Finding Passion in France

Hilarie Burton in Summer Villa (2016)

Romance novelist, Terry Russell (Hilarie Burton), is not only struggling when it comes to romance she is also struggling with writer's block. Top chef and ladies man, Matthew Everston (Victor Webster) is struggling after he gets a slating from a big time food critic for no longer being the heart of his business and just the face who uses his restaurant to hit on single women, which is what he did unsuccessfully when his sister, Terry's book editor, sets them up on a blind date. Feeling bad his sister offers Terry and her daughter Abby (Emorphia Margaritis) the use of her family's French villa for the summer. It turns out Matthew has gone there without telling his sister and now these two are going to have to find a way to get on to make there time away work.

I think that is enough synopsis for you to fill in the gaps and know where "Summer Villa" is going and if you don't then I guess this is the first Hallmark movie you have watched. The thing is being familiar is not an issue when it comes to "Summer Villa" because people who would chose to watch a movie like this will do so as fans of Hallmark movies and probably are quite fond of both Hilarie Burton and Victor Webster along with his muscle highlighting t-shirts.

Victor Webster in Summer Villa (2016)

What is interesting about "Summer Villa" is that with the story being set in a French villa this has a slightly different tone to what you normally get in a Hallmark movie. That tone is a more laid back with less in your face comedy than is typical, it almost gets that American taken on European with that gentler more continental sounding soundtrack to try and whisk you away. And to be honest the change in tone, being more mellow, works as it allows you to suck in the look of the movie from the architecture of the villa to the way the sun warms up the old bricks.

As for the casting, well Hilarie Burton and Victor Webster both come across as extremely likeable and they both have their own visual appeal, did I mention how Victor Webster looks in a t-shirt. But I have to say that while they are appealing the chemistry is not there to make the romance side of the storyline really zing.

What this all boils down to is that "Summer Villa" is a Hallmark movie with a touch of continental charm about it. It doesn't quite pull off the whole continental feel but it makes for a pleasant change in tone to the usual more comedic movies.

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