It’s this weird feeling to sit down to watch a Hallmark Movie and know that I am so against one of the actors personal choices in life that I can’t see anything else. I am fully aware of the fact that I am supposed to be objective, but hey – this isn’t the New York Times.
Raise A Glass to Love is the latest in Hallmarks Fall Harvest lineup. Juan Pablo Di Pace and Laura Osnes lead that cast. It follows, “aspiring Master Sommelier Jenna who returns to her family vineyard to study and is fascinated by the natural methods of the new winemaker, Marcelo.”
Laura Osnes has been in the news because the two-time Tony winner refuses to get vaccinated. She left jobs because she refused to abide by vaccine mandates. Her clear irresponsibility and disregard for others makes me not like her in any way, shape or form. It doesn’t matter to me that she’s a staple on The Hallmark Channel, she shouldn’t be. She should have regard for others and realize that we’re in a pandemic and people are dying.
Raise A Glass To Love fits the typical Hallmark formula, but it definitely ups the game with the way it’s shot. It’s beautiful. Then again, I can’t decide if it’s just because it’s set in Napa Valley and that’s a beautiful place. It would be kind of difficult to make that place ugly, but hey, weirder things have happened.
What starts out as making you feel like you’re going to be emotionally tied to the characters, because it has a flashback of Jenna spending time with her Grandma as a kid, quickly turns into a movie where you really don’t feel any emotional attachments. You want to, because that’s part of what makes a Hallmark movie a Hallmark movie.
The truth is that Raise A Glass To Love makes every attempt to bring emotion, but it falls short.
Well, first of all there is no chemistry with Jenna and her boyfriend. He’s cold, distant, and they don’t move in sync. They are a business relationship and it’s uncomfortable to watch them together. You’re left wondering why she would ever think that a man who doesn’t believe in her would be someone that she wants to be with.
Second, the connection to Jenna and her families vineyard isn’t felt. Hallmark could have established this more with flashbacks or something more happening to the land. But seeing her at home felt like she was at a hotel, not as if she was at home. It wasn’t from a lack of the script trying to make sure that Jenna interacted with as many things from her youth as possible, it was a lack of chemistry with all the actors.
Third, Jenna and Marcelo had a lack of chemistry. Juan Pablo Di Pace is charismatic and his character Marcelo is too, but the truth is that the two of them don’t fit. Opposites attract and that normally works, but Jenna’s character doesn’t seem to grow. This has nothing to do for my distaste for the actress, but the way that the character is written.
There is nothing wrong with Jenna being hyper focused on fulfilling her dreams, but even in the moments where they try to connect her with the world outside that, it still revolves around this. You don’t get to feel who she is as a person, only as a lover of wine.
And in any movie, television show, or book – the viewer wants to relate to the character. They want to be able to see that there is more to the character, that they are rounded out.
But take for instance when she gets the job at her boyfriends restaurant as the head sommelier. It was obviously given to her out of jealousy (though you didn’t feel like the boyfriend was jealous, it’s just typical in a Hallmark movie), after he didn’t consider her for the job for sometime.
The way that these two – everything feels transactional. It doesn’t feel like a relationship. When she quits, even that feels transactional. There is no emotion in the situation.
And maybe that’s my issue with this whole movie, the emotional component is missing. The connection to characters wasn’t there.
And that made me only want to raise a glass to it finally being over.