To Have and to Hold (2019 Lifetime)
Cast: Erika Christensen, Antonio Cupo, Andy Favreau
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Synopsis (via Lifetime)
To Have and to Hold” centers on Alice who still can’t believe her high school crush, the dashing, wealthy and successful Joe Chambers, would choose to marry her and willingly allows him to mold her into his ideal socialite wife. Despite Alice’s best efforts to be the woman of Joe’s dreams, he can’t help but be unfaithful to her. When Joe’s indiscretions impact his career, Alice’s life is further turned upside down. Alice unexpectedly finds herself falling for her best friend’s boyfriend and begins to wonder if her fairy tale ending could exist after all.
Alice lives in NYC and is moving into a penthouse! The movie is starting off very romcom with kitschy music and a rewind effect to go back in time to her childhood. (Is this 13 going on 30, or Lifetime?) We learn that as a kid, Alice wanted the following things on her vision board. “Be a chef, find her prince charming, have a big family, and live in a beautiful house in the countryside. “
Flash to Seattle in her 30’s, Alice is working for a catering company and wants to be a TV chef one day or open a restaurant? (who cares!) She has two roommates (Emily & Harry) and is struggling to make ends meet. At a swanky event she sees Joe Evans, a guy she went to middle school with, he asks for her business card and says he will be in touch.
We get our first cooking montage to soul music of the movie. Harry (Alice’s roommate.) helps her make a molten Lava cake. They eat it sexily and giggle a lot. They seem like they have great chemistry, but neither one of them can pull the trigger. Harry is moving away for six weeks. Before he leaves for the airport, Harry writes a note and leaves it on Alice’s body while she is sleeping on the couch. Alice rolls over, and the letter falls under the couch cushions.
Joe follows up and texts Alice with a job opportunity! At his apartment… It is a dinner party with his mostly POC co-workers. When the night is wrapping up, Joe offers Alice some “dessert,” which is wine… is this me? They go out on the terrace and look at the Space Needle. That wine gets to them quick because they admit they have had crushes on each other since middle SCHOOL and kiss. (HUGE EYEROLL FROM ME.)
Alice wakes up in Joe’s bed as that romcom music plays as she sneaks out. She recaps everything to her other roommate and is obsessing over Joe. While they are talking, multiple vases of flowers are delivered… from Joe.
Next, we get a montage of Alice and Joe dating. Which includes lots of Alice and Joe making out or sitting at a restaurant with wine, while Harry and Emily text Alice with no response: Things like Emily- “Yoga?” “Lunch?” “Haven’t seen you in a week?” Harry- “Thinking of you” “I miss your cooking!” Alice is so distracted by Joe that she misses out on a big promotion. Joe tells her not to worry and invites him to his parent’s fancy-ass party. When Alice meets the parents, Joe’s mom says the following:
“Joe, can you get me a glass of water… and some grandkids.”
Alice is thrown off by this comment and more thrown off when Emily is working as a catering staff. Alice has become one of the fancy party attendees. Later, Alice tells Emily that she thinks she is falling in love with him and that he has his shit together. Emily approves as long as Alice is happy. Who isn’t pleased is Harry, who is back in town and wondering WTF happened to that note he left on Alice’s body.
Joe proposes on the terrace, and Alice says yes, just like in the dream she had when she was 12! Flash to a year later, it is their first anniversary, and things have cooled a bit, he denies her advances twice. Alice is just another shiny thing in his world, she is isolated and alone. Harry and Emily are still her friends, but they are dating.
Alice wants to, but her old boss’s catering company because she misses cooking. Joe tells her it isn’t a good idea if they are planning on having kids, she is supposed to stay home and take care of the kids. Joe takes her to make a baby in a rose peddled bed. All the trying is not really working out, and Alice feels like she is just waiting to have a baby.
To seal the deal with Emily and Harry (Who are in a relationship but haven’t had sex???), Alice suggests going to a cabin on a double date weekend. Joe gets stuck at work, of course, leaving Alice, Emily, and Harry to have a threesome. Just kidding! Joe shows up, and things get weird when Harry and Joe get into it. Joe leaves the next morning to go back to work, and Alice decides to surprise him at his job. She is the one who is surprised that Joe is having an affair with his co-worker.
Alice goes over to Harry and Emily’s apartment, and she is considering staying with him because she doesn’t want to start over. Joe shows up with dozens of red roses, and she kicks him out. Since it is 2019, Joe’s affair is caught on camera, and to keep him and his co-worker apart, he is relocated to NYC. Alice doesn’t want to move and is hurt, but Joe convinces her anyway.
In NYC, Alice stands in the streets and looks up at the tall buildings. Joe and Alice go to dinner with some friends and get invited to a cottage in Connecticut. Alice falls in love with a cottage nearby, it is just like the cottage she dreamed of when she was 12! Joe buys it on the spot.
With Alice in the country and Joe in NYC, they are more apart than ever. Montage of Alice setting up the house and Joe not being able to make it out to the country. They are still trying to have a baby despite never really be together. Alice realizes that she needs a couch and asks Emily if she can have the one they had when they were roommates. Also, Harry shows up to help her with the cottage since Joe is MIA.
When her cottage neighbor’s septic tank backs up before a big party, Alice offers to throw the party in her empty cottage. Cue another soul music montage of setting up for the party with Harry. The party is a hit, and the guest wants to hire Alice for their parties.
Sad montage happens where Alice makes caramel or takes pregnancy tests while she remembers the good times with Joe.
Harry and Emily show up with the couch that Alice wanted. She tells Emily that she thinks she might be pregnant and will know by New Years Even. On NYE at a party, Alice gets her period and tells Joe she is not pregnant while downing whiskey and champagne. To distract herself, Alice and Harry go to grab the back eyed peas. Alice tells Harry that she isn’t pregnant, and Joe didn’t react the way she wanted. She slips on some ice, and Joe drops the black-eyed peas to catch her. They get caught up in the moment and kiss as the year turns. Emily, of course, walks up and sees the whole thing.
Harry and Emily leave on the first flight out. Alice is alone in her cottage sitting on her new couch, and Joe is working late… again. Alice goes into the city to be with her husband and is surprised to see he isn’t home yet. She calls him, and he lies to her, thinking she is at the cottage, he tells her he is home in bed. Alice tracks his phone and finds him at a restaurant with another other women.
Joe likens cheating to having an extra dessert. Alice is fed up and goes back to the cottage and cries on the couch with her neighbor. (Who is actually a really great friend.) Alice starts a catering business in the neighborhood called Alice’s Eats and asks Joe for a divorce. (As long as she wants to keep the cottage.) He tells her that she will beg him to come back.
Who Alice does beg to comeback is her friends, Harry and Emily. She apologizes for making their friendship awkward and wants to repair their relationship. It doesn’t go well, and Emily and Harry are both done with Alice.
Defeated, Alice comes home and plops on her couch. She finds the note and is like.. “What is this?” It is the note from Harry, ya, dummy! Emily tells Alice that she is more into her photography than a relationship and is going to travel the world. She is shipping for Alice and Harry and is thrilled to learn about the note and gives her blessing.
At a cafe, Alice orders Harry a lava cake and tells him that she found the note. They share lava cake and are partners now. They kiss and the end.
Book to Screen series based on the Jane Green novel of the same name.
Joe’s costumes were terrible and ill-fitting.
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*Photo Credit: © 2019 Lifetime
OMG you are so funny!