Love on the Air
Alison Sweeney - Sonia Merrick
Johnathan Scarfe - Nick Lindon
This movie has earned a permanent spot on our DVR and that is no small feat in our house. I have seen it at least 10 times. So, if you haven’t seen it, stop reading, hunt this movie down – and then read this. :)
Okay, so the movie starts with a title shot that needs some font attention.
Hey Hallmark, if you need help, I can have my 11 year-old nephew make this look way better – just say the word.
At the beginning of the story we pop back and forth between the two leads, Sonia and Nick, who are both radio DJs. Their show themes are similar, (gender specific relationship advice), however, both come from entirely opposite ends of the advice spectrum. Here are some quotes from Sonia:
“Your career will never wake up one morning and tell you your thighs are too fat.”
“To all the men who say a woman’s place is in the kitchen…just remember, that’s where the knives are.”
“You don’t need them. Don’t give all of you. This is Sonia Merrick, and until tomorrow…BE AN ISLAND.”
Sonia wears smart and snappy suits to match her smart and snappy responses.
And for the gentlemen we have Nick’s sage advice from his Man Cave show,
(and by “sage” advice we mean super stupid advice).
“I have enough clothes and shoes. I don’t need to go shopping ...said no woman ever.”
“The rules are simple fellas – don’t spend a lot on a first date because you might not want a second one."
"Your listening to WCV Chicago talk radio, I’m Nick Lindon and until tomorrow night…all options open my friend.”
In summation, Sonia wants women to be islands, and Nick wants men to be douchbags so basically, both these people give terrible advice.
In the next scene we get to meet Sonia’s boyfriend, Scott, who we first see getting out of a brand-new shiny Range Rover. Scott is a very busy and very successful sports agent.
Apparently, he just signed a famous hockey player and he kisses Sonia in celebration, (and to let us all know he's her boyfriend). He then informs her that, even though she was against the idea, he went ahead and bought a house for the two of them. So now we all know that Scott is also kind of an a**hole.
Excellent example of over-aggresive kissing...
Sonia doesn’t look pleased about his high-handedness, but before she can comment they are distracted by Nick’s Man Cave radio broadcast blaring from a store as they walk down the street.
Scott says, “I love that guy!” just as Sonia says, “I hate that guy!” which comes as no surprise since Nick’s show is anti-women.
Also, please notice, and get used to, Sonia’s outfit of grey heels, leggings, and a short trench because she will wear it for most of the movie.
Sonia comments that Nick does “bitter” radio and Scott counters with, “Well, you do bitter radio,” while he furiously texts on his phone like a champ.
“I do not do bitter radio!”
Scott laughs, “What, telling women to “be an island?” Yeah they’ll never keep a guy.”
“You’ve been listening to that Man Cave show haven’t you?” scoffs Sonia.
“Well its either him or you…”
Youch…pretty sure Scott is playing the part of Loser Boyfriend at this point.
They meet up with Sonia’s friend/producer, Tanya, at a flower shop where we learn that Scott and Sonia are engaged and are there to pick flowers for their wedding.
Tanya asks if they have ordered the wedding cake yet, and Sonia says Scott wants red velvet and she wants chocolate.
Side Note: Uh oh! That’s Hallmark-speak for these two are not compatible!
“Scott and I couldn’t agree on a honeymoon destination
So he bought me some plastic surgery instead.”
With effort, Sonia gets Scott to turn his attention to picking out their flowers. He says, "I like the roses..." at the same time she says "lilies."
Holy crap, that's two obvious Hallmark strikes against them in two minutes. These two should break up immediately - seriously, just walk away from each other.
Next we meet Gus, he runs the restaurant underneath Sonia's apartment - he's cool and weirdly all-knowing.
Sonia tells Gus she is going out with Scott and he responds with, “Him again…huh?”
Wow! Even Gus knows Scott’s a Loser and he’s only seen him walk from his Range Rover to her door – so what’s Sonia’s excuse?
BTW this is the outfit Sonia is wearing to go out with Scott and his clients. When he walks up to her in the restaurant the first words out of his mouth are, “I thought you were getting dressed up.”
Is what she is wearing so terrible? I don’t know since I dress like a tomboy, but she’s wearing a dress and heels so WTF?
Sonia apologizes to Scott for how she looks which makes me think she needs to practice what she preaches on her show and grow a pair. Also, I guess he can wear a dark suit, but she can’t? Luckily, Sonia can pull an instant make-over out of her butt so in three seconds she looks like this.
Scott barely acknowledges her efforts as he is busily texting on his phone.
BTW he is playing his Loser Boyfriend part beautifully – honestly, he should get an Oscar.
Sonia gets a call with an offer to substitute ASAP for the Dr. Lynn Show, a very popular radio spot with a female audience, at WVC in Chicago. This is a really big chance for Sonia, so she agrees. She excitedly tells Scott about it, and then apologizes because now she can't stay to have drinks with his clients.
Scott is super p*ssed.
Scott: Oh, you can't stay? That’s great!
Sonia: I’m sorry I know that this is awful timing..
Scott: It always is isn’t it?
Both of them paste fake happy smiles on their faces and sit down with his clients. Then Sonia apologizes to the group for how she looks, which tells me I must be the fattest, sloppiest, mountain of a woman that ever lived.
Side Note: Holy crap Hallmark, please research the average body type of your target demographic and then try really really hard not to insult us…thanks.
Sonia orders an ice water and Scott immediately negates that and says, “Actually, we’ll have a couple of G&Ts.” Then he demeans her show to the other people at the table. Me oh my, this guy is a real dreamboat.
However, since I had already figured out that Scott is a loser way before this, now I’m actually starting to question Sonya’s decision-making ability. Is she a smart, intelligent woman? Or does she just talk like one?
Sonia leaves the restaurant and later she and Tanya arrive at WVC. The Man Cave Show is just wrapping up and she will go on right after.
We switch over to Scott driving home in his car and listening intently to Nick’s Man Cave advice on the radio.
Here is what Nick is saying…
“Marriage is like a death sentence only it lasts longer! Guys…do you really want to spend the rest of your life with her? Do yourself a favor, look her in the eye, or better yet the phone, and say these words, we are just at different junctures in our lives.”
Scott decides to follow Nick’s advice and break up with Sonia over the phone. He calls her at WVC, but the switchboard operator mistakenly puts him thru to Sonia as if he is a caller for her show. Scott, who has no idea he is on the air, dumps her publicly.
“Sonya...we’re at different junctures in our lives right now. I don’t want 50-50! I want someone who will drop everything and be there for me! I want to vacation on an island - I don’t want to marry one!”
Side Note: Is it just me or does Scott look super dweeb-y and disheveled in the shot below? No offense Scott, but if this had been a face time call Sonia probably would have been like, “Breaking up sounds good Rumple Dumple, catch you on the flip!”
“I need someone who will drop everything and iron my clothes!”
Instead we get this,
Your breaking up with me…on the air!
We’re on the air? … click
Then Sonia just sits there in shock with her scary reptilian snake eyes.
Can someone please get this woman some sunglasses?
Luckily for Sonia, she works with her very good friend/producer Tanya who immediately steps in to offer her support and encouragement after this humiliating trauma...
Side Note: Oh shoot...sorry I got confused - I was thinking of what any friend with a scrap of human decency would do, not what Tanya would do. Let me start again...
Luckily for Sonia, she works with her producer/sorta kinda friend Tanya who immediately bends down to say...
Geez, is Tanya her friend or not? Sonia just got dumped and publicly humiliated and her first thought is…get back to work!
After a beat Tanya does ask, “Are you okay?” but by then it’s too late, I have formed my opinion - Tanya looks out for Tanya.
Meanwhile, Sonia composes herself and tells her listeners…
“Being dumped can be empowering, so if you find yourself unexpectedly single, you’ve got to go for your dreams because I sure am.”
In the next scene, she and her crappy friend Tanya are sharing a sundae together, because when women are upset they always console themselves with sweets...am I right ladies?
Back at her apartment, Sonia cuts up pictures of Scott and throws everything that reminds her of him into a box, which is exactly what I would do except the box would be on fire.
Then she throws everything into the dumpster accross the street.
Gus, standing outside, notices all that is going on. He is like God.
Interestingly, his restaurant has no name at all. Maybe he really is God.
Next, Sonya picks up her useless wedding dress and storms out of the bridal store. No offense, but she doesn’t look so good.
She hangs the dress in a tree next to the dumpster (which is coincidentally, where her life currently resides right now), and then starts making a sign to hang with the dress. Gus walks over and says, “I got to say I never really liked that Scott guy. He never looked me in the eye, never shook my hand…ev-er!”
Sonia, still very upset, goes for a walk. She spies a movie theatre playing Breakfast at Tiffany’s and buys a ticket. Meanwhile, Nick, who is out for a walk as well, ends up at the same theatre.
Sonia then inexplicably buys a blue snow cone to snack on during the movie which begs the question – what functioning adult buys blue snow cones?
Anyway, as she is walking with her delicious frozen treat and texting on her phone, (which as we all know is illegal), she bumps into Nick and gets blue snow cone all over his shirt. However, since Nick is not instantly mesmerized by her beauty, but seems instead, cold and annoyed, I am not going to call this a “meet cute.”
Sonia says, “Sorry!” but doesn’t even offer to pay for cleaning his shirt. She’s been racking up the sympathy points with me so far, but I’m subtracting one for this lameness.
Sonia: I’m not usually this clumsy I’m just…
Sonia: Yeah is it that obvious?
Nick: Just a little bit… and he points to her face where she has smeared her eye makeup crying.
She repairs her make-up as they chat a bit before the movie starts.
They find out that they are neighbors and that both of them like retro films. As they walk into the movie, they mutually decide it would be weird if they sit next to each other, so he sits one row behind her and shares his popcorn with her.
After the movie they walk back towards their apartments and please note she is wearing the exact same outfit from the first scene of the movie.
Nick kinda sorta asks her out on a “second” date and then remarks on her “freakishly large head” which doesn’t do him any favors and just seems strange.
Sonia tells Nick she’s not dating because she’s just broken up with her fiancé. “He wanted me to drop everything to be on his arm for parties and dinners! I had to change my hair, my clothes…!”
(Meanwhile they stop at a food truck and Nick orders them some coffee and doughnuts.)
Nick tells her that she dodged a bullet. “I should know,” he says, “because I’ve dodged many.”
FYI Nick, your commitment phobia and her large head are not the best conversation choices when talking to women.
You’re kind of a dumba**, huh?
At this point, Sonia stops Nick as he tries to pay for her food, and they get into a huge argument. Apparently, she doesn’t want to feel “indebted” to him for her cruller.
They say some pretty mean things to each other, and she stalks off yelling, “I’m sorry I let you sit behind me!”
Group Consensus: Sonia ruined Nick’s shirt so she should have offered to pay for his food, not just her own…end of story. Sorry Sonia.
Later that night she is walking into the WVC building with Tanya and reading the massive amounts of tweets that have come into the station about her on-air breakup.
“Dumped on the Radio Girl? Hashtag excruciating? Tanya, this is terrible!”
Tanya, however, is all smiles. “You’re getting great publicity. It’s awesome!” and she laughs at one of the tweets.
Worst… friend… ever.
The Man Cave show is playing in the elevator as they get on and Nick is talking about, “A bereft woman he met at the movies that had been dumped by her fiancée.” Sonia totally loses her sh*t.
She stalks over to his glass radio booth and angrily bursts in during his show. As they start to argue back and forth, Tanya stops the sound tech from taking their fight off the air since she considers this to be radio “gold” (and as we all know gold outweighs friendship).
They argue heatedly for a while to the delight of his entire Chicago audience, and then Sonia storms out.
Brad, the station manager, calls a meeting with the two of them the next day. They both think they’re in trouble, but since this is America, and Americans love to hear people screaming, they get promoted instead.
He tells them, “The show just went viral and the owner of the station loves it! So, I’m putting the two of you together on the morning show!” Horrified reactions ensue.
After this meeting Sonia goes out for drinks with Tanya to drown her sorrows in booze. Frankly, I have no idea why she is still even speaking to Tanya since this is the chick that caused her problems but whatever…
Also, since each of her Martini’s holds about a full cup of liquor, and she has downed three of them without any trace of drunkenness, I’m now fairly certain Sonia is an alcoholic.
“Pound ‘em girl!”
Sonia says, “I can’t spend every day all day trapped in a room with that barbarian!”
And Tanya responds, “Yes you can, because Brad is letting me produce and you know how bad I have wanted to do a morning show! Besides you’ve already been publicly humiliated so what more do you have to lose?”
Question: When Tanya says “publicly humiliated” is she talking about the first time Sonia was publicly humiliated, or the time she caused it?
However, just to be clear, Tanya is still super self-absorbed either way.
So Nick and Sonia reluctantly begin working together and their spot is very successful. Interestingly, during their shows, Sonia always gets really riled up while she is talking to Nick so her expressions run something like this:
While Nick can barely keep his eyes open apparently.
Force those eyes open Nick! Your being paid to be here!
Let’s listen in to the show for a moment…
Nick: Actually, other than you, women seem to like me.
Sonia: They’re just being polite.
Nick: Why, you don’t find me a little bit attractive? Oh, that’s right, your smart, your independent, you’re an island…the question is does anyone want to inhabit that island?
Sonia: A lot sooner than they want to visit Nick’s Man Cave that’s for sure.
Nick: Okay, let’s make a bet. I can get more women to date me than you can get men.
Sonia: Your on!
Scary snake eyes! Scary snake eyes!
Whew! that's better.
Speed dating contest between Sonia and Nick - whoever gets the most “Likes” wins.
Here is the facilitator who keeps time for each speed date. She will shout out random quotes when she rings her little bell like “Love connection! Cupid’s arrow! Love spell!” or, “I smell love!” (this one’s kinda gross).
Sonia’s speed dates:
Much Older Man
Where have you been all my life?
...and then she left me...
(starts to cry)
You got dumped on the radio? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!
How embarrassing is that!
Uh oh, you're one of those feminists aren't you?
Nick’s speed dates:
Nick: Swimsuit model huh? ...
I love swimming.
Super Giggly Girl
HAHAHA Nick, you’re so funny! (cries with laughter)
So, although this is not my 10th grade Persuasive Essay assignment, I think I have proven pretty robustly that Sonia was royally screwed on her “man options” while Nick got paired with obsessed fans and models.
At the end of the contest, Nick’s page is full of “likes” from all the women, while Sonia gets zero men interested in her. Oopsie.
Upset, Sonia storms out and Nick follows her.
“You know none of those guys was interested in anything I had to say?” she complains.
“Well, they might have been if you didn’t put up a fence. Not everybody shows up to dates with wire cutters.”
“You’re saying I scare men?”
Nick smiles, “You don’t scare me – but then again I had a really bossy sister.”
Back at the station, Sonia opens up Nick.
“You’re right. I’m pretty sure Scott broke up with me because I wasn’t supportive enough. I do put up fences and I do scare off men.” Then she looks sad.
Nick thinks for a second and then tells her he can help her get Scott back if she wants. He says all they need to do is make him jealous. Sonia, surprised, agrees to his help.
Side Note: So now I guess this movie just turned into The Ugly Truth?
Anyway, Sonia takes Nick back to her apartment to give him the 411 on Scott’s background and habits. She offers him something to eat even though all she has in her refrigerator is mustard, old take-out and butter spray. Now I’m starting to see why she orders snow cones at the movies.
Next, Nick checks out her clothes closet. He tells her she will need to dress better than the HAZ-MAT outfits she currently has if she wants to get Scott back.
Side Note: Oh dear, I thought the clothes in her closet looked fine. Also, since there is no flippin’ way I can fit into the sausage-casing dresses that this chick wears, what does this say about me? Is my husband unhappy because of the way I dress? Is he drawing up divorce papers as we speak? Oh wait…Hallmark scripts are stupid…whew, never mind.
Luckily for her, Nick’s sister Julia owns a woman’s clothing store, so he takes Sonia there to get some more flattering (i.e. even tighter) outfits (with a side of Spanx). After introductions he ducks out for a hot dog and Sonia finds out the following info from his sister:
Nick’s wife left him 2 years ago
He was crushed
That’s when he started the Man Cave show
Of course, when Nick walks back in the store he gets to see Sonia in a sexy dress with the sun hitting her just right. This is a romance after all, so I was wondering when we were going to get to it already.
Julia senses her brother’s interest in Sonia and invites her to join their poker game that night, so Sonia and Nick basically spend the whole day together.
The next day Nick brings his adorable dog Clooney to work. He’s taking him out for some exercise – would Sonia like to join them? Yes, she would!
Clooney’ s here!
Sonia watches Nick playing with his dog and looks at him like she’s never met him before but she sure wants too!
Afterward Sonia accompanies Nick back to his apartment to feed Clooney and she is shocked at how clean and nicely decorated his place is.
“This is the Man Cave?" she exclaims in surprise, "Are you housesitting for an interior designer? Where are all the old pizza boxes and beer cans?”
For some reason Sonia feels comfortable poking around in his house and actually opens his refrigerator to see what’s inside, (how rude!) however, I’m pretty sure all his healthy food is just going to confuse her.
Hey Mr. Man Cave, where’s all your Man Meat?
After noting how great he is with Clooney and how civilized his apartment is, Sonia remarks, “Your different from the other Nick.”
“Hey, don’t start liking me.” He pours her some wine. “If you start liking me, we’ll be out of a job.”
Then they toast to “Not Getting Along” immediately after which Nick cooks her a romantic dinner outside on his candlelit terrace that has a beautiful view of the water, (basically the quintessential date). WTF?
Hey, wait just a cotton pickin’ minute…is that Sade playing in the background? C’mon!
Later Nick walks her home and they run into Gus. Nick and Gus are friends. Wow! God likes Nick!
Gus points at the two of them and says, “I like what I am seeing here…" (Wait…did he just bless them? Are they married now?)
The next day Nick opens up on the air about his failed marriage and Sonia applauds him for being brave. Of course, Tanya walks in as the show ends and says, “Okay, don’t start being nice to one another. People want to hear you argue.”
Nick ignores her, (thank you Nick!), and turns to Sonia, “Reservations at nine,” and then he leaves. Tanya is obviously concerned…about Tanya.
That night Sonia wears a legit floor length formal dress to go to a club with Nick to make Scott jelly.
Question: In case someone asks, what is their back story here? Did they just come from meeting the Queen? Because no one wears this type of outfit even to a nice bar.
They meet up with Scott right after they arrive at the club and make him jealous in about six seconds. Well that was easy.
Scott is not happy that Nick and Sonia are dancing to “their” song and cuts in on Nick, which really only highlights how weirdly aggressive he is. This is someone else’s date so “cutting in” for a dance is not okay.
Be that as it may, Scott cuts in, Nick lets him, (obvs), and then…Nick leaves? They were there for less than 10 minutes total and I have no idea how Sonia is going to explain to Scott why she has been left at the club by her date.
The next day at work Nick asks her how it went, and Sonia says, “We talked.” Gee, thanks for the detailed info Sonia. It’s not like Nick didn’t go out of his way to help you or anything.
Oh, here comes their weird co-worker, Amanda, with cranberry pumpkin acai muffins! (blech)
Amanda says to Sonia, “You should totally bring Scott to the Affiliates Party tonight!” then she turns to Nick, “Hey Nick, you can take me!” Nick, caught off guard, replies, “Uh… sure.”
Scott picks Sonia up for the Affiliates Party and says she looks amazing and that he really likes the “new you” even though she’s basically wearing the exact same bodycon type dress she wore before – it’s just green.
At the party, Nick pulls Sonia aside and tells her he has doubts about her and Scott as a couple. This remark then snowballs into a loud and heated argument between the two in the middle of a room filled with their bosses and sponsors. Good grief, rein in the drama people - this is not a high school dance.
Afterwards, we follow Scott and Sonia as they leave the party. True to form Scott is completely absorbed by his phone. When he absently opens the door for her and walks away, Sonia rolls her eyes and shakes her head since…sigh…nothing has changed.
Side Note: No kidding dumba** – again, all you’ve changed is the color of your dress.
In the next scene, for some odd reason, Nick brings Amanda to a poker night where none of his family really warms up to her because all she talks about is the trajectory of her business plan. For the love of god Amanda, do a shot already.
Then we jump to Sonia and Scott who are back into their normal routine of clubbing with his clients. Evidently it is the end of the evening because Sonia leans over to Scott and asks if he is alright with her calling it a night. He smiles and says, “Sure, you made it to the 30-yard line.”
Side Note: Is “the 30-yard line” a compliment? Because it doesn’t sound like one. Also, please notice that Sonia has gone from an “island” to a woman who is okay having her boyfriend numerically evaluate her after each outing.
Nick, now home from poker night, is watching a retro movie marathon and he sends out a text to Sonia. “Your missing out. Katherine Hepburn is up next.”
By this time Sonia has returned home from her outing with Scott and gets his text as she sits in her comfy clothes in front of the TV. Hilariously, the time on his text says 8:36pm.
Question: So, did she leave her date with Scott at 8pm? Seriously? Does Sonia have the nighttime rituals of a toddler?
Anyway, she ends up going over to Nick’s to watch the retro movie marathon and they both fall asleep on his couch. Although I would normally assume it is around 2am, I’m not going to be fooled again by these two…it could be 9:30pm for all I know.
At some point in the evening, Sonia wakes up and quietly leaves Nick, sleeping on the couch. As she is walking the short distance to her apartment, she sends a text to Tanya that reads “Something awful happening. Falling for Nick.”
Tanya immediately calls her back with bad news.
Sonia then oddly replies,
Side Note: Huh? What “advantage” is she talking about? Is this a military coup or a relationship? Newsflash: love is not a battlefield Sonia - that's just a really cool song from the eighties.
Anyway, Sonia totally freaks out, sprints back to Nick’s place, makes it past a locked security gate and slips in thru Clooney’s doggie door.
Side Note: I have to give Sonia some props here - girl is on fire with her burglary skills.
After breaking and entering into his home, and tiptoeing past him like a ninja, Sonia picks up Nick’s phone, (which is apparently not password protected?), finds her text and deletes it. Whew, that was close! Now she has her weird “advantage” back I guess.
As she is leaving (again), Nick’s phone rings and wakes him up - and even though he would totally expect to see her there – Sonia hides like a crazy person. I'll give her a pass on this due to her panicked state, but I'm subtracting points from her burglary evaluation.
From her completely unnecessary hiding place she overhears Nick talking to his friend, Liam about bringing Amanda to poker night. But she thinks the phone call is about her. Here’s what she hears:
“I was just trying to be nice to her…I have zero interest… Zero. She’s just an annoying coworker. Believe me I’m not going to bring her back to poker night. I see her everyday at work and that’s plenty.”
Sonia sneaks out through the doggie door again and I have to say I'm not super comfortable with this symbolism.
Then she cries her way home.
I’ll add some tears here since Alison Sweeney can't make any.
Nick gets into work the next day and Sonia starts out the show by saying,
“Have you ever trusted someone and then found out that they were a two-faced, game-playing, popcorn-eating, chauvinistic liar?”
Then it goes kind of downhill from there.
Next, they are both standing in front of Brad telling him they cannot work together anymore.
So, Nick stays on mornings and Sonia goes to nights. Not sure why Sonia is the one to lose out on the great time slot, but oh well…
Sonia breaks up with Scott, (finally), by mutual agreement. Maybe now he can find that 60/40 relationship he is looking for.
At the next poker night, we find out Nick’s ratings are down. And that’s not the only thing that’s down.
“I don’t ever think I have seen you so miserable!” says his sister Julia, “You need to go and talk to Sonia before it is too late. Now go!”
Wow, he was right. His sister is super bossy. Nick goes.
Meanwhile, Sonia is in the middle of her show crying her eyes out on the air which is great because I super love listening to people on the radio who are blowing their nose and hiccupping their way through sentences they can’t finish. However, on a positive note if her eyes are full of tears then maybe they won’t be so scary.
“I can’t…I don’t…I won’t…sniffy-sniffles-sob-hic”
Sonia blubbers out the whole story to her listeners. All about how she fell in love with a guy who has “zero interest in her” and thinks of her as “an annoying coworker.”
Nick, in a taxi on his way to the station, hears the whole thing and calls her.
“Sonia, I don’t have zero interest, I have 100 percent interest and you are not an annoying co-worker, I was talking about Amanda!”
He enters the studio. “I miss arguing with you.”
“I miss it too!” hiccups Sonia.
“Then I think there is only one thing left to do…”
Kissy, kissy…maybe a little tongue.
Then Tanya yells “Dead air!” which frankly kills the moment.
The Leads have great chemistry and the writing is snappy!
That darn snow cone!
The premise that someone like Alison Sweeney has to look better than she already does, because that’s just bullsh*t.
Credits: All photos, unless otherwise indicated, have come from the Hallmark Movie “Love on the Air ” which can be viewed on the Hallmark Channel