Plot: Jenny (Lacey Chabert) has a good life, but when she encounters a former classmate who has been on the fast track, she begins to realize that her life hasn’t turned out how she hoped. This prompts her to take action and not only plan to advance her career, but dump her current boyfriend, as she can now see that the relationship is stalled and she wants a fresh start. Her luck seems to take an upturn when she learns she has inherited a remarkable parcel of land, complete with a large home. Before she can move in and begin her new life however, she discovers she only owns half of the estate, with her co-owner being Brian (Brennan Elliott). He is much different than Jenny, a Wall Street man who wants to sell the house and move, while she insists on keeping it, to turn it into a bed & breakfast. As the two try to tolerate each other and fix up the house, can they get along and make this endeavor a successful one?
Entertainment Value: This light romance from Hallmark is formulaic, but was a hit and even spawned multiple sequels, turning All of My Heart into a reliable franchise for the network. The narrative makes little sense, a home bequeathed to two strangers, who then share it, but it sets up the odd couple dynamic and that drives the movie. I also think fans of these Hallmark movies don’t mind contrived stories, as long as it gets the characters set up for romance, much like predictable tales aren’t an issue, since these are low engagement content. I don’t mean any of that as an insult either, as movies of all kinds fill various needs of the audiences and without question, these light romances from Hallmark have a sizable viewership. I tend to prefer the Christmas themed ones, but All of My Heart is brisk and harmless. To be honest, there’s not much chemistry between the leads, but both are likable and have some charm, so that’s enough to carry the thin narrative forward. This isn’t likely to convert new fans to Hallmark, but for those who like the channel’s fluffier takes on romance, All of My Heart provides some passable entertainment.
Although the network has a wide assortment of leads in their movies, a few regular performers pop up more than others. Lacey Chabert is one of Hallmark’s most popular leads and she is in All of My Heart, as well as the sequels, of course. I think she is a great fit for the channel, as she is likable and has a wholesome vibe to her, while also being able to handle the light comedic and romantic nature of the material. I can’t really praise her work that much here, as she plays the same kind of character in most of the Hallmark productions she’s involved with, but she does what the role requires, which is be likable and show a good deal of charm. And you can’t knock Chabert for that, as the material isn’t demanding and the formulaic appeal of Hallmark’s movies means that she knows what her audience wants. Ed Asner has a small role in All of My Heart, though it doesn’t prove to be a memorable one. The cast also includes Heather Doerksen, Brennan Elliott, and Daniel Cudmore.