So, the world is on fire, figuratively and literally, and I am back in my hidey-hole in the basement, where it is comfortable, and it’s not blazing hot, and I’m not in danger of arguing with anyone about our current political climate. My husband is graciously leaving me in my quiet time, and has even suggested tonight’s viewing. So off we go to Stop the Wedding.
Overview of Seattle starts our movie, and the font on the titles of this is Avatar Papyrus, and all I can think of is Ryan Gosling on SNL having a breakdown over this font choice. Wow, we are not even 2 minutes into this movie and I’ve already gone off on a tangent. Sorry. Mom and Daughter are having a movie night, and complaining about the neighbors who have way too loud music. Daughter is a lawyer, who has branched out for her own firm and she’s worried about her future. Mom is upset about the music, and goes over to the neighbor’s house to yell, and who answers the door but Alan Thicke (RIP) who is an actor named Sean Castleberry, and he’s way full of himself and won’t turn his salsa music down (daughter calls it mariachi).
One month later, we’re in San Francisco, and Daughter has a new office, and we finally find out her name – Annabelle Colton. She’s repping someone in a divorce. She has a receptionist named “Em.” It also appears that the mom in the beginning scene is not her mom, it’s her aunt. And we also find out that the Aunt is engaged to Sean Castleberry! And Anna is not happy about this at all – especially because the Aunt just met this guy a month ago, and now the wedding has to be in 2 weeks. Lawyer mind is busily preparing the prenup for her Aunt and we cut to
Boston, Mass, where the guy from Love at First Dance is now a doctor. According to the poster image above, his name is Niall Matter, and a quick IMBD tells me that he’s Canadian, (natch) and he has been in a lot of stuff. And I already know that my husband doesn’t like me to call him handsome, so I won’t. He plays Clay Castleberry, and he’s Alan Thicke’s son. He is also pissed that his dad is getting married again, and he’s off to Seattle, postponing a trip to Miami where he is a keynote speaker at a spinal lumbar support conference. In a nice twist, Clay has a sassy friend (although she’s his assistant, so are they friends?) Clay also thinks that Anna is the lucky bride, and they have just met cute outside the airport in Seattle, where he dumped coffee on her shirt, and his phone is dead, and they hate each other completely. And we finally have learned that Anna’s aunt is called “Belle” and that’s why Clay thinks that Annabelle is the “Belle.” I wondered about that.
There’s also another aunt, Aunt Suzy, and she thinks Sean Castleberry is nice.
Clay comes by Aunt Belle’s house, and tries to bribe Anna into not marrying his father. But he’s obviously barking up the wrong tree, which he quickly figures out with the entrance of Sean and Aunt Belle, and Anna telling Clay that she would do anything for her aunt, so basically, that bribery scheme? Yeah, I hate you. Anna and her side ponytail are very strong in this scene. Clay looks embarrassed, as well he should be.
Impromptu BBQ at Sean’s house, and Belle is serving up pretzel buns. Good for her! Clay and Anna are both expressing their concern, and after a brief confab in the very airy kitchen, they both agree that their aunt/father can’t get married and they have to work together to Stop.The.Wedding.
BTW, this is based on a book.
The girl in this was the girl in A Ring By Spring. That Hallmark Channel Casting office must be super tiny.
Anna and Clay are calling Belle and Sean a “vacation romance” and seek to bring the vacation to an end. Cut to Sean telling a story he’s obviously told many times about how he was up for the James Bond Role. His long-suffering assistant is there serving dinner. I didn’t know that Hollywood assistants did that. Aunt Belle wants to retire, buy a ranch and have horses, and Sean hates getting dirty. So Anna and Clay decide to take them all hiking.
Anna overhears Sean on the phone with his agent, which belies the thing he said a scene ago where he said he wasn’t getting good roles, and didn’t want to act anymore. Anna and Clay are having a lovely time, and Sean is hiking over rocks with ski poles. For Balance? He’s also hiking in brand new boots, and if I’ve learned anything with years of blisters on my feet from walking in new shoes, it’s that you.don’t.walk.a.lot.in.new.shoes. But this is a movie, where no one will have to worry about that.
We learn that Anna’s mom died when she was 3, and Belle moved in to raise her niece. Clay’s mom died when he was 12, and he’s never had a home that was more than just a few different hotel rooms. We also learn that Sean and Belle are going to sell the Seattle house and buy a ranch in Malibu, CA.
Next scene is Sean and Clay playing pool, Clay reeking of cynicism, and Sean being all nice. Clay also realizes that Sean and Belle haven’t been to any kind of red-carpet events yet, and thinks that Belle will feel like a fish out of water at one of those things, so he pushes his dad to go to one. Sean says Clay should go on more dates. And now Belle is giving Anna the same speech – go out on more dates, have fun.
Anna and Clay sneak out of their respective houses to confer about their scheme. This is what Clay looks like scheming in the bushes. Anna says that she and Clay should go too, and in between freaking out by bird noises, they argue the semantics of the word “date” but before we hit the commercial break, they have agreed to go to this opera red-carpet gala together, and Anna needs to go get a dress. Cut to shopping montage!
Oh! We get Anna coming down the stairs in her dress! We’re not even going to a ball and we get the moment! Clay is impressed, and she’s wearing a ton of fake diamond jewelry. How much did she spend on this outfit?
This red carpet gala looks like an old person prom. But it does get Anna and Clay on the dance floor. I will say that Clay gives great smolder, just like Flynn Rider. But Aunt Belle has found out about the plan to show her the Hollywood life, and Aunt Belle is pissed that her niece thought so little of her judgement that she sought to cause problems with her one-month fiance. And Anna cries and rushes out of old-people-prom.
Oh my goodness, Aunt Belle just left a note, saying “If you’re not with us, you’re against us” and she and Sean are eloping. Drama!
Anna and Clay break into Belle’s computer, and they see an icon called “Love” which is just full of videos of Sean and Belle dancing. And there’s a song over the whole thing, and Anna has a change of heart. Belle sacrificed her life to raise her, who is she to stand in her aunt’s way of happiness? Does she hear the music?
We also find out Anna’s backstory – she was married at 19, and her husband left her after 6 weeks. What an ass. Clay’s ex-fiance was also a piece of work, and so they bond over their heartbreak. Sean’s hard-suffering assistant finds out where the lovebirds are (Vegas) and Clay’s Sassy Assistant makes the flight arrangements, because apparently that’s what Sassy Assistants do. Ugh.
The hotel in Vegas set is so clearly a mall. No way a concierge would have a desk right next to an escalator. Sean smartly uses Twitter to find where his father is, although his painful typing is sad. Off they go to a jewelry store, which is packed with paparazzi because Sean is a movie store, and after lying to get in, they race around to wedding chapels, where, of course, they meet some old guy who’s been married forever and his speech about how to be married for 60 years gives both of these cynics a new found respect for love. He’s a cute old man, so I will forgive this trope.
Location Vegas shot! They are now in a casino, and they find a $25 chip, and decide to let go, and throw caution to the wind, and with that, they play craps. Does ANYONE know how to play Craps? I have no idea. But they win a lot, so good for them. They also succumb to the magic of elevators and kiss before heading off to their respective suites. Because this is Hallmark, and no good girl would stay in the same room with the guy she just totally snogged in an elevator. Clay is also very defensive with Sassy Assistant, because he’s been paying for airline tickets and hotel suites, and he doesn’t want Sassy Assistant to judge Anna about being a gold-digger. But Clay and Anna reunite with Sean and Belle and they all get back to Seattle for the real wedding, as Belle wanted to be with her family.
Clay and Sean have the heart-to-heart that they needed to have 20 years ago. And then Long Suffering Assistant tells Clay to really stop thinking that all women are out to scheme you out of money. Could Long Suffering Assistant get a raise? Clay asks Anna to go with him to Miami after the wedding. With separate rooms. Of course.
I have been wondering when we’re going to get to the eavesdropping misunderstanding, and HERE WE GO. Throughout this movie, Anna the divorce lawyer has been trying to help her new client, who supported her husband through medical school and is now being shoved aside. So she’s on the phone on the back porch with opposing counsel, and laying it on thick about the handsome, charming doctor, and Clay totally thinks it’s about him and CUE THE SAD TIMES.
Anna and the Aunts all have matching purple satin robes to wear while they get ready for the wedding. She decides to go to Miami with Clay, and he’s just not happy about it. Sean just got offered a role in a superhero franchise, and Clay freaks out that his Dad won’t be retiring to the ranch in Malibu and heads to the airport. Belle and Sean are happy, and off Anna goes to track down Clay at the airport.
This airport has remarkable parking just across from the door. That’s not a thing, Post 9-11, but it is a thing that she had to buy a ticket to get through security to the airport bar. And it comes out that Clay overheard her conversation, and Anna calls him damaged, and Clay gets hit by the brittle old lady sitting at the bar, who tells him basically that he’s an ass and to go get the girl. One more commercial break!
Clay catches up with Anna in front of the airport. He’s been in love with her after knowing her for 6 days. They are going to Miami after all! And they are kissing right in the spot where they spilled coffee on each other! Awwwwwww.
Anna and Clay are late getting to the wedding, and Belle’s minister is being a jerk about making her do it without her bridesmaid. But they get there just in time, and Anna’s running without her shoes in the middle of the Washington woods. They get to yell “Stop The Wedding” but it’s because they WANT To be there. Ah, irony.
One Year Later – we get to Anna and Clay’s wedding in the same place! Her dress is strapless and needs to be a lot higher – it’s not a good look.
After the shortest wedding ceremony ever, they are married, and we are done.
My goodness, this movie had everything. I didn’t hate it, but I didn’t really love it. So.many.cliches. Do like that actor, though. Note, I’m not calling him handsome. With the end of this movie comes the end of my sanctuary in the basement, and I’ve got to pack up and re-enter the world. I don’t really want to. But I will. And not just so you don’t have to.