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Love at First Glance (2017) – Learn About Love and Living a ‘Worthwhile Life’

The centerpiece of Hallmark’s Countdown to Valentine’s Day film is nearing its grand entrance. With their other original films centered around Love at First Glance, fans breathlessly awaited what we hoped would be something fitting of Valentine’s Day.


For Mary Landers (Amy Smart), between her career and relationship, life is comfortable. She doesn’t take risks or cause ripples by fighting. She takes “no” for an answer and returns to her safe life at the end of the day. She’s become so predictable that her equally practical boyfriend, Carl, parts ways with her. Then with a single glance exchanged with a stranger, Mary's life forever changes.

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She begins writing a piece on James. An adventurer who has lived a full life of risks, love and loss, the more Mary gets to know James, the more she feels for him. But with him on the other side of the world, and Mary learning of him in snapshots, what chance does love have?

Those who love the safety pin most of Hallmark’s scripts use will find Love at First Glance imagines the common romantic-comedy very differently.  This is less about the swoony, Lizzy-Meets-Darcy impression and more about a deeper connection. Not only that, but it’s one that has to exist on very little information.

Stories that grow from the idea of a possibility rather than a tangible idea has before it, a great test. Since this script separates its would-be lovers save for a “first glance” and a minute long conclusion, I feel as if this film doesn’t give us quote enough time to truly love what these two can be together. (A little more time with them together, or a year later epilogue might have been nice.) Given this story handicaps itself from the start, I was curious to see how it would give its audience a compelling yet entertaining story.

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Not at all surprising, it’s a story I never should have doubted. Ordinarily, I wouldn’t like a romantic-comedy placing an ocean between its paramours (preferably I still like the alternative), but this story does an A+ job of convincing me this is the right cause of action. Seeing Mary develop feelings for James through people who tell of his actions and who he is rather than a perception is a unique concept.(Plus, the hilarious subplot involving Mary and her ex makes up for any minor flaw.)

With a (mostly) new-to-Hallmark cast, this film further sets itself apart, and is a story that earns its place as the “hyped” film of its campaign. Most fun was seeing Adrian Grenier in a role again. Once upon a time he played Anne Hathaway’s boyfriend in Devil Wears Prada.  

Those staying in for Valentine’s Day should check out this story. It uses different strokes, pacing and cues to tell it's story. All combined, they produce a unique romantic drama that is far more than the romance. It's about loving more than at the surface, and discovering what it really means to live fully without the fear of regrets weighing us down. Plus, the charming romance is sure to make you smile. On Valentine's Day, you can't ask for more. ♥

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