By now, this is a debut that’s perhaps no longer of interest because its network premieres a new romance every week (and this one was a February premiere), but since it’s one of my recent discoveries, I’m going to write about it anyway.
Love on the Menu (2019) Hallmark Review
Maggie (Autumn Reeser) is a type-A perfectionist who puts everything in its place. This is true of her well-organized home and life, as it is of her professional life. Working as an executive of a frozen foods company, Maggie has a new idea. Create a line of gourmet frozen foods. This is when Chef Hank Daniels (Kavan Smith) enters the equation.
Hank runs a small Italian restaurant with quality food albeit one with a “tried and true” menu. Though due to his poor business sense, Hank’s restaurant finds itself in some financial trouble which is where Maggie’s head for business, and new ideas offer a way his business can thrive.
This film is darn cute. I realize I say this (in some form or another) about each of Hallmark’s films, but it’s true of them all, and certainly applies to Love on the Menu. 99% of this film and its script is perfect. I love the way the story is written in a way that though we see or experience common tropes, it’s somehow still unique. The direction of this film also uses a unique approach.
Much of the film is shot in montage portions with a fantastic soundtrack to overlay the cheery scenes. Sometimes this works, other times, it doesn’t. For this film, I find its effective. The “kitchen scene: in particular involves not only makes the viewer smile, but it shows us the small ways in which our leads bond and it shows them they have common interests. Plus, it’s sweetly romantic, which is what we want from our romantic comedies. The film doesn’t look too deeply into more emotional issues, in part because of its filming style (which disavows the plot from rehashing the past), but instead keeps us “in the moment” (or present) which is why this is such a delightful story.
Popular in many a film from this network before, Autumn Resser plays a different kind of character from the norm. Usually she’s the happy-go-lucky, girl-next-door type. In this, she’s a perfectionist who’s taught that it’s ok to be messy now and again. It’s also fun to see When Calls the Heart’s Kavan Smith in a contemporary story. In short, Love on the Menu is a table you’ll want a place at.#Hallmark review of the #romance original with Autumn Reeser and Kavan Smith, Love on the Menu – Creativity Stirs up New Love Story Click To Tweet
Photos: Hallmark / Crown Media Press