Valentine in the Vineyard (2019)


Valentine in the Vineyard Storyline

Frankie Baldwin and Nate DeLuca have been able to bridge the Baldwin/DeLuca family feud – the families the major players in the grape growing and wine making business in St. Madeleine, California – by not only making a success of Sorrento in their first full season, their winery where Frankie is in charge of the wine making and Nate the grape growing, but by falling in love. In that love, Frankie and Nate, who are opposites in working by intuition and by science respectively, are trying to understand the other better both for professional and personal reasons. Without telling the other, Frankie has gone back to college to take her final course needed to graduate, that class being biochemistry, while Nate and his youngest brother Gabe DeLuca are taking an organic gardening class to understand the art rather than science of gardening. Also in that love, the two get engaged despite the pressures they are facing in just having expanded Sorrento with the upcoming season even more more important in that needed success to pay off their debt. But they learn that they won’t be the first two to bridge the Baldwin/DeLuca divide, as her cousin Lexi Moreau and his brother Marco DeLuca announce before Frankie and Nate are able to do so that they too have just gotten engaged, and due to circumstances are planning to get married on Valentine’s Day in four weeks. As such, Frankie and Nate decide to postpone the announcement of their engagement until after Valentine’s to give Lexi and Marco due time to bask in their impending marriage. But in helping Lexi and Marco plan their wedding, Frankie and Nate may believe that the cosmos are telling them that they are not meant to be together as one personal or professional issue after another seems to dog them.—Huggo

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Valentine in the Vineyard Movie Reviews


Bonus points for texting bubbles that a viewer like me can actually read.!!!!

Frankiie is a little too neurotic. After a while it is more annoying than funny.

This miscommunications were funny at times and cliche at other times.

There were some funny lines. “Reign of terriers.” That whole sequence brought out some lol’s even though some of the puns were bad too.

There are multiple romantic relationships either going on or springing up.

I like Rachael Leigh Cook and Brandon Penny together.

The story is a little thin but I don’t think it’s intended to be anything complicated.

I have to admit there was an element of suspense for the ending. I really wasn’t sure how it was going to go.

My marital valentine

‘Valentine in the Vineyard’ is the third film in the ‘Into the Vineyard’ trilogy, after ‘Autumn in the Vineyard’ and ‘Summer in the Vineyard’. It is also the first of the 2019 Countdown to Valentines Day films, a very short series of films this year, followed by ‘The Story of Us’ and ‘Love Romance and Chocolate’. Of the other two ‘Into the Vineyard’ films, ‘Autumn’ is the best one and that was pretty good, while ‘Summer’ disappointed while still being watchable enough.

As far as the ‘Into the Vineyard’ films go, ‘Valentine in the Vineyard’ is in the middle. Better than ‘Summer’ but not as good as ‘Autumn’, with strong flashes of what was good about ‘Autumn’ but also with flashes of what disappointed about ‘Summer’. Of the three 2019 Countdown to Valentine’s Day films, it is second best after ‘Love Romance and Chocolate’. ‘Valentine in the Vineyard’ is not great or flawless, but it’s enjoyable enough if not too much is expected. It is my feeling though that one does have to see the previous two films beforehand to save any confusion.

Will agree that the indecision and constant flip flopping of decision making was a bit too much and annoying, which makes one frustrated by the characters and motivations at points. It also tries to do a little too much in the plot, on paper it does sound thin structurally but the double wedding and double engagement sees a good deal going on and it started feeling on the busy side.

It doesn’t always flow in the dialogue and some of the sentiment could have been toned down. While Rachael Leigh Cook does fine, her character is a bit too neurotic this time.

However, there is a lot to like. Cook and Brendan Penny are still very engaging and bring a lot of charm and heart to their roles, never looking uncomfortable or bored. Their chemistry is sweet and never felt forced. The supporting cast are good as well. The characters could have had more dimension but they are not as one-dimensional as they are in ‘Summer’. The direction is never hyperactive but also not pedestrian.

The vineyard setting is beautiful and made the most of, the scenery in general is beautiful and shot well. The music doesn’t overbear or intrude, things that can happen in Hallmark films. The script isn’t perfect, but it is sincere, has playful moments and doesn’t take itself overly seriously. The story is warm-hearted and charming, if on the busy end of things, with some nice energy, and the ending is less predictable than most endings for Hallmark films.

Overall, decent end to the trilogy. 6/10.

Surprisingly good

“Valentine in the Vineyard” is apparently the third film in a trilogy in which Rachel Leigh Cook and Brendan Penny as Frankie and Nate, rival vintners who have fallen in love. I suppose at one point they were competitive yet by now the two of them have purchased a vineyard and are growing their own grapes. Cook is an emotive actress with good emotional range for a woman stressed by the big loan she has taken out. Penny is equally talented and the two of them make a good onscreen couple. It helps that the script is pensive for a movie like this and defies your expectations.

The proposal takes place at the very beginning simultaneous with Frankie’s sister announcing her engagement. Frankie and Nate decide to hide their engagement from everyone, including themselves. As the film progresses, each of them realizes he may not be ready for the wedding and each comes up with a reason to postpone. This is a realistic portrayal of the doubt many people have when getting married. In spite of this, it becomes clear this couple loves each other. They decide to learn the other person’s perspective about how to grow grapes. He takes a class with a holistic gardner and she decides to complete her undergraduate science degree. I suppose in an earlier film these character traits were established.

Each person uses knowledge from the program she completed to devise a manner of saving the grapes from frost. The strategy they come up with, which I won’t spoil ties in nicely to the “education” scenes. I like this idea because it brings these otherwise out of place scenes into the focus of the main narrative. This is a love story after all not a fish out of water comedy.

Even the ending, which would be cheesy in any other movie, kind of works. Frankie and Nate get married using the leftovers from her sister’s wedding to Nate’s brother (that’s really cheesy, isn’t it?)

The vineyard gets some nice panoramic shots. It is situated in a valley with a large manor at its center. The couple has a guard lama who we see sometimes standing next to them. I believe Frankie keeps it. I enjoyed seeing her feed the lama grapes. Hallmark films aren’t usually quirky like that. It’s a nice touch. The film as a whole is nothing spectacular but very well done for the genre.