Just the Way You Are (2015)
Mother’s Day weekend brings with it a brand-new original premiere on our favorite "Heart of TV" network. The story is about busy mom Jenny Wreitz, played by familiar face, Candace Cameron Bure. About to make partner at the matchmaking company where she is a respected employee, Jenny’s most recent client unlocks something in her. By working with her latest client, Jenny begins to realize there is a disconnect in her life. She and her work-obsessed husband Ian (Ty Olsson) have lost something from their marriage. Their two high-school girls are growing up – one dealing with the complications of her first crush, the other trying to overcome her fear of the stage for the sake of her love of music (and vocal talent), which leaves Jenny and Ian wondering what comes next. This inspires Jenny to make changes in their life. She decides to initiate a “blind date” with her husband. It’s time they remember what it felt like to be more than two people existing in the same space.
As with each film Hallmark recruits to their original film line-up, this one is darling. It’s not the exact carbon-copy of fan favorite Bure which is a refreshing change. Because of this, I believe this is one of my favorite roles I’ve seen her play in a long time. Last year I saw her in back-to-back movies in which she played a driven career woman (both times a doctor), so this was a less “intense” character as a mom and woman who has aspirations, but believes her family always comes first. With that in mind, let’s look at some of the things I loved best about Just the Way You Are (previously known as Mom's Blind Date).
The Dancing│If you watch Dancing with the Stars, you know that a couple seasons back Candace competed (and made it to the final three) with pro partner Mark Ballas. In this film, we get to again see her put on those dancing shoes (in not one but two cute scenes). I'll admit, it brought me back.
The Romance│Most movies feature a romance at the beginning versus one that has been blossoming for 15 years. This screenplay took a unique approach to the romance between the leading couple and I really liked Candace and Ty together. They played off each other with a warm easy-going familiarity that made watching them come back to each other enjoyable.
The Story│This ties into much the same mindset as my comments regarding the romance of this story. The target audience watching this is going to relate to, understand and appreciate what this script is about.
Though I will say this wasn’t as Mother’s Day centric as I anticipated, the film is sweet. I watched it with my mom (she particularly enjoyed the "spa scene" since she'd be the same: it's not her idea of a good time) and we both turned it off with the same thought: we concluded it was a darn sweet movie. It has some great acting, a nicely written script (with some really cute dialogue and expressions) and is produced as a tailor-made film for Hallmark Channel. Leading into Mother’s Day, it’s a charming film for you, your mom and any other ladies in your family to enjoy together.
Watch the premiere of Just the Way You Are tonight – Saturday May 9th, on Hallmark Channel.