It's always great to catch up with Jen Lilley and her gorgeous eyes. I don't think she's steered me wrong yet with her Hallmark movies. WINTER LOVE STORY premiered as part of Hallmark's Winterfest programming for 2019, and it may be my favorite of the bunch. I have to five star it.
Some plot spoilers.
Cassandra Winslett (Lilley) may not be keeping her day job for much longer. In Princeton, New Jersey, she's a barista working at her best friend Becca's café, cutely called Brewed by Becca. But Cassie's published now, and it's heartfelt work, a romantic memoir that humorously recounts her own personal heartbreak.
She's at the bookstore now for her first ever booksigning, except it's not going well; I think a tumbleweed just rolled past. Meanwhile, around the corner from her spot, there's an excited hubbub. It's another author, Elliot Somersby (Kevin McGarry), creator of a best-selling fantasy saga, with dragons. Observe the contrast of Cassie and Elliot. She's ill at ease with public speaking and doing interviews; she gets too nervous. He knows how to work the crowd. The sales of her book are sluggish. His fans are foaming at the mouth for the final volume in the Dread Monarch trilogy. For Cassie, there's also the weight of her mom (Mary-Margaret Humes) being a famous award-winning author. Cassie desperately wants to make it on her own. She'd rather that not anyone knows she's the daughter of a recipient of the prestigious PEN/Faulkner award.
But her editor thinks she needs help. The publishing house has had success with pairing established authors with new ones on the same book tour. In a fine how-do-you-do, it's Cassie who turns her nose up at the notion. She's all snooty because she believes her work to be more meaningful than Elliot's "nerd novels." But she's told she needs the exposure, and first time writers don't turn down "suggestions" from their publisher.
So, it's a road trip kind of movie as Cassie and Elliot embark on a short book tour, consisting of stops at Princeton, Albany, Boston, and Buffalo. And they're driving on account of Elliot's having brought along his sweet, adorable dog, Bungee. And the usual Hallmark-y stuff goes down. See Elliot gracefully mentor Cassie in how to overcome her stage fright. See Cassie help Elliot get a grip on his divorce from a year ago and on his concerns about producing the third and final book in the Dread Monarch saga. Also, see Cassie start to sneak in reading sessions of Elliot's "nerd books." As for Elliot, he'd already read Cassie's My Heartbreak Year... more than one time. It's why he'd requested to be paired up with her on the book tour. And as Cassie gains in confidence and begins to start taking control of the stage, I was concerned the plot would go the way of A STAR IS BORN. But this is Hallmark. It was never gonna go down that way.
I found this movie so watchable. I got drawn into Cassie's journey from irresolute novice to a self-assured interviewing, public appearing machine. It helps that the two leads generate terrific chemistry, and that I keep on drowning in Jen Lilley's eyes. Kevin McGarry is charming as can be, and I'm reluctantly coming to grips that it's his character in HEARTLAND that Lou is into now, and not Peter. Along the way, we're treated to forays into the delights of cocoa cook-offs and of vanilla bean lattes with cookie crumbles. Sure, there may even be characters plopping down onto snow to make snow angels, otherwise the eye-rolling was kept to a minimum. So, yep, 5 out of 5 stars for this nicely executed romantic comedy with stuff to say about the trauma of trying to step out of your parent's shadow, and overcoming stage fright, and the hazards of condemning nerd books and the people who write them. In a sort of reversal, I wish someone would adapt this movie into a book.
Hallmark's 2019 Winterfest movies:
- Winter Castle (aired 1/5/19) - One Winter Proposal (aired 1/12/19) - A Winter Princess (aired 1/18/19) - Winter Love Story (aired 1/19/19) - Snowcoming (aired 1/26/19)
The H is a famous writer while the h is still waiting for her time in the limelight. The h's mother was a prominent writer so the h has large shoes to fill. The agents decide that the h can get some exposure from touring with the H since he has a large fan base. The two hit the road and gradually fall in love. However, the h believes that the H is still hung up on his ex wife so she takes off. They do get their HEA.
The H and h are a cute couple. However, I could not get into the story. The H does talk a lot about his ex and then thanks her in his speech at the end of the movie. I think I would be ticked off to.
Jen Lilley and Kevin McGarrey are simply charming in this story of a couple of bookwriters - competion ensues at the beginning. Do not want to give the fun away, so just watch it! I really enjoyed this movie and the chemistry between the 2 is really sweet! Will pre-order the movie!