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Previewing Notes of Autumn 

Previewing Notes of Autumn

[Warning: General spoilers ahead.]

It’s finally here, y’all! Notes of Autumn, the next entry in Hallmark Channel’s “Fall Into Love” fall-themed romcoms, premieres this Saturday, taking a new spin on the BFF house-swap as besties Ellie (Ashley Williams) and Leo (Luke Macfarlane) find themselves at professional crossroads and seize the opportunity to reboot their perspective. That each new housing arrangement conveniently comes with its own handsome possible love interest — Sam (Marcus Rosner) for Ellie and Matt (Peter Porte) for Leo is even better.

Notes of Autumn

After the meet cutes and the misunderstandings about who will be where and what will be expected of them when they get there, the film settles down into a nice groove as Ellie and Leo each shake loose their preconceived expectations of what the resets were supposed to mean for them.

As we begin, Ellie’s been running for over a decade from an almost-successful music career that was subsumed for a bill-paying second choice as a distractable event planner. Leo is a bestselling author 15 books deep into a period bodice ripper series that he’s become increasingly disinterested in continuing.

Notes of Autumn

After a few brief initial check-ins, the friends fall back and we spend more time with Ellie and Leo in their new surroundings. Ellie befriends Sam, who’s trying to assemble an event with a music component that she is begrudgingly roped into helping direct and then, taking part in. The more she tries to beg off, the more Sam is able to draw out of her exactly what she’s so terrified about revisiting from that old chapter of her life.

Matt is a hotel chef angling to get out and open his own restaurant. Ellie loans him her kitchen to test out recipes which is great til Leo stakes his claim that the apartment was intended to be a writer’s retreat. He soon walks that back and as they bond over their respective creative blocks, they find themselves both enthralled with and inspired by each other the more time they spend together. Troy Scott directed a script by Rick Garman, with Kim Arnott, Kate Gajdosik, and Debbie Gibson producing alongside Gilles Laplante.

Notes of Autumn

It’s a fun watch with a dash of Hallmarkies surprise guest star whimsy via a plot device that I won’t spoil. On these kinds of movies, I always come back around to wondering how neither friend previously mentioned to the other the next door neighbor or the chef from work, but at a certain point you just jump in and roll with it.

I got a kick out of Macfarlane and Rosner playing friends after they were romantic adversaries (albeit with no shared scenes) in Birthday Wish. And I’m so glad we have another non-holiday romcom in the rotation for Macfarlane, and that he got to film a leading role in an LGBTQ title alongside his other projects for Hallmark.

Notes of Autumn

Porte’s been woefully underused in the romcom world the last few years and was overdo for a lead role, so yay for that! Sidebar — he’s also been appearing over on Days of Our Lives. Williams and Rosner are very clearly having a ball together and I could totally see them joining the “frequent co-stars” roster.

Mostly, it’s just really nice to have a Hallmark romcom about two couples where the sexual orientation doesn’t even get a passing mention. I’m so here for that. Let’s keep telling sweet, kind, happy stories where everybody finds love and happiness — no exceptions.

Notes of Autumn premieres at 8 pm/7c, Saturday, September 16th, on Hallmark Channel in the US and W Network in Canada, and will be streaming on multiple outlets. Here are a couple of sneak peeks.

Photos courtesy of Allister Foster, Kailey Schwerman, Hallmark Media; videos courtesy of Hallmark Media.

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