James Best and Kathryn Morris in The Sweeter Side of Life (2013)

Baking Goodness

Whilst her husband Wade (Stephen Hogan) worked long hours Desiree Harper (Kathryn Morris) put up with it as his job gave her a life of leisure and luxury. That is until the day after what should have been their anniversary Wade drops a bombshell, he is leaving her for a younger woman and he wants a divorce which thanks to an ironclad pre-nup leaves Desiree broke and homeless. With her girl friends abandoning her she ends up doing the unthinkable and heading home to her father Paddy (James Best) in New Jersey where she puts her under used business degree to use to try and save his failing bakery. Being back in the bakery not only leads to her rediscovering her love of baking but also a love of another kind. The question is will Desiree be happy with her new life or will the riches she once had still be what she has her heart set on.

Let me start by saying that I liked "The Sweeter Side of Life" it had a cuteness about it which made it easy to watch in an undemanding way. For some that would actually be a negative but personally when you watch and review so many movies once in a while putting on something which takes no effort to watch and makes you smile is exactly what is called for and that is what this offers. But let me say right now that "The Sweeter Side of Life" is little more than a selection of recognizable cliches stitched together with a slice of romance and an ample slice of slapstick which makes it all kind of familiar.

To break that down here are some of the cliches you will find in "The Sweeter Side of Life"; we have Desiree being left for a younger woman, we have her returning to small town life and struggling, we have a bakery tossed in to the mix, we have her widowed father having a fondness for a woman whilst Desiree also meets someone and finally we have the lure of her old life threatening to spoil her new life. I have seen everyone of those story elements used in countless other movies and not just Hallmark ones. But on top of that we also have frequently used jokes from some confusion comedy such as Desiree mistaking a wealthy man for a worker to a fat baker trying to squeeze in to a mini as well as a bag of flour falling on her head. As I said it is all familiar but entertaining if you are in mood for lightweight.

The lightweight also comes from some nice casting with Kathryn Morris doing a nice job of selling the comedy of a rich girl living with her father who innocently ruins her clothes. On the subject of which James Best is equally well cast as her father, bringing that humour of an old man who whilst not always understanding his daughter cares for her more than anything and has the wisdom of experience going on but not in to modernisation and change.

What this all boils down to is that "The Sweeter Side of Life" is just some simple Hallmark fun, working through some familiar cliches in an easy to watch manner. It isn't overly memorable but for those who enjoy made for TV movies it will be a pleasant distraction.