One of the newer romances in the Hallmark Hall of Fame series, Loving Leah is a bit unusual, but it’s so completely enchanting, I don’t think anyone will care…
Loving Leah Hallmark Hall of Fame Review
Although he’s a successful doctor on the fast track to becoming one of the most recognized doctors in his network, Jake Lever (Adam Kaufman) has never quite forgiven the brother who left their family behind in order to pursue a conviction – to become a Rabbi in the Jewish faith. After a strange dream in which his brother Benjamin appears to him, Jake receives a phone call from his mother (Mercedes Ruehl) that Ben recently passed away.
Attending his brother’s funeral, Jakes meets his brother’s widow, Leah (Lauren Ambrose). Even in the constraints her faith places on her, Leah stands out as being different and Jake notices that. Before Jake can leave he learns of an ancient tradition; if your brother’s wife has no children, then his brother must marry her to carry on the family name. Both Leah and Jake agree they will go through the ceremony to “dissolve” the tradition, but when it comes time to renounce his brothers’ name, Jake cannot go through with it so he proposes a marriage of convenience.
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Most readers probably already know that I heartily enjoy the majority of the scripts Hallmark develops. As a result, I will strive not to bore you in gushing about how wonderful they generally are. Instead I will simply focus on this production and its qualities. For the most part, this movie is an adorable little romance, but a decent chunk of time also revolves around the Jewish faith. I don’t know much about this culture, but have no reason to believe that it’s maligned. Leah’s family takes their faith seriously whereas Leah herself is a little more rebellious than the rest of them, but she genuinely believes in God.
As the film progresses we gradually see her become moderately more attune with the world. This happens in little ways like a new hairstyle or swimming. I didn’t realize some of the customs of the faith, and some of the comparisons to other cultures. The production of this is very well done. This carries over into the scenes between Leah and Jake which are emotional as is appropriate for the story. To show time passing, these play out in montages. Depending on how this is done, it can sometimes rub me the wrong way, but here it’s not a distraction. As usual there really is nothing “wrong” with this movie.
Loving Leah is a delightful if not somewhat quirky love story. The questions Jake has regarding his marriage to Leah are legitimate and I can certainly understand where they stem from. The acting from everyone is superb, although I don’t know that I loved the two leads. Not sure if it’s just the pairing them together or it they aren’t right for the parts individually, but at the risk of contradicting myself, they do play off each other well. The characters were well-written; Jake is the epitome of an understanding guy who never makes Leah feel uncomfortable intentionally; he’s so sweet when dealing with her personal morals or sense of unease, and as a result, I love their budding relationship. This is just a sweet little romance and one that has ended up on my shelf.‘Loving Leah’ (2009) – Unconventional Love Story. A review of the Hallmark Hall of Fame TV film Loving Leah with Adam Kaufman & Lauren Ambrose. #Movies #Romance #Hallmark #FWArchives Click To Tweet
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Content: Jake plans to take his girlfriend to Jamaica while married and they share some kisses. Another couple kiss and are later lie in bed together. There are a few innuendos and Leah’s mother finds Jake’s “jokes” uncalled for in her faith. The film is TV-PG.