Upon my return from vacation last week (my son and I had a great time hanging out together for a week) I opted to watch “As Luck Would Have It” as my next Hallmark movie. It aired April 10 as part of Hallmark Channel’s 2021 Spring Fling set of movies. It starred JoAnna Garcia Swisher and Allen Leech.
The screenplay was co-written by Christine Conradt (On the 12th Date of Christmas and “Pearl in Paradise”) and Audrey Shulman (Love, Fall and Order), while Clare Niederpruem (The Christmas Bow) directed.
From what I’ve found online, this movie was filmed entirely on location in Ireland at such spots as the Cliffs of Moher in County Clare and Howth Castle in County Dublin. What’s interesting about those two locations in particular is that one is on the east coast of Ireland, while the other is on the west.
Music: Opening credits song was Slow Clap (affiliate link) by Gwen Stefani.
In a nutshell
The movie has a good pedigree – good writers, a good director, gorgeous scenery, and good actors. All signs pointed to this movie being really enjoyable. Add in the fact that one of my favorite 1990s movies is 1997’s “The Matchmaker” starring Janeane Garofalo and David O’Hara, and this movie had me at the opening credits.
Plot of “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart”
Lindsey travels to Ireland to acquire land that is perfect for a resort. She decides to enter the town’s matchmaking festival to prove her investment and win over a handsome local and town council.
Actors & Chemistry
I thoroughly enjoyed Joanna Garcia-Swisher as Lindsey. I’ve been a fan of hers for a long time as she’s be on several projects over the years that I’ve loved, including “Freaks & Geeks,” “The Astronauts Wives Club,” and “Kevin (Probably) Saves The World.” As for Allen Leach, most people know him as chauffeur Tom Branson who marries into the Grantham family on “Downtown Abbey,” which ran from 2010-2015 and had a movie in 2019. I really enjoyed him in that role, and like the fact that he was willing to branch out into something completely different by doing a Hallmark movie. I hope he does many more because he was great!
The chemistry between Garcia-Swisher and Leech was very nice. During the movie, Hallmark would run little snippets of the two actors just chatting either each other, and it was clear that they are friends and very comfortable with each other in a way that was organic and natural versus a “we have to act like we’re friends because we’re in front of cameras on set” type of situation. This natural chemistry was felt on screen as their characters, Lindsey and Brennan, slowly became friends themselves. This wasn’t a burning chemistry, but one of (eventual) respect and friendship with a bit of attraction as well. In that regard, this felt more like a Hallmark movie circa 2013 versus some of the crazy “I love you in three days” Hallmark movies we’ve gotten in the past few years. I LIKED that very much.
Six Degrees of Kris Polaha: Allen Leech has a lofty third-degree connection to Polaha. As mentioned before, Leech starred in “Downtown Abbey” with Jim Carter, who also had a role in 1998’s “Shakespeare in Love” which also featured Colin Firth. Colin Firth and Polaha shared a screen in 2013’s “Devil’s Knot.”
This time around our heroine works for the big developer coming in to ruin a small town. Even in Ireland they carry what appears to be an empty cup of coffee. The two lead characters did not get along in the beginning. The town’s finances are in trouble (a spring movie’s version of the family store being in financial trouble at Christmas). Mulch guy interrupted a kiss.
Did I Hear/See That Right?
The only real quibble I had was with the end of the movie. We flash forward 3 months and she is still down in the doldrums and fading out in meetings since she left Ireland? Meanwhile, there was no love declaration. They don’t seem to still be in touch. And yet she’s horribly depressed and decides to leave everything and go back to Ireland on spec. I think if it was a MONTH later I’d have believed it, but not three months.
I loved hearing the Irish accents. One of my greatest pleasures was working for many years with a woman who was from Ireland. I loved that she’d pronounce things like the number “33” as “tirty-tree.” And as a hobbyist knitter, I enjoyed seeing it in the movie. I loved the ceili dancing as well.
I’m adding a new section because I realized several weeks ago that I don’t have a place to just talk about things I thought of during the movie that don’t fit into the specific categories that get scored. These thoughts don’t get a score but are just things I think about.
I felt bad that people had it out for her after they found out who she was and why she was in town – criticizing her breadmaking methods, not being helpful with the knitting. To try and get rid of her, they deliberately tried to sabotage her potential enjoyment of the festival. And while they all stopped doing it rather quickly, a lesser woman would have called her boss and said, “I’m coming home – no deal. These people are awful and we don’t want to do business with them.” But not only did she stay, but even after those troubles, she told another couple early in the movie that she was happy she stayed because everyone was really nice!
I’ve never been to Ireland (I’ve been fortunate enough to go to Scotland twice and England a handful of times), but I wouldn’t mind flying there, renting a car and just driving and randomly stopping in small towns to hang out for an evening and staying the night in a small hotel or B&B before heading off to the next spot. Every movie I see about Ireland life shows that those small towns are just very welcoming of strangers (heck, one Irish town adopted Matt Damon during the pandemic shutdown!).
I think I would definitely watch this again. As I already said, I enjoyed seeing Garcia-Swisher and Leech together, and the movie felt like old-school Hallmark. I’m down for that!
“As Luck Would Have It” had nabbed 4th place for the year thus far.
- It Was Always You (air date: Feb 27) – 668 pts – weighted score: 114.2 (80.1%)
- Taking a Shot at Love (air date: Jan 2) – 641 pts – weighted score: 108.9 (76.4%)
- Don’t Go Breaking My Heart (air date: Mar 27) – 636 pts – weighted score: 108.5 (76.1%)
- As Luck Would Have It (air date: Apr 10) – 638 pts – weighted score: 107.7 (75.5%)
- A Winter Getaway (air date: Jan 23) – 620 pts – weighted score: 104.4 (73.3%)
- Mix Up in the Mediterranean (air date: Feb 20) – 590 pts – weighted score: 102.5 (71.9%)
- Two For The Win (air date: Jan 16) – 603 pts – weighted score: 101.8 (71.4%)
- Chasing Waterfalls (air date: Mar 20) – 570 pts – weighted score: 100.3 (70.4%)
- Fit for a Prince (air date: Mar 6) – 546 pts – weighted score: 94.6 (66.4%)
- A New Year’s Resolution (air date: Jan 9) – 516 pts – weighted score: 90.5 (63.5%)
- Playing Cupid (air date: Feb 13) – 466 pts – weighted score: 82.6 (58.0%)
- Beverly Hills Wedding (air date: Feb 6) – 431 pts – weighted score: 80.6 (56.5%)
- Snowkissed (air date: Jan 31) – 402 pts – weighted score: 76.0 (53.3%)
To see where this movie lands in my overall rankings of Hallmark movies, visit my Hallmark Movie Rankings page!
What did you think of “As Luck Would Have It”? Comment below and let me know!