If the calendar is anything to judge by, we aren’t in the good ole summertime – yet – but one thing that’s never out of style is a fun romance.
Summer Love (2016) Hallmark Review
Easy isn’t something Maya Sulliway (Rachael Leigh Cook) can enjoy. Her life is anything but simple and neat these past years. In the wake of her husband’s death, she’s been pushing herself to meet goals all while raising her young daughter, Addison (Hannah Cheramy). With her daughter away at summer camp, Maya can focus on finishing school (accounting), and more specifically making the grade with her internship.
When her professor assigns Maya to the hip tech company, Kizzmit, confusion reigns. In comparison to her young class mates, what does she, a mature 30-something, have to bring to the program?
Despite her many reservations, Maya finds she underestimated the company, especially when it comes to her boss, Kizzmit’s CFO, Colin Fitzgerald (Lucas Bryan), a man who’s more than the executive stereotype. When the founder of the company, Will (Travis Milne) shows an interest in Maya romantically, she has to decide whether to follow her heart or find her voice in the business world.
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In case you didn’t guess it, Summer Love is another Hallmark film that once again finds its voice cemented in the branding of this channel. When this premiered last summer (as part of their “Summer Nights” campaign), I missed this its debut. (*sad face*) Other titles came and went, and then when I recently saw this one was re-airing, I remembered it was one I’d missed. Needless to say, the DVR was set, and I made plans to stay in for what I hoped would make for a fun night in.
Turns out, that and more is what this little gem does. I loved everything about this one. It made me smile long before five minutes pass. What makes this one distinctive is its story structure. Most interesting is the fact that Addison has very little screen time. Children in single parent stories often play an important role to a story; Addison’s character does have an important part, she isn’t present for most. That said, this doesn’t bother me as it lets Maya’s goal take center stage and allows the story to have a unique setting (one in the corporate world) without losing its heart.
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Part of the reason for this is Maya’s character. Her nervous, rambling albeit completely lovable characterization is what great writing should always be. It makes her down-to-earth and relatable. Then there are the guys. Both have attributes and flaws, but if you’re anything like me, there will be one clear winner who you’ll root for as “The One” for Maya. What else works really well in this script is the romance. It isn’t “certain” (developed) as the story progresses, and instead things ends with a promise of something to come rather than certainty. While sometimes we crave a more concrete surety, this is the best ending (for this story) because of what happens prior. Plus, pay attention, a key conversation alludes to a happy future between these two.
The cast is also fantastic. I loved Rachel seeing in the leading lady role. She may not be as familiar a face on Hallmark, but she suits these characters and films well. I also enjoyed seeing Bryan in this as he’s unfamiliar to me (especially in comparison to someone like Andrew Walker). All that’s left to say is, go watch Summer Love. In the excitement of the upcoming summer films (airing later this year), don’t let this one slip past. Make a date with your DVR and let it sweep you up in its sweet story of summertime love, and happiness. ♥
Photos: Hallmark / 2016 Crown Media United States LLC/Photographer: Ryan Plummer