Hallmark Summary: “After being stood up, Abbey gets inspired to open her heart in a letter, put it in a bottle and toss it out to sea. Months later, a man fishing discovers it and opts to reach out. Starring Bethany Joy Lenz and Andrew Walker. “
My Reaction? The working title for this one might well have been “You’ve Got Bottle.” Hallmark takes two gold-medal veterans and pairs them like a fine wine and cheese. As with other, more recent movies, this film is as much about the professional journeys of its heroes as it is their budding, bumpy romance – and I’m so okay with that. (I’m not as sure about the professional ethics of their fishing “bait and switch” with the orchard owner. But, I quibble.)
For Lenz, the character of Abbey is an interesting departure – less bubbly, more OCD but never to the point of overplaying it. Walker delivers also which is impressive considering how many Disenchanted Dudes in a Suit he’s played for Hallmark. “Bottled with Love” scores high on the Agency for Hallmark Heroines Scale since Abbey is not being asked to choose between her career and a relationship. Walker and the scriptwriters get triple points for his speech at the end.
Added Bonus: An extended internet flirtation that isn’t the least bit creepy.
Festival, Wedding, or Ball? Wedding
Teachable Moment: How to fish. Hallmark likes men who fish. (See “Sweet Autumn” where the closed-book hero – also played by Andrew Walker – fishes.)
My Verdict? LOVED IT! Savor with a chilled rosé and warm brie. Fish optional.