January 12, 2015

movie monday: 'a novel romance'

Blogger's Note: It's no secret I devote much of December to following the latest (and past-time favorite) Hallmark movies. So I was thrilled to learn the channel would count down to Valentine's Day with a new movie each weekend leading up to the holiday. Naturally, I couldn't resist watching, live-tweeting, and ultimately blogging about my take on each new flick.

A Novel Romance
Original air date: Jan. 10
Starring Amy Acker, Dylan Bruce, and Charles S. Dutton
Romance novelist Liam Bradley (Dylan Bruce) has already found massive success with three books written under the pen name Gabriel August, but he's mysteriously unknown to his legions of readers. With his first book written as a way to heal after a broken relationship, Liam has slowly become disheartened with writing strictly for romantic fantasy, something evident to a sweet, but honest, journalist who reviews books, Sophie Atkinson (Amy Acker), whom he meets by chance on a plane. The two begin a tentative relationship in Sophie’s home town of Portland, Maine, where Liam has come to find inspiration for his newest entry. 
Liam’s agent puts him on the spot with a long-planned reveal of Gabriel August’s true identity, but Sophie doesn’t know of his public persona. The longer Liam avoids telling her the truth, the deeper a hole he digs for himself. Will their romance survive once his true identity comes to light?
Overall a cute story, A Novel Romance was missing a lot of the spark and humor I adored in last week's movie. More sweet than sparkling, the best part of the movie was the character development.

I particularly enjoyed Liam, an adorkable and shy man with a lot of history and a big secret. I'm a sucker for the guy who has it all going on, but needs a little push to realize how much potential he has.

By comparison, his love interest, Sophie, drove me a little crazy. I imagine that was the point, but there were several moments of the movie when I wanted to flick her on the nose and tell her to get it together already.

I don't always like the supporting characters in these movies, but they were some of my favorite parts of this particular film From Sophie's BFFs who recently discovered that they were in love after years of friendship (a totally adorable back story for any character let alone supporting) to Liam's meddling literary agent, the supporting characters were a lot of fun to watch.

The production on this movie had me scratching my head a few times. Everything filmed outdoors was great, but whenever there was something with a background out the window (like a New York City skyline or a city street), it looked way too green screen. I wouldn't say it ruined the movie for me, but I did find it distracting.

I also had a bit of difficulty suspending my belief on a few components of the film, which I can't really share on here without being spoilery. They're parts that come from my history of having worked at a newspaper, maintaining a blog/website and being a writer. Again, it didn't ruin the movie for me, but it usually seemed a little too good to be true. (I suppose I'm just a cynic.)

Though not my favorite Hallmark movie ever, this one had a pretty big cute-factor going for it. Even with me rolling my eyes at Sophie a time or five, Liam's dishiness made up for it. It makes me wonder if I shouldn't have looked for books written by attractive, witty, single men back in my book reviewing days. Maybe I'd be hanging out on a boat in Portland right now instead of sitting on a couch wearing sweatpants. (It's the weekend as I'm writing this. Don't judge me.)

While I won't be adding this to my re-watch list, I enjoyed watching it this time well enough.

Who watched A Novel Romance? What did you think?

And in case you missed it, here's my look from last night's Golden Globes viewing. I naturally had to work the smokey eye, big hair and pouty look.

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