In honor of Super Bowl Sunday, I’m delving into the amazing world of Love on the Sidelines, starring a bunch of people I’ve never heard of. I should wait until tonight to view this, as I have no desire to watch either team this year, but I’m sure I will have to share the tv with my family at some point, so I might as well take advantage of this afternoon while they are all off doing other things.
Our heroine, Laurel Welk, starts out the movie at a buffet at a football viewing at a bar – and her plate is full of bread and french fries. She’s out of work, but can’t find a job, and maybe she’s just not meant to be a designer. She’s at the end of her rope, and she needs a job, stat! She and her friend do not get sports. Her friend’s soon-to-be husband is freaking out about Danny Holland, the quarterback of the Miners football team, who just got sacked and sprained his ankle – and he’ll be out for six to eight weeks, which is like the whole season, dude. Also, LongJaw from Frozen in Love is in this!
Danny Holland has just fired his douchey personal assistant, and as he’s in a cast, he’s gonna need a new assistant, and Laurel just interviewed to be a personal assistant, and voila! Danny, meet Laurel. And he can’t have a (shock!) girl be an assistant because he wants to be able to walk around in his underwear and burp a lot. But she’s so earnest, and he’s stuck in crutches, and they have a trial basis working relationship within 5 minutes.
Man, Danny Holland is a jerk. So she doesn’t know anything about football, there is no need to be such an ass. But Laurel saves the day with her design skills at a photo shoot because the model with Danny is working with rips her dress in a fan. That’s totally a thing models do. This particular model is dating Danny, by the way.
Danny is facing career oblivion because he’s been sidelined with his bum ankle, apparently, and it’s not just his neuroses. He’s not good sitting around, but he gets a pep talk from his dad. But Danny still can’t believe that Laurel doesn’t know anything about football, and even though Laurel is giving it the whole college try, he’s going to try and make her quit because he has deep-seeded girl issues.
Laurel is just trying to do her job, and Danny’s douchey teammate just picked her up like a bag of flour. And now she’s reading all about football to make sure that she understands what he’s talking about. But my goodness, LongJaw is getting all starry-eyed over Laurel today! (She made her own fitted jersey, and that makes her super cute!)
Danny is hosting a party for his parents’ 35th anniversary, which means that Laurel will have to do all the work, of course. But with this reveal, we also learn that Laurel comes from a divorced family, but she still is a hopeless romantic. Ok.
For some reason, Laurel has a red 1965 Ford Mustang, and he’s impressed by this. But he still is a dick about her being a girl who can’t lift things. LongJaw wants to ask Laurel out, but Danny is saying a hard pass on that.
Laurel fixes up Danny’s house because he’s got a date with that model. The model shows her true colors about hating his dog, (dog hates her too!) and she doesn’t like that he has to give back to the community. Dog likes Laurel! Dog says Danny, stop thinking with your penis and ask Laurel out!
I am going to say this that the actor playing Danny, even though he is on crutches and not being made to do sports montages, does not read like any kind of sports person, at all! He looks too soft to be a great athlete.
Then they just had a near miss / hand touch thing while looking for a phone. Methinks that their frosty relationship is heating up! Then he gets to flex his male muscles by looking at her car engine.
Danny’s sister Eva likes LongJaw. LongJaw is going to come to the parents’ anniversary party, so based on just this, and the fact that heroines in Hallmark movies can never balance two guys without it being either a) a wacky coincidence or b) just a bit of slut-shaming, I think LongJaw and Laurel will not come to anything.
After Laurel states that the Personal Assistant Rule #1 is to not get too personal, they have a cozy glass of wine on his patio. It’s a rosé. There’s soft music playing over their dialogue, which means that they have feelings, y’all.
This Girls’ Night Out just got crashed by Danny and his friends, including LongJaw. LongJaw and Laurel talk and laugh, and probably talk and laugh about Danny’s sister and how great she is, but Danny gets stuck giving boy advice to Laurel’s friends. It’s weird, and he’s jealous. But we hear backstory about why Laurel doesn’t like sportsguys – she got picked on in high school by the football team.
Danny does’t have a good relationship with his sister – she doesn’t like it that he’s always the center of attention. So he calls Laurel, who is in the middle of Gina’s wedding and she is wearing a dress that is literally the same shade as her skin. It is SUCH.A.BAD.LOOK. This girl is paler than me, and that is saying something. Costume designer, this character is supposed to be a dress designer. She should know never to wear that color! Costume designers as a rule in these movies aren’t great. Just saying.
Ok. So she rushes over to Danny’s house because he is having an existential crisis, and she flips out because dude, it was her best friend’s wedding and she doesn’t want to have to listen to him whine about his sister being mean to him. After laying into him about what a spoiled little princess he is, she asks, can you do anything for yourself? And his answer is to kiss her. And she’s not mad about it. I’m sorry, I’d be annoyed.
Cut to next day, and they are super awkward with each other, but before they get a chance to talk about it, model shows up and orders Laurel out of the house with the dog. Danny freaks out, though, and kicks the model out, even though Laurel doesn’t think she can compete with a girl with big highlights.
LongJaw is totally confessing to Danny that he’s dating Danny’s sister, but Danny thinks it is all about Laurel, and he’s swimming in jealousy again.
Danny’s ankle is all better and he can now play! But he’s distracted because LongJaw is still talking with Laurel on the sidelines (probably about Danny’s sister) but he’s so in tormented unspoken love with Laurel that he has to fire her as an assistant because “it’s too hard to be around her knowing that she’s with his best friend.” So she’s fired.
All Danny’s game buddies are upset because Laurel is gone, and the cookies she made are also gone, and Danny is super showing his insecurity and jealousy over LongJaw, even though, duh. This beat has played its way out – writers, get a better thing going here!
Party night for Danny’s parents – the truth finally comes out and he knows Laurel is not taken! So, when Danny has to make a speech about how great love is, he has his eureka moment about everything and after a quick hug with his mom, he’s headed out the door to see about a girl – with a sports metaphor to boot. Ew.
Laurel just got a merchandising deal with her cute little jerseys, but she’s still upset because of Danny. Danny calls Laurel’s best friend Gina, who coerces season tickets, a bonding experience between Danny and her husband, plus Danny has to go to the husband’s dental practice all before she tells Danny that Laurel is back at the sports bar from the beginning. For reals, there are no other bars to go to in this town? But anyway, smooth negotiating, Gina!
So Danny shows up at the bar, and Laurel is curious, and curiously more pale than usual. He’s crazy in love with her, dude. And she references a Hail Mary pass, and she’s crazy in love with him too, and wahoo! kiss at the time of a big touchdown or something, so everyone cheers, but at least, it’s not creepy about them like in almost every other movie I’ve watched lately.
And, the end. My family has come back into the living room, and I’m off to do laundry. Love on the Sidelines was a nice respite from chores for a while, and this had just about enough football that I can handle, especially this year. Glad it’s done, as I watched it just so you don’t have to.