I bet that’s what the male stars of “Dater’s Handbook” have been saying to themselves since the Royal Wedding! Okay, probably not, but I imagine their minds have been reeling to some degree. They thought they were going to star in a simple TV movie with the actress from “Suits”. And to coin the phrase: “LOOK at her now!”

This was a cute film. I thought it would be a nice touch to add it to the princess-themed week we have going. Luckily, the woman who plays Meghan Markle’s mother is the same actress who played Elizabeth’s mother. So the movie actually DOES have a WCTH actor in it, and I don’t have to break my own rules! I have a legitimate reason to review this movie.

The basic plot line is this: Cass (Meghan) is a successful business-owner in a very unsuccessful, dead-end relationship, (another one!) At least this one only lasted 2 years instead of 5; but the jerk refuses to commit, won’t spend any time with her, won’t even go to her best friend’s wedding with her! Luckily, she dumps him in the beginning of the movie, and flies solo to the wedding. What starts out looking hopeless because she’s seated at the kids’ table, (who would DO that to their best friend?!) turns a 180 when Robert shows up. Instead of being upset about being at the kids’ table, he tells the kids they’re at the coolest table in the room, and orders “a round of Shirley Temples…on him”. They get along great, enough for Cass to steal Robert’s cake, but she slips away before he can get her digits.
A chance meeting at a dog park, (they both have dogs,) gives him the opportunity he needs. Gotta give the guy creativity credit; he asks her dog, Duke, for help! “Would you ask your mother if she’ll go on a date with me?” Ten points to him because it works! They decide to go miniature golfing, where they’re messing up each others’ shots, giving each other a hard time, just having fun. Probably my favorite thing about them is they call each other out on cheesy lines either of them says, and have a ball doing it.

Everything’s going great until George comes into the picture. He’s the head of an insurance company, and Cass’s company sells him paraphernalia with his logo on it. When she does a rush order for him, and he comes to thank her, he asks her out to dinner…to a French restaurant! Unsure of whom she likes better, and scared she’ll mess up like she has in past relationships, she takes her sister’s advice to follow the guidelines in a book called “The Dater’s Handbook”. She goes out with both of them, trying to figure out who she belongs with. George is a classy guy who takes her to a string quartet concert and art museums, but there’s very little chemistry. And he calls her Cassandra; not even her mother does that. She and Robert have a great time and a great connection; he’s fun and VERY thoughtful. He even scores tickets to an REO Speedwagon concert, and takes Cass AND her mother because that’s Mom’s favorite band. But because he didn’t know about her allergy to honey, she ends up at the hospital on his watch after eating some glazed wings. Horribly unfair if you ask me, but they count it as a strike against him.

Mom likes Robert, Sister likes George. And because Cass’s sister knows about the Handbook, and Cass is currently trusting said Handbook, she breaks up with Robert, and takes George onboard. I really like how they filmed that part, because it just shows Cass on the phone. The audience, along with her family, doesn’t know who she picks until she shows up with George to her nephew’s birthday party…which does NOT go well as far as introducing the new boyfriend to the family. He was way too stiff!

Further trouble ensues when Robert and Cass both end up at an auto shop, and Robert convinces her that going bowling would be far more entertaining than sitting around in the lobby. What he doesn’t tell her is his car is already finished. Sly dog! They totally kiss right after she bowls a strike, and she runs away. But when she tries taking George mini golfing, and spontaneously kisses him, there’s dead silence. And then it happens…the revelation! She’s finally honest with herself, finding she can’t BE herself with George, even though he’s the right choice according to the book.

Her best friend laughs in her face when she finds out Cass “went by the book”, if you’ll pardon the pun. Confused, Cass says she found the book in HER desk, and she wanted to be just as happy as her friend. Then the truth comes out: the book was a gag gift. Cass runs to find Robert at a Chinese lantern festival, and reaches him just in time to make him lose his lantern, call him out on another cheesy line, then finally kiss him for real!

And now she’s a princess! Still hard to wrap my own head around it. The most hilarious thing happened while I was watching this movie. Robert says, “I need to ask you a personal question…”. Without even missing a beat, my incredibly witty husband blurts out, “What does Harry have that I don’t?” Yeah, I laughed, I admit it. And speaking of my home life, I am happy to report that as of yesterday, I have a clean bill of health, and no more physical restrictions! Took my first hot bath in weeks just today, and it was HEAVENLY! My surgeon was bewildered but pleased when I told him I had posted on my blog that he was as sweet as Dr. Shepherd. It took some explanation since he’s never seen our show, but he took it as a high compliment. 

Hope you’ll return on Friday for one last royal blog. Night, night!

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