So the world is ending, and we’re all inside, and I’ve already watched Tiger King, so I’m dusting off the laptop to get back into Hallmark movies. My heart hasn’t been in it the last few months, but the stats are saying that readers need recaps – so here we go! As it’s a lovely day today, but I must be near my phone inside, I’m tackling my DVR with this world premiere from a few weeks ago – In the Key of Love, starring Tony Nominee Laura Osnes, who I totally voted for on that Grease You’re The One That I Want show when she won for being Sandy.
We open with “You Can’t Hurry Love” and some kind of bridal photography cliche montage. Aww, Laura is the photographer. She can’t help the overuse of mason jars and burlap. Her name is Maggie Case, and she drives a beat-down blue truck because she’s whimsical. She’s got a lot of boxes from Nashville, including a guitar case, and her wedding planner friend Sasha begs for Maggie to sing, but Maggie don’t do that anymore, not since she left Nashville. Sasha leaves, and Younger Son says “I’m guessing she’s the Sassy Friend?” Why Yes, Younger Son. She Is.
Sassy Friend makes some kind of pithy statement that you need to do what your passion is. So you know that Maggie does not have a passion for photography and needs to go sing for her supper. Speaking of which – what’s everyone making in day 99999 of quarantine? Today its Tacos, and I know it’s weird because Today is Monday, and it should be Taco Tuesday, but I don’t live my life to abide by those kinds of dinner rules. We’re rebels in this house!
Cut to Nashville, and Jake is some kind of music producer (the guy who does a lot with a soundboard) and there’s some girl named Ashley in a big floppy hat who is making serious eyes at him but he’s all business. Jake is heading to Piedmont Island for a wedding – is it his? Is he just a guest? It’s unclear.
Cut to Evelyn, Maggie’s grandmother, who owns the Wedding Industry thing at which both Maggie and Sasha work. Evelyn wistfully watches a Youtube video of Maggie and Jake singing and makes sure that Maggie meets some kind of ferry – so much so that she shuts down Sasha and her ambition to chose entrees for the Blake Wedding. Maggie gets to the dock of Piedmont Island, which has a sign that says 3,996 I Dos and Counting so Piedmont Island is some kind of wedding destination, I guess. And before we can think that Jake and Jennifer, currently onboard the ferry, are destined to get married and it’s going to be one of those groom leaves his bride at the altar for our plucky heroine movies, it is revealed that Jake and Jennifer are in fact, brother and sister, and he’s there for support, not vows. Whew!
Jennifer is marrying Kyle, and we’ve already upped the diversity in Hallmark movies by 3 whole guys! I don’t know what to do with this information! Groom and Best Man! AND the Mayor! Way to go Hallmark. Jennifer planned this whole wedding at Piedmont Island in order to get Maggie at her wedding which seems WAY too much. But whatever. Plot, and it’s obvious she missed Maggie a lot, isn’t it?
This Island is just too precious – there’s a trolley car to bring guests from the ferry, and the trolley car trip is narrated by the mayor.
Maggie is all about confronting her grandmother/boss about not giving her the heads up that Jake was coming to a wedding. And Grandmother is all Fiddle Dee Dee, whatever, I’m in charge. Of course you are, that’s why you trample down all of Sasha’s ambition, to retain control in your manicured hands.
The Mayor is also the Minister. Of Course.
Jennifer spends more time with her brother than with her fiance, but we do find out that their parents or dead, so that makes some kind of sense. Grandmother Matchmaker hands bride with a whole list of things to do, and wouldn’t you know it, Maggie is included in all of them, so we’ll just have to watch Jake and Maggie fall back in love with each other. This week of wedding stuff is going to wear me out and I’m only watching this movie.
Heads up – after the commercial break, Maggie shows up in HORIZONTAL STRIPED PANTS. Costumer, what drugs are you ON??????????????????? There were no pictures available online, so I had to take one with my phone while watching this movie.
Oh my God, they are SHORTS and she’s wearing a blazer with them. WHAT IS GOING ON?????
Jake and Maggie discuss their lives over benches with tulle, and we find that Jake is the control freak, and Maggie was not, and that was one of their many issues 2 years ago. Jake seems to be killing it in life – he’s a music producer and doing great. Maggie has to admit that she’s not singing and he offers his man opinion that she should sing for weddings on the island, and it’s not like that opinion is needed, Jake.
Note – Sasha’s bangs are way too heavy for her little face.
Next day, Jake finds Maggie in an outdoor cafe, and he has to lay his problems at Maggie’s feet – he’s worried about this album he has to produce. But you know, Jake, you’re a grown up, figure it out – Maggie’s off to shoot Jennifer get her hair trials done for her wedding. As someone who likes to organize, I have NO idea how someone waits until the week OF her wedding to try out hairstyles. Jennifer spills the beans on Maggie and Jake to a delighted Sasha and some unnamed bridesmaid. Backstory – Jake hosted an open mic night, and they chatted, and then Jake made her sing in front of a crowd, which is So Not Cool.
Jake is not having the slow WiFi at this place, so he goes to play Wedding Pictionary with everyone in the salon, and my GOD kill me now. Jake has to draw “Always a Bridesmaid Never a Bride.” And Best Man Gets It. Good job, Best Man! Still, though. Kill Me. And Jake is still pissy about the WiFi, and he demands to know why Maggie doesn’t stress over anything. Maggie’s philosophy – don’t borrow trouble, and don’t stress about what you can’t control. Enjoy the process, not the result. Whatever, Mags, you don’t have to produce an album from bumf@#! island.
Grandma Boss is totally blocking Sasha, and I do not like this storyline at all. Sasha has a new job offer but she doesn’t want to take it because she likes bumf@#! island. And Jake finally listened to his album and is going to go to Paris when the album launches. Yay for Jake. Even though he’s going to the same theater that they dreamed of playing in together, and it’s kind of weird. But Maggie is super supportive because that’s the type of girl she is.
Cut to a Salsa Lesson at this Godforsaken Island – the wedding party is learning, but Jake took a Salsa Class in College, so you know, he already knows. But then Bride makes Maggie dance with Jake, and Jake SUCKS as a partner – mansplaining everything and if you want to throw a chair at this guy, get in line. But wonder of wonders, once they close their eyes and not worry about dancing, they are Fred and Ginger, if Fred and Ginger ever did Latin Ballroom. BTW, there is only one way to do Latin Ballroom and it is THIS.
We also find out that Jake’s extreme Type A behavior didn’t gel with Maggie’s laid-back way, and they lost out on their one big break. And so Maggie lost confidence and hasn’t sung at all since.
Beachfront evening – Bride demands that Maggie sing something with Jake. And I have HAD it with this family trying to make Maggie do things she doesn’t really want to do. But then voila – Maggie gets a-singing, and Jake plays the drums on her guitar case. I love Laura Osnes, and good for her to put up with this crap just to be able to sing some more on TV. She’s also in Broadway Princess Party and she’s delightful. Her “10 Minutes Ago / The Next Ten Minutes” medley is GORGEOUS – Check it out here with dreamy Jeremy Jordan. Oh, back to the movie – now Maggie has to sing while Bride and Groom have their first dance, and sure, fine.
Grandma Boss is having coffee on the terrace in this paradise area of the world. She’s subtly pushing Maggie to go back to singing – subtle as a sledgehammer, but it does prompt Maggie to go back through her boxes of Nashville memorabilia, which include sheet music, scrapbooks, and lots of pictures of Jake and Maggie looking lovingly at each other.
Uh oh, Jake’s album’s release is canceled, because they lost the right to one of the songs, the lynchpin to the album, etc. Oh, he’s devastated, and needs a new song PRONTO and isn’t it great that Maggie is a songwriter? But meanwhile, Maggie gets to go flower shopping and cake tasting, and Jake shows up at the baker with a cake topper – that is “beautiful” but looks like it is made of paper. You want a cake topper?
Jake’s had a change of heart about the album and how he should only worry about what he can control, so that’s nice. His change of heart leads to Maggie digging out her song notebook, and rewriting lyrics.
Finally, it’s almost wedding time, and Maggie gives good advice to Sasha who’s going to talk to Grandma Boss about her job offer. In these turbulent times – please do not mess around with job offers. But cut to an emergency with the florist – her fridge broke and there are no flowers for the wedding! So Sasha didn’t get to tell her about her job offer and at this time, I say cut and run, girl.
Sasha has to work the rehearsal, and the wedding is going to be held by the dock. Weird. And Jennifer’s wedding is going to be ruined because of the lack of flowers, but luckily enough, during the weird Trolley Tour with the Mayor, he mentions that he has a lot of flowers in his garden, and so Jake and Maggie head over there to eat cookies at the Mayor’s Open House and beg some flowers off of him. But seriously, in all honesty, my wedding was almost ruined by a freaking Hurricane – where they said just don’t stay near windows – and the reception was in a glass-paneled room, and even I didn’t freak out as much as Jennifer did about the lack of flowers on her archway.
Meanwhile at the Mayor’s:
(They get the flowers because the Mayor is nice. They could have just had the ceremony in front of the Mayor’s house, which is a pretty Victorian, and then SAVED all the flowers, but whatever, you do you, Maggie.)
Maggie saves the day on Jake’s album because she’s amazing.
Rehearsal Dinner! Every couple who gets married at Piedmont Island has to sign a shell the night before. That’s just weird. The rehearsal dinner is a lot like a shower, with games, and it’s weird. Sasha is still upset because Grandma Boss still hasn’t listened to her. Maggie has some words of encouragement that were completely drowned out by both Darling Husband who showed off his forage to the liquor store (essential service) and Younger Son, who just bought a Batmobile on Lego Batman 3. But now Maggie and Jake are going canoeing and that cannot be a good idea – didn’t you see the news this weekend? They fell in the lake that is literally 2 feet deep, and they are magically dry in 2 seconds, except for Jake’s phone – bring on the rice!
Jake asks to see more of Maggie and “she’d like that.” Kiss blocked by Maggie saying “he should go” because it’s Hallmark and we can’t have a kiss until the final reel.
Wedding Day! Maggie is so swept up in everything she barely remembers to do her job and take pictures. But it is the fastest ceremony every and then we’re back at the manor for reception!
Posed photos on delay because Maggie’s memory card needs something, or whatever. But in the meantime, rice phone works, and Jake’s album is saved because of Maggie’s song.
Jake has to fly the red-eye back to get the album up and running, and he has to go, but Maggie’s not there, so what are we going to do? Jake’s full of conflict because he wants to tell Maggie about his good fortune, but he has only 7 minutes to make the only ferry that goes out from this island. But he makes it, and Maggie is putting a very brave face on the fact that with a song on the album, Jake will then go on tour for a whole year, and a girl can only take so many pictures of other people getting married.
Sasha picks the middle of the reception to have her moment with Grandma Boss, and Grandma Boss immediately backs down and Sasha wins. But then Grandma Boss lays down some harsh truths to Maggie and basically kicks her off the island to go be a songwriter / singer / whatever.
Jake comes back to the reception mid-song! Harmonizing on Key! YAY!
The entire wedding party is singing along with this random song that no one is supposed to know, so you know that they sang this over and over and over during the scene and everyone has it memorized it.
Jake says singing with Maggie makes him happy and he wants to be happy. But he magically also gets to go to Paris because he and Maggie can be the opening act on this random tour. AND We’re Done.
So this was a nice one to ease back into the magical world of Hallmark movies. As we live in an uncertain world, it’s nice to know that there are some things that are certain, be it The Sad Times, Sassy Friends, FairyTale Weddings on Exotic Random Locations, and Type A and Relaxed People getting together and Making.It.Work. While I don’t know what will happen next month, next week, or even tomorrow, I do know that I watched In the Key of Love, just so you don’t have to.