When you blend the contemporary romantic-comedy genre with that of the gilded age, a question mark can linger. But Love, Once and Always accomplishes the feat beautifully by honoring the past rather than “time slipping” it. The story introduces us to Lucy Windsor (Amanda Schull), a successful museum historian living in London. The work is her dream come true as is the promotion job she’s up for. All is well until she receives family news.
Unexpectedly she must return home to Rhode Island when she learns her aunt has passed away. In the aftermath of this, Lucy is also told she’s inherited her aunt’s grand Gilded Age era mansion. An estate that’s falling apart… but there’s a catch. It’s an inheritance she must share. Her childhood sweetheart is her co-owner of the property. Where Duncan (Peter Porte) wants to modernize by demolishing and building the new, Lucy wants to protect and preserve. These opposites are about to clash in more ways than one.
TV FILM REVIEW | ‘HEARTS DOWN UNDER’: ENJOY A VISIT TO BEAUTIFUL AUSTRALIA‘Love, Once and Always’ (2018): Contemporary Romantic-Comedy Revisits The Gilded Age #FWarchives Click To Tweet
Like anything from this “Heart of TV” network, this film is charming. It’s got a nice mix of contemporary romance vibe, coupled with the quieter historical era it celebrates. The story doesn’t literally revisit the Gilded Age, but it does honor it through Lucy’s keen appreciation for history (and its beautiful, primary setting). Somehow the story still manages to have that old-fashioned feel without sacrificing its contemporary setting.
“Letting you go was the most practical decision I ever made.
It’s also the worst decision of my entire life.” – Love, Once and Always
The screenplay again allows us a relatable heroine in Lucy. Or she is for those of us who like history or are simply, bookish. She’s easy to like and whether we totally understand the passion or not, we respect her quest to preserve her history. Duncan is the infuriating foil to that plan. A detriment (to Lucy) we cannot help but also love despite his roadblock mentality. Their rekindled sparks chemistry is sweet and easy to root for. The sass and banter makes us smile with very little effort.
As each of the Hallmark network films reach, the conclusion for this story remains the same. It’s another winning original premiere its core audience will appreciate and in all likelihood, fall head over heels for. Between the endearing side characters, to the passionate pursuits of its characters, rounding up to the romance, Love, Once and Always is a keeper. It’s as sweet and happy as its peers, and that alone ensures viewers will embrace this romantic haven that is “Wycliffe House.”
(Disclosure: 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. Thank you to anyone who makes a purchase through these links. Read the disclosure page for details.)
Photos: Hallmark Channel