This past weekend my husband and I drove a few hours to my father-in-law’s house for a little visit. As always, we had a great time. My father-in-law is a wonderfully awesome man who, among many other interests, maintains a love for three things: football (Go Steelers!), beer, and…Hallmark Hall of Fame TV movies. He’s especially fond of the love stories, which pretty much makes me the luckiest daughter-in-law on the planet. On most visits, we all end up in his self-described man-cave watching at least one Hallmark delight. Last weekend was no exception.
Fixing Pete is a gem of a film about a lady named Ashley (Brooke Burns) who’s a fashion editor of some newspaper in L.A. The fact that she writes for a newspaper makes it a little weird that we mostly see her doing makeovers on a Jenny Jones-esque TV show, but whatever, that’s not the issue here. The issue is LOVE and how she finds it.
Enter Pete (Dylan Bruno), a slightly misogynist sports writer at the same paper. Pete has just written a best-selling book about sports and is about to go on a book tour. Problem is, he isn’t very likable so the newspaper head honcho (Valerie Harper) instructs Ashley to make him over. Misunderstandings, hilarity, and eventually love, soon ensues.
First, I’d like to talk a little about Pete’s hair. It’s amazing. It’s floppy. It’s stringy. It’s even a little greasy. In short, it looks like a really bad wig, which is exactly what it is. I love that the filmmakers weren’t concerned about the fact that it looks so fake. Hallmark movies remind me a little of Bollywood movies, without the dance numbers. The stories are usually centered around love, the sets are bright and quickly put together, and they make like a hundred films a week. I seriously can’t keep up with the Hallmark output.
Anyway,back to the story. So, Ashley and Pete meet and do NOT hit it off. Ashley finds Pete to be a piggish lout of a cromag and Pete finds Ashley to be a high-maintenance, joyless bore. And guess what? They’re both right!
Luckily, they keep working together during the makeover and when two weeks are over, he’s a changed man. The wig is gone and so are the jerseys. Plus, he grows beyond his anti-women ways. By the end of the same two weeks, she’s a changed woman. In fact, in a mere fourteen days, she learns to eat at burger joints AND to dance in the rain, even though it gets her hair and make-up wet. Yay!
So, not to give away any spoilers or anything but…they totally fall in love and live happily ever after.
But you know what? Even as I groaned at the stereotypes and predictability, I gotta admit, there was a little voice inside my heart squeeing when Pete confessed his love for Ashley on national TV. And even as I sat there laughing at the incongruities, another part of me was yelling inside, “Run, Pete! Run! You’ve got to reach her before she leaves for New York with her douchebag boyfriend! He doesn’t really understand or respect her and he never ever listens! But you do! Pete! Pete! Pete, you…MUST…REACH…HER!!!”
Oh…Hallmark Hall of Fame, I love you so much. I don’t pretend to understand you and your mysterious ways, but, my love? It is pure. Oh yes, it is pure.