It’s Mother’s Day! And my gift is uninterrupted use of the TV. What is on the schedule? It’s a little too early in the day for the sheer bliss that will be the Lifetime Harry and Megan Movie on tonight (coming soon to a blog near you) so we’re delving into All of my Heart, starring perennial favorite Lacey Chabert and some guy that’s been in several of these movies but I haven’t bothered to learn his name.
We open on a montage of chopping and kitchen scenes. Lacey is Jenny Finley, a sous chef and catering manager under a demanding boss. They are catering an event for a girl that Jenny went to school with, and in short order we find out that Jenny had to quit school when her mom got sick, she hopes to own her own restaurant, is NOT married, but has a boyfriend, Daryl, all under the judgmental eye of the girl whose event Jenny is catering.
She is expecting her boyfriend to propose, but he is more excited about his brand new job in Singapore. Jenny is super disappointed. Girl, his name is freaking Daryl. You can do so much better. Look at his hair, dude! But since they broke up and her dress cost a fortune, she’s ordering the lobster anyway. Good for her!
Next scene – her mother’s aunt has left her a house in Bucks County, PA. But it’s somewhat complicated….there were two beneficiaries, so there are 2 owners of the house! She wants a picket fence, Brian is using a Blackberry – Hallmark movies, amp up the tech budget, this is not 2003. They immediately showcase how opposite they are – he’s in a hurry, she likes the scenic route.
Oh, star alert – Ed Asner is in this!
He calls the house a wreck – it is a beautiful Victorian with a front porch. It does need work, and some serious Swiffers. He wants to sell the house, and she wants to keep it. How will they survive? She obviously doesn’t have the money to buy him out – but it just feels like home, she says for the 9th time. She’s going to turn it into a Bed and Breakfast, and he’s ok with her buying him out eventually, which makes him not a good businessman.
She quits her job by insulting her chef boss’s mustard-crusted salmon – it’s dry! But the Gordon Ramsey wannabe says that she’s talented and back to work. So she’s back in Bucks County. She’s got a goat on the property she names Gabby. Cleaning montage – and she apparently also had enough time to make croissants from scratch so she can learn about things with Alice, the local neighbor who brought her jam. We learn that Jenny’s dad died, her mom worked, she did all the cooking. Alice has a niece who works at the coffee shop, and she can help Jenny sell her breakfast breads. The coffee shop has three single ladies in it who stalk all the incoming men like the sad spinsters they are. Oh, that’s not me being judgy. Blame the writers. The tallest of the three tell Jenny to call Daryl. DO NOT LISTEN TO THEM, JENNY. Daryl is DEAD WEIGHT. Finish your cleaning montage.
She doesn’t listen to me – she dials her rotary phone, almost hangs up, but they have the awkward call of exes, where she says she can’t find her truffle cutter. Of course. Daryl still has not cut his hair. It’s awful.
Middle of the night, she hears a noise, and creeps down the stairs in her fluffy purple robe and large ladle for protection, only to be surprised by Brian, who looks like he got fired, and is moving into the house he co-owns. He became the fall guy on a botched merger and yup, he’s fired with no place else to go. Jenny is being a severe bitch about him not living in the house he co-owns, where he legally has a right to be. Oh, he snores. I totally get it, Jenny.
He’s welching on the deal, and he wants to sell the house because he needs money. He’s acting like a complete tool. Brian went to Wharton, can’t get a job, and he’s miserable. He goes for a run with a fanny pack. First Daryl and now Brian. Jenny, pack up your soup ladle and run for the hills. Gabby the goat ate stuff out his briefcase while he was running. Why did he leave his briefcase open? Dumbass.
Their incredibly tall plumber says it will take $5000 to fix the pipes. Brian is a tool about the cost, but he’s trying to make things work, so he’s heading to the general store to fix the plumbing himself. Which he can’t do in a broken pick-up truck – it needs a complete engine overhaul – which he gets in return for his watch, which looks amazing on the guns of the mechanic. Meanwhile, Jenny sells her croissants to a guy named Hank, who loves them.
Ed Asner is back again. I think he filmed all his scenes on one day, in front to the general store. Massive Plumber Man owns said general store, and Brian is so superbly intimidated by the manliness of Plumber Man. After a few scenes of ineptitude, Brian does fix the plumbing. Then we have a very heavy-handed metaphor about compromise – she wants to paint the house yellow, he wants blue, and desperate cafe spinster says why don’t you combine and paint it green. He likes it because it is the color of money. Spinster also says that Jenny and Brian make a cute couple.
Now they have to have a paint war of the seafoam minty green. They don’t have money to waste on a paint war and yet, in the spirit of every rom-com with a paint scene, there must needs be paint to spill on each other. Glad they fixed the plumbing, that paint does not look good.
I just have to state that if I was cleaning my house every day, scrubbing and using Pine Sol, etc., I wouldn’t take the time to do a perfect smoky eye like Jenny does.
The stove in this house looks old fashioned, with all the little doors, etc., but its a faux front, and it’s just a regular oven. I don’t know if I’m suitably impressed at the set designers’ ingenuity or mildly pissed off that they lied about such a cool stove.
Brian is encouraging Jenny to branch out with her baked goods, branding them “Jenny’s Homemade Breakfast” and selling them to neighboring places, because suddenly the spinster cafe isn’t good enough. But she does well, and makes 4 sales. Brian and Jenny have cute banter “I’ll see you at home” she says, and he’s all happy, and it’s cute, but we are not anywhere near the end of the movie so they can’t be in love yet.
Oh, scandal! Daryl calls the house and Brian answers. Daryl is a dick. Jenny calls him back and says that Brian is just a real estate thing, and Brian experiencing some of the sad times because of what she said. Daryl and Jenny miss each other. I think they just miss the idea of each other, although why Jenny misses the idea of gross Daryl is beyond me. It can’t be for sex, because as you know, no one does that until marriage in Hallmark movies.
Massive Plumber Man is baffled by Women. Why hasn’t he been snapped up by the tallest spinster in the cafe? Plumber Man tells Brian to tell Jenny how he feels. And Ed Asner and Plumber Man trade duck and bird metaphors.
They are cuddled together on the front porch swing under an afghan. Her and her perfect smoky eye. The guitar music says it’s a moment. They are both having a good time being with each other in the country.
Oh, ew, Daryl has showed up at the house. He looks even worse. He admits he’s jealous over Brian, and has to confirm that they have separate bedrooms. He is also condescendingly approving of all the hard work she’s put into the house, and Jenny has serious disappointed WTF face, but says she’d like it if he calls her. Make up your mind, Jenny!
The General Store is becoming the Man version of the Salon, where men go to talk about their problems. I actually am starting to like the relationship that Brian has with Plumber Man. Plumber Man says he should make a move on Jenny, and dimwit mechanic says the same thing after saying a lot of nothing.
Jenny and Brian run all over the the countryside looking for Gabby, who is apparently pregnant, and she gives birth to white kids (baby goats! how cute!), Lucy and Ricky. Jenny is super in love with Brian but can’t admit it yet.
They have to do a lot of sanding, which they do with artistically placed dust on their face, and they both have to stare at each other at different times in that way that you do. They made a pantry with curtains – it’s dumb. Then he blew the electricity and they have to have risotto in the dark.
Brian’s backstory is sad – his dad split, his mom remarried and he got boarding school. But he had fun pretending to be a Wall Street guy when he was young.
Smoky Eye still On Point – even while she’s asleep, and even when the roof starts to leak. Girl, wash your face before bedtime! You’ll get wrinkles! And pimples!
Kiss in the hallway because their roof is leaking. Music says it’s nice. Me, not so much. He apologizes, even though she clearly went up on tiptoes to kiss him.
Brian gets a job offer from his former BFF/Rival back on Wall Street. He has to think about it, because he likes the way he is with Jenny. Former BFF/Rival doesn’t understand the thought of more to life than making money. Brian immediately runs to Plumber Man to tell him about it – and what does he have on his ancient blackberry? Pictures of his goats. Oh dear Lord, he’s having such an identity crisis! He doesn’t want to leave Jenny, but as he walks home, he sees Jenny and Daryl in the window of the Spinster Cafe. Daryl is there to say that he’s in love with Jenny and he thinks he’s ready to settle down. Will you marry me, Jenny? Oh, The Sad Times that Brian is experiencing as he watches through the window – even though Jenny says no! And Spinster totally agrees with Jenny’s decision.
This is going to make Brian take that job offer in New York, even while Jenny is having a meeting with a distribution company, which magically gets her an offer to distribute her food – how is she going to mass produce in that tiny kitchen? Does no one think of logistics beyond having a website?
They have a nighttime good-bye and he’s kind of bitter because he doesn’t know anything about the refusal of Daryl, and ‘bye, ‘bye, ‘bye Brian. Sad Times in Earnest for Jenny – but the Smoky Eye does not run.
Oh, Snap! Jenny just says she loved the idea of Daryl over Daryl himself. Do I know Hallmark movies, or Do I know Hallmark movies?!
Standard NYC overhead shot to signify change of scenery. He works on Wall Street. The shot is CLEARLY of Times Square. It’s not hard, People. Brian still wants Jenny, so all he does is work because he’s miserable.
Jenny is clearly bribing her home inspector with monster scones. I didn’t know that was a thing. She finally makes her own way to the General Store, and she finally gets a heart-to-heart with Ed Asner. Asner has to point out that it’s sad when people ought to be together ain’t together. So she calls Brian, who is in the middle of a slick-suited business meeting, and he takes the call! But he is surprised when she calls to say with her food distribution advance, she can buy him out. But there is still enough soul-searching in both of them for him to make plans to see her the next day to sign all the paperwork and to get back together because face it, we have 10 minutes left.
Brian is back at the coffee shop, and bitter spinster tells him that men suck, and that Jenny refused Daryl, and you’re an asshole, Brian. Brian now has to run after Jenny in his ugly sweater. They have a reunion while they are holding goats. He wants to come home to Bucks County, which sounds like an ad campaign.
At the soft open of the Bed and Breakfast, Jenny says yes before he can even ask the question. It’s an ugly ring, and he does the thing when he has to hold her face with both hands to kiss her. They do get Ed Asner off the bench for a final scene, and with another hackneyed metaphor about 2 becoming 1, we’re done.
I had dreams of opening a B&B once, so this one hits me right in the area where I want to bake scones and make omelette tarts all day. Not sure I’ll ever do that, so glad I could live vicariously through Jenny and Brian. But other than that, this one was rough – mainly because Daryl was such a non-starter, it wasn’t even like there ever was a struggle for Jenny to choose between them. Anyway, glad this one is over, and hope not to return, but I will, just so you don’t have to.