'Romance in the Air' Review: Hallmark's latest rom-com runs on cheesy convenience, a little too much at times
An attractive woman returns to her scenic family holiday home to get away from the conundrum of her struggling career in hip city life. And the rest is done and dusted
Spoilers for 'Romance in the Air'
For a Hallmark rom-com, the network's latest release 'Romance in the Air' really believes in the whole if you love someone let them go policy. Perhaps borrowing a thing or two from the highly popular combination of hot air balloons in Hollywood movies, the cheesy 80-minute ride is excruciatingly happy in losing in love. It's almost as if they love each other so much, they just want to get rid of each other. A blonde woman returns to her scenic family holiday home to get away from the conundrum of her struggling career in hip city life. The rest, as anyone can imagine, is a story of rekindling past flames, being confronted by the comfort of her boring city life, and eventually returning to her roots to be happy with a childhood sweetheart. It's like 'Sweet Home Alabama' minus the passion.
Cindy Busby stars as Eden Clark, our heroine who is recently asked to take time off her bland job as an advertisement and marketing executive. Conveniently, she has a holiday home in Lake Tahoe where she can escape to, the way Carrie Bradshaw could lounge in a Mexican resort after being jilted by Big. Very convenient and much like Bradshaw landing in an older lover's arms all the way in Abu Dhabi, Eden too finds affection in Riley (Torrance Coombs), a fellow holiday home-born-and-raised friend she immediately hits it off with.
The town is happier than ever to see the two of them together; it's one of those communities where a heartbroken nice guy's love story is the only exciting thing happening. From the local flower business owner and local bakery to the milkshake place, almost everybody is rooting for Eden and Riley to become endgame. Eden's city friend Kate (Sashleigha Brady), who has tagged along taking a few days off from her job as a hairstylist, is extra confrontational about the rekindling of their romance.
Eden, an apparent workaholic, invests her time off in helping Riley out with his budding hot-air balloon business, hence the title. Get it? And Kate calls Eden out if she so much as says hi to Riley, but that's for good reason. You see Eden, just like Reese Witherspoon's Patrick Dempsey in 'Sweet Home Alabama', has a boring but genuinely 'good guy' boyfriend called Michael (David Cleveland Brown) back in the big city. She conveniently avoids telling each man about the other until the inevitable ambush happens, and once again, luck favors Eden by getting her the same job back in the city. Avoiding the threeway confrontation, Eden drives back to the city plush, as our boy back home waits by the lake like a lost puppy.
The ending too is like most romcoms end, but this one has a very sly twist in the story. The things narratives do for convenience! It's not so much as Busby and Coombs performance that makes the film look so shallow than its narrative. Brian Brough's direction being a familiar process for the majority of the cast comes out in writer Brittany Wiscombe's story. The cinematography utilizes the scenic beauty of Tahoe where everything is pieced together the way Ryan Reynolds' Alaskan hometown was in 'The Proposal'. Everything looks great, literally. But it's how much the story panders to getting the heroine together with her hero that becomes irksome after a point. Riley is too docile in his love for Eden; he likes her but won't get in the way of her city man. He will confront her about how the Tahoe life working for him s so much better, but he won't actively pursue her.
Eden too is too happy to return to her city life after clearly leading a man on. Everything is forgotten until the next minor inconvenience at work happens and Eden quits her job. She realizes it's not just her job she needs to quit and comes clean to Michael, but no harm done. Michael and Kate too are having their own little thing that Eden gives her blessings to wholeheartedly. She goes back to her puppy love and the city goes on unaffected. Hopefully not all viewers will feel the same after finishing the movie.
'Romance in the Air' will premiere on August 1, at 9 pm only on Hallmark.