True Love Blooms
Sara Rue – Vikki George
Jordan Bridges – Chase Devine
The movie takes place in St. Petersburg, Florida. We meet Vikki George who is the manager of a community garden which was started by her Dad twenty years ago. She also works in her family’s garden store.
This is Vikki. She loves to smell flowers and then look up to the sky in wonder.
She works with her best friend Anna who is married for 12 years to a guy she met in high school. I like Anna, she’s expressive.
Vikki asks Anna “How do you do it? How do you have it all?” which, as her best friend, you’d think she would know by now.
Anna replies, “You could have it all too, if you put half the energy you put into that garden into your dating life.”
This is how we find out Vikki is not interested in love and is done with dating!
Sure, she is.
If you are going to present a character who is “done” with love, and then have them acquiesce to every possible romantic date and interlude after that, then they are not “done” with love are they?
And in the end, what you have actually “done” is waste my time.
Keep up the good work,
It should be noted that Vikki is completely focused on a Garden Walk Competition which is occurring in a month and everything has to be perfect!
Now we are at the community garden and we meet a couple of characters who have gardening plots, (and storyline sub-plots), there. For instance, Mr. Boyle and Ms. Hewitt’s humorous side story of a tomato vs. bell pepper feud is comic gold. (#noitisn’t).
Next, we meet the male lead, Chase Devine – he is a real estate developer.
In his first scene we find out he gave a job to his administrative assistant’s brother so he must be a nice guy. Also, he is on his way out to look at a new property he is buying. Could it be the community garden?
Yes! Here he is at the garden! He walks over to Vikki as she is working in the dirt and she falls into him like a dumb***, getting dirt all over his nice suit. I am not going to call this a “meet cute,” since they were obviously going to meet anyway, and this just made her look like a klutz.
Oh! Oh my! Mary, Joseph and Jesus! That darn bag I trip on it all the time!
At this point she doesn’t know who he is, so when he asks her for a tour she says, “Sure!” and starts her “tour” out by noting that, “Spring has sprung!” However, if you look at the trees outside of her garden which are barren of leaves. I’d say maybe not so much.
But whatever, spring has sprung in her small community garden anyway, since it is made up of flowering plants trucked in from Home Depot and placed in this dirt. Good enough for me.
So, the “tour” takes about six steps and then they are done, (they could literally have stood there and turned in a complete circle and been done).
“Okay so this is our community garden. To the left are the plants and to the right is the exit. Have a nice day!”
Chase starts talking to her about zoning laws and properly using the space which confuses Vikki. Is he not here for a gardening plot? Would he like to be on the wait list for one? He responds, “It’s okay I’m not waiting.”
Huh? Is he planning on mowing down all her plants tomorrow?
Wow, I thought this character was nice, but now he seems like kind of an a**hole.
As he leaves, he tells Vikki that his garden grows condos from the ground up. Poor Vikki, it must be hard talking to someone who responds with answers that only he understands. I‘ll bet you a million bucks Chase has zero friends.
Vikki and Anna find out who Chase really is!
As she is looking at the construction site, Vikki mentions that she rents the land for the community garden so now we know she is super screwed.
The next scene is with her landlord, Mr. Mack who tells her that he sold her land that morning to Chase Devine and he is using the money to retire to Hawaii. She starts whining about her Dad’s dream for the garden which I personally don’t think is the best argument to use. No offense, but her Dad's dead so he’s not dreaming anymore. Mr. Mack does tell her to show some gumption and find a new place for her garden; an excellent idea that she will never consider for the entire movie.
Next, Vikki puts on her power suit and goes to confront Chase. She is going to tell him how important the garden is to the community.
Yeah, that’s not going to stop the wrecking ball princess.
“This suit should do the trick. After all, it works every time I go to the bank and ask for money from my account.”
Here is Chase with his girlfriend, Marta, who decorated his office as “empty”. This is nonsense. My guess is that the scriptwriters wrote this in to save on set decoration.
I don’t have much to say about Marta except that she is a big proponent of jazz hands.
Here’s the moment when Chase tells her he likes the room décor and she runs at him for a hug. At the last minute she twirls, and it ends up as this kind of backward Heimlich hug position that I have never seen before.
Since Chase looks like he could care less what she does. I’m not going to care either.
Vikki shows up at his office. But she can’t get past Mr. Devine’s loyal administrative assistant. Even with her suit on! Even though she said the issue was pressing!
She tries a different tack. “If you tell him Vikki George is here to see him, I think he’ll see me.”
Side Note: Uh, no he won’t Vikki. Do you really think he will want to talk to the disgruntled person he is evicting in thirty days? He will want to avoid you like the plague.
Vikki ends up sneaking past the secretary to get to Chase because she has “gumption.” Here she is entering his office just as he is leaving. FYI when you enter an office in a sneaky, out-of-breath fashion, with eyes that say, “I just committed a crime,” your power suit loses all its oomph.
“Oh, s*** you’re actually here.”
Basically, she begs him to save her garden and he says no. Then we learn that his office actually overlooks the garden. They literally walk to one of his windows and look down and “boom” there it is.
See? I don’t want to look at that anymore, I want to look into the wall of a condo.
Also, they should have nixed this shot. No way this is a 20+ year old garden
BTW all the parking lots within Chase’s vision better watch out!
Chase tells her this is business, not personal, and she says, “It is personal, and I will prove it to you!” Then she walks out and looks determined.
Back at the garden, (where now we know Chase can watch her using binoculars whenever he wants). She gathers her 8 co-gardeners and tells them that they are not going to lose the garden without a fight. Her plan is to start a petition from the neighborhood, then they will win the Garden Walk Competition, which will make it more difficult for Chase’s company to rip the garden out if it is a winner.
TEAM GARDEN CENTER
Next, we see Vikki and her cohorts running up to strangers with petitions and everyone is signing everything, no explanation needed. Here she runs up to these joggers and they just sign their names in passing. Wow, this is a really friendly neighborhood.
“Will you adopt my kids – thanks!”
Now Vikki needs to get back in to see Chase with her petition signatures, but we still have that pesky assistant to deal with. Luckily, Marta is back to distract everyone with her jazz hands so Vikki can sneak in again.
BTW I think we have passed “gumption” at this point. Vikki is now either a stalker or a trespasser – take your pick.
Chase is impressed that Vikki got a 1000 plus signatures so fast. He’s still going to mow her tulips down, but good for her.
Sorry, my worker’s need jobs. Azaleas do not get priority.
In the next scene, she is sitting with her Mom reading her eviction notice. She needs to be out in a month, (right after the Garden Walk Competition). This sounds like a super depressing moment, which may be why they are both eating inordinately large pieces of cake.
She tells her Mom she is going to show that Chase Devine how much fight she has in her! “What would Dad do, Mom?” she asks, and her Mom replies, “He’d sleep on it.”
Yeah, he was pretty much a lazy bastard.
Her next move is to disrupt Chase’s groundbreaking ceremony with some picketers.
Here we come!
A large group of reporters show up for the groundbreaking ceremony. I couldn’t even fit all of them in the shot below. Since when does building a condominium get all this news coverage? Is Florida that boring?
“Mr. Devine, will you be using PPC or OPC cement?”
In the end, some of the reporters actually interview Vikki and her group, which is not surprising considering the alternative. I’ll bet if a bird had fallen out of that tree behind them, they would have run that story instead of Chase’s mind-numbing speech about condos.
Vikki’s next strategic move is geared to “infuse the community garden into the whole neighborhood.” She decides to do this by inviting the whole neighborhood, (and Chase Devine), to their annual ladybug release.
Side Note: Now I have absolutely nothing against lady bugs. As bugs go, I suppose they are the cutest ones. However, I do question their ability to draw a crowd. I also question their ability to draw a crowd made up of anything other than a few Moms and a whole horde of kids under 8 years old.
After her interview, Vikki invites Chase to the ladybug release, and then he asks her a really good question: Can’t you just plant your flowers somewhere else?
Her answer? She says it was her dad’s project and he died three 3 years ago, which does nothing to explain why she won’t just relocate. Did her dad stipulate in his will that the garden should never be moved? Is Dad actually buried in the garden? Because these are all valid reasons for her hardheadedness. Otherwise, Vikki’s airy-fairy determination is completely whack.
Chase shares his personal story with her, and we learn that his mom passed away last year. Since Vikki’s Dad died three years ago, Chase “out-orphans” Vikki in the sympathy department.
The Ladybug Release! (yawn)
Ladybugs! So fun! So fun! (1 minute later…bored.)
I think this kid fell asleep getting her face painted.
So Chase comes to the gate, sees Vikki, and then can’t bring himself to go in because he is the “bad guy.” Weirdo thing to do since she already saw him and waved.
Chase comes to her family’s nursery and tells Vikki there is something he wants to show her. Then he takes her to a construction site where she meets some of the crew and learns how grateful they are that they got jobs from Chase.
"Mr. Devine gave me this job and I am so grateful. All I had to do was stop dating his sister."
Chase invites Vikki to lunch which is questionable since he has a girlfriend. Is this business? Exactly how is this business? You see my point.
Anyway, Vikki says yes to lunch, but she makes him go on a picnic, so now we know this is definitely NOT business. Maybe you could say they are becoming friends, but even friends don’t picnic together, am I right?
Also, pretty foggy and overcast for spring – don’t you think?
Couldn’t they have let this actress wear a pair of pants for the picnic scene? Wardrobe has put the poor girl in spring dresses the entire movie, and now she has to hold this very uncomfortable position with her knees up in the air for goodness knows how long during shooting. If you think other women do not notice things like this Hallmark, you are wrong.
Then they find a four-leaf clover that seems to stand at attention and deflate at will.
It starts to rain so they skedaddle, and later that night, when Vikki is eating dinner with Anna and her husband, we find out that she was impressed by the good that comes out of Chase’s construction projects, but she will continue to fight him to save the garden since….um, uh..plants are more important than people? (fyi this was subtext)
The next day she walks into the garden and catches one of her rat fink backstabbing community gardeners digging up her plot of land and taking all her plants to a different garden. What an a**hole.
Vikki is super upset after Brenda leaves because the Garden Walk Competition is just around the corner and now the whole place is a wreck!
Vikki stalks Chase out on the street and invites him to her garden store. This time he shows
Am I dressed okay? Business casual right?
Then they have loads of fun planting the empty plot together. By the way, Vikki should be totally thanking Benedict Arnold Brenda right now for making this date, (that is not a date because he still has a girlfriend), possible.
HAHAHA! He sits funny!
OOOH! They touched hands by mistake (or was it?)
His hands are dirty!
What an adventure!
Oh me, oh my! He’s putting his dirt in her hole! (No euphemisms here - just good clean fun!)
He touched her nose with dirt. They should get married.
After he leaves, and Vikki returns to the nursery, Anna comes tearing into the shop like her a** is on fire. She found out there is going to be a Mayoral Gala and she wants to crash it with Vikki so that Vikki can talk to the mayor and try and save the garden.
Look out everyone! Here comes orange pants!
So they both crash the gala and then we get to watch Vikki take off her coat to reveal her beauteous-ness to Chase who is watching her. I guess the director told Sara Rue to wish upon a star or something as she removes her coat – otherwise, I have no idea what she is staring at so fixedly. Do I stare at one point in the sky as I take off my clothes? No, I do not.
“Help us Madame Mayor Obi-Wan, you’re our only hope!”
Oh, and lest I forget, at the dance Chase tells Vikki that he and Marta broke up. The convenient break-up off screen is a time saver for which I am grateful. Thanks Hallmark!
The Garden Walk Competition happens and a judge with a super generic “JUDGE” nametag, proclaims the Community Garden the winner! Enjoy your blue ribbon!
Chase comes to the Garden Walk and Vikki makes them squat behind a bush for a quiet moment. Don’t ask me why – it doesn’t matter. They have a near miss kiss which is interrupted by Anna screaming her name. “Vikki! Where are you? I can’t find you in this small space where everything is under three feet high! VIKKI!!!”
Good gracious! The mayor’s here and the news is not good!
Everyone is sad.
What is Vikki’s ask of Chase after this? “Just think of a way Chase – just try!” (Sob. Sniff.)
So Chase goes to the rooftop to think about what to do for her garden. Really? How long is this going to take you to figure out Chase?
The next day Vikki goes to the garden to find that it has been padlocked shut with her poor bedraggled blue ribbon laying forlornly on the ground just out of her reach. Poor Vikki! Next time maybe you’ll take your blue ribbon home with you like a normal person.
Here’s another shot of Vikki at the fence.
Side Note: I’d just like to mention here for the record that I am a fifty-three year old woman and I could jump this fence no problem….just sayin’.
Anyway, Vikki gets pretty mad that Chase locked up all her plant plots so she marches to his office to give him a piece of her mind. But she is NOT prepared for what she walks into…
WTF Chase? We almost kissed behind a bush! My life is ruined!
Unseen by either Chase or Marta, Vikki stumbles back into the elevator and completely overreacts to their hug. Why didn’t she just confront Chase at that moment? Where did all her gumption go? We will never know. Instead, all we get this fake tear.
I am assuming time passes since now she is back at the garden site, but it has been completely cleared out. This is where Chase finds her.
First, she tells him he wrecked her dream. (I thought it was her Dad’s dream?).
It’s all gone. You crushed my dream Chase – you crushed it! mmmphft.
Then she accuses him of, I-don’t-know-what, with Jazz Hands Marta.
“I saw you Chase. I saw you with Marta.”
“You were at your office and you were hugging her and I saw you Chase.”
What Chase could have responded:
“Actually, I was congratulating her on her new job. But it could have been because her cat died or maybe she’s moving to France. There are like a billion reasons to hug someone and a hug is literally a platonic move. Holy moly, where do you stand on fist bumping? Or high fives? Or down lows?”
Instead, he patiently explains why he was hugging Marta and then says, “Take one more walk with me. I promise I won’t let you down.”
Then he takes her to the roof of his office building. The elevator doors open and, voila! he has moved her entire community garden to the roof of the building. It’s a rooftop garden now!
Furthermore, he is converting all the rooftops on his condos to garden spaces and he wants her to manage and run them for him!
“Chase you saved the garden – you saved my dream!” Blech.
They kiss and she’s going to work for him. I have no idea how that is going to go.
Vikki: I want a raise (kiss, kiss)
Chase: You don’t even know the salary yet! (smack, kiss)
Vikki: Doesn’t matter, I want a raise. (kissy, kiss)
FYI the dinner they made for the scene where Vikki eats with Anna and her husband looked so good, I replicated it at home. Pasta salad, stuffed peppers, a Caprese salad and some white wine. Total winner!
● Got a kick-a** dinner out of it
● Sara Rue is a decent comedic actress
● In the end, the answer was to freaking MOVE the garden
● Yet another huge overreaction by a lead character to a minor display of affection