“Forever in My Heart” aired September 14, 2019 on the Hallmark Channel. This was the true final summer movie offering (not “My One and Only” from last week), and it starred Merritt Patterson and Jack Turner. This film takes place in Ireland and was filmed entirely on location all throughout the lovely, idyllic country.
In a nutshell
I like a movie set in a foreign country, and this one didn’t disappoint. The scenery was gorgeous, the accents were pretty good, and it made me want to go there some day. As for the movie itself, it wasn’t one of my Top 10 favorites, but I think I’d watch it again if I saw it pop up on my TV, which is saying a lot.
Jenna (Patterson) and Charlie (Turner) once found love working together at a boutique hotel in a small town in Ireland, but they drifted apart when her year ended and she received a plum assignment with a hotel chain. Five years later, they reunite when Jenna’s job brings her back to Ireland to pitch a new hotel.
Merritt Patterson is absolutely gorgeous on screen. Her eyes are piercing and I can’t imagine how much more lovely they are in person. Jack Turner has been in a couple other Hallmark movies, most notably co-starring with Taylor Cole in the very popular “One Winter” pair of movies. He is a great actor and I really appreciate the humility and graciousness he brings to his roles in the Hallmark flicks.
As for the six degrees of Kris Polaha, Merritt Patterson is three degrees away. She co-starred with Bob Gunton in 2018’s “Unbroken: Path to Redemption.” Earlier in his career, Gunton was in the horror film “Dead Silence” (2007). It was in that movie that he co-starred with Laura Regan, who went on to share the screen with Polaha’s in 2014’s “Atlas Shrugged Part III.”
I think Patterson and Turner had amazingly good chemistry together. This was one of those rare Hallmark movies where you could see a genuine friendship on the screen. That compatibility can be hard to find, but these two definitely have it. Other Hallstars are blessed by those connections – namely, Polaha & Jill Wagner, Kavan Smith & Pascale Hutton, and Brennan Elliott & Lacey Chabert. Patterson and Turner were at ease with each other in every single scene. It was delightful to watch and I hope Hallmark pairs up these two again in the future.
The one feelgood I had from this movie was atypical. It was not him singing a song for her, or him buying a plane ticket to Columbus. Nope. It was the way he said the number three. Strange, right? Well, let me explain why his pronunciation made me say, “Awwww!”
Just over 22 years ago I began working at a company in NYC – I was brand new to the city, new brand to married life, and knew NO ONE save my husband of 2-3 months. I started working at this company and met a young woman who would go on to become one of my best friends. She was originally from Ireland and her accent was authentic and thick. I loved hearing her talk. And one of my favorite things was her pronunciation of words that started with “th”. Three became tree. Things because tings. To this day, I still say “tree” occasionally when I say the number three, as an homage to my dear Mare-Bear, who (for those that remember me talking about her back in the day) STILL works at that same company, still has the accent, and is still one of those friends that we can months between emails and we pick right back up as though not a day has passed. I love that girl.
And so watching the movie this weekend, when Turner would pronounce his “th”s the correct way, it made me smile and miss my pal Mare-Bear.
There were a few notable tropes in this movie. First, the main characters were exes who were reunited after several years. Jenna’s boyfriend/fiance was a workaholic although I appreciated that the actor did not play the bf as a jerk at all. Just someone who loved his job AND loved Jenna in his own way. That was a nice change to the typical “which man will she pick” trope.
Lastly, I couldn’t believe it when it happened, but this non-Christmas movie had a kitchen, baking, flour fight. Those are relatively rare outside of Christmas movies (for which they are a STAPLE) so it was funny to see one in a summer movie.
Did I Hear/See That Right?
And here’s where we get to the questions. And I have a LOT of questions (so many, in fact, that they are the main reason this movie didn’t score as high as it could have).
First of all, I had issue with a grown man giving his girlfriend of a year a claddagh ring. To me, claddagh rings are for teenagers to give each other. And I freely admit that the main reason I feel this way stems 100% from the TV show “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” where Angel gives Buffy a claddagh ring.
Secondly, while I appreciate that Jack Turner, a British actor, would have an easier time to adopt an Irish accent throughout this movie, I still found that his accent kept going in and out throughout the movie. Nothing drives me crazy quite like an accent that keeps disappearing and reappearing in a movie.
Third, I legitimately laughed out loud when Jenna reviewed her marketing pitch with her fiance and recommended “taking a risk” with their proposal to the hotel. His response was something like, “You mean changing the font in the Powerpoint?”
I don’t know how those actors kept a straight face when he had to say that line. First, it’s 2019. Who is still using Powerpoint to make really important, highly lucrative, multi-million dollar real estate development deals? NO ONE, that’s who.
Another issue I had was when Charlie performed his song for Jenna. I believe there were only three musicians on that stage, and yet it sounded like there was a full band supporting him as he sung. No no no no no. Just no.
Lastly, and there were more that I could share but I opted only to do a handful, Liam and Kat with great flourish remove a heavy sheet covering the desserts for the festival. And am expected to believe that the heavy sheet in NO WAY impacted the high tray of FROSTED cupcakes sitting at the highest peak of the desserts? Did the sheet magically sit a couple inches above all the desserts so that none were impacted by the fabric? Listen, every Christmas my husband and I make SOMETHING that needs to be covered and stacked, and yet remain perfectly decorated. In 20 years hosting our party, I have yet to figure out the best way to cover and stack anything that is frosted outside of Tupperware containers (which take up too much room in the fridge when those items also need to be kept cold).
I had some overall thoughts when this movie ended. First, it makes me really want to watch “The Matchmaker” starring Janeane Garafalo. That movie is also set in Ireland and talk about accents – woof – they are fantastic. It’s a cute romantic comedy that I think is worth finding, if you can.
Also, when the movie aired, one of the commercials that ran was an old 1970s Tootsie Pop commercial about “how many licks does it take.” My husband (who was in the other room while I watched the movie) were shocked that a 50-year old commercial was played. Like, legitimately it was the ORIGINAL commercial. Did that play for anyone else?
As I said at the beginning, I likely will watch this again simply because I loved Patterson and Turner’s chemistry (one of my favorite bits in the movie was in the ring shop where he was silently shaking his head and begging the shopkeeper to keep her mouth shut about the ring he had bought five years earlier). But even though I liked the movie, it would have scored much, much higher if it didn’t have so many inconsistencies or questions.
So where does it fit in the rankings? Near the upper third, but lower than it could have been. Had the filmmakers and writers fixed some of the glaring storytelling laziness, it definitely would have ranked much higher – possibly the Top 10 for the year.
- Winter Love Story (air date: January 19) – 685 pts – weighted score: 115.8 (81.2%)
- Love to the Rescue (air date: March 23) – 679 pts – weighted score: 115.4 (80.9%)
- Mystery 101 (air date: January 27 (HMM)) – 454 pts – weighted score: 94.2 (80.5%)
- Love on the Menu (air date: February 23) – 642 pts – weighted score: 113.8 (79.9%)
- Bottled With Love (air date: April 13) – 649 pts – weighted score: 112.2 (78.7%)
- Love Takes Flight (air date: April 27) – 670 pts – weighted score: 111.0 (77.9%)
- Love, Romance & Chocolate (air date: February 16) – 627 pts – weighted score: 110.2 (77.3%)
- The Last Bridesmaid (air date: June 22) – 643 pts – weighted score: 109.2 (76.6%)
- Paris, Wine & Romance (air date: May 4) – 638 pts – weighted score: 108.3 (76.0%)
- My Boyfriend’s Back: Wedding March 5 (air date: June 8) – 635 pts – weighted score: 108.0 (75.8%)
- Flip That Romance (air date: March 16) – 597 pts – weighted score: 105.8 (74.2%)
- My One and Only (air date: Aug 31) – 597 pts – weighted score: 105.6 (74.1%)
- Mystery 101: Playing Dead (air date: June 23 (HMM)) – 425 pts – weighted score: 86.5 (73.9%)
- A Summer Romance (air date: Aug 17) – 577 pts – weighted score: 103.7 (72.7%)
- True Love Blooms (air date: April 6) – 598 pts – weighted score: 103.1 (72.3%)
- Forever in My Heart (air date: Sept 14) – 560 pts – weighted score: 102.4 (71.8%)
- The Story of Us (air date: February 9) – 605 pts – weighted score: 101.3 (71.1%)
- A Brush with Love (air date: March 30) – 563 pts – weighted score: 97.7 (68.6%)
- Ruby Herring: Silent Witness (air date: January 20 (HMM)) – 357 pts – weighted score: 79.5 (67.9%)
- Love, Unleashed (air date: July 6, 2019) – 559 pts – weighted score: 96.2 (67.5%)
- Love Under the Rainbow (air date: March 9) – 581 pts – weighted score: 96.0 (67.4%)
- One Winter Proposal (air date: January 12) – 535 pts – weighted score: 95.8 (67.2%)
- Just Add Romance (air date: March 2) – 548 pts – weighted score: 95.6 (67.1%)
- From Friend to Fiance (air date: May 25) – 555 pts – weighted score: 94.8% (66.5%)
- Christmas Camp (air date: July 11) – 530 pts – weighted score: 93.9 (65.9%)
- Love and Sunshine (air date: Aug 3) – 504 pts – weighted score: 91.7 (64.3%)
- Crossword Mysteries: A Puzzle to Die For (air date: March 10 (HMM) – 354 pts – weighted score: 74.1 (63.3%)
- Sister of the Bride (air date: June 29) – 516 pts – weighted score: 89.8 (63.0%)
- Valentine in the Vineyard (air date: February 2) – 503 pts – weighted score: 89.5 (62.8%)
- Love, Take Two (air date: June 15) – 507 pts – weighted score: 87.8 (61.6%)
- All Summer Long (air date: Aug 24) – 512 pts – weighted score: 87.7 (61.5%)
- Snowcoming (air date: January 26) – 485 pts – weighted score: 87.3 (61.2%)
- The Winter Castle (air date: January 5) – 475 pts – weighted score: 85.9 (60.2%)
- Sailing Into Love (air date: May 18) – 455 pts – weighted score: 78.0 (54.7%)
- Rome in Love (air date: July 27) – 436 pts – weighted score: 76.7 (53.8%)
- A Taste of Summer (air date: Aug 10) – 403 pts – weighted score: 70.9 (49.7%)
- A Winter Princess (air date: January 18) – 380 pts – weighted score: 70.5 (49.5%)
- A Feeling of Home (air date: May 11) – 386 pts – weighted score: 69.7% (48.9%)
- Love in the Sun (air date: June 1) – 361 pts – weighted score: 62.5 (43.8%)
To see where this movie lands in my overall rankings of Hallmark movies, visit my Hallmark Movie Rankings page!
What did you think of “Forever in My Heart”? Comment below and let me know!