Soooo…you know how I complained a while back that Hallmark doesn’t let its stars do the things they are qualified to do (play piano, play cello, etc.)? Occasionally we’ll see legitimate ice skating, but it’s rare. This movie scored a major exception because this time Hallmark actually let Trevor Donovan snow ski.
“Two for the Win” aired January 16, 2021, on Hallmark Channel and was filmed in and around Ottawa, Canada, including Mount Pakenham. Nina Weinman and Andrea Canning provided a screenplay, while Jerry Ciccoritti directed. The movie credits claimed that “Two for the Win” was based on the book Sleigh Bells in the Snow (affiliate link) by Sarah Morgan, but when you read the book synopsis, they do not sound like the same story at all. If you decide to get the book, buyer beware that the movie and the book share very little in common from what I can tell.
Music: When Justin and Kayla ski down the hill together, the song playing was This Is It (affiliate link) by Nathan Post. The song at the end of the movie was Black and White (affiliate link) by Niall Horan.
In a nutshell
You guys, I enjoyed this movie a lot more than I expected to, thanks to some great acting and some genuinely funny moments.
Plot of “Two For The Win”
Justin, a world champion ski racer, and Kayla, a childhood friend and local ski instructor, find romance on the slopes as he returns home and prepares for the biggest race of his life.
Actors & Chemistry
I’m sure many of you know Charlotte Sullivan, but she is new to me and I LOVE HER. Looking at her IMDb page, she was on “Rookie Blue” for five seasons, but I didn’t watch that show. Seeing her in “Two for the Win” was my first exposure to the actress and I adored her. She was fabulous from beginning to end. I sincerely hope that Hallmark brings her on for more projects.
Trevor Donovan was delightfully funny in this one. I’ll say it ’til the cows come home – I’m so pleased that Hallmark is bringing humor back. Donovan served up the funny very nicely (“I’m literally standing right here,”) and I enjoyed the patter between the Justin and Kayla characters. And while the chemistry never moved into romance territory for me, the childhood true friend chemistry was on point, and helped along by the fabulous supporting cast.
We got a city drone shot to open the movie. And we still got hot cocoa even though Christmas is over! We had a reunion meet-cute due to a skiing trip and fall. Kayla had a giant scarf.
At the lodge, I saw a couple of snowmen and could not tell if they were real or fake until later scenes when I decided they were, indeed, fake. I could be persuaded otherwise, though. And of course, there was a winter festival leading up to the big race. That was about it!
Did I Hear/See That Right?
I’m happy by how tight the script was. Sure there were minor things, but they were minor.
For instance, having worked for a PT/OT department for 5-6 years, I can tell you that 3 days of heat treatments will not rehab a knee that might have gotten tweaked after surgery and a long road to recovery. Yes, Justin explained that he had followed through with most of his post-surgical recovery plan, but I’ll say again – if you tweak a just-rehabbed injury, 3 days of heat treatment will not fix it.
Secondly, I’m not sure why that female skier could not wait until after the race for Kayla to leave and be her coach. The race was literally ABOUT TO START, girl. Yes, it’s a dream job, but I’d have said, “Can I stay with my current skier for the race THAT YOU KNOW IS HAPPENING TODAY, and then I’ll meet up with you?”
I loved the comedy on the slopes. A dejected and deflated Justin going up the bunny slope ramp behind the kids? FUNNY. Doing the pizza slice down the same bunny slope? FUNNY. And him passing the kid who fell on the bunny slope, asking him if he was okay, but STILL GOING DOWN THE HILL IN HIS PIZZA SLICE POSITION? I literally laughed out loud. Oh, the stories I could tell about stupid, dumb snow skiing on bunny slopes – not only my own tale, but my son as well. He and I are NOT fans of snow skiing, much less bunny slopes. But those are tales for another day and while my son is not ready to look back and laugh at his terrible experience, I can laugh at mine.
Yet again, we got a mid-movie kiss! YAY! Not only that, but we got a 3/4-of-the-way-through “I love you.” I saw some people online express doubts that it should have been said, but the movie makes it plain that these two were really good friends for years and had only spent a few short years apart. And during that time while she did have another relationship (a broken engagement at that), it was clear from the beginning of the movie that Kayla still had feelings for Justin. It was just geography keeping them apart, in her mind. So Kayla telling Justin she loved him? Totally fit, in my mind.
I’d watch this one again simply because the humor was much appreciated and Charlotte Sullivan, in particular, was fun to watch.
“Two For The Win” sits in a solid second out of three movies. Its final score is solid, and I think it’ll remain in the upper third for the year heading into the 2021 Christmas season.
- Taking a Shot at Love (air date: Jan 2) – 641 pts – weighted score: 108.9 (76.4%)
- Two For The Win (air date: Jan 16) – 603 pts – weighted score: 101.8 (71.4%)
- A New Year’s Resolution (air date: Jan 9) – 516 pts – weighted score: 90.5 (63.5%)
To see where this movie lands in my overall rankings of Hallmark movies, visit my Hallmark Movie Rankings page!
What did you think of “Two For The Win”? Comment below and let me know!