A Valentine's Date (TV Movie 2011) Poster

(2011 TV Movie)

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Seems Like Old Times
boblipton5 February 2011
Elisa Donovan and her on screen daughter live in New York where she is a high-powered executive with an important deal on. However, when her husband, from whom she is separated, sues for shared custody, she has to fly back to Texas to deal with the legal technicalities.

This perfectly ordinary and by-the-numbers romantic comedy, is considerably enlivened by a fine cast of long-time professionals, who manage to keep things bubbling along nicely. Cinematographer Kobi Zaig-Mendez consistently finds beautiful ways to shoot the frame, not only the people, but the backgrounds.

Although nothing in this movie will surprise you as novel and brilliant, there is more than enough in this to keep the watcher occupied.
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If There is Nothing Else to Watch -This One is OK
Warning: Spoilers
Like the last review I read here, sometimes I like a relaxing, easy to predict movie to watch on the weekend while I do something else.

The story overall is okay. Mother and Father separated, get together realizing they can't live without each other. I get that, I do and I like the predictability of it. But the premise here is hard to swallow.

The father, daughter, and grandfather are likable characters, but the mother/wife in the story comes across as self-involved and just plain unlikable. The mother thinks more about work than what is best for her daughter. Like most mothers, no one comes between me and my family- and certainly not my boss. I wanted to see some of that motherly dedication in this character, but it was lacking. There is little if any personal growth in this character throughout the movie

So if there is nothing else available, you might enjoy this predictable family-oriented movie. Just don't dig too deep.
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Wish I knew the music
jirsigler28 April 2012
I wish that I could find out where I can get the songs in this movie. The music is truly amazing! I love country music especially like in this movie. This is one amazing country movie and it's for all ages. I rate this 9 out 10, because it's just plain amazing. If you want to teach children about importance of love and marriage show them this movie, it got amazing lessons. It is Christian movie but doesn't push Christian values too much. And girls who loves horses, will love this movie. I would've chosen a different actor for Darren, maybe even a country singer like Garth Brooks. I am in hope that maybe there is a soundtrack or at least someone can tell me what are the songs. =D
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Movie Plays to Prejudices I Despise.
conleytgwinn21 April 2013
Warning: Spoilers
With an established pattern of OVER-rating Hallmark movies - this time I am more out to hate a particular premise: that there is some specific virtue in folksy; that mighty Texas is better than New York City; that hicks are better or better off than any other ignoble creature. Given the recent national history of folksy Texas hicks, I will abstain. Nay - I will decry. Virtue is an attribute of neither urban nor rural: it is inherent in the character of the individual.

The actors are all very attractive personifications of the underlying premise - beautiful people in denim. The first problems arise from the writers - some deep bias against things not folksy pervades even the opening scenes introducing the gutsy woman who somehow deluded herself to believe that she was more than just an accessory to "the guy", and "ran away" to a career success in the big city among the Philistines and other non-folksy types. After Cathy has overcome the numerous and gleefully predicted obstacles to succeeding as a single mother, we are next introduced to all the downsides of having been doubted and denied by that "guy", Dylan; of having been cast out by the "folksy" to manage as best she can among those to whom she is indentured, of needing the affirmation of success among those Phillistines and so being forced to sacrifice some of the virtues of family. By the time we suffer through the indignity of being force-fed the cultural biases, we have begun to despise an admirable woman. There is to be no redemption for her until she has renounced all the admirable traits, all the strengths and successes, in favor of cloying levels of folksy.

Other players do a great job of supporting that bias, of reinforcing the perception of country as real, of urban as inherently delusion. Ultimately the transformation of Cathy and her child to acceptance of the wonders of legal coercion just grates to the extent of bringing me to curse aloud each of three viewings. At least Dylan has grown through the course of the years, to the extent of admitting that his fear of new or different milieu was the obstacle to accompanying his wife to the big city; of praising her strength and honesty; perhaps even of admiring her success.

Separately, this IS pro-family, and emphasizes the advantages of intact families for the child(ren) although the chosen method of reuniting the family is wrong, and wrongs both the woman and the child; perhaps wrongs even the husband Dylan. I am country, so this is not a reverse bias: I just got so tired of the polite lies of those with whom I began to grow that I found an explanation: they are afraid - of everything. And this movie emphasizes nothing so much as that pervasive fear couched as I had seen it - in folksy.
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Great cast for predictable story and outrageous premise
maiahaines24 August 2011
I downloaded this for Apple TV for what I call my 'ironing ans folding laundry' movie watching--I look for sweet, relaxing, wholesome movies that will not need a lot of my attention. This movie kind of fit the bill, except for the fact that the entire time I kept thinking, "it makes NO sense at all!"

Basic premise: a single mother with a high-powered corporate job in NYC is suddenly ordered back to her small Texas town where her husband (they're separated but not divorced) has filed a petition for joint custody. Apparently, this goal-getter career woman who left her slow ranching community for more excitement and more challenges is STILL dumb enough to believe she could whisk off her daughter without her husband's approval, ignore his divorce petitions, and even return to Texas to confront the situation without the aid od a lawyer. I mean, seriously: who does this?

Behind this family movie is really a typical Christian message of social morality, marriage as forever in God's eyes and religion as a social cornerstone. Well okay--I don't believe it but I don't mind it, either. I'm fine with that.

It's the total irrelevant lack of logic that gets me! The character of the woman simply makes no sense. We're supposed to believe that she packed up and run off to NY without a second glance, that it never crossed her mind that her actions would have consequences. What idiot would believe they have such rights? Furthermore, the most heartbreaking aspect is the brilliant acting of the little girl playing the daughter. Obviously she misses her dad, her grandpa, and Texas. Why shouldn't she? What kid wouldn't? And yet, simply for purposes of the story--never mind the lack of logic--we have to hear throughout the entire movie about how mother and daughter barely ever manage to visit Texas, about how the dad can barely ever visit his kid in NY, about how far away NY is and soooooo expensive... ! I mean, really! On the one hand, the mother is supposed to have this incredible job, and the granddad a large TX spread, and the dad a successful ranch and yet NO ONE can scrap together 400 dollars top for a ticket doe the kid to be there during the summer, as any kid of divorce? Who believes this crap?

Whoever wrote this is not only an idiot but also clearly doesn't get women. Either this woman is narcissistic, selfish and blind or we are never meant to like her at all. What mover loves her daughter so little that she'd deprive her of her father?
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Very good family movie (Comedy, Love, Family, Children)
extelliqent31 July 2011
Best movie to understand how marriage is important for couple and their children. How important it is for us. This movie made me think about a lot of things. I just can't explain what my feelings are but this movie is a great movie, good job everybody who has worked on it. Sometimes we need to think about what is most important to us and what will remain all the time with us. Your love your marriage your family is always more important than anything else. This is what I learned, great movie ! Even though I'm 20 years old this movie thought me how important it is. Although I should mention not seeing her grandmother wasn't good I was expecting to see how good family she is coming from.
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Family friendly but not viewer friendly
MBunge17 July 2012
Warning: Spoilers
The relentless, oblivious pleasantness evinced by Your Love Never Fails is one of the main reasons people mock and deride so-called "family friendly" entertainment. It's true that people often do it in large part to prove to themselves and others how sophisticated they are, but that doesn't mean they don't have a point. This movie and its characters are in deep denial about the wrongs done to each other and how angry or hurt they should feel. Telling a wholesome and good-hearted story shouldn't require neutering the negative emotions out of human behavior. When that's done, it produces a phony breed of drama and comedy that's very thin gruel indeed. Now the very cute Elisa Donovan and an engaging cast of familiar faces add a little spice to the mix and this story is so well intentioned that you can't hold a grudge against it.

Laura Connors (Elisa Donovan) is a successful young bank executive in New York City who's in the midst of a huge merger when her estranged husband Dylan (Brad Rowe) serves her with custody papers over their daughter Kelsey (Kirstin Dorn). Mother and daughter have to fly back to their small Texas hometown to appear before the local judge (Catherine Hicks), who orders Laura and Dylan to work out their issues and report back for a hearing on Valentine's Day. Let me reassure you, you will not be shocked at how that works out.

Donovan and Brad Rowe are both completely charming and likable in their roles. It's nice to see Tracy Gold as Laura's lawyer, Fred Willard as her boss and Tom Skerritt as her father. Thrown in John Schneider as Laura's hometown pastor and Victoria Pratt as her old high school rival now getting awfully chummy with Dylan and you've got a group of actors that create an agreeable viewing experience. Co-writer/director Michael Feifer employs the Texas scenery as a segue between scenes with laughable repetitiveness, but otherwise does an unobjectionable job. And the script, while clichéd, is not all that poorly written.

None of those positives, though, can fully overcome the dramatic reticence that's wrapped around You Love Never Fails like a shroud. Laura takes her daughter and leaves behind her husband and entire life in order to move to New York, yet nothing about her indicates she'd ever do anything that risky and self-centered. Brad has his daughter whisked away from him and barely sees her for 6 years, yet shows not even the slightest aggravation with the woman who did that to him. The only strong emotions displayed in the entire film all come in the most ridiculous of circumstances. One, Kelsey throws a fit about having to take a trip to Texas, even though seeing her father is something she desperately wants to do. Two, Laura left Dylan 6 years ago and has made next to no effort to keep in touch with him, yet is instantly overcome with jealousy when she sees him with her old high school rival. Three, after spending the whole movie being disgustingly nice to the woman who snatched away his child, Dylan throws a peevish fit when she's clearly trying to express her concern for him.

Now, I'm not saying that Your Love Never Fails needs to be like Kramer vs. Kramer. It's just that forcing your characters to be unnaturally nice is no better nor truer than making them into miserable pieces of human trash who wallow in depression and degradation. Good Christians still get angry. They can still carry grudges. They can still yell on occasion. An uplifting tale that reinforces family values doesn't have to be conducted at the same tone and volume as an episode of Mr. Roger's Neighborhood.

If you're looking for some G rated entertainment, this wouldn't be a bad choice. Just don't watch it with someone who's in a more PG-13 frame of mind.
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Family values
madafuel28 April 2015
I find this a great movie to unwind with at the end of a stressful day. The storyline of enduring love beyond a fractured marriage is simple and predictable. The characters are wholesome, identifiable and believable. The scenery is real America outside the major cities. The music is engaging and relaxing. The actors suit their roles. Younger views will be familiar with Elisa Donovan and Brad Rowe. Kristin Dorn is endearing as the young daughter. I was pleased to see the collection of mature actors in the supporting roles. Tom Skerritt as Elisa Donovan's does a good job of the dad than many would like to have. Catherine Hicks is someone seen all too infrequently on the small screen. She adds a bit of humour to the role as Judge Cramer and gets away with it in the context of the script. A much mellowed John Schneider is a passable Pastor Frank with a very short Sunday morning sermon. The small flashes of humour suit the situations. A relaxing feel good movie.
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Soundtrack available???
patriciah77715 April 2014
Great movie, but I don't want to purchase the DVD, only the SOUNDTRACK!! Everywhere I've looked, others are saying the same thing. Hey guys, there's a market out here; how do we get the product?? Amazon is offering the title song by other artists, and who is the artist anyway? Or you can buy a DVD of the movie, but not the SOUNDTRACK, with the artists who sing in the movie. So tell us, WHERE CAN WE BUY THE SOUNDTRACK???????????????????? For instance, who is the woman who sings during the post-church segment, and what is the title of the song she's singing? I've never heard it before. Opening credit for the music is given to Venezuela born Andres Boulton, but, in the early credits, no mention is made of the artists, and Hallmark credits following their movies are too small to read.

I also think the requirement for this site of 10 lines is RIDICULOUS!! I could easily have said all I needed to in 2-3 lines.
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Nice, gently and entertaining
Dennis D21 December 2013
Thoroughly enjoyed the movie. I realize that most of Hallmark movies are predictable and soft but I think that is what I enjoy about them. The plot is a gentle play on a theme that we have seen over and over with other films but believable. Maybe the acting is a little more gentle than real life but many of us do not need gritty to get full enjoyment out of the film.

The single only criticism I have is that although the move is set in Texas, you are bout 1800 miles west of Texas, in California. The temps and the dirt and dust are similar, the music is actually very good and fits with my native state but guys we do not have countryside the same as depicted.

Keep making em and I will keep enjoying em.
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Okay but not great
MyrPraune23 August 2011
Of course this is a "good" movie. If you're looking for good, clean, inoffensive and somewhat inspiring, this is the movie for you. Basically this is why I picked it at the videostore, because I'm tired of movies with violence, sex and witchcraft. So in this sense, it was great.

Now for the technical side of things... The story is more than predictable (despite what the cover says). First of all, the original set-up made me think so much of "Sweet Home Alabama" with Reese Witherspoon and What's His Name (Luke Wilson, I think?), even down to the "I didn't know he was an artist" side of things, although they really did not do anything with that last bit at all. I think the daughter was added just to avoid being accused of plagiarism. Speaking of the daughter, she's pretty good in her role, but the mom... I really had a hard time believing she really was her mom. She sounded like a babysitter trying to sound cool with a kid that she doesn't know too much. She overplays horribly most of the time. The husband is not as bad. The grandpa is the best. Of course we're talking Tom Skerritt.

I'm still waiting to see this Christian movie with a plot that is not so predictable I can resume the whole story in 3 sentences even before the titles from the beginning are finished; where the dialogue is meaningful, but not full of clichés; and where the acting is really professional. Not saying this to be mean, we're getting there, this is better than other things I've seen before. I'm hopeful it's coming soon! Meanwhile, I encourage the studio and the producers to keep working and getting better and better!
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Hits a high note on the incredulity meter but the cast and romance are nice
Amy Adler11 November 2015
Laura (Elisa Donovan) left her husband Dylan (Brad Rowe) in Texas over four years ago. She took their young daughter to New York, where she got a great job in the banking business. In addition, she has slowly climbed the corporate ladder. As she explains, Laura was hoping her husband would follow HER, as a support for her dreams, but he loves it at his ranch in Texas. Over time, mother and daughter have made various visits to the Lone Star State. But, now, Dylan says enough! He wants shared custody of their daughter and a divorce. Summoned to court, Laura must face Dylan and get the issue settled. Unfortunately, the judge (Catherine Hicks) postpones the hearing until certain conditions are met. Thus, Laura has to bunk with her father (Tom Skerrit) and try to appease her boss on the phone for a week or so. Naturally, Laura and Dylan meet several times and its a reality that the attraction between them remains strong. Will this visit to the south wreak havoc on Laura's plans? This film is a nice romance but it has some major problems with credulity. Its very hard to believe that a husband, deprived of his wife and daughter, would wait four years to settle the matter. But, whatever. The cast is quite nice, with Donovan and Rowe shining as the stars and Hicks, Skerrit, Hicks, Tracey Gold, and John Schneider giving great support. Moreover, the scenery in Texas is lovely. Although it won't rank as a "must see" flick, romance fans who long for new material will find it acceptably entertaining.
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A Hallmark Success With Failure ***
edwagreen19 June 2012
Warning: Spoilers
The problem with this good film is that with Hallmark Films, we've seen this so many times in a variety of themes. People reconciling, someone waiting for one of the characters to return and urban and rural life compared.

How could a wife be so busy with her professional career that she has allowed 6 years to pass without signing the divorce decree? How could the husband wait so long before beginning proceedings to have shared custody of their daughter? Yet with these questions that I pose, the story is folksy and describes the fact that the two in question are basically still in love. The rural Texas town saw that, while they hope and believe that reconciliation is possible.
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