Aired: 9/19/15 on Hallmark Channel
Billy Baldwin and the lead actress from Invasion star in Lead with Your Heart. In what appears to be a theme for Hallmark Channel this year, they play a couple in a “struggling” marriage (see also Love, Again and Just the Way You Are.) Like the first two movies with the exact same storyline, Ben and Maura, by all accounts, seem to be in a happy, loving, and supportive relationship. There are few close-ups of Billy Baldwin looking guilty, but that could just be Billy’s “acting.” He looks so guilty that you think that he cheated on his wife with his hot, blonde co-worker who loves baseball and fantasy football. He didn’t.
If he didn’t cheat, what’s the conflict? Over an hour into the movie, Maura gets a promotion that would move the family to Minneapolis. Ben is a “small town guy at heart,” so he doesn’t want to move. On top of that, there is no job opening for him. With two kids in college they need all the financial support they can get, and the one job wouldn’t be enough to pay for the additional lodging costs and college tuition. It’s a huge opportunity for her, but with him unwilling to move they decide to try the old “married, but living separately” thing. To no one’s surprise, this doesn’t work. Though it takes the hot, blonde co-worker (who is draped all over him the entire movie) to convince him to suck it up and go live in Minneapolis with his hot, blonde wife.
Ben and Maura both quit their jobs on the same day – now they have no income and are living on the streets. Wait, this is Hallmark, so she gets her fancy new job back, Ben agrees to move to Minneapolis and they are now stronger than ever because they learned to appreciate each other more.
I think Hallmark needs to spend a little more time on showing a marriage in trouble, because so far this year, they have shown us three movies where the couple has been married 15-25 years and seem perfectly happy. There was never any doubt that these strong couples would survive (even if it wasn’t on Hallmark and you knew what the ending was before you started it).
WWYT Rating: 6.16
- Operation Cupcake
- Just the Way You Are (or Mom’s Blind Date)