When I heard that Kavan Smith was writing a Hallmark movie, I couldn’t be more excited. Then, when I heard it involved food, I was even MORE excited! I thought Love on the Menu is going to be so fun. Kavan Smith is one of my favorite Hallmark actors because he is just so dang funny. If you aren’t familiar with Kavan, he currently stars in Hallmark Channel’s hit series When Calls the Heart as the ever-so patient Lee Coulter. (And if you don’t know this by now, I am the BIGGEST Lee and Rosemary fan ever.) He also starred in Wedding Bells with Danica McKellar as well as The Perfect Bride movies along with Pascale Hutton.
While I was pretty stoked about Love on the Menu, I was an eensy bit nervous that I had hyped this movie up in my mind and that it wouldn’t live up to my expectation. But let me tell you. This movie was the BEST. Friends, I know it’s only February, but this is my favorite movie of 2019.
The cast was amazing! Everyone seemed so natural in their roles and really brought their characters to life. Kavan Smith’s and Autumn Reeser’s chemistry was so perfect and I thought that made such a lovely pair. Watching their characters grow together was super fun. I loved the father/daughter moments between Hank and Hannah and felt that their moments were very natural. I I also LOVED Barbara Niven who was an excellent villain. That lady can play a really mean boss lady! Talk about icy!
The storyline flowed really nicely and there were no moments that left me rolling my eyes. Complete opposite, in fact. I was completely glued to the tv and I couldn’t wait to see what else would unfold. One of the classic Hallmark formulas is the “save the farm/restaurant/town/small business” plot line. There are several that work and there are some that are trite. However, I think that the “save-the-restaurant” storyline in Love on the Menu was just done really well. Here’s why I think it worked well:
- Maggie was already familiar with Hank and his restaurant Osteria, so she wasn’t forced to meet her love interest. In fact, she wanted to meet him because she thought his food was amazing and would do well in her work project.
- Maggie and Hank formed a partnership from the very beginning. Although Hank was suspicious at first, he quickly learned that Maggie had no ulterior motive to help Hank. She just believed in him and his restaurant and genuinely wanted to see him succeed.
- The focus of Love on the Menu wasn’t really on saving the restaurant. The focus of the movie was on Maggie and Hank’s relationship. To be honest, I had forgotten about the failing restaurant part because I was so focused on the relationship as well as the “will Hank earn his star back” story.
The conflict felt believable in this movie. Of course, Andrea would try to convince Maggie to go to another restaurant after she felt the business deal was over. Both Hank and Andrea delivered on their agreement and it was time for Andrea to move on (although, not in the most ethical way). Andrea’s only involved to make a buck. However, she put Maggie in a compromising position since Maggie’s feelings for Hank complicated the matters. While Hank’s freak out at the end was totally rude, I felt it was pretty realistic. At least, I know I would probably fly off the handle considering the circumstances of losing not only a source of income, but your passion.
The ending was perfect. Hank’s apology had me squealing in delight, and while I knew Maggie was going to quit her job with Andrea, I did not expect Hank to be so gracious towards Andrea. He told Andrea that he was happy to let her have his recipes that they agreed upon, because if it weren’t for Andrea, he would have never met Maggie. (Insert the AWWWWW).
Upon Maggie breaking her heel, and Hank breaking the other heel:
Maggie: ”Those were expensive.”
Hank: ”And now they’re practical.”
Hank: ”It’s only now I realize you actually made me a better chef. A better father. A better man. . . . I know I’m losing my restaurant and that hurts. But it’s going to hurt a lot more if I lose you too.”
Maggie: ”Maybe you don’t have to…. lose either of us.”
The One With All the Kisses
There were SO. MANY. KISSES. Hot dang, y’all!
I was perfectly ready for the stereotypical interrupted kiss. You know, the one where the couple leans in and then, they jump a mile apart due to someone or something interrupting them. But in Love on the Menu, the first kiss was interrupted AFTER Hank and Maggie started kissing. Even better, Hannah interrupted the first kiss, and you can see that when she walks up, she gives Hank and Maggie a moment before saying, “HEY, Dad!”
I also loved how she isn’t afraid to tease her dad a little bit by asking, ”What are YOU guys up to??” That made me laugh out loud.
Then, there were three ”cheek” kisses before the final kiss at the end of the movie. *SWOON*
Overall, You will love Love on the Menu if:
- You like food. Even better, you love a good food montage.
- You appreciate the art of making food.
- A great meet cute involves food. An even better meet cute includes getting drinks spilled all over you and accidentally insulting the food critic.
- The single dad story gets you in the heart.
- You live for a good Marie-Kondo declutter sesh.
- A good suit is all the rage.
- Montages. This is the movie for all the montages.
- You’ve always wanted to make linguini from scratch.
- You love Lukas Graham’s song “Love Someone.”
- You’ve ever taken advice from a teenager: “Tell her she has nice shoes.”
- Monday Night Mash Up is going to be a new dating tradition.
- Food is your love language.
You will not like Love on the Menu if:
- Food and love are just not on the menu for you. Which is sad. LOL.
My Rating: No falling stars here! Give me ALL the stars!
I hope you all enjoyed this delightful movie as much as I did! I’d love a sequel— Kavan did tease on Twitter something about Hank introducing Maggie to his Italian mother. I could totally see a My Big Fat Greek Wedding style comedy come out of that!
What did you think of Love on the Menu? Send me a tweet or comment below!
PS: If you enjoy Hallmark movies with food, don’t forget to set your DVR for Just Add Romance which airs this weekend!