High school music teacher Beth Landon (Julie Mond - Love's Resounding Courage) and the Strawberry Festival Queen has persuaded her mum Eileen (Shelley Long - Honeymoon with Mom) to allow her to book country singer Jason Keith (Trevor Donovan) to perform at the festival despite being a one hit wonder with a bad attitude and a rep for cancelling gigs. Whilst trying to stick up for Jason Beth soon discovers he is a lot of hard work and is trouble. But as they spend time together Beth gets to know the real Jason behind the attitude and knows that he could have a good career if he would just be himself whilst Jason discovers that Beth has been sacrificing her own talents and dreams after one failed attempt to make it.
Anyone who watches "Strawberry Summer" and ridicules it needs a reality check because this was never anything but an easy watch afternoon movie intentionally high on cheese, cutesy stuff and over the top performances. If watching Shelley Long put in over time as an over the top small town mum whilst Barry Van Dyke does solid and dependable as a hard working father sounds uncomfortable and cheesy then stay well clear.
The thing about "Strawberry Summer" is that it doesn't push boundaries and so quite quickly you can work out where it will go with Beth bringing out the better side of Jason as they spend time and like wise Jason gives Beth the encouragement she needs to reach for her dreams. You also know that it will also be full of oodles of small town wholesome charm where people say things like "we should be thankful for what we have". Oh and of course there has to be some romance in this as it wouldn't feel complete without it.
But if cutesy, cheesy and wholesome is your thing then it works and it is well cast with Julie Mond and Trevor Donovan looking good together, in fact Julie Mond looks ridiculously good even in the daftest of small town outfits. Okay so the chemistry is forced but I don't remember the last time I watched a modern TV movie which didn't feature forced acting. Plus there is also Shelley Long and Barry Van Dyke amongst a whole lot of good looking actors and actresses which just adds to the easy going nature.
What this all boils down to is that "Strawberry Summer" is most definitely not for everyone as it is forced, it is cheesy and it does have various plot issues. But it is easy to watch for those who just want some obvious wholesome fun to watch of an afternoon.