Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Tonight's Movie: How to Fall in Love (2012)

My latest exploration of Hallmark films led me to the very well-done HOW TO FALL IN LOVE (2012).

HOW TO FALL IN LOVE stars Brooke D'Orsay, a special actress I greatly enjoyed in MISS CHRISTMAS (2017), and Eric Mabius, who stars in the channel's ongoing movie series SIGNED, SEALED, DELIVERED. HOW TO FALL IN LOVE happens to be a particular favorite of my father, who sent me the DVD.

Mabius plays Harold White, a smart but shy accountant who emotionally has never quite gotten past his awkward high school years. Harold's friend Willie (Panou), inspired by a TV show, suggests Harold try a dating coach to help him break out of his shell.

Event planner Annie Hayes (D'Orsay), Harold's long-ago high school crush (and disappointment), is desperately in need of an income, and when she reconnects with Harold for the first time in years and learns he's considering hiring a dating coach, she suggests herself as his most affordable option.

Annie studies up and does a wonderful job helping Harold overhaul his wardrobe, polish his conversational skills, and gain some self-confidence, to the point he successfully begins dating Julie (Gina Holden), a woman he's admired in the coffee shop where he's a regular.

The only problem is that after a few dates it turns out that Harold and Julie aren't compatible in the least, as the wildly extroverted Julie is always on the go, not appreciating Harold's love of quiet pursuits like nature photography or a night "in" cooking and listening to Sinatra.

And as it happens, Harold and Annie have gradually fallen for each other, but each is afraid to confess the truth to the other.

This is a sweet and engaging film with considerable depth. There's an interesting moment where Harold looks in the mirror and sees his high school self staring back. Old insecurities run deep, and Harold's somehow never gained the self-confidence that a successful CPA -- with a gorgeous house! -- should have.

Annie has her own issues; she's a bit flighty and has been having conflicts with her sister (Jody Thompson), who's let Annie move in with her family while she tries to jump start her career. The sisters' scenes, balancing annoyance and love, are quite well done. Eventually, Annie's experiences with both her sister and Harold lead her to personal growth and maturing of her own, not to mention an opportunity to get her event planning career back on track.

Kathy Najimy costars as the waitress working alongside Annie in her second job at a coffee shop. Jesse Hutch appears briefly as an old high school friend.

HOW TO FALL IN LOVE was written by Bart Fisher and directed by Mark Griffiths. It was filmed in British Columbia by Eric J. Goldstein.


Blogger Brittaney said...

This is a personal favorite of mine, so much so I bought the DVD. I'm a fan of Brooke D'Orsay, but I also love Eric Mabius' quietly, ensitive portrayal here. I also like the twist of a male "makeover" instead of it being a woman once again. Mabius plays a similar type character in the Signed, Sealed, Delivered series, which is another Hallmark favorite and one I highly recommend if you haven't already seen it.

8:41 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

Hi Brittaney! Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts on this most enjoyable film. Speaking of the DVD, I should add here for anyone interested in it that it's currently a very affordable price at Amazon.

I'd definitely like to see more of D'Orsay's work. I have one more Hallmark recording with her and then will need to comb through IMDb to see what else is of interest and available.

I haven't yet seen SIGNED, SEALED, DELIVERED but it receives my father's very highest recommendation, and as our tastes are compatible most of the time, I'm definitely looking forward to it down the road. Thanks for adding your thumbs up to that series!

Best wishes,

9:54 AM  
Blogger Kristina said...

Sounds like another winner! Like Brittaney said, the twist on having the man made over is an example of how these movies have fun with the usual plots. Will have to look out for it.

10:10 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

I hope you'll enjoy it too, Kristina! I love that we've both been finding "good stuff" to watch thanks to Hallmark films.

Best wishes,

9:36 AM  

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