Back to You But Without Me
Tom Campbell (Adam Mayfield) and Chelsea (Haylie Duff) were childhood sweethearts but when she broke his heart at high school he left to join the military. Now having completed his service Tom returns to town where his grandmother (Marion Ross) runs the B&B known in the area for bringing couples together, except she has been hospitalised and wants Tom to take it over which he reluctantly does on the understanding that he will be off on his ways once she is back on her feet. But with Chelsea now mayor and all about the redevelopment of the town things are awkward especially as his grandma owes property taxes and may lose the property which is starting to become rundown. And then there is Nancy (Arielle Kebbel), a new cop in the area who catches him for speeding but seems to be a kindred spirit and helps him out with the B&B.
If I said "Sweet Surrender" featured a guy returning to hometown where his childhood sweetheart who broke his heart still lives you might, if you are a fan of made for TV movies, think he will end up back with the girl he once loved and who he still thinks about. But you would be wrong because "Sweet Surrender" ends up a mixing pot of made for TV cliches which goes from one familiar idea to another. As such on top of the return to town we have a business in trouble, but we also have the new girl in town whilst the childhood sweetheart having turned money grabber plans to work her charms on Tom to get the business sold. As I said none of it is new but it is a case that the writers have nicely combined the familiar to make something more than just typical.
As is often the case with this sort of family TV movie the strength of the movie really comes down to how likeable the cast is and they certainly have brought some familiar faces together with the likes of Marion Ross, Haylie Duff, Timothy Bottoms and Jonathan Bennett. In fact the casting is like the storyline as they have picked actors who are familiar to TV movies fans and mixed them together. And it works with Adam Mayfield and Arielle Kebbel giving us easy on the eye and easy to like whilst Haylie Duff delivers pantomime villain as does Jonathan Bennett.
What this all boils down to is that "Sweet Surrender" isn't anything new when it comes to made for TV movies but it does come across like a collection of the familiar and it works with the usual pleasant level of family entertainment which fans of the genre want.