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Review: "Falling in Love in Niagara" Entertains AND Takes You on a Virtual Vacation

Experience the joys of Niagara Falls without getting drenched, all from the comfort of your couch. As part of Hallmark's Spring into Love 2024, Falling in Love in Niagara provides a "boat load" of entertainment.

What Is Falling in Love in Niagara About?

Jocelyn Hudon plays Madeline, an ultra-organized woman enslaved by itineraries who maps out daily life down to the minute. Her controlling nature allows no wiggle room for spontaneity, and when her fiancé, Jason (Chris Violette), loses a business account because she has tossed his lucky socks, it's the last straw--he cancels their wedding.

After an ugly cry on the couch (and watching Hallmark's Fit for a Prince on TV), her sister, Harley (Masa Lizdek), convinces her to prove to Jason that she can live in the moment and be adventurous by proceeding with the honeymoon plans without him. Harley accompanies Maddie to Niagara Falls on what she dubs a "sistermoon."

Madeline's initial encounter with Mike (Dan Jeannotte) is a rocky one. She tosses change into what she thinks is an empty coffee cup while he's playing the guitar on a park bench, ruining his shirt.

Naturally, Mike ends up being her tour guide.

Sparks soon fly, not from anger or irritation, but because the two bring out the best in each other.

Maddie is determined to recreate everything her grandparents had done as a young couple in Niagara Falls, but Mike persuades her to go on an adventure tour with him instead. He suggests that she stuff her social media feed with all of her escapades so Jason will see that she is more free-spirited than he realizes.

Unfortunately, Mike's plan works too well, and Jason flies to Niagara Falls in a grand gesture to win Maddie back. Jason fits neatly into Madeline's life plan, even though he makes her feel bad about herself. Mike is unpredictable, but he accepts her as she is, itineraries and all.

Madeline must choose.

Falling in Love in Niagara Has Great Character Arcs

Some Hallmark fans said they changed the channel because they couldn't stomach Madeline's controlling nature. Those fans missed out because the setup is part of her perfectly executed story arc. We learn that Maddie had a chaotic childhood. Her parents neglected her and Harley, often not returning home until after midnight, so the two had to fend for themselves until their loving grandparents took them in. The trauma shaped Maddie's mindset to always expect the worst. Her heart had remained as tumultuous as Niagara Falls--until Mike helped her learn to let go and live life to the fullest.

Mike's ex left him too, so he understands Maddie's predicament, but Mike's story arc is different. His experience has adversely affected his attitude, job performance, and musical creativity. Maddie is his Muse. He becomes more punctual and dependable at work, his fun personality shines through once again, and he's inspired to write and perform new songs.

Harley even gets her own story arc. She is divorced and working a job she hates. Her passion is photography, but she thinks it may be too late to pursue it, especially since her self-image from the split has suffered. She meets Keegan, a CEO of a successful company, who can flood her inbox with work simply by tagging her photos on social media. Over the course of the movie, her confidence in both her talent and self-worth are bolstered.

Juggling three story arcs at once adds depth to Falling in Love in Niagara and creates more relatable characters.

Falling in Love in Niagara Takes You on a Virtual Vacation

The natural beauty and magnificence of Niagara Falls forms the perfect backdrop for Falling in Love in Niagara. The cinematography makes the viewer feel like they are smack dab in the middle of this attractive tourist destination.

The botanical gardens, vineyard, giant Sky Wheel, zipline, boat rides, and more are real places to visit, many nestled near Clifton Hill.

Viewers can almost feel the mist on their faces during the water scenes, and many of us are happy living vicariously through the video cam footage of the ziplining romp rather than sailing across Niagara Falls in person.

RomCom Review Weighs in on Falling in Love in Niagara

Dan Jeannotte never disappoints, so I knew this movie would be a hit. I enjoy the character he plays. In spite of how awful he appears at the beginning, I love that he invests in Madeline's life to help her grow despite toting his own emotional baggage.

Mike believes in Maddie and knows that an adventurous experience is the next right step in guiding her to live her best life. He is always patient, kind, and encouraging, even when she resists his spontaneous ideas. To make the transition smoother, Mike creates an itinerary for Maddie--a lifeline--but he also leaves room for spontaneity. It's a loving gesture. Though she nearly has a panic attack when the giant Sky Wheel stops while she is near the top, her reservations melt when she learns Mike has arranged the stop so she can enjoy the view. While Jason won't allow her to be romantically expressive in public, Mike writes a song about her that he proudly sings at open mic night. Even when she tells him that she is reconciling with Jason, he respects her decision and doesn't react negatively despite the stinging rejection being akin to his last bad breakup. Mike sees beyond his own hurt to understand that Madeline is picking the safe plan that feels comfortable.

Through it all, Mike always makes the loving choice, and love never fails.

Viewers can also relate to the movie thread about learning to "push through to the other side of fear." Everyone is afraid of something at some time in their life. Fear might be justified, but too many times, we allow it to hold us back. When we demonstrate courage by "doing it afraid," we break fear's hold on us and can move forward.

I also appreciate the symbiotic friendship between Mike and Emily and the loyalty the two have to each other. As his boss, Emily could have fired Mike for his long-term downcast attitude and its effect on her business, yet she faithfully sticks by his side like a true-blue friend. It's an admirable quality. Sometimes relationships cost something, but the people we love are worthy investments.

With the strong characters, good acting, gorgeous scenery, the injection of humor, and a well-written story, Falling in Love in Niagara is an entertaining movie worth watching.

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446 views2 comments

2 comentarii

24 apr.

I liked this movie too!


24 apr.

Love Jocelyn, she is amazing in all her roles.

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