‘How to Fall in Love’ Review – A Dating How-To Romance Guide

January 22, 2013 Rissi JC 11 Comments

How to Fall in Love (2011) Hallmark Review

When a cast members from a favorite show appears in something else, I get excited at the prospect of seeing them outside of a familiar character. Apart from this being a Hallmark (always an automatic qualifier), the thing about How to Fall in Love that most interested me is its leading lady.

How to Fall in Love

Harold has no fond memories from high school. After all, he wasn’t exactly popular. Dubbed a geek, his crush on the prettiest girl in school didn’t end well. Twenty years later, Harold (Eric Mabius) is a business savvy professional with his own business. What hasn’t changed? He’s still not very good when it comes to dating. His dream girl (Gina Holden) is a woman he’s never spoken to, which prompts his best friend to suggest he see a dating coach. This ends badly, until Annie (Brooke D’Orsay) reenters his life.

Annie is the girl Harold had a crush on in school, and now she’s the solution to all his problems. Hire her as his dating coach, she says and she guarantees, he’ll be a dating savant. With Annie’s help, Harold may just land the girl of his dreams.

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Being a “how-to” story is appropriate because it’s impossible not to fall for this – and believe me, I fall hook, line and sinker. The one thing it doesn’t do is teach us how not to be charmed. There’s no denying there is something infectious about the film once it all comes together in one wholesome romantic package.

Typical of any TV film, the script isn’t always perfect though I’d be lying if I didn’t say there is some witty dialogue to pair with poignant conversations. Annie’s determination to make Harold realize his worth is particularly sweet (poignant). Then for some fun, it’s fun to discover Harold’s hobby (I like that it doesn’t mesh with his professional life). My greatest complaint is the cinematography. Nearly every scene is “gray,” and misses the colorfulness the characters and story should have. The backdrop is lacking because of this, which makes the film seem more one-dimensional. Pops of unexpected fun come into the frames here and there, and in spite of myself I like Annie quirky style. This then brings me to the terrific protagonists.

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Any seasoned rom-com fan may be surprised by the leading man. He’s a “geek” through and through whose personality is more multi-layered than first impressions expose.From the first moment we see him as a gangly, 15-year-old, there is something “cute” about him. Then as the successful business man, Harold is a compelling leading man. Whether he’s wearing ridiculously large, black-rimmed glasses or dressing like a suave heart breaker, this character is one of my favorite Hallmark leading men. He’s considerate and cute in a boy-next-door kind of way. As Annie would say, he’s a romantic and a gentleman. He and Annie are adorable together, and Brooke is simply delightful as the out-going Annie.

Bottom line, this is one comedy hard to say “no” to. It may be a “how-to” guide for the benefit of Harold, but it becomes equally so for us. How to Fall in Love teaches the audience and the once naïve Annie that first impressions are often misleading. Look underneath the outward physical picture, and she finds that what really matters is underneath. This is a value too rare in entertainment today.

(This post does contain affiliate links; if you buy anything through these links, I may receive a small percentage of the sale at no extra cost to you. Read the disclosure page for details.) You can own How to Fall in Love digitally on Amazon Video or buy on DVD.

'How to Fall in Love' @HallmarkChannel Original Review - A Dating How-To #Romance Guide. PS: Eric Mabius co-stars in this one. Click To Tweet

TVPG Content: There may be a brief sexual implication [non-graphic] or an instance of immodest dress.

About Rissi JC

amateur graphic designer. confirmed bookaholic. bubbl’r enthusiast. critical thinker. miswesterner. social media coordinator. writer.

Rissi JC

amateur graphic designer. confirmed bookaholic. bubbl’r enthusiast. critical thinker. miswesterner. social media coordinator. writer.

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  • Ella January 22, 2013 at 2:26 PM

    I thought this one was cute! I liked how the leads played off of each other =)

    • Rissi January 23, 2013 at 4:22 AM

      So did I, girl! Loved the "geeky-ness" of Harold, and how cute he and Annie were together. Since I love the actress in Royal Pains already, it wasn't hard to "fall" for her character here. :)

      Hope you are having a fabulous time with your friends, Ella!

  • Rosie January 22, 2013 at 7:10 PM

    I have REALLY got to watch more Hallmark rom-coms. lol!

    • Rissi January 23, 2013 at 4:23 AM

      Yes, indeed! They're usually super cute. If you like something with more "substance," these are rather clichéd but for myself, I'm satisfied if its entertaining.

      Hope you like this one if/when you see it, Rosie. :)

  • Little Lady February 3, 2013 at 1:27 AM

    Aaaaand want to see this too!!! :)

    • Rissi February 4, 2013 at 5:32 PM

      Neat! Loved how perfectly geeky the leading guy was, Micah. Will look forward to your thoughts! :)

  • Little Lady March 2, 2013 at 2:14 PM

    OK – watched this and LOVED it!

    • Rissi March 4, 2013 at 5:30 PM

      Hooray! So glad to know you enjoyed it, Micah! It's one of those feel-good, warm and fuzzy kinda movies that "demands" we enjoy it. :)

  • […] Paige Evans on the comedy Royal Pains (or you may also recognize Brooke from a prior Hallmark film, How to Fall in Love). Then there is Wes Brown. He plays the dashing leading man though I don’t think he and Brooke […]

  • […] unfamiliar with everyone save for its leading man, Eric Mabius (loved him in How to Fall in Love), the entire cast is unquestionably going to bring us a fun bunch of characters. Oliver’s […]

  • […] do have to confess, this film isn’t the same kind of favorite as titles such as How to Fall in  Love. There’s others in this line of original movies that I enjoy the quick banter of the cast and […]

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