Hallmark Summary: “Josie Hughes is a hopeless romantic who believes in the kind of romance in black-and-white movies where the leading lady finds her one true love and gets swept off her feet. She also believes the wedding bouquet always finds its way to the right person when tossed by the bride, as proven time and again at weddings dating back to her childhood. But single Josie ends up with the bouquet at her friend Emma’s wedding instead of their not-single friend Athena and fears she’s wrecked her chances of getting engaged. But when Josie begins dating eligible bachelor Will after meeting at the reception, she decides the bouquet is responsible for the budding romance and begins to think that Will is “the one.” As Josie clings to the notion that the bouquet is always right, she’s missing the real-world signs that her perfect match is someone else who’s been right in front of her all along. Starring Chaley Rose and Nathan Witte.”
My Reaction? Like the bouquet Josie crafts for her best friend’s wedding, this Hallmark movie feels freshly made and beautifully inclusive. Props to the writers for the lead characters’ career choices. Josie runs a nonprofit. Alex renovates urban green spaces. Millennials, represent! Although billed as one of Hallmark’s Fall Harvest offerings for 2020, this film was sprinkled rather than saturated with autumn paraphernalia.
I’m so glad to see Chaley Rose back on the small screen. She is such a natural in these movies. As in “A Christmas Duet,” Rose’s character Josie is smart, capable, kind, and supportive of her friends. She is also superstitious. Josie attributes godlike powers to the wedding bouquet before and after she catches it. This particular quirk had me smiling repeatedly at the idea of a floral arrangement’s juju determining one’s love mojo.
Nathan Witte makes an endearingly lovesick hero who has been crushing on Josie since their college days. Instantly likable, the character of Alex alternates between pining for Josie and trying to locate a big enough band-aid for his wounded heart. When Josie announces she’s made a date with Will, you can see the actual instant that Alex’s romantic hopes and dreams collapse like a voluntarily demolished skyscraper.
Once again, The Curse of the Obvious Choice rears its head, although it’s a slow-burn revelation this time. Josie’s “bouquet-ordained” suitor Will (played by Jaime M. Callica) seems pitch-perfect until his workaholism and other dealbreaker traits gradually emerge. The additional subplot with Athena and her mother-in-law-to-be had me alternately wincing and groaning over the bride’s unwinnable predicament. Athena seems fabulous. Why tether herself to a guy (and his mom) who can’t seem to read the room? (Of course, Josie blames the bouquet.)
Added Bonus: The background scenery. In what part of Canada was this filmed, and how quickly can I get there?
Festival, Wedding, or Ball? Wedding x 2
Teachable Moment: Nothing overt, but Josie describes the intricate symbolism of her best friend’s wedding bouquet as though she is dissecting “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” for her senior English thesis. Who knew a bouquet could be so layered?
My Verdict? LOVED IT! Pairs well with an indoor floor picnic featuring Chinese take-out and a fruity Beaujolais