Lessons in Love
Ally Sims (Emma Caulfield) is a busy woman as she hosts her own Seattle radio talk show where she specializes in dishing out advice on love and which men to date. The truth is that Ally doesn't really have any idea what real love is as to her it is finding a good looking man or one who is wealthy or who has prospects which is why she is dating Matt (John Reardon) who just about puts up with her busy lifestyle. With their own Valentine's Day wedding just a couple of days away Ally receives a surprise visitor in the form of her deceased mentor Jackie Marley (Barbara Niven) who gives her a glimpse of her past, present and future to try and make her wake up to the shallow life she is living.
Oh yes here we go again with yet another movie which uses the Charles Dickens story "A Christmas Carol" and re-imagines it to use the theme of a ghostly mentor showing someone the error of their ways. With "A Valentine Carol" the re-imagining is to do with love and showing Ally what a shallow life she has been leading rather than a mean one as per the original story. And on top of that the action has moved from Victorian London at Christmas to modern day Seattle at Valentine's Day.
The thing is that because "A Christmas Carol" is such a well known story that even before you watch "A Valentine Carol" you can already guess how things will play out and so watching it becomes about how well they did at re-imagining it and in truth there are some nice touches. Barbara Niven's slightly brashy turn as Jackie Marley gives the movie the burst of energy which is lacking early on and the whole visitation thing to various Valentine days is a nice touch. But there are not enough nice touches or stand out performances with Emma Caulfield just being fun, to make the movie more than just cute.
What this all boils down to is that the good news is "A Valentine Carol" is not the terrible movie which some might expect before watching. But it only manages to be a cute movie which re-imagines "A Christmas Carol" rather than one which manages to stand on its own as redeveloping the classic story.
Tags: A Christmas Carol