From the beginning of this film, I was thoroughly captivated by everything about it–the storyline, the chemistry between the co-stars, and the whimsical take on the typical Hallmark love story. Speaking of chemistry, Alexa and Shawn definitely have it, in my opinion. They had that beguiling kind of chemistry that doesn’t have to be overly physical, but it is fun and authentically entertaining to watch. As Libbi and Ben, opposites certainly attract, and the natural fascination between the two is quirky and amusing to watch.
There are so many familiar faces in the film, and more than likely, you’ll recognize Leah as Michelle, Libbi’s partner and friend. As the one who ensures that Libbi at least considers the idea that she might be falling for her arch rival, Leah is perfectly cast. No stranger to Hallmark nor the role of the supporting role to the lead, Rachel brings a pragmatic view to Michelle while still permitting romance and true love. Furthermore, she accomplishes all of this while still letting Libbi know that no matter what she ultimately decides, she will still be at her side, supporting her and picking up the pieces, if needed. I simply adore the genuinely practical, no-nonsense approach that Leah infuses into her character roles like this, and I hope that Hallmark realizes what a gem she truly is.
As the best friend of Ben, Andrew Francis plays the cute but sometimes overwhelmed Alex. As the years have gone on, Andrew has become a veritable Hallmark favorite–sometimes in the lead, and sometimes in the supporting cast. No matter what, he always plays his role brilliantly, smoothly, and with sincerity. In this role, he has soared to new heights, and many men will sympathize with his frustration as his character attempts to figure out how to finance the wedding of his fiance’s dreams.
Playing Andrew’s fiance, Annie, is the lovely and talented Elise Gatien. In recent years, Hallmark and Lifetime both have snatched her up for various roles, and she is one who never disappoints. She has easily saturated Annie with every man’s worst nightmare–she wants it all without considering the financial ramifications. She does seem to be one who is in love with the “bells and whistles” of a massive ceremony, but we can only hope at the end that somehow Alex’s pragmatism will win her over rather than scare her off. Elise inspires us to desire only the best for her and her future.
From the moment Shawn smiled on screen, I was enchanted with him and his character. There is something so boyishly cute about him, and you cannot help but love Ben. As we begin to learn more about his plight and what makes him tick, we begin to grow weary of Libbi’s overbearing and obsessive nature when it comes to weddings. While we understand where Libbi is coming from, Ben does have a point. In so many ways, they represent two extremes, and the real truth lies somewhere in between the two. While I had the wedding of my dreams, I even utilized many of the ideas Ben put forth. Thus, on occasion, as much as I adored Libbi, I found myself siding with Ben. And that winning smile and charming persona that Shawn infuses so effortlessly into Ben’s character genuinely make it impossible to overlook him, nor deny him my undying allegiance in spite of any differences in ideology.
Of course, Libbi and Michelle are the ideal foils and friends as it seems like Michelle is the only one who can often get through the thick and sometimes stubborn skull of Libbi’s. Like so many young ladies, she thinks she has an idea of what love and romance should be, and it is arduous for her to alter this view. But because Michelle is never above speaking her mind, Libbi is willing to listen to her. But as would be expected, Libbi is quick to point out any potential faults in Michelle’s theories and even jump at the chance to prove her wrong. Thankfully, there is enough respect between these two that they have the freedom to speak the truth in love whether the other listens or not. It would have been nice to see a love interest for Michelle, but since the film concentrates on the fluctuating and sometimes turbulent relationship between Libbi and Ben, the storyline just cannot support that premise in the allotted time. Nevertheless, Michelle is there as a support to Libbi at all times, no matter the choices that are made. And the interactions between both Alexa and Leah are always delectable to watch. I never found myself doubting the authenticity of their friendship.
As I told Alexa when I interviewed her, I found her character of Libbi charismatic from the moment I saw her on the screen. She seemed fully immersed in this role, and some of my favorite moments included seeing her character’s ecstasy as she was opening herself up to the possibilities of true love and even realizing that maybe she didn’t have all the answers to every situation. Maybe combining forces with Ben might be better for business and even for her personally as well.
Alex was always ready to give her character all the energy she needed as Libbi is definitely a “Type A” person who needed people to help her realize that her way was not always the right way. Her preconceived notions may not always be fully representative of everyone’s needs when it comes to wedding planning.
As Michelle stated, “Opposites do attract.” And this is the most exquisite story I’ve seen in recent times that demonstrate just that point.
Unlike Ben, who keeps his emotions heavily shrouded, Libbi wears her emotions on her sleeves. And Alexa has done an exceptional job of conveying this truth on screen, which is indeed a credit to her as an actress.
And lest we forget this is Hallmark, and this film represents June weddings…
could anyone be more stunning?
So whatever you choose to do tonight (June 4), do not miss this darling family treat on the Hallmark Channel! It is exactly that kind of story that the entire family can watch together!
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