more time. That final #JuneWeddings movie, “Yes I Do” isn’t going to review itself, right? I confess, I don’t quite know what my opinion is of this film. I guess you could call me “conflicted”. Maybe we’ll find out which side wins by the end. I’ll let you be the judge.

As so many have said, it’s about time that Marcus Rosner got himself a leading role; he’s been playing “the other man” for so long, I didn’t think he’d ever get his chance. But he got his chance, and his girl. It just took a WHOLE LOT of persistence, probably for the actor as well as the character. I thought it a very interesting choice to make HIM the hopeless romantic of the relationship. What other man do you know who wants a wedding instead of eloping, or at least keeping things extremely simple? Also, what man even knows what a peony IS, much less having the opinion that light pink suits him best? And I know of NO other personage containing a Y chromosome who would plan an entire wedding; certainly not more than one. But that really makes him adorable. I really enjoyed the mannerisms and characteristics between the two of them: him admitting to Oscar that he can’t say no to Charlotte, and her always pretending her car’s broken down. I especially had to giggle at neither of them eating chocolate; not only because of the irony of her being a chocolatier, but because my husband can’t stand chocolate either. But despite that, he still sticks around, even after 2 failed attempts with an entire year in between each one! That is what I call a patient man, and more than just a “teensy weeny bit”, the way he says.

On the other hand, he’s not a lovesick puppy who sulks when things don’t go has way; he knows just how to handle Charlotte, and when to tell her she’s being ridiculous or paranoid. My favorite example of this is when she follows James to spy on him having coffee with Nicole. After she tries to make a quick getaway, he follows her outside. Instead of just calling her out, he plays along saying, “Don’t I know you? Wait, you’re that chocolate lady!” Then he tenderly takes off her sunglasses, folds back her very floppy hat, and nonchalantly asks how the wedding plans are going…even though the uncertainty is probably killing him.

Speaking of whom, I’ve got to comment on Jessica Lowndes. She probably wouldn’t want to hear this, but she makes a GREAT “other woman”. Her coloring, dark hair, and exotic eyes give her a great villain look, and she played the catty ex-girlfriend to a T. Interesting twist at the end when SHE ends up being the one to give Charlotte a ride to the wedding when her car actually breaks down. I burst out laughing when Nicole rolled down the window, and blurted out, “You didn’t!” I was certain she was going to drive Charlotte in the opposite direction, but I guess she reasoned Charlotte had suffered enough after she sabotaged the new chocolate flavor. Besides, she sat down next to someone she was obviously attracted to, so you know she’ll be fine.

Well Hearties, I hate to cut this short, but it’s for a very practical reason: my power just went out, and my tablet battery is almost expended. So I better hurry if I want there to be a blog today, right! Once again, Happy Independence Day! And come back Friday! I promise you don’t want to miss it!

Well, Hearties, it’s the final Wednesday in June. Luckily, there’s one more Saturday, so we will be able to view the premiere of one more #JuneWeddings movie, which also happens to star ANOTHER actor from WCTH. Then I’ll review that movie at another time. For now, let’s concentrate on Wedding March 4, starring Jack Wagner and Josie Bissett. The first thing I noticed about this film is the pace was well set. The dialogue, especially the humor, was quick-paced, but not lightning speed. The best example of this, in my opinion, is the two phone conversations Mick and Olivia have right beside each other: easy transitions, no holes or gaps, and ending in the perfect exclamation of “WHAT?!”

 

The dialogue also offered some of the best marriage counseling I’ve heard in a long time: apologize and talk about it…in that order…bring doughnuts. I tell you, it’s a good thing the writers don’t have to pay commission to doughnuts or red velvet cake, because they’d be paying a fortune! This is the second #JuneWeddings movie where doughnuts have been a focused topic, and the third for red velvet cake! Methinks some scribes are experiencing cravings!

 

To start off with PEOPLE, Jack and Josie are not the only WCTH crossovers; far from it! There ended up being NINE people who work(ed) both projects: 1) Jack Wagner – Bill, Mick 2) Josie Bissett – AJ, Olivia 3) Andrew Walker – Billy Hamilton, Rob Atwell, 4) Christine Chatelain – Laurel Miller, Kelsey Atwell, 5) Blair Penner – Peter (Faith’s fiancé), Eric (Grace’s fiancé), 6) Larissa Albuquerque – Katie Yost, Intern, 7) Paris Abbott – Deborah, Maddy, 8) This young lady’s name isn’t listed, but she plays a student, then an intern, AND 9) Peter DeLuise – Director. A LOT more than I had anticipated!

 

Once again, Kavan and Pascale did a lovely job introducing the show. I really liked how Kavan quipped, “Knowing Jack, there’s music involved.” And there was! I was actually surprised by Jack in this one. He and Josie talked on Home & Family about how much looser Mick is in this installment, but he is REALLY loose! It is obvious from the very beginning. Mick is singing at his favorite spot, the pond, when Olivia comes up behind him. He goes from singing the word “whoa” to exclaiming it in admiration for her. It was so effortless and CUTE! I don’t know if I’ve ever described one of Jack’s characters as “cute” before. And then he has a romantic candlelight dinner set up for them? Only every woman’s dream!

 

He’s still cutting edge though. I have two favorite examples of this. The first is the smug smirk he gets on his face when he asks Olivia if she’s had an important conversation with Grace, and Olivia looks like a kid with her hand in the cookie jar. The other is Mick’s interactions with Duke, the cook. They have such great chemistry! When Mick is passing looks to Duke so he’ll keep secrets from Olivia, it’s so seamless! Then when Mick brags, “I am a wedding coordinator rockstar!”, Duke doesn’t miss a beat before coming back with, “I’ll update your resume!” I really like how naturally the actors play the history and friendship between their characters. While I’m on Duke, I just want to add that I truly learned something new when he explained to the interns that wooden spoons are for stirring, and metal spoons are for serving. That, and it was absolutely adorable seeing him and the interns chopping opinions in swimming goggles!

 

Okay! Let me just say, ROB IS SOOOO CUTE! On Home & Family, Andrew Walker commented that his character was very patient; probably more so than he is in real life. After watching the movie, I’d have to agree! Rob reminds me of how a modern-day Jack would act, something every Heartie LOVES! He knows her well enough to guess the type of wedding dress she bought, he can sense when she’s upset, he asks her on a date right before they get married, and he makes a big deal about not looking at the wedding dress. My favorite part though, is the two of them at the barn; they act like a couple deeply in love who’s about to get married. Shocking, isn’t it?! It’s also a scene early in the movie before the stress and cold feet take over. She totally calls him out for not knowing what the heck a hydrangea is, and he totally admits it. Then listening to him tell their story, including the daisies…who could hold back a smile? And he puts the icing on the cake by rubbing their noses together right before giving her a perfect kiss: not too timid, not too passionate. Sigh!

 

I’ll close with my other favorite part, something that could have been disastrous if it had been handled differently. Do I have you on the edge of your seat yet? The revelation that Mrs. Atwell’s mother had taken over THEIR wedding all those years ago. I was rolling my eyes at Amy trying to make her wedding identical to Rob’s parents’. But then to find out that NOTHING had been their decision? I gasped…hard! And of all the reactions Rob could have had, he picks the best one for a healthy marriage: laughter. It was PERFECT! The way he tries to hold it in, then snorts! But the best was him leaning into her shoulder, laughing hysterically. Amy was able to laugh at herself, and realize she needs to make their wedding their own. Good girl!

 

Good night, everyone! Join me Friday for the final Fatherly Moment.

Sing like no one is listening

Love like you’ll never be hurt

Dance like no one is watching

Live like it’s heaven on Earth

Good words to live by! Good thing it’s so catchy, because it’s the first line in the movie. Well, hello! Welcome to your Hump Day Heartie pick-me-up, and that is a #WonderWednesday review of Niall Matter’s movie Love at First Dance. Turns out he wasn’t the only WCTH actor in the film. Jason Cermak, who played Dr. Burns, plays the assistant Gavin. He takes over as partner in the company,  and it’s very implied that he will take over as the man in Adriana’s life later on.

My favorite part has to be the pond. I grew up watching The Karate Kid quite a bit; a positive side effect of having 5 older brothers. So when Niall’s character, Eric, asked Hope: “Are you Mr. Miyagi-ing me?”, I burst out laughing!  Whoever wrote this scene must have been a big Daniel Larusso fan, 🙂 and VERY clever! I’ve never thought of dancing in water to feel the natural ebb and flow to get a good rhythm. But it sure worked! And Eric let his guard down long enough to not only give Hope a spontaneous dip, but to also quote the famous line: “Wax on! Wax off!” I’m just surprised he didn’t take his jacket off too. The rolled-up pants with a suit coat on was quite the look.

A huge problem with this movie: I didn’t hate Adriana, the fiancée. She is a very reasonable person, and not a witch at all. She’s not hard on Eric, the way Hallmark’s “other women” usually are, she’s just absent.  She and Eric seem to agree on several things, particularly on the wedding size, the music they should have, and that their mothers are both as crazy as any bridezilla. I noticed one of her mannerisms is that she plays with her engagement ring,  A LOT! She really does it when she talks about Eric. I think that was an excellent way for the actress to display the insecurities her character feels about marrying Eric. They sure did take their time! Eric says they started dating in their 20’s, and it’s been on the fast track since. I hardly call 10+ years FAST! You’d think 2 such high-powered professionals could figure out a little more quickly that they don’t belong together, but…I guess then we wouldn’t have a movie. But I’m definitely with Adriana when she said she looks like a cake! 😉

Speaking of actresses, I was so happy to hear so much theater talk in this movie, not to mention how much Eric loves it! A man after my own heart! And watching the ballet couple dance the piece Hope choreographed was so lovely; I was especially fond of the lift behind the dancers’ backs.  

All the dancing was fun to watch. I didn’t have a choreographed first dance at my wedding because my husband would have rather chewed nails than take dance lessons. However, I do love dancing, especially watching people more talented than I am. While watching, I wondered how much dance experience/training the actors have. Obviously, the ballet dancers were professionals, but what about the others? Did the 2 bridal couples Hope trained have previous dance experience, or were they actors who received training for the roles? What about Niall Matter and Becca Tobin? They definitely both looked their parts: capable dance teacher and clumsy student. I just wonder how much practice they went through. Their background music of “Love, Love, Love” was a fantastic choice to illustrate their moves and them coming together.    

I’ll close with some of my favorite quotes, ones that I haven’t already mentioned anyway.

  • “You’re not in a suit of armor” – clever way to tell Eric to loosen up
  • “I don’t do anything halfway” – also good words to live by
  • “I would’ve paid money to see those two dance.” – big compliment coming from a person of means who is also a theater geek
  • “Sometimes we need to be reminded not to think” – VERY true
  • “That must’ve been painful, being misunderstood” – Eric immediately assumes that Hope didn’t cancel her wedding maliciously. Sweet.
  • The whole conversation of “reading the books” of their futures. Just funny!
  • “Would you LIKE some moral support” – subtle way to show concern and interest
  • “My name’s not on the list” – in the beginning and the end. An inside joke that ties everything together
  • Judge a book by its cover, you might miss a good story.

I left that one for last because it’s the most profound. A good reminder for us all to look deeper in all aspects of life. I’m just glad all of you always find it in your hearts to look deeper into my blog posts. So once again, thank you! Now I’m off to go celebrate my 10-year anniversary. See you Friday for another Fatherly Moment.

Okay, I absolutely adored this movie! First of all, it was a stroke of genius on Hallmark’s part to have Kavan and Pascale host #JuneWeddings because of their ever-increasing popularity; not to mention their chemistry and ease together on the screen. Then they used that same chemistry to produce a complete  romantic hit. I commented on the main fan page that Kavan and Pascale were “dynamite”. I got over 500 reactions and comments! Apparently many of you agreed with me! And so many of your comments mentioned how natural they are together. In a tweet, Kavan all but admitted that there was a lot of adlibbing. But even the scripted lines don’t sound the least bit rehearsed. I can’t think of any negative criticism to say about this film, except MAYBE some wardrobe choices I didn’t care for. So let’s talk about the things I (and you, I bet!) loved about it.

“Let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start!” (Sound of Music, if you’re giving me a deer-in-headlights look.) It grabbed me from the start! My mom called it! We watched it together, and she immediately blurted, “I thought she took that to the pawn shop!” I hadn’t even recognized the gown as the one from her first wedding! I did once I took a closer look, thought a moment, then responded, “It’s a flashback!” And speaking about that flashback, what a loser! How could Steven POSSIBLY think it was a good idea to let Molly found out he was a coward when she was literally walking down the aisle? My mom commented, “That’s when you consider murder!” Only joking, of course! Although I will say, we usually see the man left at the altar; it was an interesting twist to see the other perspective.

So let’s move to the knight in shining armor: Nick.  Could that proposal have been any more romantic…outside of the 1900’s, of course! 😉 In fact, he did the modern version of Jack’s candle spread, don’t you think? What a sly dog, going as far as pretending he didn’t even remember the significance of where they were! And how adorable was that smile and nod when Molly asked if it was really happening! But my FAVORITE part was when they both say “I love you” at the end of that scene. This is going to sound silly, and it’s my own personal thing; but I personally don’t like when people say “I love you too.” To me, it sounds like an afterthought, or a I-said-it-because-you-said-it phrase. So the fact that nobody said “too” made it totally ideal for me. Then they sealed it with a kiss!

About those kisses: WHOA! They were amazing! I admit that in the past, I’ve wondered about Kavan’s technique. His head stays still, and just his lips move forward; makes my neck hurt! Now I’m told, and I can’t verify this, but I’m told that a certain kind of kissing is in his and Pascale’s contracts. Since their both married, they don’t want to do any total make out scenes. If this is true, I TOTALLY respect that! That would also explain why Lee and Rosemary are always kissing each other on the cheek. My mom, once again, spit it out frankly: “I bet somebody said something!” 🙂 My friend Sarah and I joked that their SPOUSES said they weren’t convincing enough. And their families seem to hang out together a lot, so maybe they all decided it would be okay. But whatever the case was, their kisses made my heart smile, and my composure melt! Nothing stilted about them!

Easter egg time! There were SO MANY from WCTH and other movies alike! We’ll do non-WCTH first. First one that’s the most obvious is names. Kavan was in another #JuneWeddings movie with Danica McKellar. The title was Wedding Bells, and their names were Molly and Nick! He played a chef in that one. Most of you know how good of a chef Kavan is in real life, so it made me smile when he was cooking in this movie too. Then seeing him dance himself in a circle was the icing on the cake! And speaking of cake, that’s the other one! If you’ve been watching #JuneWeddings this year, you’ve seen Marrying Mr. Darcy. If you were listening closely, you heard that red velvet and white chocolate  were the two favorite flavors at the cake tasting. Guess what the two favorites were here? You guessed it! Somebody must really like those cakes!

Now for the fun stuff Hearties recognized! First of all, the marching band. What did Rosemary want for her big New Year’s Eve celebration? Indeed, yes! And did you notice that the characters did a complete flip flop when it came to a wedding that was “fine”? Molly was calm and cool trying not to be a bridezilla, and Nick was getting tense not wanting to settle. Bet they giggled a ton at that switch! Did you hear their middle names? Elizabeth and Theodore! I cracked up so hard! In case you need a reminder, Theodore was the Mountie Elizabeth wrote about in her story. Then in their farewell after the movie, Pascale and Kavan laughed about how they can’t escape WCTH when they realized they were filming on Coulter Crescent. 🙂

The most subtle one, and probably not even done on purpose, was the fact that the friend Brendan was IN PLAID! 😀 Can I just add that I think that actor needs to have a starring role in his own movie. He’s been in EVERYTHING, but only as a supporting character. He’s paid his dues: give him the lead!

While I’m on Brendan, I’ll just mention my favorite scene with him in it. Actually, it’s one of my favorite lines from the movie. I smiled really big with the silver lining deal, how Nick totally interrupts himself when Elizabeth grabs the card. Just one more example of how talented and natural he is!

Okay, back to Nick and Molly! I can’t say ENOUGH how much I love their maturity and lack of drama! They communicate well: for instance Nick doesn’t just find out about Steven, she tells him…after looks from her sister. 🙂 The wedding doesn’t get called off, he doesn’t shout that it’s off, she doesn’t give back the ring, and they don’t stop speaking. There’s no petty drama, not even when he hears her admit she’s scared he’ll cancel. He just reassures her that he’d NEVER do that! That’s a valid fear for someone in her situation. I was so glad that they kept the wedding! Everything was pretty much done anyway, and they both still wanted to get married, (which I loved!) I actually really like that they didn’t get the band. So many times, the man gives up most of his wants, so I liked seeing him get what he wanted; and he got to involve his brother. Then they wrap up all that compromise perfectly by mentioning all her class lessons with the rings, and dancing to the same song from #1.  Can you say precious?!

Well, I could go on all night, but I better quit now and post, or none of you will get to read it! 😉 Good night, lovelies…even if you’re a man! 😀

So, guess what, guess what! To quote Lydia in the 1995 limited TV series of “Pride and Prejudice” (the BEST one!), “You never will, so I’ll tell you!” The Hooked Heartie Facebook page has reached over 60 likes! You Hearties are SO amazing! I know I’ve said it before, but your support means the world to me! I wouldn’t have a blog without all of you, and I think you’re all wonderful! So please keep being wonderful, i.e. reading, commenting, and sharing the posts. And as I said last Wednesday, I’d welcome any comments, suggestions, and volunteers! We even created a feedback survey to prove it! 😀

Now to find out who said “yes”. Do you remember? Well, that’s what I’m here for! Elizabeth Scott said it to Donovan Darcy in “Marrying Mr. Darcy”. It really was quite an adorable movie. No “Pride and Prejudice” undertones like the first one, but it built on the characters’ relationships really well; and even though some of the drama had very familiar undertones, they didn’t just stick the first movie in a blender.

I admit I was a little surprised that a sequel came out. I liked the first one okay, but the blocking (movement) was so stagey and unnatural that it drove me batty! I was very relieved that even though there were some cheesy lines, this movie flowed much more smoothly.

So, first of all, let’s chat about that proposal! It reminded me quite a bit of my proposal from my husband…but I’m saving that for a later date. (Now you can imagine me rubbing my hands together, grinning, and giggling mischievously!) When he pulled out a jewelry box, and she opened it to find a new dog collar for Bliss, you can almost hear her chest falling. You know the feeling: you’re gearing yourself up for what you think is going to be a big surprise, or massive news; only to find out it’s an ordinary, everyday thing. So she’s completely let her guard down just in time to turn the collar over, and discover quite a rock tied to it! Then it only gets better; he SPEAKS!

It’s funny; while he was “giving his speech”, I found myself smiling and sighing involuntarily at his sweet sentimentality; cocked head resting on fist and all! My favorite line has got to be: “…everything before you was in black and white, and now I can see color for the first time.” Whoever wrote that line was brilliant! And Ryan Paevey delivered it pretty well too, 😉 just ask my mother! (She seems to have caught the Paevey bug! She REALLY enjoyed when he spoke French, and sang to the dog; even if it was just Row Row Row Your Boat.) Hearties everywhere will also appreciate the fact that Donovan said “May I?” before he slid the ring onto Elizabeth’s finger, just like Jack did so often.

I was very fond of the little mannerisms of their relationship. It showed how comfortable they were with each other. First of all, they had a “spot” that has become special for many reasons. He called her “darling”, and “I love you” wasn’t a taboo sentence for either of them. When Aunt Violet presented her with the family heirloom necklace, he immediately stepped behind her to fasten it around her neck, without a word. And apparently dancing during their down time was “their thing”, the way he merely pulled out his phone and said “Shall we?”, and she knew exactly what he was doing. It’s the little things that make a couple, or make them seem real in a movie. 😉

“Communication is the key to any good marriage.” That’s what Pastor Frank said to Lee and Rosemary before they got married. Boy, was that obvious in this film! Elizabeth even admits out loud that both of them stopped telling each other vital information. For instance, both agreed on a small wedding, which was great! The problem was their definitions of the word “small” were in stark contrast to one another. Elizabeth’s was 30, Donovan’s was 250! They handled it quite adorably though, doing an auction to compromise on the number. I found that very clever! And if they had told each other in the beginning their reasons for having the wedding they wanted: i.e. he wanted a big wedding so they could share it with all the people who wish them well, and she wanted a small wedding to have an intimate and meaningful experience with the people closest to them; that certainly would have saved some hurt feelings. It also would have been very helpful if Donovan had communicated to Elizabeth that she had become a member of the board of the Darcy Foundation, wouldn’t it?

Then there’s the issue of Donovan not heeding Henry’s advice about said communication. The best friend seemed to be quite knowledgeable about women! The patronizing smile he gave when Donovan didn’t consider ASKING Elizabeth if she wanted to go to the rec center groundbreaking…it was as if he were saying, “Oh buddy, you think you’re so smart!” So “Donny” listened that time, but failed to recognize Henry’s wisdom in actually telling her about the world tour honeymoon. Instead of saying, “Darling, I’m working on a surprise for you, but it means putting in more hours at work until the wedding. I just wanted you to know so you wouldn’t wonder,” he was just absent, and she thought he was pulling away from her. Elizabeth’s sister, Jenna, defined the situation best: “That’s sweet! Misguided, but sweet!

So how did they fix it? Well, first off, Donovan told his bride about the honeymoon plans. He even admitted he was wrong to keep the secret, and apologized. They got their communication train back on track, declared their love for each other, then found a solution to the problem of their very opposite visions of the blessed day. What WAS that solution, you ask?

Why, TWO WEDDINGS, of course! Elizabeth got her intimate nuptials in a garden, and Donovan got his big ceremony in the cathedral. It doesn’t depict two receptions, but I’m betting they had them. Hey, they got the money! Might as well, right? Then they signed off with, “I love you, Mrs. Darcy”, and “I love YOU, Mr. Darcy.” That closes the storybook quite nicely, doesn’t it?

Well, Hearties, I’m off to go wrangle my four children now. Thank you again for all you do to help my humble little blog climb the ladder of success. I hope you’ll join me on Friday for another heartwarming father moment…AND a special surprise. No, I’m not pregnant again. 😉 Ta ta for now!