[Warning: General spoilers ahead.]
Taylor Cole (The Originals) is back on Hallmark Channel Saturday night, starring opposite Bitten and Reign‘s Steve Lund in The Art of Us, a film written by Karen Berger (All of My Heart, Love You Like Christmas), adapted from the novel by Teri Wilson (who also wrote the novel of Unleashing Mr. Darcy), and directed by Murder She Baked series director K.T. Donaldson (aka Kristoffer Tabori).
The movie is a bit of a different animal as the couple at its core meet cute and realize there’s an attraction but decide to table it to meet a professional commitment first. That’s where the complications ensue. Harper Higgins (Cole) is an artist who’s been sort of shoe-horned into an administrative role as a local college professor to try to make ends meet.
Tom Becker (Lund) is an Army veteran who found his calling as an artist during a VA art therapy course. Harper and Tom bond over her dog, Vincent, and she throws him into her world when she decides to curate a showing of his work, he goes along with it because he needs the money, and they both get caught up in her lie about his lineage.
It’s interesting, given some of the other recent Hallmark films where military was a more present aspect of the story, that The Art of Us doesn’t delve too deep into that with Tom. His time at the VA after he completed his service is what turned him toward art, but we don’t get the background on what led him there, i.e. whether he was injured in combat.
As Harper faces the crisis of what she did to get ahead at a job she doesn’t really want and who and where she wants to be instead, Tom and her friend, Lindsay (Brenda M. Crichlow, last seen on Hallmark in Walking the Dog) help her get there. Familiar Hallmark and Canadian faces Keith MacKechnie, Malcom Stewart (A Series of Unfortunate Events), Ken Tremblett (Framed For Murder: A Fixer Upper Mystery), and Corey Sevier (Mistresses) round out the cast as Tom’s friend, Harper’s colleague, boss, and ex-boyfriend.
It’s a sweet, kind film, and refreshing because there’s no roadblock to the romance other than the one they set for themselves when they try to be adult about their business arrangement. We know all the way through that even if (or when, let’s be honest), the lie blows back on them, they’ll still have each other. I really liked it. I’m glad to see Cole and Lund continuing to work for Hallmark, and I always like Donaldson as a director.
The Art of Us airs Saturday night at 9/8c on Hallmark Channel and repeats throughout the month. Here’s a sneak peek.
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