Monthly Mini Review
The Trouble With Mistletoe – a Passionflix Original movie – B (based on the novel by Jill Shalvis from her Heartbreaker Bay series) I recently signed up to Passionflix especially to watch Kristen Ashley’s The Will (loved it) but I was happy to get the chance to finally watch this movie too. I have the book on my TBR – I thought I’d read it but I haven’t. I had no trouble following the movie though which indicates the screen adaptation was fairly good. When I do read the book (someday!) I will naturally think of Rachel Melvin and Thomas Beaudoin as Willa and Keane regardless of their description in the book. There was one thing I did not get and which I still wonder about though – Keane and Willa briefly went to high school together. Keane stood her up at the Sadie Hawkins dance and, initially when grown-up Keane comes back into her adult life she’s very resentful and mistrustful (of course!). But it was never told to the view why Keane stood her up. Was there a reason? Was he just a jerk back then? I’m hoping the book has an explanation and I’m puzzled by there being none in the film (even if there wasn’t one in the book – it’s the kind of thing that would have annoyed me in print too).
Why I watched it: I loved the book and have read it maybe 3 times? (And I’ve listened to the audio twice as well. The narration isn’t even that good but I like the story so much and needs must, etc). So, when I found out Passionflix were making a movie of it I had to sign up and watch. (I used discount code TRUCK to get $2.00 off. I don’t know if it’s still valid but you’re welcome to try it.)
What it’s about: (via Passionflix) Early in her life, Josephine Malone learned the hard way that there was only one person she could love and trust: her grandmother, Lydia Malone. Out of necessity, unconsciously and very successfully, Josephine donned a disguise to keep all others at bay. She led a globetrotting lifestyle on the fringes of the fashion and music elite, but she kept herself distant. While Josephine was trotting the globe, retired boxer Jake Spear was living in the same small town as Lydia. There was nothing disguised about Jake. Including the fact he made a habit of making very bad decisions about who to give his love. But for Josephine and Jake, there was one person who adored them. One person who knew how to lead them to happiness. And one person who was intent on doing it. Even if she had to do it as her final wish on this earth.
What worked for me (and what didn’t): I was so impressed with the casting and attention to the little details from the book. I spent much of the movie with a happy smile on my face (apart from the bits which were sad of course). Jake, Josie and the children (including the Taylors) in particular were just great. I loved too the decision to decision to cast a Black actress (Robin S. Walker) to play Alyssa. The only casting decision I was a bit iffy about was Henry. I didn’t get why Josie would ever have been in love with him to be honest. He just didn’t do it for me at all (sorry Martin Dingle-Wall) and he didn’t fit my mental image of Henry even a little.