Dating Dot Com Clash
Technically "A Kiss at Midnight" is nothing special, it is a tried and tested romantic fairytale movie which runs with the old classic of rivals falling in love unaware that they are rivals. So yes we have a movie which whilst some will see as being a little like "You've Got Mail" harks back to the Doris Day romantic comedies of the 60s. But whilst there is nothing new or original to "A Kiss at Midnight" it has the most important factor and that is charm, yes that charm often borders on being overly sweet but if you want some sweet romance then that is what you get.
Widowed father of two and CEO of a huge online dating service, Josh Sherman (Cameron Daddo) finds himself being pressured by his two daughters to start dating but he is not interested. Susan Flowers (Faith Ford), head of a traditional bricks and mortar dating service is facing a decline in business as her clients turn to the ease of online dating and so decides to fill in an online profile with her rival to prove that online dating doesn't work. But Josh's children, having decided to secretly set up their dad, manage to get Susan's profile and fix them up on a date leading to romance between unknowing business rivals which can only lead to one thing, problems.
As storylines go "A Kiss at Midnight" feels like a game of pick the movie influences because it is a very unoriginal romantic fairytale. You have a touch of the "Sleepless in Seattle" as we have Josh's daughters trying to set him up on a date and this combines with a bit of "You've Got Mail" as Josh and Susan are business rivals but don't know who each other is. Whilst that may sound like it has just ripped off Tom Hanks & Meg Ryan movies it hasn't because in reality it shares many elements with the romantic comedies of Doris Day especially the use of split screen.
But whilst not really original and very obvious because you know how things are going to play out once Susan and Josh learn the truth it is pleasant. You may snigger at some of the cheesiness, such as Josh's perfect daughters and the pleasant meet cute which they arrange but it has charm. From Josh being a nice father to Susan's mum finding love with the comically uncouth Art, it makes you smile.
Now the simple fact as to why "A Kiss at Midnight" ends up charming is less to do with the story or the writing but the casting and in particular that of Faith Ford as Susan Flowers. Ford has this mix of beauty and homely which makes her ideal as a woman who would fall for a widowed father of two and whilst the character of Susan doesn't stretch Ford she plays her nicely. In fact the whole cast which also includes Cameron Daddo, Dyan Cannon and Hal Linden all do a nice job of playing what are no more than a collection of routine characters.
What this all boils down to is that "A Kiss at Midnight" is not new or original but it does work. So if you are looking for some light fairytale romance which is driven by being sweet and charming this is for you.