So last night I spent some time sitting on the couch in front of my beloved flat screen to watch Lovestruck: The Musical on ABC Family.
The movie looked promising, featuring actors like Drew Seeley, Chelsea Kane (known as Chelsea Staub pre-2008; still not sure why she changed her stage name) and Jane Seymour.
This film contains high levels of singing, dancing, romance, and beautiful scenery. Those ingredients are all I need to be glued to the television screen for two hours!
The movie starts out with Mirabella (Sara Paxton) rushing to dance class to break the news to her mother, Harper (Jane Seymour), about her decision to quit the show in order to live in Italy with her husband-to-be, Marco. Harper trips on stage during the opening number, “Just Dance”, originally by Lady Gaga, due to her bad knee. She then sends her dancers to find her some aspirin as she goes off to the back room to deal with her daughter.
Here’s where the plot line becomes almost too predictable. Harper is now concerned (as most mothers would be) that her daughter is making a huge mistake. She therefore proceeds to threaten a lawsuit against Mirabella for deciding to quit the show. Mirabella then bans her mother from the wedding, and her mother decides to make it her business to show her that Marco is not the type of guy who will leave his “Playboy” lifestyle for her.
Meanwhile the dancers find Harper not only some aspirin, but a small bottle of Vitality Tonic as well.
We all know what happens next.
Harper gets on a flight to Italy, where the wedding is to take place, messed up knee and all, to then realize that she doesn’t have her aspirin. So what does she do? You guessed correctly: the woman resorts to drinking the Vitality Tonic. The potion turns Harper into her younger self (played by Chelsea Kane), and this gives her all the more advantage in seducing Marco.
The morning after successfully seducing Marco on the night of the bachelor and bachelorette parties, young Harper, who is at this point pretending to be a distant cousin so as not to blow her cover, goes to the bridal shop with Mirabella. After a while she notices that the potion is wearing off, so she rushes back to the house. On the way back, Harper overhears Marco telling his best man about the kiss he shared with her the night before. Unfortunately, Mirabella happens to be walking across the bridge as the conversation between Marco and his best man continues, and she is left to believe three things: her mother was right about Marco, she cannot marry Marco, and her maid of honor, Noelle (Adrienne Bailon), is the girl that turned her fiance unfaithful.
The events of this film are hilarious. The Vitality Tonic only lasts for a certain amount of time, and each time Harper takes a dose, her body reacts weirdly. The first time she drinks the stuff she faints, hyperventilates, and begins blowing into a little baggy, all while in the restroom at the airport in Italy.
I had a good laugh at this movie.
Ok. Now for the things I disliked about this movie:
1. When Mirabella sings “Like a Virgin” along with the rest of the bridesmaids during the bachelorette party, she sounds like a dying baby seal. Did they forget to do the autotune or something for this girl’s voice?! Young Harper sings it again while seducing Marco and her voice was magical. My God. I don’t know what happened to Sara Paxton during that scene. The rest of her singing parts in other scenes were fantastic though. Just that one damn song! Ugh!
2. Speaking of young Harper seducing Marco, it all happened way too quickly for me. He was supposedly drunk, and just willingly went along with the whole kiss. It seemed a bit unreal.
3. There were not enough scenes where the Italian language was spoken. In fact, there was only one scene where the seamstress calls Mirabella back to have her dress fitted in Italian instead of English. I wanted to hear more of that beautiful language!
And now for the highlights of the film:
1. When Harper’s ex husband, Ryan, arrives, even though she is in younger form, he knows his ex wife is there because of the Chanel No. 5 perfume lingering in the halls. So romantic!
2. The moment I was waiting for: when Harper drugs Ryan with some of the Vitality Tonic so that he won’t blow her cover and he turns into young Ryan, played by Drew Seeley. I think my popcorn bowl was filled with drool at that point.
3. When Harper and Ryan dance to “DJ Got Us Fallin’ in Love” (originally by Usher and Pitbull) at the rehearsal dinner! MUST SEE MOVIE MUSICAL MOMENT!
4. The scenery. Italy is just pure beauty. I totally want to visit one day, and this film reminded me how much I want to go there for my honeymoon when, and if, I get married someday.
And can we all pause for a second just to appreciate how amazing Jane Seymour looks with that blonde bob?!
All in all, I think this movie was a crowd-pleaser. The music selection was okay. They could have picked some better pieces, but the dances were definitely well choreographed. Dancing with the Stars surely taught Chelsea Kane a thing or two!
I do wish that they had played up the concept of immortality at the end of the film. When Harper is faced with the decision to drink one last dosage of the Vitality Tonic, an action that would turn her into a young adult forever, I began to realize that sometimes the aging process is a part of life that you might not want to give away. Mirabella would never have happened had she chosen to take that third dosage, and this is something I wished were emphasized to a greater degree in the movie.
Best quote from the movie:
“I know that ass, I fell in love with that ass. In fact, I spent the better part of the 80s worshiping that ass.” – Ryan, Harper’s ex husband
Wondering who catches the bouquet? Well I guess you’ll have to watch the movie whenever it airs again on ABC Family to find out!
Enjoy this dance featurette!