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16 out of 17 people found the following review useful:


Author: act123 from pennsylvania, somewhere
8 October 2006

Sometimes, you're up late at night flipping through the stations, bored out of your mind, and wanting some light and fluffy romantic comedy that doesn't make you feel bipolar. And this movie fit that exact billing. Sure, the plot was ripped right out of the 1930s....the writing as schmaltzy as the Hallmark Greeting Card company's legendary poetry, and the one- dimensional characters were played by a cast plucked straight from Central Casting - but it was CUTE, and exactly what I needed last night.

Lauren Holly and Costas Mandylor have great chemistry together - I liked it on "Picket Fences," and I'm happy to say they still have it over 10 year later. Costas Mandylor, at 41, is still possibly one of the handsomest men to grace the screens since ol' Rudy Valentino kicked the bucket 80 years ago. RRROWRR! Bonus points for casting that funny man who used to be on the roller skates on that show about the cartoon lady. I always thought he was something straight out of a Hepburn-Grant comedy. BRAVO!

Some people will probably say this was the corniest piece of cinema ever made, and I would probably have to agree - but come on! It's on the Hallmark Channel. What were you expecting? Just sit back, relax, eat some sesame sticks, and watch a sweet little movie with two cute people and down a bottle of Zinfandel. Trust me, you'll love and accept the schmaltz a whole lot more, and then you can go to sleep dreaming about Costas Mandylor swimming in a sea of tempered chocolate feeding you petit fours with minty fresh chocolate icing. YUMMO! (PS. Now I have a hankering for petit fours. THANKS A LOT, HALLMARK!)

I really wish the evil girl had been cast with Rachel Ray, and maybe that dishy food nerd Alton Brown as the announcer instead of the creepy dude with the Van Dyk beard. Shudder!

That would have made my night. But hey, check out "Just Desserts."

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11 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

Fun Movie, Good Music

Author: 8ntnomo from Salt Lake City, Utah USA
18 February 2004

This is a made for TV movie by Hallmark. Hallmark has always made quality movies that are family orientated. Just Desserts is a boy and girl fall in love while working together movie. Two bakers competeing for a $250,000 prize against a field of professional bakers. It is fun and light hearted. The desserts look great. The movie has a catchy, upbeat little song played during the competition. I assume that it is a made for the movie song by Roger Bellon. To bad that no soundtrack is available. I would really like to get a copy of the song. I don't even know the name of the song, because the credits are squished at the end of the movie to make room for hundreds of promos. Anyway, the cast is great. It is always nice to see Brenda Vaccaro. She is very bubbly and upbeat. Lauren Holly is always a plus and Costas Mandylor rounds out the good guys with a wonderful performance. Professional chef Wolfgang Puck has a guest appearance. The movie is worth watching.

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12 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

A Great Romantic Treat

Author: mauramssyg from Tucson, AZ
26 April 2004

This is a great Valentine's Day gift. A gorgeous guy and a pretty girl fall in love while trying to beat the competition at a baking contest. Very romantic. I'm a real fan of Costas Mandylor since his days at Picket Fences and he hasn't lost his appeal. Lauren Holly is still lovely and adorable and the two still have great chemistry together. The supporting cast was good as well. Seeing all those wonderful desserts being made was a delicious sight in itself. I loved that Costas and Lauren teamed up to win in the baking competition and in love. This is the kind of film that satifies all palates, romantic and otherwise. Hallmark always shows excellence in their programming and this is no exception. The whole family can view this film. Also shows that sometimes love triumphs over any adversity. I found myself sighing and wishing for more for this film and also yearning for those wonderful desserts. I recommend this film highly for all ages. A great treat for all.

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6 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

This dessert is so sweet, just sit back and enjoy, all fans of light, romantic cinema

Author: Amy Adler from Toledo, Ohio
10 March 2008

Marco Poloni (Costas Mandylor) was born into a baking family in the Bronx. Although the Polonis have been well known for their confections over the decades, the business has fallen on hard times. Meanwhile, Grace Carpenter (Lauren Holly) is a most talented dessert maker in Manhattan but, she can not seem to land a prime confectionery position because of the glass ceiling. An accidental meeting between Marco and Grace results in a conversation about a possible solution for them both. There is a high profile bake-off, The Golden Whisk, taking place in the near future and Marco wants Grace to partner with him. There is a hefty amount of "dough", haha, at stake for the winners, enough to set Grace up in her own business and save the Polonis eatery, too. Reluctantly, Grace agrees. But, there are complications. Some of the judges and fellow contestants may have past issues with both Grace and Marco. Then, too, although Marco and Grace both feel some sort of attraction for the other, Grace has a long standing, very rich boyfriend. Can Marco and Grace win the contest? This is a lovely film for the romantic at heart. First, there is the nice cast. Holly has always been a lovely actress with a notable husky voice that furthers her attractions. In this film, she is perfectly cast as the determined but beautiful Grace. Mandylor, a newcomer, delights, too as the good-looking rival baker. The rest of the actors, including the wonderful Brenda Vaccaro as Marco's mother, is quite nice. As a Hallmark movie, the costumes, sets, and production amenities are beyond reproach and the script still manages to seem fresh and funny, despite some familiar themes. Treat yourself, romcom lovers, to a most sweet confection by securing a viewing of this film. It is definitely the movie equivalent of a big box of quality chocolates.

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6 out of 10 people found the following review useful:


Author: triple8 from Conn
10 February 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I am giving this movie a 6 even though, realistically it is probably just about a 5 or so. This is another hallmark movie(I seem to be watching a lot of them lately) and centers on love found amidst a baking competition. I watched it simply because I was bored and there was nothing better on, didn't intend to watch it straight through but there was something that kept me from turning it off which is why I'm giving it a 6.

That and one other reason. The DESERTS! People beware! You will gain weight from watching this movie. I haven't seen such an array of goodies since Willie Wonka and the chocolate factory. I'm seriously, getting hungry just writing about it.

And what a pleasant surprise seeing Lauren Holly in this. I wouldn't have thought of her for a role like this but she was actually very good and funny. This is the type of movie that's very clownish and non serious throughout but that's OK, particularly at times your just in the mood for some laughs. (and hunger pangs.) This movie is particularly good as a date movie and for those who may have worked in the baking industry. Just have some sweets around when you watch it.

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8 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

Mindless fun...

Author: shoegirl_33
2 March 2004

I watched this movie because of Costas Mandylor and Lauren Holly. I adored them together on Picket Fences, so it was a treat to see them together again. This was not the best movie ever made, but it was cute. Very predictable, but sometimes mindlessly fun movies are just what I need.

The desserts were gorgeous, and I wanted to eat all of them. I did love it when that one fell apart though. I bet it still tasted good.

Costas and Lauren still had the great chemistry that they had back on Picket Fences, and I swooned as they kissed in this movie.

I wouldn't watch this again, but it was a great filler for one night.

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7 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

Just Desserts - A wonderful movie

Author: maryr978 from United States
27 October 2005

I loved this movie, it was cute and funny! Lauren Holly was wonderful, she's funny and very believable in her role. Costas Mandylan was also very good, nice to look at too!! Brenda Vaccaro, as usual was a pleasure to watch, she did a great job with her character. It was a pleasure watching a movie that is funny, interesting and can be watched by the whole family. It's difficult to find nice wholesome movies anymore. Thank goodness for the Hallmark movies, they are wonderful! I wish I could buy it, if anyone knows where I could purchase this movie, please let me know!! I have purchase several Hallmark movies and am very happy with them. I hope I can buy this one!!

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Modest Expectations

Author: Theodore Keating from NJ, United States
9 October 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I watch a lot of relationship-type movies, and I guess like them better than most people, and better than over-the-top "epic"-type movies. That said, since I watch a lot of them, I sorta have my standards, if that makes sense. It's not enough to make it great, just because there's a romance.

And I didn't really like the girl, who was too frizzled and frazzled from the word go for me, which made it difficult to believe in the relationship or to make it enjoyable to watch. (And she tended to flirt with cynicism a bit.) The guy was okay, if rather archetypal. The overall effect was a little basic too. It could have been either better or worse.

Also, I didn't know anyone from the cast-- although that could be worse, since there are some big-name actors that I don't like-- and, so yeah, the acting was average, and the overall effect left me feeling that director, screenwriter, etc. didn't do anything especially creative. Nor terrible. (It was actually released as a television movie, which I suppose would underline its character of modest expectations.)

(And, actually, it's somewhat typical in that respect, in that, especially a few years ago, and even now, most of the big-name-talent is deployed in over-the-top drama, making most romantic comedies like this low-budget affairs by comparison.)

But I did find it to be a nice pass-the-time movie, since nothing horrible happened to anyone. It did pass the time.

And I don't think that movies like this deserve the smack-down that they tend to get, since it's mostly a matter of a self-fulfilling prophecy: they get looked down on, so that scares the talent away....

And in a sense one of the problems with the film that I feel it lacks a certain confidence-- make the girl kinda frazzled with a softcore cynicism to prove she's real and relevant, etc., give the guy a rough side and a grudge against somebody to prove he's not "sappy"..... in a way these are, flourishes apologetic, if you will. (Even the title is a little apologetic-- no, this isn't romance, it's just desserts....)

But anyway, even if it was a sort of unoriginal pass-the-time movie, it did pass the time better for me than some others would have.


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4 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Comments on TV Movie Just Desserts

Author: jpayling from Australia
1 January 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

A charming movie enhanced by the musical and vocal background, especially during the competition. My understanding is that there was never a soundtrack but could you, through your sources, advise me where I might get information on the singer and the likelihood of getting a copy of the song he sang. Your help would be appreciated. The song really touched me and my wife and we would like to secure a copy wherever possible so that we might play it as background music when we have our family and friends over for our "Italian Nights". If you are able to get this information to us we would be eternally grateful. Even if you can advise of the studio contact so that we might go direct.


John Payling

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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

corny and just sad

Author: BigJohnPilgrim from Belpre, Ohio
29 March 2014

I had a hard time watching this movie through to the end, because at times it was so bad, I had to turn the sound down. The worst was probably when they were playing that song and singing "sweet sweets" or whatever it was. I couldn't take more than a few seconds of it, it was really bad. The acting was so bad I thought I was watching a soap opera (is that what the two lead actors were in that most of the other reviewers mentioned?).

It must have been a soap opera, because it was soap opera bad. The French accent was so bogus it was laughable. Wolfgang Puck didn't even save this movie. Nobody could. I can't even find anything good to say about it.

As a guy, I am unashamed to admit I like a good Hallmark movie. A GOOD one. But there was just nothing good about it.

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