James Patrick Stuart, Teri Polo and Bailee Madison in A Taste of Romance (2012)

Cooking it Up

Having retired as a fire fighter Gill Callahan (James Patrick Stuart), with the help of his old crew, sets about opening his own restaurant, The Five Alarm Grill. Trouble is that he has opened up his place next to a posh French restaurant where Sara Westbrook (Teri Polo) takes pride in the high class cooking that her clientele come to her place for and it leads to tension and rivalry especially when Gill's place becomes popular. But to confuse matters further is that Gill is a widowed single dad to young Hannah (Bailee Madison) and not only does Hannah like Sara she sets about doing a touch of match making between them.

Donny and Marie use to sing "A Little Bit Country, A Little Bit Rock 'N Roll", well in the case of "A Taste of Romance" she's a little bit refined, he's a little bit rough n ready or she's a little bit uptight, he's a little bit laid back. So yes basically "A Taste of Romance" is another one of those Hallmark romantic comedies where opposites end up attracting and we have the humour of the rivalry going on as these opposites happen to be running neighbouring restaurants.

But "A Taste of Romance" of course is a Hallmark movie and as is often the case we have a widowed father trying to raise his daughter but doing so in a typical guy sort of way. So yes we have a matchmaking daughter thrown in to the mix. Now I could so on because whilst "A Taste of Romance" is entertaining it is one of those movie's which is built up on familiar Hallmark story elements, yes I am on about cliches which ultimately make it predictable.

What really makes "A Taste of Romance" work is that the casting is spot on. The trio of Teri Polo, James Patrick Stuart and Bailee Madison all have a talent for playing the sort of characters you find in Hallmark movies and delivering the light hearted nature of the humour. So for example Bailee Madison does the cute but opinionated daughter like no one else can whilst Teri Polo can do comically uptight in a similar way to how Doris Day did it so brilliantly.

What this all boils down to is that "A Taste of Romance" isn't anything especially new, and features many a familiar Hallmark Channel movie cliche. But it all kind of works in that Hallmark way which makes it a bit of light hearted fun for those who prefer unchallenging movies.