Aired:2/13/16 on Hallmark Channel
Autumn Reeser adds another Hallmark movie to her credits. It is hit or miss with her, her eccentricity in The Thanksgiving Parade was just annoying, but the sheer ridiculousness of I Do, I Do, I Do was hilarious. She plays someone a bit more “normal” in Valentine Ever After, and she largely succeeds.
Julia’s (Autumn Reeser) boyfriend of three years proposes, yet she is somehow still surprised by this, but says yes anyway. Her in-laws-to-be start planning her wedding immediately and suddenly her entire life is planned for her without her input. To “celebrate” or more likely escape, Julia and her best friend head to Wyoming two weeks before her third attempt at the Bar Exam [Illinois pass rates for the Bar are around 81%, so if this is her third attempt something deeper is going on.]
At a local bar in Wyoming, they accidentally knock over a priceless symbol of the town, and are sentenced to community service. As city slickers from Chicago, they are worse than useless – breaking more than they help. Until they find that the local hospital is in dire need of funds – they find their niche by offering to run a fundraiser for the hospital to generate much needed money for repairs and equipment.
While it is a pretty standard plot, what I liked about Valentine Ever After was that Julia fell in love with the area first, then she found something that she liked doing (planning a fundraiser for the hospital), and then (and only then) did she fall in love with the guy. Too many times in Hallmark movies is it backwards (or even worse they quit the job that the love or give up their gorgeous condo without consideration for how they will feel months or years down the road.) You can also add another jilted fiancé to the Hallmark pile, and at least he had the decency to be upset rather than shrug his shoulders and move on with his life as if his fiancée didn’t just dump him for another man.
7. How to Fall in Love
9. Elevator Girl