One thing I love about a Hallmark movie is that you’re always going to see a little part of yourself somewhere in it. It may be something that I just see, but I would be that I am not alone in this. I think that the beauty of the movies is that they take you out of life for a bit and then you just find a way to smile.
Kimberley Sustad stars in this weeks movie, Game of Love. Now, if you’re like me and you see “game” in a title, you want to run away from it. It automatically associates with sports for me and I am definitely not a sports person and I instantly retreat. However, one thing that I have learned in my Hallmark Movie watching journey is that Sustad is a staple and she really gets what fans are looking for.
Game of Love is about a woman named Audrey, who works for Play It Cool Games in Seattle. She’s really good at her job and has come up with some hit board games. But she’s done it alone. She is the coworker that really just never speaks to anyone and really doesn’t want to be bothered with anything, especially romance.
Audrey is tasked with creating a game about love in under a month and was paired up with Matthew to create the game. Matthew doesn’t have much experience with games, but these two have to get the job done. Board games for the win.
I have to remember that there is such a think as board games. Don’t tell me you remembered that there was, cause I would call you on that bluff. Then again they are making a comeback. I have been told that there are actual board game bars.
I guess I need to go to the bar more often.
Throughout the movie you grow to appreciate Kimberly Sustad even more. The actress is a fresh breathe in every role that she takes on, but even more in a role that you can relate to. I found myself understanding her character of Audrey and empathizing with her. She had her reasons for not being able to let anyone in.
Love isn’t for everyone. She isn’t open to all of the things that people say about love. She knows it’s not that simple, that it’s this complicated mess of emotions that can leave a person scorned. It can leave a person unable to see straight.
I happened to love Audrey’s cynicism when they were trying to work on the game and were at a loss. When they go to visit the love guru for more information about love and he talks them into buying his book. He looks them dead in the eyes, and makes them buy a signed book and I was like, touche, earn that money author man.
“Okay, so it looks like there are five ‘love connectors’: affirming the love, creating the love bubble, receiving the love, love through service, and, um… love through touch… Wow, he’s really… trademarked a whole lotta love,” Audrey reads from the pages of the book they bought.
Can’t say I disagree with her. That truly is a whole lot of love. Me, being the cynic that I am, I find myself wondering if anyone will really think that it’s not. Also makes me think about how they could have upped the game here. I wanted more tension. I wanted more angst. I couldn’t understand what made Matthew and Audrey be able to get along. I couldn’t understand what made him want to put up with her being so distant and dismissive to others.
And I had to think. When it comes to Hallmark, things are very PG. Yes they are growing and yes, they are expanding. The Hallmark game is being stepped up to evolve with the times and I so appreciate that. They continue to evolve, but it sometimes feels like they do that more with their movies that aren’t Christmas themed.
And my point of all that? I see how Game of Love is more – well – adventurous than other Hallmark movies. As such a Christmas movie fanatic (me, I am the fanatic) I want that adventurousness to extend to Christmas movies. The kind of adventurous they took with Three Wise Men & A Baby.
But back to this one. The two create a game and it’s good. It’s really damn good. But before they can get it to the people who would test it. Audrey takes this as a sign that she’s done something wrong and that opening her heart was a bad choice. As if working with people was a bad choice.
When in reality, it was the best choice for her.
Matthew begs her to not push him away as soon as it happens. You can see the pain in his face, but also the pain in hers as she decides to do just that. She’s upset and her natural reaction for that is to run. She’s not good with letting people in.
But at the last minute, she realizes what she’s doing and allows herself to be open to possibilities. She realizes that this is something that she doesn’t want to let go of. She heads back to work and asks the graphic designers and board makers to see if they can produce more so they can get it tested.
I was so enthusiastic that it wasn’t cheating or lies that drew Audrey and Matthew apart, but fear. Hear me out – that feels more realistic because a lot of times in life that is exactly what drives people apart.
But they find their way back. Hell, he doesn’t even miss her phone call when she calls him. HE PICKS UP! Shocker, I know. But it’s these subtle things that make me love this movie even more. It’s these subtle things that make me appreciate that Hallmark is making changes and being a little more daring.