We’re not over the royal wedding yet, are we? Because Hallmark has re-run the new Duchess’s other movie, and of course, we need to watch When Sparks Fly, with her as Amy Peterson (we’ve already established that that name sucks – I’m looking at you, Little Women – and still not forgiving my parents for saddling me with it as a middle name) and some guy. It’s Fourth of July, and Amy’s got a boyfriend Hank, and a job opportunity at a paper in Chicago, and it’s her dream job, guys, so she has to take it and move away, and Hank decides to pocket the ugly engagement ring and she goes her way, he goes his way, and bam, we’ve moved ahead 7 years.
Amy is working at the paper, and the circulation is down, people! Whaddya got, Ace Reporter Amy? Her answer, as it’s almost Fourth of July, is to do an article about the people who set off fireworks…and oddly enough, her parents do that for a living. And apparently that’s good enough for her editor, who warns her that she’s lost her “spark” (ugh, how many times are we gonna hear that?) and she needs to get it back because he needs more from her. She gets to go home on the company dime, which is great planning on her part! She also works with atrocious people, who spend all their time on their phone, and oddly enough, she doesn’t realize that they don’t like her very much.
Amy has a boyfriend who likes fancy restaurants, but she’s just all about pizza and beer. And her apartment is so small that she keeps her shoes in her oven. She has a friend from back home named Sammy, who FaceTimes her with news (and a big engagement ring that isn’t the ugly one from her former boyfriend) but Amy peaces out before getting to hear or notices her friend wearing a ring. It’s also a huge deal that she is wearing makeup and a dress for this date, so she probably is that mythical beautiful girl who looks amazing in a baseball cap.
She has to meet her pretentious boyfriend Phil at the French restaurant. He’s way too old for her (I think he’s Betty’s dad on Riverdale) and he’s already ordered for her. Ugh. Gross. She is already apologizing for not liking his high-falutin’ ways, and that’s not good.
Apparently her best friend Sammy is engaged…to HANK! And the wedding is next week, because Sammy has always wanted a Fourth of July wedding. Why is that a thing? That’s not a thing. But it’s not weird that your best friend is marrying your ex-boyfriend, right? Where you are the maid of honor? And of course Amy has to see old photos of her and Hank as she’s packing to go home to this wedding, and the pensive piano music tells us that she’s not ok with her best friend marrying her ex-boyfriend.
Apparently Sammy is an interior designer, but because she’s the foil for Amy, of course she’s horrible. Her business isn’t doing great, because she thinks a neon orange, green, and yellow office chair is appropriate. And she’s gone through 2 wedding planners already, maybe because they don’t share her vision for red, white, and blue table runners.
Oh, Hank has a Sassy Friend! They are both small-town lawyers, and Sassy Friend already is laying down the what the what with Hank – Why are you marrying Sammy? Why aren’t you marrying Amy? You tell him, Sassy Friend/Best Man! (Sammy didn’t tell her fiance Hank that his ex-girlfriend that he almost proposed to is in the wedding party. Something tells me that she’s WAAAAAY too insecure).
I think Amy’s parents live in the Kent house from Smallville. At least the exterior.
I think if I was in Sammy’s wedding I would smack her in the face 12 times. She’s now roped Amy into helping her plan her own wedding. My question – is what is the timeframe for this article, how many days are there until this wedding that Sammy is still working through wedding planners, and Amy has her article for July 4? This time conundrum is going to drive me insane – at least, as insane as this silly movie is able.
Sammy’s dad is so enabling to his daughter – probably because her mom is dead. He pretends to love the neon monstrosity that is that desk chair. Sammy and Hank and Amy have to go wedding cake tasting, and she steamrolls over everyone’s votes on Red Velvet in favor of her own white chocolate needs. And her cake is a red, white, and blue nightmare.
What? Another person of color in this small town? How did that creep by the Hallmark brass? Sylvia is a news reporter on air, and I’m sure we’ll meet her again she’s Chekhov’s gun – it was too random of a thing not to happen. Amy’s Dad’s Fireworks Business is Not Doing Well. Will He Be Able To Save the Town’s Fireworks Display? Next at 11!
At bridal dress shopping, there are two bridesmaids in royal blue, Amy’s in red, and Sammy has a red, white and blue dress. I have never met someone who likes 4th of July as much as this made up girl does, and I think the writer did this so we would all hate her. Because I hate her. She’s cuckoo bananas.
Sammy just ordered blue roses for her wedding flowers. True story, that was an actual conversation I had with my husband when we were wedding planning. We had hot pink instead. (I won.) No one is stopping this trainwreck even though Hank is having a ton of second and third and fourth thoughts about marrying this crazy girl. He also just asked Amy to help him plan the rehearsal dinner and Amy is not strong because even though she said no, she ends up doing it anyway. Way to stand your ground, Amy. But at least it gives Hank and Amy time to get lost on country roads and re-establish their connection. They get to reminisce at their favorite BBQ joint.
Other two unnamed bridesmaids plant seeds in Sammy’s head that Amy and Hank still have feelings for each other. Because duh. But they do get to plan the rehearsal dinner at the BBQ joint. Because nothing says love more than ribs. BBQ owner thinks that it’s weird that Hank is marrying Amy’s best friend and finally says it out loud.
Amy ends up confessing how much she doesn’t like her job and her life in Chicago. Confessing it to Hank. She’s feeling the effects of the BBQ.
Amy’s dad just said he was a Luddite because he doesn’t want to tweet. They both think that they don’t need a website, and we wonder why their business is failing.
Bridal Shower! Fourth of July themed, of course. They make dresses out of toilet paper. Thank the good Lord we didn’t do that at my shower.
Sammy is way insecure she has to full on make out with Hank in front of a humiliated toilet-paper dressed Amy. Because SAMMY SUCKS!
But after this whole debacle, Amy realizes she still has feelings for Hank. Again. Duh. She asks her mom for advice, and her mom says basically, well, it sucks, but what can you do? And just then, Phil shows up! At least Amy got out of the toilet paper. She can barely bring herself to hug him. It’s revolting.
The tuxedos have red, white, and blue bow ties. Sassy Friend is SO NOT HAPPY. See that face? That’s not a happy face! (Oh, and they have matching cumberbunds. If we haven’t said it yet, Hank, run, run, run, as fast as you can!)
Town Catastrophe – Water Main Break on Main Street. The Peterson family has been summoned to City Hall – to be told that the town can’t afford to pay them for the fireworks, and Ma and Pa Peterson are out a bunch of money, and their business is about to go way, way under. Is this when we get that random news reporter out of her package and get her to run a tv segment about family fireworks companies where everyone still has all their fingers and toes?
I think Phil is going to run away with Sammy. He’s super weird around her, and it’s just gross. But he takes care of Sammy long enough for Hank and Amy to exchange longing glances at each other. BBQ man offers her a shoulder to cry on but she has to show a stiff upper lip. But it doesn’t stop her from dancing with the groom-to-be to their “song.” OH MAN – Hank just dropped the “I was gonna propose to you” history on Amy right there on the dance floor. And then Sammy has to interrupt being the insecure person she is, and there is Phil to pick up the pieces, but the funny thing about dancing next to people instead of with them – you can still see them over your partner’s shoulder, and Amy has to run away.
Hank – WTF – why are you chasing after Amy when you are marrying the crazy girl? It’s toast time – and the groom isn’t there – no one can find Hank at the BBQ joint. AND AMY JUST CONFESSES SHE’S IN LOVE WITH HANK AND SAMMY OVERHEARD!!!!! AND SAMMY FREAKS OUT AND SAYS THE WEDDING IS OFF, and that IT’S ALL AMY’S FAULT. Now No One will help Amy’s parents fireworks business, Sammy. Way to be all selfish.
So in order to calm Sammy down, Amy and Hank drive around in Hank’s truck? How is that helping anyone? They find Sammy looking at patriotic china in a shop window. That’s where I go when I have the sad times. Amy looks on as they hug, and she heads off to walk through the deserted streets of Lakeside in her high heels and her sad face.
A HA! Sylvia the News Caster is there and interviews Amy about the Kickstarter campaign. CALLED IT, Chekhov’s gun indeed.
Amy gets to break up with Phil, so good for her. He does it kind of passive-aggressively, by saying that he knew she wasn’t ‘the one.’ But at least we don’t have to see him again.
Huzzah! They raised enough money for the fireworks! Crisis averted and Amy’s got a great ending for her article. Oh, did you forget she was writing one, too?
Sammy has realized she’s crazy, but she plays the “my mom’s not here to tell me what to do” card and I feel that’s a cop-out. But Amy and Sammy are on their way back to being friends. They share a cupcake, so you know it’s all fine.
Last montage of putting all the fireworks together. Hank shows up and asks Amy to ‘walk with’ him. He confesses that he’s still in love with her, and she confesses that she’s moving out of Chicago and back home to podunk town on a lake. Who cares about medical benefits when you have small town glamour?
Amy’s wedding cake has been repurposed as the dessert for the town party, and Amy encourages Sammy to be a party planner. God help all the hapless clients who hire her.
Amy’s article makes the front page at The Chicago Post, and is now working for the family business. Maybe they have dental.
Night falls, and Sparks Fly over Lakeside as the fireworks go off and Amy and Hank are happy. And what do you think, Phil shows up in an Uncle Sam hat, and hits on Sammy. Who saw that coming? Hands Up!
Whoa, twist, just a day before he was going to marry someone else, Hank proposes to Amy, and she says yes. It’s done in front of a badly done green screen to showcase more of the fireworks and we’re done. THANK GOD.
So this movie was super — not good. They wrote Sammy so crazy so you had to hate her, and Hank was such a nothing guy – you had no reason to wonder why he thought marrying Sammy was a good idea. Meghan Markle – you married WAY UP than this guy.
So, this recap is a full month before the Fourth of July, but I’m glad to close the chapter on Meghan Markle movies. She’s not bad as an actress, but I think her new role will be better, and I’m sure she’ll be happier married to Harry than to Hank the small town lawyer who really doesn’t understand what it means to not date your ex’s best friend.
Anyway – there are a ton of June Weddings movies waiting for me, and I’ll get to them as soon as I can, you know, just so you don’t have to.