Beth Landon (Julie Mond - Love's Resounding Courage), a high school music teacher, is looking forwards the upcoming Strawberry Festival as she has booked country singer Jason Keith (Trevor Donovan - The Neighborhood Nightmare) to perform, despite being infmous for having a bad attitude and cancelling gigs. But her pick hasn't pleased everyone and as she tries to stick up for Jason she discvers first hand that he is both trouble and hard work. 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. At the same time 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 together 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 cute 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 has a few plot issues. But it is easy to watch for those who just want some obvious wholesome fun to watch of an afternoon.