The Beach House: A Review

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When I read the synopsis of the newest Hallmark Hall of Fame movie The Beach House, I was a bit underwhelmed. I figured it would be one of those movies where the girl has a midlife crisis, goes home, falls in love, the end. However, The Beach House was so much more than that. While Cara, played by Minka Kelly, does fall in love, this story was so much more than a love story.

My Synopsis

Cara left home several years before to pursue a career and to get away from an abusive father. She also resented her mother, Lovie, played by Andie MacDowell. Cara’s brother, Palmer, resented Cara for leaving him and their mother behind to deal with their dad. So, as you can see, the family is a bit of a mess. But, as it is in some families, these strained relations were swept under the rug for years. Cara also rekindles her relationship with Brett, played by Chad Michael Murray, and after a rocky start, she befriends Toy, the young pregnant girl Lovie is caring for.

In the movie, Cara eventually starts to rebuild her relationship with Lovie, just to find out that Lovie has terminal cancer and that this would be their last summer together. In the end, restoration happens with Lovie, Palmer, and Cara, and Lovie passes peacefully.

The Beach House
Picture Credit: Crown Media Press

The #CarettShip AKA the Cara and Brett Relationship

I thought Cara and Brett’s relationship was adorable. I loved how their story was secondary to Cara’s and Lovie’s. Their relationship seemed natural and I appreciated that it was somewhat of a slow burn. It seemed a bit more realistic to me that they would rekindle a friendship first before diving into a full-on relationship. I also laughed so hard when Brett said to Cara upon seeing her for the first time in years: “I’d pick the brown ones [sandals]–matches your eyes.” What a pickup line! Haha!

And kudos to Lovie and Toy for being the original “#CarettShip.” (I totally just made that hashtag up). Lovie had me laughing every time the sink or whatever “broke” just so Brett would fix it and be with Cara. And hey, it worked?! Gotta do what ya gotta do. 😉

All About Toy

When we were first introduced to Toy, I was a little confused about her character. Was she supposed to be the Cara replacement? I mean– she even kind of resembled Cara. She ended up being such a sweet character with such a gentle soul. She was the perfect companion for Lovie. They both needed each other.

I will say two things– if there were an actual hurricane coming, no doubt she’d be admitted to the hospital, especially being 37 weeks pregnant! I get they wrote the whole “going into labor in the middle of the street during a hurricane” arc for dramatic effect, but seriously? Also, she must have had that baby super quick to be discharged in the middle of the following day. At least the writers threw in that she fought the nurses to get out. I mean, I don’t know if it really works that way, but, okay.

“Arnold” Palmer Spiked.

I know you see what I did there (and I saw SEVERAL pokes at his name on Twitter), but seriously, how many glasses of whiskey or whatever did Palmer have? What a complete jerk. It was so maddening that Lovie would LET Palmer walk all over her. I get there is this mother-son bonding thing, but still! And the way he talked to his wife was just so condescending! Like when he demanded her to cut the cake? What the heck! I was so mad.


Despite my disgust, his character was very interesting and I had a lot of questions come to mind. How did he become so successful? Where was Lovie’s money going? How did his wife feel about everything? What happened to him in the year after Lovie’s passing? Antagonists always intrigue me and I would have loved to know more about Palmer.

Overall Thoughts

After I watched this movie, I really want to read the book! From what I’ve heard, there are so many more details in the book. The movie left me wanting a little more. (Which is totally a good thing, by the way!)

The overarching theme is so, so important! How many times do we hold grudges and hold on to past hurts? I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not always the greatest at keeping short accounts. But, what a lesson to learn in this movie. Cara lost so many years with her mother, which is a bit heartbreaking. But, what matters is that she made the most of what time she and Lovie had left together.

What did you all think about The Beach House? Sound off in the comments or tweet me! My handle is @hallmarkmywords.

2 thoughts on “The Beach House: A Review

  1. This is a really good review, Kaycee! You brought up several points that I agree with, such as Palmer not having as big of a story arc as he could have. I will say that while Palmer was not nice for a good portion of the film, I think Lovie’s husband/Cara and Palmer’s dad was the antagonist in this story because it seems like he was the one that tore the family apart. I also reviewed The Beach House, so check it out if you get the chance!

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