Hallmark's Grapes of Wrath
Back in their high school days Frankie Baldwin (Rachael Leigh Cook - Summer Love) and Nate DeLuca (Brendan Penny - Magical Christmas Ornaments) were very much in love, except it didn't last. Now, years later, their paths cross again as Frankie, having never left the town, wishes to buy Sorrento Farm and the vineyard which sees her negotiating with Glow Sorrento (Jill Teed - The Christmas Train) to buy it. But Nate has also decided to but both Sorrento Farm and the vineyard, cutting a deal with Glow's recently divorced husband. With Judge Pricket (Julian Christopher - Wedding Planner Mystery) unable to deal with their case in court he suggests that at least for now they split the property in order to bring in the harvest. Easier said than done as not only does it lead to to them sharing the farm building but also competing with each other when it comes to the grapes.
Love, bickering and competition are three ingredients of many a Hallmark movie and they are also the ingredients of "Autumn in the Vineyard", another picturesque charmer from the family entertainment factory. As such, and I really don't need to say this, the majority of "Autumn in the Vineyard" focuses on Frankie and Nate bickering as they fight over the land with such gems as when Nate takes the big bedroom as it is on his side Frankie uses some of her brother's police tape to cut the kitchen in half with the oven, fridge and so on all on her side. I could go on but of course we are talking Hallmark movie and so you know that comical bickering will end up making way for rekindled romance between the former high school sweethearts.
And of course what this really means is that not only is "Autumn in the Vineyard" typically in the easy watching category of movies but is all about the look and the appeal of the characters and cast. Now any movie which takes us to a sun kissed vineyard where the buildings are old but not dilapidated is going to charm you with that glimpse of a picture perfect world which might stoke that dormant desire of earning a living off of the land. And then there are the actors with both Rachael Leigh Cook and Brendan Penny having a certain appeal although once again I find myself not being convinced they had chemistry.
What this all boils down to is that "Autumn in the Vineyard" is simply your stereotypical Hallmark movie, high on the predictability and charm making it easy to watch for those who seek out Hallmark movies to chill out to.