One thing that I have to say for Hallmark is that they are definitely trying to do better, be more inclusive, and tell stories that are different. I can respect that about the channel, that they want to learn from the mistakes of their past, and evolve with the times.
When it comes to The Hallmark Channel, you can count on the same actors, over and over. These are the things that we are used to. But with this weeks brand new movie, they changed that, by telling a story about fashion, body positivity, and loving ones self.
Lately, I have felt as if I have been watching the same thing over and over, but with Romance in Style, I have been reminded as to why I love Hallmark movies. I have been reminded that people like me are good enough and body positivity is an important thing that we need to make sure that we are teaching and showing.
In the movie, “Ella’s unique designs inspire publishing mogul Derek to include plus-sized fashion in his magazine. It’s not long before Derek realizes that Ella’s influence reaches far beyond the catwalk.”
Ella is helping her friend with a photoshoot at the magazine she works at, The Look. The Look has Cosmopolitan or Vogue type vibes, the editor feeling very what we think of Anna Wintour as – because movies.
The magazine is in trouble and the owner of the company sends in his son, Derek to try to make it turn around. He’s the expert at taking magazines and making them turn a profit. Him coming to this magazine though, well it’s definitely not something that the editor, Claudia, wants. She believes in the way that she’s run The Look and wants it to remain that way.
But little does she know that she’s about to need to take a second look at how everything runs. Ella is a force and she believes in herself. Body positivity is not just a phrase to her. It’s something that she truly believes in.
Derek is the seventh most eligible bachelor in New York City and he’s taken by Ella. Something about her honesty, from the moment that they met, has captivated him. And what I love most is that they never made her size a thing for him, they just made it about him liking her. So many times, when having a plus size actress or model in a movie or television show, the love interest focuses on their weight and it is a struggle for them.
But for Derek, it’s never a struggle or a reason to not like her. He just sees Ella. He sees that she’s talented, beautiful, kind, and driven. He sees her confidence. He trusts her.
And for someone like me, who is plus size, that is life changing. All too often on television, I see people like me depicted as angry, scary, and guarded. I see them as the butt of the joke, versus what I am… human.
There is a part of me that didn’t like the way that the portrayed Ella – so cut and dry. I understand that they said that she was hard to read, but I felt like that was a stereotype of how plus size people are. And that’s not always true. So, the moments where she softened were some of my favorite moments, because we got to see Ella for who she is behind being the girl with her walls up.
The truth is that Hollywood fails when it comes to including a plus size actor except to have them as the butt of the joke, the token fat friend, the angry person in the background. In recent years we have seen a lot of change, but I think we can all agree that Hollywood has a lot to do when it comes to inclusivity across the board.
So yes, I am excited over a Hallmark movie, especially one set in the fashion industry. Whereas I got the Cinderella like references in the movie, I also saw the bigger picture – believe in yourself, stand on your talents, and don’t let anyone take away your confidence. It’s of the utmost importance that you believe in yourself first.
Ok, stepping down from my soapbox for a second and back to the movie.
In the movie, Ella is who Derek chooses to teach him about fashion. He is working on revamping the digital side of the magazine and wants to do a great job. So many people see him as this rich kid living off his family name and money. But we learn that he’s actually a man who wants to make a difference.
He’s opened a center for children in Brooklyn and spends his free time with the kids, helping them grow and learn and have opportunities that they wouldn’t normally have. When he allows Ella into that world, to show her who he really is – that’s when I really saw the relationship with the two of them change.
But you also grew to respect Derek, because he didn’t tell everyone what he was doing. It wasn’t about recognition for him, it was about the kids.
As people at the magazine see Derek and Ella get closer, they try to destroy the relationship, preying on Ella’s insecurities. And yes, she falls for it – but who wouldn’t. When you’re taken out of your world and you’re placed in a world beyond your own, things get murky.
But as usual with a Hallmark movie, we get a happy ending and that’s something we won’t fight against. Happy endings give us all hope and make us all smile.
Overall, Romance in Style did that throughout the entire movie – the whole hope thing. It made me see things in a different light, and how feeling respected is just as important as anything.
Jaicy Elliot and Benjamin Hollingsworth made fantastic lead actors and their chemistry was undeniable. Romance in Style made me swoon, laugh, cry, and believe that there is nothing that I can’t do.
Romance in Style reminded me why I love Hallmark movies. I don’t care about the predictability, all movies have that. I care about the fact that these movies take me away from reality and remind me that there’s a great big world out there.
This movie reminded me that regardless of my size, that world is out there for me too.
I thought the movie was right on. Let’s hope Hallmark has opened the door that sexy comes in all sizes.