The second original in Hallmark’s latest Summer Nights campaign keeps its plot simple, and boasts beautiful scenery. The story reacquaints viewers with the cautious, worrier Frankie Baldwin (Rachael Leigh Cook) and the optimistic Nate Deluca (Brendan Penny), who’s motto seems to be “everything will be fine.”
Since the pair went into partnership together – both in business and matters of the heart, as winery owners they eagerly anticipate bottling and labeling their first vintage. Frankie works to perfect her Cabernet while Nate’s domain is the vines. Life becomes hectic when a twist of fate puts Sorrento Farms as the location for the annual Taste St. Madeline, an annual food and wine event. Frankie’s unhappy with the location change (and having to keep a secret). Meanwhile Nate believes this event will be the making of their first-year vineyard.
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It’s always fun to revisit favorite characters and discover where life’s path has taken them. To see what they’ve accomplished (especially since most are about to pursue something by story’s end) since last we saw them. We have this chance with two such characters. Last autumn, Hallmark introduced us to Frankie and Nate in Autumn in the Vineyard, and this summer they return. Though I hadn’t seen the prequel, I did hope this would still be an enjoyable experience.
Of course, I needn’t fear anything since this is a sweet little flick sure to enchant fans of ‘Autumn.’ The script does a nice job of informing on everything viewers who didn’t catch the prequel may miss. We learn the “why” behind the partnership, the challenges of it and how they balance work vs. personal. Then there’s this new story intermingled with the carry over. Viewers will (no doubt) enjoy seeing more of Nate’s brother, Marco, and we meet Frankie’s cousin, Lexie.
Scripted by Julie Sherman Wolfe (The Birthday Wish, Hello, It’s Me, Wedding Bells), the story keeps true to what I suspect is the core personality of these characters. Nate is all about keeping faith everything will work out without stressing. Contrast this with Frankie, who worries over the smallest upsets, and possible disasters. Their romantic life seems to get a “backseat” in many instances (the story “feels” less about them as a couple because of this), but I also realize that’s part of the films direction.
Fans will love stepping back into the vineyard, especially with Frankie and Nate awaiting them. The setting is absolutely beautiful which makes all of the outdoor scenes gorgeous. In particular this is true of the final sequence. There’s some nice humor, and with this followup, these characters are sure to further cement themselves into your TV addict heart.
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You can find Summer in the Vineyard digitally on Amazon Video
Photos: Hallmark Channel