Some love stories have a cheerful demeanor with that instant satisfaction reaction but no lasting impression, others use cheap gimmicks to equate love with something it’s not; and then there are the rare few timeless dramas. The Lost Valentine fits into the last category.
The Lost Valentine (2011) Hallmark Hall of Fame Review
After fifty years, Caroline Thomas (Betty White) is still completely devoted to her husband. February 14th, 1944 was the one day that forever altered her life. This marks the day Neil shipped out never to return. Classified as missing in action, still to this day, Caroline has had a standing date at Grand Central Station on February 14th to uphold her promise to “wait” for Neil. All of this is in quiet devotion until a news program learns of the tradition.
Young, idealistic and a bit cynical, Susan Allison (Jennifer Love Hewitt) is tired of these assignments, despite them being the reason for her successes. Still she sets out to get the story for her latest broadcast piece. Bored with the idea in the beginning, Susan comes to empathize with Caroline’s plight. Along the way, she befriends her grandson, Lukas (Sean Faris), and Susan becomes invested in the story.
For the past sixty years, Hallmark has put quality programs on our television screens. In those years, each script offers diverse scenarios. This one in particular is their first romance in a long while, or the first to leave any kind of impression. It’s not just a fleeting story of romance but one of courage and everlasting love. What makes it its own story is the beautiful, down-to-earth charm.
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Since there are two stories finding their footing, the movie transfers between modern and the 40s. Flashbacks are idyllic and incredibly well done (showing equal parts happiness and sorrow). Partly due to its multi-generational arc, the filming is really interesting. Everything has a kind of nostalgic quality that helps to insert us in the 40s.
This then leads me to the cast. Kudos goes to everyone. Despite her being everywhere nowadays, White is never better. Her performance is believable and emotional. Jennifer comes across as likable, even by her clichéd characteristics and it’s entertaining to see Sean Faris in an adult role instead of just a teen (Yours, Mine and Ours). He carries this role with the star-power potential of a leading man (further proof exists in Christmas with Holly). It’s always refreshing to come across a story that the entire family can watch, although this is perhaps best seen through the eyes of a mature audience because of its nuances.
Hallmark and frequent producer partner, Brent Shields have a unique way to tell a story that will resonate with their audience. (This is also based on a novel.) Any story that links two romances can pose serious problems no matter the picture, here the modern day parallels work better than I’d have imagined. Everything about this film pulls the viewer into a kind of reflective mood, and specifically for this period, a sense of gratitude for the men who fought to give freedom.
The story errs more on an emotional seesaw; it’s a journey of sorts for two very different women. While a film I do recommend, I must also caution that it will require a tissue (or two). Nevertheless, the romance of the past is just is enchanting as is the current day love story.
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‘The Lost Valentine’: An Emotional & Powerful Time Slip Love Story. A review of the 2011 Hallmark Hall of Fame drama. #FWArchives #Romance #Drama #Movies @HallmarkDrama Click To Tweet
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Content: One scene involve WWII fighting, and gunfire which does kill a man after he is hit in the back; another shows two pilots badly injured.