Plot: Jenny (Lacey Chabert) and Brian (Brennan Elliott) have been through a lot since they first met and even though the two began on shaky ground, a bond formed and of course, romance blossomed. As if running the inn, keeping up with repairs, and trying to balance finances weren’t hard before, now the couple has to do all that while also preparing to get married. Jenny is over the moon and has invited coutless people, Brian has reached out to his estranged father, and the inn has an inquisitive new guest, the latter of which turns out to be an issue. The guest is Meg (Pauline Egan), who happens to be Jenny’s second cousin and as fate has it, a rightful heir to the estate, which means she owns a third of the inn. She offers to let the couple buy her out, but between the inn’s expenses and the wedding, there’s no cash. Can Jenny and Brian overcome yet another obstacle, or is this one problem even true love can’t solve?
Entertainment Value: This is the third installment in the All of My Heart series and as with the previous sequel, it wisely keeps the prominent cast members around and as such, this feels like a true continuation. The first movie focused on the courtship, then we saw the new love tested a little, and now have the wedding, surrounded by both all of the old tribulations and some new ones. In other words, the narrative here is in line with the series to this point and while The Wedding is predictable, the arrival of Meg at least adds some fresh possibilities. But as usual in the franchise, the real draw is the optimism of Jenny and believe me, that optimism is put to the test in this one. Of course, tension is light and the outcome is never in doubt, but there’s a little more at stake at here than before, which turns up the intrigue just a touch. As I’ve said before, familiar stories and predictable turns aren’t a requirement in these Hallmark romances, as the draw is the charm and light romance/humor involved. And since the channel’s fans embraced the first two All of My Heart volumes, I have to think most will appreciate this third movie, since it sticks close to the established formula. So if you liked the first two films or Hallmark romances in general, this one will probably strike a similar chord.
She has proven to be one of Hallmark’s most reliable regulars, so it was a natural choice to bring back Lacey Chabert for this sequel. I have to think she has likely been in as many, if not more of these Hallmark movies as anyone else and she’s a great fit, a solid performer with a lot of charm. I don’t think these roles often push her skills much, but she is able to make them work, time after time. This kind of run in similar characters is a double edged sword, as her experience means she can always handle the roles, but there is also a risk of repetition causing a performer to phone it in. While Chabert isn’t likely to rack up acclaim for her Hallmark work, she always seems to have energy and effort in the turns, which is why she is so reliable. Brennan Elliott is another Hallmark regular and while his performance is rather middle of the road for me, he does well enough and fans seem to have responded to this pairing of lead performers. The cast also includes Edward Asner, Heather Doerksen, Andrew Dunbar, Lara Gilchrist, Daniel Cudmore, and Pauline Egan.
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