Thursday, April 21, 2016

Movie Review: Hallmark's Stranded in Paradise (Plus Puerto Rico Vacation Tips!)


I loved this movie! Seriously, what's not to love? It's cute and funny, and it's set in Puerto Rico. Perfection.

The plot is pretty basic. Type-A career gal Tess gets fired from her human resources job so she goes to a conference in Puerto Rico to see if she can land a new one. When she gets to the island she meets a handsome travel journalist, Carter, who gets her to relax and have fun. They get hit by a hurricane (and a hotel fire, and a whole bunch of unfortunate incidents) and kind of fall in love.

The movie makes Puerto Rico look fabulous. Whoever ran this movie shot did a great job making it look authentic. They got everything right. The only detail they got wrong was the use of a vintage Ford truck. Puerto Rico was actually much poorer than Cuba in the fifties, so there aren't any vintage 50s and 60s automobiles in the island. Our vintage rides are VW Beetles and Datsuns from the 70s. That was the only oopsie, though. Everything else, down to the weather broadcasts and coffee urns looked perfect. There's majestic beach shots, and plena dancing, and piraguas. Veteran telenovela actress, Gladys Rodriguez, plays the friendly local lady who gives them a place to stay after their hotel catches fire.

The actors are adorable together and Gladys (I can call her by her first name, because I practically grew up watching her on TV. Her Rebecca-inspired novela, La Sombra de Belinda, is one of my favorite telenovelas of all time.) was hilarious and sweet. I loved this movie. Highly recommended.

PS. Did you love this movie too? Do you want to recreate Tess' gorgeous Puerto Rico vacation? Check out the Isla Verde Marriott Courtyard hotel (similar to the hotel she stays in, except for the fact that it's never caught fire), Old San Juan's El Convento (they dance in front of this gorgeous but rather pricey hotel) or Numero Uno Guest House (or the Tres Palmas Inn) in Ocean Park (similar to Stella's house). Go to Old San Juan for piraguas and Piñones for the beach experience. Have breakfast at Kasalta in Ocean Park (cortadito and mallorca), have lunch at Raíces in Old San Juan or Soleil in Piñones, and dine at Pamela's in Ocean Park (it's part of the Numero Uno Guest House). Enjoy!