Falling For You
Tayler Cole - Lacy Hathaway
Tyler Hynes - Zach Malone
This is a Hallmark Fall movie so say hello to massive amounts of fake autumn oak leaves and sunflowers.
Lacy is a radio host for small town of Pleasant Valley. Zach is a software engineer heading into the town to evaluate a budgeting software that the city offices are testing out for him.
Of course, Pleasant Valley is the perfect rural little hamlet. Their radio show mentions things like; jam sales, tryouts for the town musical, a knitting club, and town hall meetings. They even give a shout out during the broadcast to a local man who broke his arm. “Feel better Pete!”
We get it… it’s a small town.
Lacy and Zach meet in Pleasant Valley’s coffee shop and Lacy immediately rubbed me the wrong way. The chick is seriously pushy.
Zach, the obvious stranger in town, wanders in and he hasn’t been there 10 seconds before she asks him, “If you are trying to decide what to order, better to ask a local.”
Side Note: Is it? Is it really better to ask an absolute stranger what I want to drink? I think not.
“I recommend a pumpkin latte!” she continues.
Zach responds politely, “I appreciate the input, but I’m a black coffee type of guy.”
Lacy doesn't care. “They mull their own spices!”
He could have said various things at this point like; “I have diabetes,” or “I’m lactose intolerant,” or “Please go away,” (personally, I would use this one) but instead he again responds politely, “I appreciate the tip.”
Oh but, she’s not done with him yet. Now that she’s has his attention, she tries to get him to buy tickets to the town’s Bachelor Bake off which is a fund-raising effort to save the radio station where she works.
Since at one point she physically blocks him from leaving the cafe to hawk her tickets, Zach finally buys two in defeat. They actually argue as he exits because he keeps calling it a bake “sale” and she keep calling it a bake “off” and….who cares!
BTW this was not even close to a “meet cute” – just two people annoying the crap out of each other. However, it does bring up an interesting question for all you men out there: Exactly how annoying can a beautiful woman be before it cancels out her beauty?
Oh no! Lacy just lost Ryan, her star bachelor for the Bake-off, since he has a girlfriend now!
Luckily for me, as I have formed no positive emotional connection with Lacy’s character, I am completely unmoved by her problems.
Next, a guy named Sam brings Lacy some vanilla pinwheels to try out for the contest. Apparently, he is so stupid he does not understand what “burned” looks or tastes like. Lacy does not put him in the contest since she has standards.
This is pretty interesting since Lacy will later hound Zach, who also can’t bake AND is unwilling to be in the contest.
Lacy’s Aunt Patty runs the town’s bed and breakfast where Zach is staying. She tells Lacy, who lives with her, that he will be staying in Pleasant Valley for three weeks and that he is a software engineer.
This is Aunt Patty.
Yeah, I know what you’re thinking…
just don’t make direct eye contact.
Also, I can totally see how these two women are related.
In response to the news that Zach is a software engineer Lacy makes a disturbingly rapid insult, “Ah, I bet I can guess his type, glued to his phone, lives for numbers not moments, and would rather talk to a computer than a person?”
Lacy is a nitwit, and yes, I would rather talk to a computer than to her.
Zach overhears Lacy’s rudeness and shakes it off – this guy has the patience of a saint where this woman is concerned. It’s because she’s pretty right? Because I’m still trying to figure out the threshold here.
Zach is invited to dinner. Says no. Don’t blame him.
They see each other the next morning in the kitchen. Lacy walks in in her pajamas as he is pouring himself a healthy green smoothie he just made for breakfast and…wait a minute…what kind of Bed and Breakfast gives its guests full use of the kitchen and all the food in the refrigerator? And what kind of B&B lets people walk around the common areas in their pajamas? What we have here everyone, is not a bed and breakfast, it’s a middle school sleepover.
Next scene Zach is walking down the street and since I can’t possibly describe how Fake Fall everything looks, here’s a shot of it.
And here’s another “Fall” shot where we can see that the set designers have just bought some sunflowers from a nursery, covered the black plastic containers with burlap, and spread these along the street. I’m betting they will be returned for a full refund by the end of the shoot. Also, why are Zach’s pants so short?
Zach meets the town treasurer, Ben, who, when he notices that Zach is a hard worker says,
“In Pleasant Valley we take breaks.”
Wow, Ben’s work ethic is terrible. Zach has been there for what…five minutes? Break time everybody!
This is Treasurer Ben. He is exhausted.
Ben tells Zach that because of his great budgeting software the town found out they didn’t have the funds they thought they had, and so had to cut some programs (i.e. the radio station), and not everyone is happy about it. Ben tells Zach that people may “give him a hard time.”
Why would anyone blame Zach for this? That’s like blaming the company that made your calculator for your overdue utility bills. Get a grip people. If anyone should be blamed shouldn’t it be Ben, the town treasurer who apparently cannot add or subtract correctly?
Also, it should be noted that there are still some bugs in Zach’s budgeting software which need to be ironed out, (hence his trip to Pleasant Valley). However, he has just been informed that a really big client has expressed interest, so he needs to get the program working correctly asap!
Back to the radio station – where Lacy is talking about the Bake-off non-stop – what else does she talk about? What is her show about? I have no idea.
“Bake-off, bake-off, bake-off, bake-off….squawk!”
Aunt Patty suggests asking Zach to be her bachelor replacement because he is “handsome and mysterious.”
So Lacy stalks Zach to his office and asks him to be in the Bake-off. He politely refuses because he can’t bake. Her response, “Its fine, defrost cookie dough, you’ll be great!”
Then Lacy finds out Zach was the one who made the software that was used to cut city funding and she tells Zach she may lose the radio station.
Zach is sympathetic, and although he still can’t do the Bake-off, he does wish he could help.
Here is Lacy’s response to that,
“Well you can help, so let me make your wish come true. Welcome to the Bake-off, bachelor!”
Zach is literally still saying “Lacy…no” as she stalks away.
Side Note: Okay, the script writers need to give the Lacy character some redeeming qualities pronto or else I’m out. She is just too pushy and annoying. Seriously, I really need Aunt Patty to say to her, “Thanks for the kidney” or something along these lines.
In the next scene both of them are back at the B&B that is not a B&B, and apparently, she got up earlier than he did and drank all the coffee. She admits she did this on purpose so that he would have to make coffee himself and she would have time to nag him some more.
Unbelievably, after this lame a** move she then asks him if he has chosen a recipe for the Bake-off yet or if he needs help deciding. Holy crap, this girl is mental. And for the record this is NOT what I meant about giving her a redeeming quality. In fact, this is the exact opposite.
Be that as it may, Crazy Lacy does get Zach to agree to come to the radio station later that afternoon to see what the station means to the town.
For the rest of the morning we get to see how incredibly unorganized she is:
Lacy and a florist are talking about the Bake-off. The florist mentions tablecloths and Lacy responds with, “Oh right, tablecloths!” and writes ORDER TABLECLOTHS on one of the thousand Post-it notes she has stuck in her little notebook, (fyi a telltale sign that she should not be placed in charge of anything). She later walks out of the florist shop and leaves her Post-its behind on the counter like a dumba**.
Next, we see her talking to a woman, (no idea who this is), and we find out Lacy has forgotten to get the extra chairs delivered.
3. When the same woman asks her if she has a budget, she lies and says she does and then writes BUDGET!!! on another Post-it. Ugh! This character sucks!
Zach comes into the radio station and helps Ty, the intern, with his broken circuit board thingy by telling him to “Check the wiring, and maybe find a diagram online.” Thanks Captain Obvious!
Lacy takes Zach to Pete Taves farm and records a radio spot about how he broke his arm and then asks the town for help picking the apples from his orchard. Zach finally sees how important the radio station is and agrees to be in the Bake-off.
Broken Arm Pete: “I need two hands to pick an apple.”
BTW, please notice how Zach’s clothes change throughout the movie. He is dressed great for the first part and then for some reason he will start wearing this grandpa cable knit atrocity sweater that looks like he raided Aunt Patty’s attic in the middle of the night. Is he supposed to be becoming more small-townish? Because literally no guy his age is going to wear a sweater like this unless all their clothes have burned in a house fire and they are being dressed by donations.
Cool clothes at the beginning:
Gives up or gives in – not sure which.
Okay, this is hilarious. Lacy finds out Zach cannot bake, (and by the way he doesn’t really want to). Also, she is having problems with the budget for the bake-off (i.e. she doesn’t have one). So, she offers Zach a deal.
“How about if I help you to learn to bake (for me) and in return you can help me with my budget (for me).”
Zach immediately agrees. WHAT??!! It’s the pretty girl thing right? ☹
Finally! We get to hear Lacy’s radio show and find out what it’s all about….oh, never mind…it’s about the Bake-off again.
In the next scene we are back at the city offices with Zach and Ben and they are both working on the budgeting software. Question: what kind of computer software makes a weird error buzzing noise when it is not working right? Is it a video game budgeting software? Because that might actually work for people who are tech illiterate. Zach is the best!
Zach tells Ben that there is an error in the budgeting software, (yes, we know), and he needs to figure it out because he has a potentially big client waiting for it, (already told us).
Ben’s response, “You know, I find taking a breather can help.”
Do you Ben? Do you find that just dropping everything and rolling around taking breaks really helps? Why don’t you just go back to your desk and fail at math some more.
Here is Ben and his staff taking a “breather.” Thirteenth time’s the charm!
Next scene: Lacy teaches Zach how to bake by first asking him to think of a dessert that reflects his personality. This is not a thing.
Be that as it may, Zach decides on something fast, simple, easy to make… vanilla cake.
WRONGO! A homemade cake is not fast or easy or simple to make, which is why box cakes were invented.
Lacy for some reason does not like his suggestion since I am assuming she thinks it is too plain, (like him). I think this is racist against vanilla cakes which happen to be my favorite.
Lacy offers up some other suggestions: how about a vanilla cake with a seasonal twist like a buttercream maple frosting? (meh.) Or maybe a sparkling cider glaze? (gross).
Why does everyone in this movie mix their ingredients while holding the bowls to their chest? No one bakes like this unless you want to ruin your clothes.
FYI Hallmark actually used a famous artist for the music in this scene (Colbie Caillat).
Thank you Hallmark.
Wow, can they possibly clank their forks on their plates anymore when they are taste testing the cakes? They do it like 8 times and it is super grating. Also, if this was Zach’s first cake and first attempt at icing one then he is a freaking baking prodigy.
I prefer Zach’s cake…more icing.
Zach is the best!
Next, Zach looks at Lacy’s budget, at her request, and tells her that expenses are way too high because she is spending ONE THIRD of her profits on the Bake-off when she needs that money for the radio station. Lacy gets upset and unreasonably blames him for the original budget cuts as well as the cuts that now have to occur with the Bake-off. She says she cannot afford his help, (which was free and forced), agitatedly gathers up her notebooks and she stalks off in a cloud of fluttering Post-its. He sighs sadly after her in his grandpa sweater.
Now they go apple picking to help Broken Arm Pete out and Lacy shows Zach how to pick an apple. Apparently, you pull and twist. Wow, that’s revolutionary.
He can’t do it.
She asks Zach to do a radio interview the next day – this woman has a lot of “Asks”, very little “Gives”, and zero “Thank Yous.” It’s because she’s pretty right?
After her blah interview, they discuss their dreams on a park bench surrounded by CGI fake orange leaves.
Hers: A job with Small Town Life (STL), a bigger and more famous radio show about small towns.
His: Fixing his constantly glitching program (yes, we know) because of the giant client waiting (third time we’re hearing it, buddy).
Lacy needs a new venue for the Bake Off since the Pleasant Valley Resort is now too expensive for her budget. She and Zach check out Broken Arm Pete’s barn and it looks like it is going to work! Problem solved!
However, this is when Lacy admits that she hasn’t sold many tickets either. Lacy, you are killing me! So, to be clear you have problems with the venue, ticket sales, bachelors, flowers, chairs, budget and tablecloths. This girl’s brain is a Post-it.
Broken Arm Pete tells Lacy and Zach that he can build an elevated platform for multiple people to stand on with his one good arm – she smiles and says, “Sure.”
Quick Question: Hey Pete, if you can’t even pick an apple off of a tree – how are you building a giant elevated platform?
Lacy also starts making lists to be more organized. She makes one list for vendors, one for schedules, and one To Do list. Apparently, Zach had to explain the concept of a list to her.
Isn’t’ Zach just the smartest…and so mysterious!
In the next scene we get a shot of Zach baking and he has flour on his left top shoulder. I told you not to mix like this! Do they not have electric mixers in Pleasant Valley?
Next scene: The Annual Jam Sale
We get it…it’s a small town.
Zach, in his grandpa sweater, tells Lacy that he is focused on work and won’t be ready to settle down anytime soon – she looks sad.
OMG Small Town Life crew is here! What do we do? What do we do?
Dana Davis from STL asks Lacy to audition for a job. If they like her auditions she will get a six month trial.
Zach and Lacy talk after the Jam Sale. She says Pleasant Valley has magic, and he says it is because of her, (yawn). Then she shivers and he gives her his grandpa sweater. He must really like her.
Next scene – Fixin’ up the Barn…
Lacy says, “I’m not sure if we are going to get this done in time this is a lot of work.”
Then Broken Arm Pete goes off to build the platform (how long is this going to take?) and Zach starts opening up bags of cups. In the set-up for a party these two jobs do not make sense to be doing at the same time.
Hey, thanks for getting the cups out 2 days early!
Ty, the intern, does a podcast about circuit boards and Zach listens to it – “Ty, this podcast is awesome! Talk to Lacy about getting on the show!”
Zach is so great. He fixes everything. The party budget, Ty’s broken circuit board thingy, Ty’s career, Lacy’s career (you’ll see), he makes his own coffee and smoothies, he can bake now, he can sort of kind of pick an apple….just…wow.
The Lantern Walk Date:
Zach asks her if she “wants a ride” to the Lantern Walk. This is code for a date. Everyone knows this, so why, when Lacy comes out to meet him in a cute little outfit, does he say – “You look prepared.”
Zach has no game.
Lacy tells Zach the purpose of the Lantern Walk. Apparently, “as winter begins and the days get shorter and the nights darker, the Lantern Walk is a reminder that we bring light into the world.”
I don’t get what one thing has to do with the other, so this is not clear enough in my mind to build a whole tradition around it…LANTERN WALK CANCELLED!!!
Zach and Lacy kiss and Zach ignores a work phone call for her….awwwww.
Since Zach is now participating in lantern walks and jam sales I would like to take this opportunity to point out all the time Zach has taken away from his budgeting work because of Lacy. He has had to:
Learn how to bake
Visit an apple farm to see Pete being interviewed
Participate in a radio interview
Visit an apple farm to pick apples
Review Lacy’s budget for the party
Bake some shortbread cookies
Go to a jam sale
Visit the apple farm as a possible venue
Listen to Tye’s podcast
Go on a Lantern Walk
Set up for the Bake-Off
Make more coffee when she sabotages it
On the other hand Lacy has had to step away from her Bake-off and radio show duties to help Zach with his needs by doing the following:
It’s because she’s pretty right?
Mild Misunderstanding ensues: Zach gets called out to speak at an important convention so he has to leave before the Bake-off.
Lacy says, “We both knew you were going to leave eventually so maybe it’s better if you leave before we both get closer.”
Basically, Lacy is saying, if you have to leave for 1-2 days, we need to break up.
She cries. He leaves.
Lacy goes for the audition with STL where she finds out that Zach was the one who called in to recommend her. Her audition consists of her talking about how her small town supported her, how Zach supported her, and how everything you love becomes a part of you, and yadda, yadda, yadda. At some point her audition ends so there is that.
Next, we are at the actual Bake-off, (mentioned 3 billion times by now), and Lacy finds out she got the job at STL. Apparently, someone who talks only about themselves and only in clichés is exactly what they were looking for. The STL crew films her as she receives the news, however I am a bit confused by this since I thought the STL show about Pleasant Valley was supposed to be about saving the town radio station, not them poaching her for their show…but whatever.
Lacy gets Ty to MC the Bake-off since she has to take the empty fourth contestant spot. Goofy bake-off music plays.
The bidding starts and Zach shows up to buy her, (I guess this is what he is doing?). She tells him that she got the job with SLT and he says he will be there to come home to.
They kiss to the Cobie Collet song “Falling for You”
By the way, check out the shot below. There are literally less than 50 people at this town fundraiser, so evidently, they needed to raise around $500.00 to save the radio station.
Zach…he’s the best!
The words “Bake” and “Off”
Excessive misuse of Post Its
Credits: All photos, unless otherwise indicated, have come from the Hallmark Movie “Falling for You” which can be viewed on the Hallmark Channel