Monday, June 17, 2024

Movie Review: Marry Me in Yosemite

Stars: 1 out of 5
Pros: The scenery looks wonderful
Cons: Everything else
The Bottom Line:
Yosemite shines
Despite lackluster story
A movie to skip

Bad Movie Amidst Beautiful Scenery

I’ve noticed Hallmark has a series of National Park romances.  Since I love our National Parks, I thought these could be fun.  While the others call out that they are part of a series in their titles, Marry Me in Yosemite, which I believe is the first, flies a little more under the radar.

The story features Zoe (Cindy Busby), a photographic journalist, who is heading to Yosemite for her latest book.  She’s attempting to capture the way the park looks now, but she’s also looking for something new, including a photograph that will really capture her as an artist.

While there, she manages to get the extremely reluctant Jack (Tyler Harlow) to agree to be her guide.  He is a former climber who lives in the park year-round.  He leads her to the famous photography spots as well as some lesser known ones.  Will they find the perfect spot for her signature photo?

You’ll notice the one thing I left out of that teaser.  For a romance, this movie really forgot the romance.  Yes, we’ve got the reluctant people pushed together trope, and they do start to act like friends fairly quickly.  But the writers seem to forget that this movie is supposed to be a romance until well into the second half.  Even then, it’s a very subtle part of the movie.  And the complications they have in the second half?  Seriously, Jack was acting like a baby.

So just what does this movie fill the run time with?  Ecological lessons.  History of the region lessons.  Jack is a scientist, and the writers use this to give us lots of exposition.  We also meet a couple of Native American characters who give us the history of the region from their perspective.  The problem is, both of these things devolves into lectures that really don’t do much to advance the story.

Then there’s the fact that we seem to get a hint about something in Jack’s past, but we never find out what it is.  They sure seemed to set something up, but there was no significant payoff.

I’m placing the blame for this squarely on the writers.  I have a hard time believing someone actually greenlit this script instead of sending it back for another draft.

Not that the acting is top notch.  Granted, the actors don’t have much to work with, but there are plenty of moments that made me cringe in that department, too.

Which is a shame because there are moments that are great because the writers actually wrote something good, and the actors delivered it wonderfully.  If only those scenes weren’t the exception in the script.

The movie was filmed on location in Yosemite.  With how iconic the scenery is, it would have to be, wouldn’t it?  From what I’ve read, that helps account for the low cast count, but it also means we have some wonderful scenery.  Of course, I had to laugh at how easily the characters get the permits they need considering how far in advance you actually have to plan if you want to go to the park.

Honestly, the scenery is really about the only thing to recommend Marry Me in Yosemite.  I’m usually fairly lenient with it comes to Hallmark movies, but even by those standards, I can’t recommend this film.

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