Thursday, August 11, 2016

Hallmark Movie Review: Summer Villa

"It's the most expensive movie they've ever made," my husband says.

That's when we both realized that we were Hallmark Channel addicts. Once you reach the stage where you are arguing about whether the movie was filmed in Montreal or Romania (I said Montreal. I won) you are officially addicted. In any case, the sets for this movie were good enough that they could be mistaken for a (cheap) European locale. I don't know about you, guys, but I love the fact that they're spending real money in these movies and bringing in nice locales and good actors. It makes such a big difference.

Now, if only they could get rid of those Home Decorators dining chairs. Stick to IKEA, guys.

The chairs, however, were the only misstep in this adorable movie. Romance novelist Terry Russell has a huge case of writer's block, and chef Matthew Everston has lost the culinary magic he was once known for. The two have a disastrous blind date, after which they decide they hate each other. However, they end up sharing a villa in the south of France (along with Terry's daughter) and hilarity (and romance ensue). I loved the romance novelist heroine and her cranky teenage daughter (Hallmarks idealizes everything in its movies, except for the teenagers who are painfully, and annoyingly, real). The hero was also great.

The writing is fantastic. The actors are adorable together. The setting is magical and truly French-like (it's amazing what you can do with potted cypress and Zara Home drapery these days). The whole movie is simply perfect. Take the hero's car, for example. It's dreamy.

I wish they'd used more French music (a couple of funky dance songs break up the mood) and less ugly American jokes (no wealthy New Yorker would gag at French cuisine), but other than that the movie was a delight.

Highly recommended.