Love Locks (2017)

Hallmark Summary: “A woman returns to Paris after 20 years and begins a journey of romance and rediscovery when she reconnects with her college boyfriend and first love. This Hallmark Hall of Fame presentation stars Rebecca Romijn and Jerry O’Connell.”

My Reaction? If I have to pick one Hallmark movie to watch forever, “Love Locks” is permanently in the top three. (Choosing just one is tough, okay?) Not only does this film have a grade-A cast, the Paris setting is the fromage on the baguette.

Where to begin? Let’s start with real-life married couple Romijn and O’Connell as the primary love interests. Both are perfectly cast as unrequited lovers who reunite unexpectedly in the City of Lights. They take a solid, well-written story to the next level with their acting prowess and undeniable chemistry. Although Jack is the primary male protagonist, this is really Lindsey’s show. All Jack has to do is woo Lindsey for a second time and profess his love – not that O’Connell isn’t fifty shades of dreamy while he does.

It’s Lindsey, however, who gets handed a bushel of dilemmas from her reunion with Jack to an impending empty nest and her decision whether to sell her business. Toss in the painting career that never was, and Lindsey spends the film bombarded by Big Life Choices. Romjin imbues the character with a level of self-confidence and self-awareness that make Lindsey a pleasure to watch even while she careens from decision to decision. She also shows immense grace as she unexpectedly shifts her expectations of a mother-daughter trip to Paris and yields to Alexa’s sudden crush on “J.P.” Kudos, writers, for a low-drama mama.

But wait…there’s more! The writers skillfully weave two additional love plots into the film to create a lovely multi-generational tapestry of love lost, love found, and love rediscovered. C’est manifique! Bruce Davidson (who performed alongside Romijn in several X-Men films) plays Lindsey’s painting mentor Hugo with a delightfully whimsical verve. Linda E. Smith is wonderfully cast as Hugo’s romantic counterpart whose bittersweet story brings all the feels.

Add to that tableau the buzzy bliss of young love with Lindsey’s daughter Alexa and Jean-Paul, the hotel’s bellhop, and you’ve got a layered confection of Parisian deliciousness where nice people are being nice to other nice people without ever getting hokey or hammy. THIS is why I watch Hallmark movies!

Added Bonus: Paris in all its glory.

Festival, Wedding, or Ball? None, actually. No grand climactic party or public setting where love can be awkwardly professed from a live mic on a stage. “While “Love Locks” heads in the opposite direction, there is still a satisfying declaration of love at the end. And the film’s subtlety (by Hallmark standards) is also its charm.

Teachable Moment: How to paint like a pro in Paris. I’m in!

My Verdict? LOVED IT! Pairs well with a fresh baguette, imported cheese, and a full-bodied Meritage. À votre santé!