Bottled with Love (2019)

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.”

My Reaction? The working title for this one might well have been “You’ve Got Bottle.” Hallmark takes two gold-medal veterans (Bethany Joy Lenz, Andrew Walker) 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.