Love is in the air, y’all, thanks to Bethany Joy Lenz and Luke Macfarlane! Hallmark’s “A Valentine’s Match,” originally aired on February 1, 2020, and was filmed in and around Vancouver, Canada.
In a nutshell
I liked this movie very much. The cast was great and went a long way towards starting off our month of Valentine movies in a great way!
Fired from her job as a reality TV host, Natalie (Lenz) returns home for Valentine’s Day, only to find herself running the town festival’s auction with her ex-fiancé (Macfarlane) thanks to two scheming mothers.
I have to hand it to this movie, we’ve had the “scheming mother” plot before, but not to the level in this movie, which made me laugh. I thought those two moms were great and loved that the last line of the movie was “Mothers know best.”
Everyone worked very well together. I could feel the initial awkwardness between Natalie and Zach and it was VERY cringey (in a good way though). You could tell he was uncomfortable because he kept holding his hands together in front of him, almost like keeping a barrier between them. And she was quick to leave the room whenever he was around – even when they were forced to be together. And then when they agreed to a truce it was nice to see them kind of lean in to each other, both emotionally and physically throughout the rest of the movie. Very well done.
I was SO HAPPY to see Marco Grazzini make another Hallmark appearance, even if it was as Bethany’s bad boyfriend, Brooks. Viewers may remember him from A Story of Us and A Taste of Summer (in which he plays another bad boyfriend). Is Hallmark going to make him wait 10-12 movies (just like Brittany Bristow and Rukiya Bernard) before they make him a leading character? I hope not!!
Six Degrees of Kris Polaha: Let’s do Grazzini this time around. He starred in Cyberstalker, a 2012 Lifetime movie. The lead actress in that movie, Mischa Barton, had earlier had a role in 2007’s St. Trinian’s, which Colin Firth. Colin Firth later co-starred with Polaha in 2013’s “Devil’s Knot” (a movie that I’ve been meaning to watch and have never gotten around to, but I’ve just added it to my Netflix list (yes I still do the DVDs) and will finally watch in the next week or so)).
Tropes in “A Valentine’s Match”
Now that winter is officially over (as far as the Hallmark movies are concerned), the trope count will go down by a significant margin. Nonetheless, we did have a character returning home from the big city, an ex-boyfriend (or fiance’ in this instance), an inattentive boyfriend, and even some hot cocoa!
Did I Hear/See That Right?
As much as I liked the movie, the reason it didn’t score higher was because of a lot of nitpicks that should have been easy to avoid. Those little nitpicks can add up quickly.
First, when she got home from the hardware store with all the supplies, her mom helped her bring everything in, but no one closed the front door, and no one went back to close it during the rest of the scene.
I did NOT like it when Jess and Erik (Zach’s friends) crossed their arms to each french fries. That may be a cute thing you do at home one time when no one is watching, but not in a restaurant in public across from two people who clearly have a complicated history, don’t get along right now and are struggling to keep things civil at the table.
Have you ever been to an auction? Ever seen one? Let me tell you how it works. When you are trying to get the bidding started, there are certain dollar increments that you jump to get bidding really going. If you start with a $50 bid and succeed, you don’t jump to $75. You go to $55. Then $60, and once you get to $75 you then can jump to $100 and then do, maybe $15 increments until you get close to $200 and then go to $25. The only time you do $25 increments is when you are already starting at a high base price, say $250.
Another thing I noticed was at the dance when Natalie and Zach started to slow dance, it was to “We Belong” by Pat Benatar (a GREAT song, BTW). But in the background, you can clearly see a blond lady standing at a microphone, presumably singing. So were they dancing to Pat Benatar or the lady? Was the Pat Benatar song just a song played *over* the scene versus what was heard at the dance?
There were more little things like that sprinkled throughout the movie – tiny things that were so easy to fix or leave out.
I love a good spreadsheet, so I appreciated that she had one to keep all her tasks together in one place.
I also was SO HAPPY to see that when Natalie’s dad met her in the woods for a talk, his coffee cup actually had coffee in it! For most of the scene you couldn’t see any liquid in there when he’d move the cup, but right near the end his arm took a big enough swing that I saw the coffee come up near the rim. I almost cheered out loud I was so excited, even though I didn’t understand exactly WHERE they were in relation to the house that he would meet her with a ceramic cup in his hand. Was their house tucked that far into the woods that she had that gorgeous area in which to jog and still allow him to wander out with his mug in hand?
I find Bethany Joy Lenz to be such a solid actress that I would probably watch this one again. She is really good at being strong but vulnerable, and she shows every emotion on her face to the point where I just want to give her a hug and tell her it will all get better.
“A Valentine’s Match” landed in second place with a solid 70% score.
- Winter in Vail (air date: Jan 4) – 623 pts – weighted score: 108.8 (76.4%)
- A Valentine’s Match (air date: Feb 1) – 562 pts – weighted score: 99.8 (70.0%)
- Love On Iceland (air date: Jan 18) – 563 pts – weighted score: 99.4 (69.7%)
- Hearts of Winter (air date: Jan 25) – 561 pts – weighted score: 98.2 (68.9%)
- Love in Winterland (air date: Jan 11) – 508 pts – weighted score: 90.7 (63.6%)
- Amazing Winter Romance (air date: Jan 20) – 487 pts – weighted score: 85.6 (60.1%)
To see where this movie lands in my overall rankings of Hallmark movies, visit my Hallmark Movie Rankings page!
What did you think of Hallmark’s “A Valentine’s Match”? Comment below and let me know!Click To Tweet