It’s a bit of a steamy evening. The Giants are playing, so we’re scattered in different directions. Not sure if I’m good luck or bad luck this year – so I’m in one room, far away from the game, happily ready to delve into another gem from the Hallmark Channel. I don’t know anything about this movie other than it stars Sara Rue, an actress who people used to say I looked like. I am not sure, but whatever. It’s All For Love.
Sara Rue is writing on her very zen patio with enormous eyeglasses. She is Josephine, a romance writer, who is happy to be outside of a relationship herself, glad to dispense wisdom to her friends and write about it on her laptop with amazing battery life. She had a bad break-up once with a guy named Todd, or He Who Will Not Be Named. She gets a call from her publisher, who is making her leave her comfy apartment and go in for a meeting. Apparently, there’s trouble with her last book, and with the editor of said book – another ‘not to be named’ person. She also has a meet cute with a rough and tumble guy in a hoodie and leather jacket who saved her from a skateboarder – and spilled an ice mocha down her shirt. She was on the phone, so of course she didn’t see the skateboarder and is more frustrated and bitchy than grateful not to be a sidewalk pancake.
Ruh-roh, Raggy, rough and tumble guy and our heroine are in the same office building, and this can’t be good. Jo is with her publisher, where she is told she needs to write better, or ELSE!!! Her new book is about a Navy SEAL, and her publisher is forcing her to actually talk to a Navy SEAL before publishing the book. You know, for research and stuff. And who is the Navy SEAL? It’s Rough and Tumble Guy – Captain Colin Kelly, also known as Publisher’s Younger Brother. He’s not a fan of the book, and he thinks all her Navy SEAL stuff sucks. So off he and she go to some kind of boot camp.
Cue Training Montages! And she shows up wearing the dumbest set of earmuffs EVER! WHY ARE YOU WEARING THOSE?????
Awww, Colin has a Sassy Friend – Rob. Both Rob and Colin make her change out of her hot pink outfit into some kind of unstructured pants and hoodie combo. And Jo is thinking all this boot camp stuff is fun – until Colin makes her run in combat boots. Oh, and BTW, Jo cannot swim, so Navy Boot Camp just got more complicated. Oh she has to climb a wall like Jodie Foster in Silence of the Lambs. As someone with very little upper body strength, I feel your pain, girl. The day ends with Jo’s Navy SEAL recruit team hating her because Colin punished all of them for Jo’s not knowing any of the rules, and when Jo tried to complain, he made it more – because being a Navy SEAL is all about Teamwork. But I feel like that was just really dumb on Colin’s part, and I don’t like him much right now. Plus, he really doesn’t like her much because he read her file, and because her parents are academics, he feels like she’s lived in an ivory tower all her life and never had to do any kind of work. I feel like such an assumption will surely lead to a comeuppance.
Second son has just joined the party, swearing “he’ll be quiet.” We shall see.
Next morning, Jo is in a super amount of pain and calls her friend for help. She’s not a Sassy Friend, but her name is Molly, and she’s happy to help. But who should arrive while Molly is helping her type – Colin! The SEAL team is not happy that Jo didn’t arrive this morning, but Jo gets back at him because Molly is a yoga teacher and Colin sucks at yoga. Yay Yoga Revenge!
Now, they are bonding over pizza and SEAL stories. And back at Jo’s publisher’s office, we find out more that Jo’s writing is suffering under the fact that Jo has become so cynical about love. Publisher tells Jo to go out on a date. Yeah, that advice goes over real well. But Jo is renewed at her return to bootcamp, where she brings people flowers, which go over real well with no one except Sassy Friend Rob, whose anniversary is this week! Uh Oh! Luckily Jo is there to assist with a florist.
SEAL time is now – team has to hold up a log, and Jo talks them through with yoga breathing. Which is cool, except for the fact that ever close-up of Jo shows that she is not even barely touching that log. I do not believe she is helping her team right here. But whatever, the yoga breaking works and they win their weird challenge. She also bonds with a team member about his romantic troubles.
Younger Son thinks there is something in his tooth. He is also wondering when The Sad Times are coming. As we’re not even at the halfway mark, my answer is, Not Yet.
Colin has notes for Jo’s writing – but not on the SEAL stuff, and that doesn’t go over well At All, but I’m wondering how she can have such a perfect smoky eye after a full day of boot camp. She’s doing better on all the obstacle course stuff except that pesky wall, and she’s helping out her friend with dating advice. However! Her writing doesn’t have as much romance as her friend Molly wants, and now they get to talk about He Who Shall Not Be Named. We don’t find out much, except that her parents are still in love and are like a gold standard, and no one liked Todd. And, of course, Molly asks why Jo can’t go out with Colin. And Jo doesn’t outright say no, but she goes off to Googleland to learn about Colin while sitting on the floor on a pillow next to about a hundred of lit candles. Seriously, set designers, NO ONE DOES THIS. The candles inside a fireplace thing is nice, but is super impractical. And I have enough fear of fire to really hope she blows all of them out before she falls asleep over her computer.
Younger Son wants me to find a dragon in his book while I type.
Pre-Launch Party for Jo’s book – she’s wearing a floral jumpsuit. It’s really a bad look. Critic at the party calls the romance genre trivial, and I can’t even tell you how much I wanted to smack that guy, so we’ll move on. We also have confirmed that Jo’s book is called SEALed with a Kiss, which is seriously, dumb. There are so MANY Navy SEAL books in the Romance genre, and I doubt ANY of them have this type of dumbass title.
Publisher tells Colin to not romance Jo at all, because they both have a lot riding on the finishing of Jo’s book. Somehow, I really don’t get it.
Younger Son is now playing with his Spy kit. But true to his word, he is being quiet. Yay Younger Son!
Cover photograph time. The model is FUGLY. And he’s not in the right uniform, but that leads to Colin being recruited to be the model for the cover. And Jo says “Wow.” And the photographer who is taking the pictures is really dumb because she has him pose very badly and it makes me think this book will suck, until Jo goes over there to adjust his tie, and photographer gets a few shots of both of them together, which will end up being the cover.
Off they go for Sushi! More bonding – his parents are dead, his sister made him join ROTC, and he wants to save people. And his 20 year plan was to start boot camps after he was done. And the 4-1-1 on Todd (He Who Shall Not Be Named) was that he cheated on her. Oh big whoop. But we also find out that she’s moved on, and they are comfortable enough for Colin to get Jo to agree to a swimming lesson – which is just a ploy by the movie people to get him in a bathing suit. She’s also making him close his eyes while she gets in the pool – she’s in a freaking tank suit, it’s not a big deal, Jo. She’s never learned to swim because her parents were crappy parents. And she gets startled by a loud noise while floating and basically jumps him and we get an almost kiss.
Molly wonders why she didn’t kiss him in that moment. Younger Son wants to know if I knew that the Hydra was a water monster. Colin is heading to New Zealand in a month – and that gives Jo an out to not try anything with him – because it will not work out, anyway. But it doesn’t stop her from getting all swoony for a minute. However, her book draft is not quite there yet, and she’s gotta get on that!
Cut to Colin at the coffee shop, where he meets up with an ex, Alexis, and she gets him to open up (a bit) about Jo, and how settling down doesn’t have to be a place, it can be a person – wherever that person is, is home, yada yada yada – But OF COURSE Jo walks in on them holding hands and goes off into The Sad Times! Hey Younger Son! THE SAD TIMES!
After the commercial break, we’re back to boot camp, where she can’t get up the wall without her team to help her, and with the overhead shot of the wall, we see that this wall has places for SEALS to plant their feet – and I didn’t think that was a thing? Her team doesn’t do it in under 12 minutes but they do do it as a team, so yay, teamwork. But Jo is taking out her Sad Times out on Colin, who bought new flowers for his desk but who is totally rebuffed by Jo and now HE’s in the Sad Times. Both sons are here for this portion of the movie.
Colin thinks he’s in love with Jo, and confesses this to his sister. Older Son is making fun of my typing. Oh, his speech about being in love with Jo is nice, and his sister tells him to go get the girl, but don’t make her upset so she can’t finish her rewrite.
Back to her house – he’s there in his hoodie, and she’s puzzled why he’s there. He’s nervous, and can’t get the words out, so she stops him, and uses the F word. She says they’re friends, and that brings him to a full stop, right there. He won’t be saying anything else and leaves after giving her a SEAL t-shirt. Now, more Sad Times for Jo – she actually cries because she was doing the brave thing about forestalling him saying they were friends because she didn’t want to hear the dreaded F word. No one likes that word in Hallmark movies, do they, unless it is with the modifier Sassy.
But all the Sad Times work because she’s reading her manuscript and she’s crying behind her massive glasses and the book is finished and the cover has both Colin and a girl in it, and it’s nice, even with the dumb title. May 13th is her book-signing. May 13th is Younger Son’s birthday, so I approve the date.
Molly calls Jo out on not saying anything about the girl she saw him with in the coffee shop. Jo cries. Molly says “it’s ok.”
And it’s May 13th at the book signing. Colin is there! He’s written her something inside her book. Which he tells her not to read yet. And then he goes. Molly is there making very frustrated faces at Jo. As luck would have it, Alexis the ex is also there for a signed copy, which makes Jo very confused, and lets her let Colin leave without saying anything…but when Alexis gets to the front of the line, she sets Jo straight about who she is, and that makes Jo leap away from the book signing table and take Colin’s copy with her to read.
She’s his person! Aww. And now her SEAL team is there to back her up, and encourage her to go after him. Molly just bought her a ticket to New Zealand, and does she even have her passport? Oh, who cares, it’s a RomCom Race to the Airport! BUT! She can’t even get in a cab before Colin comes back for her. And So they go off to New Zealand together – final scene is them in the jungle or something and she’s wearing a dress. As you do. And the end.
Ok. SO MANY THINGS. As stated above, there is a whole subgenre of Harlequin Romances that are all about Navy SEALs, so I get the basic plot of this movie. However, I don’t believe, even with how lucrative the romance genre is in the publishing world, that there would be this much work going into one of these types of books – and that it would be published in hard cover. That being said, glad that an author worked through her issues and finished her book and got the guy. I wish I could finish my book. It’s only been 6 years. Who’s counting?
Anyway. Glad this one is off my DVR, and that I could sit in relative peace and finish this one, at least. Do you have any thoughts about the romance genre? Do you love Navy SEAL fiction? Did you want to watch All For Love? Don’t worry, I already did it, just so you don’t have to.