Be My Valentine
Movie Review by Debbie Winkler
Starring: William Baldwin, Natalie Brown, Lisa Berry, James Thomas, Christian Martyn
Director: Graeme Campbell
Release Date: 9 February 2013
Length: 90 minutes
Movie Rating: Not Rated
View Format: TV
When hunky firefighter, Dan Farrell (William Baldwin), responds to a call for a small fire in a flower shop, he meets Kate Burlingham (Natalie Brown). There is an immediate attraction between them and when Dan is put in charge of decorates for the annual Firefighter’s Ball on Valentine’s Day, he is only too happy to accept Kate’s offer to help with the flowers. After spending some time with her, Dan, a widower and single father, realizes that he is ready to get back into a relationship, but Kate is still recovering from a broken relationship of her own. Will these two find a way to put the past behind them and fall in love again?
This movie had the potential to be a sweet little romance but, instead, it was actually pretty boring. The path to romance between Dan Farrell (William Baldwin) and Kate Burlingham (Natalie Brown) flows really smoothly at first. They only speak for a few moments at the fire, but Kate’s best friend, Wendy (Lisa Berry) tells Kate about Dan from their high school days. When Kate runs into Dan at the local grocery store, they hit it off right away, particularly when Kate offers to help with the flowers and decorations for the party. Then Kate shares that she was an all-state softball player and ends up on the firefighter’s team as their secret weapon. Everything is going smoothly and I was waiting for Dan’s son, Tyler (Christian Martyn), to throw a spanner in the works or for Dan to do something stupid, but something came out of left field and changed the whole direction of the movie. Gavin (James Thomas), Kate’s boyfriend who left 6 months earlier to accept a job in Los Angeles, comes back unexpectedly and proposes to her. So the last ⅓ of the movie is about Dan and Kate separating while Kate tries to decide what to do. I did not like that plot development at all and was disappointed with the break and the rushed ending.
Still, even though I did not love the plot, there were some things about the movie that I enjoyed. The supporting cast was great. Lisa Berry was fabulous as Kate’s best friend and business partner. Everyone needs a supportive, blunt friend like her to push you out of your comfort zone (not to mention the oversharing about Valentine’s Day lingerie!). I particularly enjoyed the subplot with Tyler (Christian Martyn) and Rebecca (Leah McPherson) as a pair of young lovers trying to get through their first date and first Valentine’s Day together. It was fun to see the romance between the older two reflected in the younger two. It was also refreshing to have a teenage boy who wanted his father to be happy and was pushing him to start dating again. The firefighters were a riot. Michael Cram heckles everyone as Joey and is always trying to set up Dan with his sister, who is newly single. Michael Xavier stars as Michael, the new guy at the station who is tapped to be the beefcake auctioned off at the yearly fundraiser. Naturally, he resists being labeled a slab of meat until he sees the ladies lining up to bid on him!
Be My Valentine is a sweet, typically Hallmark movie that is fun to watch around Valentine’s Day. It is not particularly memorable, but it is not atrocious either and will be sure to have broader appeal. The film is well acted and the movie is hot in an interesting fashion with some unique camera angles. This movie is another solid, if unimaginative, offering by the Hallmark channel.
This movie contains a few scenes with characters drinking alcohol. There is one scene where the firefighters are in mild peril while fighting a house fire. The movie is fairly clean and is appropriate for viewers of all ages. Recommended for ages 8 and up.