Very, Very, Valentine (2018 Hallmark Channel)


Very, Very, Valentine

Stars: Danica McKellar, Cameron Mathison, and Damon Runyan

Synopsis (via Hallmark)

When Helen, a kind-hearted and shy florist, meets the perfect man at a Valentine’s Masquerade Ball she enlists the help of her best friend Henry to track him down only to find that her perfect man may already be right in front of her.


Helen loves to creepily watch weddings she’s arranged flowers for. She works in a flower shop (All in Bloom) with her pushy Aunt Carol, whose first line is, “Any eligible handsome young groomsmen?” We aren’t even two minutes into the movie and we get a flower arranging montage to the tune of a generic pop song about what a beautiful day it is.

Henry Heart (handsome friend, who likes to nag her) stops by the flower shop to let Helen know he has entered her into the super bowl of flower breeding, the International Flower Competition. (Apparently, she breeds hybrid roses? The mystery rose.) Helen calls it “The Mystery Rose” because she hasn’t thought of a name for it yet.

Helen meets up with Henry for coffee and he invites her to the Annual Black & White Gala at the New York Botanical Gardens. It is a masquerade too! Helen declines his offer because she couldn’t possibly get ready for a gala the night of. Henry gives her the invitation anyway—in case she changes her mind. Pushy Aunt Carol and Beth, the new hire at the flower shop, won’t let Helen not go to the gala. They pull some strings to get her a dress and all ready for the ball. (No fairy godmother needed!) Helen wears her mother’s necklace to make the ensemble extra special. (Her mom is dead, of course. Died when she was 10.)

Backstory on Helen and Henry, they never dated and are just friends. They met in college in the botany program, and they were reunited by a flower shop mix up near Valentine’s Day. Helen accidentally delivered a “It’s A Boy” flower arrangement to Henry’s first day of work. They still laugh about it to this day.   

At the gala, Hallmark really puts the recycled Christmas lights to use and even splurged to throw in a few red candelabras. (Because it’s Valentine’s Day, people!) Helen starts babbling to a man who she assumes in Henry but isn’t; it’s hard to tell since Hallmark only hires white extras. Eventually they find each other and marvel at the spectacle of it all. They have “romantic,” but not really, banter. Then they put on their masks and hit the dance floor. Later, Helen is checking out the silent auction and runs into the white guy in a mask again who encourages her to bid on a painting that she is eyeing. (It is a painting of mother and daughter in a flower field.) Just as the stranger is about to introduce himself, Helen cuts him off to talk about the mystery rose he is wearing in his lapel. As they walk through the garden, Helen overshares her life story. Her mom was an artist, and  her father passed away before she was born and was in the Navy. She also talks about flowers having a language all their own. Yellow roses mean friendship, white flowers means purity or sympathy, and lavender represent love at first sight.

Later, Helen and the mystery man dance, but only for a moment before he has to leave suddenly, leaving behind his mystery rose boutonniere. Henry shows up just as the mystery man is leaving and Helen tells him all about her evening and how magical it was. If only she knew what his name was… Henry walks her home (to her door even) and they just say goodnight, like they aren’t going to get together in the end.

The next day, Beth comes up with the bright idea to look through the week’s receipts to see who would have purchased a mystery rose from the store. They narrow it down to Charles Bradfield. Helen goes on a delivery and then stops by to see if Henry can help her find the mystery man. Helen’s strategy is to chase down handsome men, shouting “Charles? Charles?!” Henry’s strategy is to Google it.

Just as Helen is about to give up on the whole thing and admit that she loves Henry, Henry finds Charles! Turns out Charles was looking for her, too. Charles is a world-traveling lawyer, rides horses, and speaks three languages. (Four if you count the language of flowers!) In order to pay back Henry for doing her a solid, Helen agrees to complete the submission for the competition and name her mystery rose.

Meanwhile, Henry is losing his job because the New York Botanical Garden is losing its funding and closing. He bumps into Charles and pull a Cyrano de Bergerac and helps him plan the perfect date with Helen. On the date, Henry shows up to give Helen a pep talk??? She gushes to Henry about how perfect the date setting is and how weird it is that Henry had been talking about wanting to go there. Charles eventually shows up and Henry leaves.  

Inspired by her new love Helen comes up with a name. Cupid Rose? Heartbeat Rose? Red Rose? Nope. She names it after a place she and Henry went in college, Crystal Quarry, where they took a leap of faith into a quarry… Crystal Valentine Rose is the stupid name.

Back to the Cyrano de Bergerac thing. Henry gives Charles advice for talking points for a family dinner that Helen is planning. Henry even gives him a first edition of Emily Dickinson poems, to give to Helen as a gift. Charles is kind of like, this is weird but… thanks bro!

At Helen’s dinner, Charles is being introduced to Beth and Aunt Carol. Things get awkward when everyone realizes that Helen has been changing herself to be more appealing to Charles. She pretends to like poker and carrot cake. Thankfully, they all just drink more wine. At the end of the night, Charles gives Helen the gift. She is touched and he totally lies and says he found it in a bookstore and thought of her (and reiterates that it is a first edition).

Beth mentions that she might be interested in Henry and then has chat with him in a coffee shop. She realizes that Henry loves Helen and tells him he is a good guy for putting Helen’s happiness before his own.

Turns out Charles works for the company that is closing down the Botanical Gardens. (He is building evil condos.) When Helen finds out she runs to Henry to see if he is okay. Henry tells her it is true and that he will be moving to Arizona for a new job in less than a week. Helen storms off into the flowers and he chases after her, with hot chocolate to make her not mad!

We get a Grey’s Anatomy emotional montage where Henry is packing and Helen is arranging flowers sullenly. I guess it is signifying the week passing? It is very random.

After saying goodbye, Helen is sad and looking for a sign that she made the right choice. She gets that sign immediately, when she receives the mother/daughter painting as a gift. Helen assumes that it was Charles and thanks him for it. He is all like “Ummm you’re welcome?”

Helen then learns that a big investor is at the wedding she is doing the flowers for and speaks the language of flowers to him and convinces him to save to the Botanical Gardens. Screw Charles and his condo development! He takes it in side and is maybe the right choice if he can forgive her for ruining his big deal. Helen calls Henry and realizes that he is the one that got her painting and that he is the one! She asks him to say, but he is like “nawwww, I’m getting on the plane.”

After crying to Aunt Carol in the flower shop, Helen receives one last Valentine’s Day bouquet to deliver to the botanical gardens. When she arrives it is empty, except for a single candelabra and HENRY! Who proposes! They take the leap together.

Side Note

“A flower takes time to bloom.” Aunt Carol wisdom.

Stop and smell the roses was actually said in this movie.

Overall rating

❤️ (1 Heart)

🍷🍷🍷🍷🍷(5 glasses of wine required)

*Photo Credit: © 2018 Crown Media United States, LLC

February TV Movie Guide (Hallmark & Lifetime)

Get ready for THREE Valentine’s Day offerings from Hallmark this year. Plus Lifetime is offering up a Simon Biles bio pic, just in time for the Olympics!

We will be covering them all in Season 2 of the podcast! (Starting Feb 8th.)

My Secret Valentine (Hallmark Channel)

Screen Shot 2018-02-01 at 9.15.56 AM.png

Premieres: Saturday, February 3 9/8c (on Hallmark Channel)

Stars: Lacey Chabert and Andrew Walker

Synopsis (via Hallmark)

A young woman takes advice from the chalkboard notes that her mysterious house rental tenant leaves when a slick sales rep arrives with plans to buy her family’s prized winery!


Two of my FAVORITE Hallmark actors together in one movie?!?! Also, they are in a winery?!?!?  “Pour it Up”


Simone Biles: Courage to Soar (Lifetime)


Premieres: Saturday, February 3 8/7c (on Lifetime)

Stars: Jeanté Godlock, Tisha Campbell-Martin, and Julius Tennon

Synopsis (via Lifetime)

Based on her book, Courage To Soar: A Body in Motion, A Life in Balance, the biopic follows Simone Biles through her sacrifices and hard work that lead her to win 19 Olympic and World Championship medals and cemented her stake as one of the greatest gymnasts of all-time. Biles’ journey from foster care to the Olympic podium is full of life experiences that serve as an inspiration for every little girl with a dream.


I was extremely excited for a gymnastics Lifetime Movie, especially if it is about Olympic GOLD medalist, Simone Biles. (Who is currently training for Tokyo 2020.)  However, with the Larry Nasser scandal I’m not sure Lifetime will handle the topic with tact or even at all. “Let it Breathe”

Very, Very, Valentine (Hallmark Channel)

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Premieres: Saturday, February 10 9/8c (on Hallmark Channel)

Stars: Danica McKellar, Cameron Mathison, and Damon Runyan

Synopsis (via Hallmark)

When Helen, a kind hearted and shy florist, meets the perfect man at a Valentine’s Masquerade Ball she enlists the help of her best friend Henry to track him down only to find that her perfect man may already be right in front of her.


So, this is reverse Cinderella? I’m here for that! That candelabra in this picture is gaudy as hell! (And is that repurposed Christmas decorations? No, Hallmark!) I’m going to have to “Put a cork in it.”

Cooking with Love (Hallmark Channel)

Screen Shot 2018-02-01 at 9.41.55 AM.pngPremieres: Sunday February 11 9/8c (on Hallmark Channel)

Stars: Ali Liebert & Brett Dalton

Synopsis (via Hallmark)

Optimistic and cheerful TV producer, Kelly, doesn’t have time for love. Bad boy celebrity chef, Stephen, doesn’t have time for anything besides cooking. Fun with a side of love ensues as Kelly and Stephen are paired on a children’s cooking show.


I liked Ali Liebert in A Gift to Remember. Will I like her is she is not playing the Sandra Bullock role in While You Were Sleeping? “Let it Breathe”

*Photo Credit: © 2018 Crown Media United States, LLC

*Photo Credit: © 2018 Lifetime

Christmas Festival of Ice (2017 Hallmark Channel)


Christmas Festival of Ice

Listen to the Podcast Episode about this movie! 

Stars: Taylor Cole, (Christmas in HomesteadDamon Runyan, (TV Movie Vet) Wendy Crewson (From the Santa Clause!!!)

Synopsis (via Hallmark)

Big shot lawyer, Emma hurrys home from the “city” after discovering her beloved annual ice-sculpting contest has been cancelled. She enlist the town’s artisan, Nick (and a few corporate sponsors) to revive the tradition. Working together they might just have a shot at winning this hometown holiday competition and Emma discovers there’s more to life than legal briefs.


Emma Parker a lawyer in waiting! She delivers files, talks to the judge, and puts PostIt tabs on things. She works at her mom’s firm and is awaiting her bar exam results so she can become a partner, but she has a passion for ice sculptingjust like her Dad. (They competed together every year until she left for law school.)

While admiring an ice sculpture of of Santa Claus at the Christmas tree lot, Emma meets Nick Clayborn, the lot owner and candy cane fan. He mentions being a fan of ice sculpting, too, and that he watches the competition each year. Turns out his “brother” is the ice artist; Emma excitedly asks to meet the fine artist, and Nick awkwardly stutters something about his brother being unavailable.  

We then find out the town cancelled the Christmas ice-sculpting competition due to budget reasons. This sends Emma on a mopey, nostalgic journey back to her ice-sculpting roots. She looks at old pictures and sighs a lot. Her Dad even lets her use the old tools so she can relive childhood memories while chipping away at an ice block that he has just sitting in the garage.

Emma learns she has to raise $15,000 to revive the sculpting competition! So she hits the pavement, and goes to local businesses asking for donations. Each time, she exits the store with Christmas paraphernalia (a candy bar or a Nutcracker doll) but no cold, hard cash. Emma even asks her friend to help her make a Jump Funder, a Kickstarter knockoff (which initially raises a little over $1000).

Back at the Christmas tree lot, we see Nick Clayborn contemplating his relationship with the mysterious woman he has now bumped into twice. Should he date her? Is it too soon? He did just break up with his girlfriend last year at Christmas…

Emma has to kick things into high gear when her boss/mom asks her to go to the capital… of somewhere, which will take her out of town for two days. She goes directly to the source, Mayor Harvey and asks him to put the Jump Funder link on the town’s website. (Which reaches a lot of people?) He agrees…because he loves the tradition.

While out running errands with Sarah (the red headed friend who serves no purpose other than to talk about Nick Clayton and failing the Brechtel test), Emma starts following a trail of ice sculptures around the Christmas tree lot. (There is a tree ice sculpture, a nutcracker ice sculpture, and a reindeer ice sculpture.) They lead to a garage where Nick’s “brother” works. Emma quickly discovers that Nick doesn’t have a brother and she storms off. Nick offers this explanation:

“I’m sorry I told you about my fictitious brother, but it’s a reflex. It’s what I tell everybody. It’s a long and very predictable story. And having an antisocial brother, saves everyone a lot of time.”

Which literally doesn’t explain anything!!! Why is he lying? What is a long and predictable story? Why is this man so creepy and monotone?!?!?

After an anonymous donation of $10,000, the Christmas Festival of Ice is BACK! Emma rushes over to tell Nick that everything worked out. She has seven teams lined up and has room for one more! Nick declines the offer. Turns out his ex-girlfriend (Tara) was also an ice sculptor, but she broke up with him right before Christmas, thus ruining Christmas for him and his fake brother.

Later, Nick stalks Emma while she is working late at night, alone, at the Parker law firm. Nick agrees to enter the ice sculpting competition on the condition that Emma works with him. She can’t turn her back on her dad, but, little does she know, he overhears the whole thing. Her Dad tells her later that she needs to find a new partner to make this year’s ice sculpture “her own.” So Emma and Nick team up!  The two discuss the difference between power tools and hand tools and the ice sculpting rules, but are stumped for an idea of what to sculpt. They finally come up with the idea, but Emma has to go to the depositions with her Mom. In a turn of events, Emma doesn’t have to go and she is good to compete while still keeping what she is really doing from her boss/Mom.

A montage of chain saws, ice picks, and chisels happens. Emma receives a notification that she passed her bar exam. She should be thrilled, but she isn’t. She has to choose between her love of ice sculpting and disappointing her boss/mom or becoming a partner at the firm and making a living doing an actual job. After a very monotone speech from Nick, Emma gets the nerve to come clean with her boss/mom.

Emma brings her parents to the ice sculpting competition and tells her boss/Mom that she doesn’t want to be a lawyer and never really did. Emma’s dad backs her up; she doesn’t need to be a lawyer as long as she follows her passion.

“Sculpting ice, isn’t exactly a career,” boss/Mom insists.

Boss/Mom is right. It isn’t. But, that didn’t stop boss/Mom from donating the $10,000 as an anonymous donation. Boss/Mom wanted Emma to make the choice herself and have a nice Christmas. Turns out it was money well spent, because they WIN! (Although we never actually see the ice sculpture…WHAT?!?!)

If this had been my boss/mom I would have preferred the check made out directly to me so I could pursue my dream of drinking wine and watching Hallmark movies.

Side Note

Hallmark is going aggressively hard on the “Merry Christmases” this year. Anytime anyone hangs up the phone or leaves a room, it is “Merry Christmas” instead of Goodbye.

Taylor Cole is not believable as a normal person, she is too perfect. Daymon Runyon on the other hand? He has absolutely buried a body at some point in his real life, creep factor 110%

Wendy Crewson’s role was so poorly written! She did her best, but the material was so trite and obviously written by a man.

POC Alert: Just kidding! There wasn’t even an POC in the background.

Overall rating

🎄(1 Christmas Trees)

🍷🍷🍷🍷(4 glasses of wine required)

*Photo Credit: © 2017 Crown Media United States, LLC