The film is a story about what happens when you lose your loved one. It’s not romantic, it’s not sad, and it doesn’t have any happy ending.
Sitting down to watch a Hallmark Movie and realizing that I am so opposed to one of the actors’ personal choices in life that I can’t see anything else is a weird feeling. I know I’m supposed to be objective, but this isn’t the New York Times.
The newest item in Hallmark’s Fall Harvest series is Raise a Glass to Love. Juan Pablo Di Pace and Laura Osnes lead the cast. “Aspiring Master Sommelier Jenna visits her family vineyard to learn and is enthralled by the new winemaker, Marcelo’s, natural techniques,” the story continues.
Despite being a two-time Tony winner, Laura Osnes has made headlines for refusing to get vaccinated. She resigned from her job after refusing to comply with immunization requirements. I despise her in every manner because of her seeming carelessness and contempt for others. It doesn’t matter to me whether she’s a regular on Hallmark Channel; she shouldn’t be. She should be considerate of others and realize that we are in the midst of an epidemic that is killing people.
The usual Hallmark structure is followed in Raise A Glass To Love, but the shot lifts it considerably. It’s breathtaking. Then then, I’m not sure whether it’s simply because it’s set in Napa Valley, which is a beautiful place. It would be difficult to degrade the environment, yet stranger things have occurred.
What begins as an emotional connection to the characters due to a memory of Jenna spending time with her Grandma as a kid quickly devolves into a film with no emotional connections. You should since it is one of the hallmarks of a Hallmark film.
Despite its best efforts, Raise A Glass To Love falls short of eliciting emotion.
Jenna and her lover, first and foremost, have no chemistry. They don’t move in lockstep, and he’s icy and aloof. It’s uncomfortable to see them together since they’re in a professional relationship. You’re left wondering why she’d want to spend her life with a guy who doesn’t believe in her.
Second, there is no feeling of Jenna and her family’s vineyard being connected. Hallmark might have done a better job of establishing this via flashbacks or by having more happen to the land. However, seeing her at home gave the impression that she was at a hotel, not at home. It wasn’t a lack of writing trying to connect Jenna with as many aspects of her upbringing as possible; it was a lack of chemistry between all of the actors.
Finally, there was no chemistry between Jenna and Marcelo. Juan Pablo Di Pace is lovely, and his character Marcelo is charming, but the two of them don’t work together. Jenna’s character doesn’t seem to grow, despite the fact that opposites typically attract. This has nothing to do with my distaste for the actress, but rather with the way the character is written.
There’s nothing wrong with Jenna being preoccupied with accomplishing her objectives, but it all comes back to this when they attempt to connect her to the outside world. You can only get a feel of who she is as a person if you are a wine lover.
The audience wants to connect with the character in every film, television program, or book. They want to be able to recognize the character as more than a stereotype.
Take, for example, when she accepts a position as head sommelier at her boyfriend’s restaurant. After he hadn’t considered her for the job for a long, he gave it to her out of jealousy (though you didn’t feel like the boyfriend was jealous; it’s just usual in a Hallmark movie).
The way these two-acts are structured, everything seems transactional. There does not seem to be any kind of connection. Even her resignation has a commercial aspect to it. There is no feeling in the scenario.
And maybe that is my biggest criticism of the picture as a whole: it lacks an emotional component. There was no connection between the characters.
And it made me want to raise a glass in celebration of the fact that it was finally completed.