The Beach House (2018 Hallmark)
Stars: Minka Kelly, Andie MacDowell, Chad Michael Murray, and Makenzie Vega
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Synopsis (via Hallmark)
When Cara finds her life spinning out of control, she returns to the scenic Lowcountry to visit her mother. Before long, the rhythms of the island open her heart in wonderful ways as she repairs the family beach house, becomes a bona fide “turtle lady,” and renews old acquaintances long lost.
Cara (or Coretta when she is back home.) was recently fired from her Ad agency job “in town”. To get away from her hectic life, Cara heads home to South Carolina to see her mom, Lovie. (Played by the very southern Andie MacDowell). They talk about turtles and make small talk.
While in town buying shoes off of someone’s porch, Cara runs into Brett, her old summer boyfriend, who gives her a hard time about being single. It is in a way that is supposed to be flirty, but comes off more RUDE!
Lovie had taken in a pregnant woman named, Toy. (yes, Toy) to help her around the house, cook, and clean…and give her pills on the porch. Lovie is not doing well and is constantly exhausted. Lovie hired Toy to keep up appearances and hid her apparent illness. (The audience knows this because she spends lots of time looking at the waves and the fact that she is always out of breath. Coretta, on the other hand, is in the dark.) The beach house that they are living in is kind of run down. Lovie doesn’t mind and has even given up her house in town to her son, Palmer, and his perfect family.
At family (and Toy) dinner in Charleston at Palmer’s house, the siblings reminisce about their childhood, emotionally-neglectful mother, and dead father. There is tension in the family and the house, but since they are southern it is all veiled in slight glances and exaggerated gasps! Palmer invites (but demands) his mom to move in with him and away from the beach house because she is not capable of taking care of herself. He then orders his wife to cut him another slice of cake.
Cara is upset and decides to go home. She is mad at her mom for not being able to stand up for herself. Cara tells her mom that she will never be like her and the reason she left in the first place wasn’t her father and his domineriang ways, it was because of her mom’s helplessness and she vows to never be like her. While immediately apologizing, Cara asks Lovie what all those pills are for on her nightstand. Lovie tells her its for “this and that” and “vitamins.” Lovie blaimes Toy being on a health kick. Cara seems satisfied with that answer, (EVEN THOUGH IT IS CLEAR HER MOM IS DYING!!!!) and agrees to stay in town a little bit longer.
Brett (Remember him? Me neither.) comes back to “fix the sink” but talks Cara into going on a boat ride. As they ride through some scenic-ass marshes, Cara tells Brett he is lucky yo do what he loves every day and tells Brett she got fired from her job. Brett tells Cara that he has thought about leaving town, but he loves it too much
Meanwhile, at the doctor’s office “for Toy” we learn that Lovie’s favorite season is summer, and that she has an inoperable tumor and the diagnosis is terminal. Toy tells Lovie that she needs to tell her daughter the truth, and Lovie knows that she is right.
Cara and Brett start to fall for each other while cooking. He “sexily” shows her how to chop zucchini, and she is rightfully annoyed. They drink wine and talk about her moving back to town, but she tells him this isn’t her home and she is going back to Chicago. Their flirting stops and they decide to take a break.
While watching a mom turtle lay eggs on the beach, Lovie finally breaks the news to Cara. Cara agrees to stay in town longer for her mom’s last summer. She vows to make it the best summer EVER!
Cara fixes the broken pergola and gets everyone together to watch the turtle eggs hatch. This would have been the perfect opportunity for a montage, but since this is a Hallmark Hall of Fame movie, they are too classy for that. The news of the cancer doesn’t seem to affect Cara, except for a scene where she has a breakdown to Brett. This is used as a plot device to get them back together after their fight.
Lovie, goes down to the bank to settle her affairs herself. She realizes that her son (Palmer) has been stealing money from her. Lovie stands up for herself and talks to Palmer, she tells him that she has cancer and she isn’t mad about him stealing the money. He storms off upset and embarrassed. While everyone is sharing, Cara tells her mom that she was fired from her job in Chicago.
Cara gets a visitor from Chicago. It is her co-worker and sometimes lover, Richard. (Brett is not happy about it.) He screwed her over and got her promotion, getting her fired. He owns up to it and tells Cara that he told the partners and they are offering to rehire her with incentives. Cara asks for everything in writing and tells him to leave town because a storm is coming in.
The hurricane is pretty bad, and Lovie refuses to leave her beach house so they hunker down. Toy was stranded at a doctors appointment and attempted to walk home in a hurricane… Lucky for her, Brett saves her.
The next morning, the sun is shining and everyone is checking on Lovie—so we can wrap up this movie! Brett and Toy show up with a new baby, Palmer comes over to apologize for storming off, and Cara decides she is staying in town to be with Brett (and take care of her ailing mother, I guess!). Lovie now has a cough and get chilly. After telling Cara that she loves her and looking at a photo of Cara’s dad while remembering being young on the beach. The camera shows her hand holding the photo and suddenly the photo drops from her hand and floats to the ground—implying her death.
One year later, we see Cara, her family, and Brett watching turtles hatch. Cara and Brett stand on the beach—just like Lovie and her husband did all those years ago.
The Beach House is based on the novel by Mary Alice Monroe. The movie was shot on-location on Tybee Island, Georgia.
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❤️ ❤️ (2 Hearts)
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*Photo Credit: © 2018 Crown Media United States, LLC
Good review, Patrick! I would like to point out that the man in the photo was Lovie’s former boyfriend, not her late husband. Personally, I really liked this movie and I think it’s one of the better movies from Hallmark Hall of Fame. I also reviewed The Beach House on my blog, so check it out if you get the chance!
Thank you for the clarification! Loved your review.