#SwindlerSeduction, #NoelNextDoor, and more – TV Reviews

Table of Reviews

Swindler Seduction – Review

Swindler Seduction – Lifetime – 2 hours and 0 minutes

After attending a conference for work, Louisa and her friend, Brooke, go to an upscale bar. They discuss what to drink when a handsome stranger pays for two glasses of champagne. The stranger, Steve, tells them he is celebrating the sale of his company for $10 million and shows them the paperwork. Brooke leaves to give Louisa and Steve time alone to drink and converse. The waiter comes with the bill, and it’s over $1300. Steve looks for his jacket and notices it’s gone. His wallet, phone, and keys were inside it. Steve tells Louisa he will pay her back if she covers the charge. She does though it’s out of her price range. Then, Louisa takes Steve back to her hotel room.

The two have a whirlwind romance, and Steve comes home with her. Steve buys cars for Louisa, Brooke, and Brooke’s husband, Alex. Then, he offers to fly them to an event. Alex and Brooke think the ticket cost is too much and offers to pay for themselves. Steve asks them to donate to his charity instead. Later, Alex looks up the charity online to pay and can’t find Steve’s name anywhere. They call Louisa to tell her about Steve, and she doesn’t believe them. Louisa was sitting in her car after dropping Steve off at his penthouse. So, she jumps out and yells at the doorman to get Steve. The doorman never heard of Steve because Steve doesn’t live there. Steve is gone, and Louisa has the bill. After some coaching from her mother, Louisa refuses to be a shrinking violet and decides to hunt Steve down and make him pay for his crimes. But Steve’s identity won’t be his only surprise in her investigation. 

This story would be hard to believe if viewers haven’t heard it several times. Con artists run romance scams to get money, information, or property from their marks. While we know about the online version, Catfishing, we rarely hear about the offline version. And the movie covers two types. First, the long con, it’s where the manipulator pretends to date the victim for weeks, months, or years. Next is the quickie-and-go. The swindler steals items before the victim wakes up. Also, women and men can be a victim of a scam. This movie has a solid start but changes when it adds twins, stalking, and Charlie’s Angels into the storyline (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer). With so many romance scam stories, Lifetime could pull from one to make a movie instead of twisting a plot to make something more sensational. 

I give it 3 out of 5 stars

Here’s to romance – Steve 

I know he’s super cute but you did just give your car to a total stranger – Brooke

I am sick. Steve Johnson makes me sick to my stomach – Louisa

This is enchanting – Mitch

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Noel Next Door – Review

Noel Next Door – Hallmark – 2 hours and 0 minutes

Noelle gets a call from her ex-husband, Greg. He wants their son, Henry, to be with him and his fiancée, former mistress, for Christmas. Even though it falls on Noelle’s day, he thinks they have a more stable home life than Noelle. Noelle rejects his request and prepares for work at the restaurant. Henry enters and tells Noelle that the neighbor in condo 224 has been bothering him. Noelle asks Henry if he provoked the neighbor, and Henry says no. Noelle sees Luis taking down the town Christmas tree. Mr. Geer in condo 224 reported the tree as a nuisance and a safety hazard to the HOA. So Luis has to take it down. They can’t believe they have a grinch in their neighborhood (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer). Also, her friend, Shannon, wants to arrange a blind date for Noelle. 

Jeremy sits and listens to classical music to ease his mind. He hasn’t been able to conduct an orchestra since his stroke. As Jeremy relaxes, he hears a consistent bumping against his house. Jeremy goes outside to see a boy practicing soccer moves against his home. Jeremy shoos the boy away from his property and sees him walk into condo 202. Jeremy’s friend, Frank, understands that Jeremy is frustrated with his symptoms and divorce. So Frank suggests Jeremy go out with Hilda. Jeremy laughs and goes to a local restaurant for dinner. 

Jeremy and Noelle meet at the counter for his takeout. They exchange awkward moments and polite hellos before he leaves. Over the next few days, they continue to bump into each other. Noelle enjoys work after a horrible blind date and sees Jeremy suffering the same fate. When Hilda leaves, Noelle comes to Jeremy’s aid and helps him remove his coat. He smiles, but she points out that he ran Hilda off. The two start to date and have a good time, but they are at war with their neighbors. But they don’t know that Noelle’s son, Henry, is harassing Jeremy, and Jeremy is the town grinch. Can their new relationship survive the truth?

Based on How the Grinch Stole My Heart by Annabelle Costa, this movie is a classic tale of Christmas redemption (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer). Luis is the voice of reason for both Noelle and Jeremy. Jeremy deals with life after a stroke, and Noelle handles being a single mother to a precocious yet bothersome son. When the two aren’t unknowingly at war, they peacefully date and reveal their burdens. When they fight, it’s no holds barred. Because you get what’s going on behind closes doors, you have compassion for Jeremy and Noelle. No one is the villain, only misunderstood and unheard.

I give it 4 out of 5 stars

You call that a gift – Jeremy

I am not ok with this – Noelle

Mom, I’m sorry I cause trouble sometimes – Henry

Some people have a tough time seeing sunshine between the clouds – Luis

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Bad Nanny – Review

Bad Nanny – LMN – 2 hours and 0 minutes

Remy’s publisher, Tony, calls to celebrate with Remy. Her book, based on her daughter, Ella, has a publication date. Tony regrets that Remy didn’t want an ‘About Me’ page because her father, Marcus, is an established success, and Remy runs a charity with her socialite status. Remy marvels at the first printed copy in her hands but leaves work to interview a new nanny. Remy’s previous nanny, Mathilda, left without notice and never called on their birthdays. This action is out of character for Mathilda, but Remy needs to find someone new.

Remy gets home to see Kendra sitting on her doorstep. Kendra’s bus got her to Remy’s home earlier than expected. The interview goes well, but Remy wants Ella to have the final say. So Remy asks Kendra to stay the night and spend time with Ella. Kendra overhears Remy and her husband, Jack, arguing in front of Ella. She knows they have cracks in their relationship. After one night, Ella says she likes Kendra and wants Remy to hire her. Remy welcomes Kendra into her home and believes everything will be ok. But she is wrong. Kendra has a lifelong score to settle and wants everything Remy has, including her family and money.

This movie is the classic tale of revenge that viewers remember from the 90s. As Kendra talks about her mother and struggles, you can piece together exactly what she is doing and why. While the conniving is superb, the body count is low. When you watch, don’t be surprised if you countdown to when Kendra takes out Jack. He is a jerk who deserves everything he gets. Unlike most Lifetime movies, the conclusion explains how Kendra stayed under the radar for years. It’s the finality of the ending that makes this movie entertaining.

I give it 3 out of 5 stars

It’s a sexist word, and I don’t like it – Remy

It wasn’t my idea – Ella

You’re a good mom, Remy – Kendra

I’m not hosting, David. You and Remi are – Jack

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Perfect Harmony – Review

Perfect Harmony – HMM – 2 hours and 0 minutes

Naomi and Simon ask a server to bring champagne to celebrate their announcements. First, they want their best friends, Jack and Barrett, to be the best man and maid of honor at their wedding. Next, they are moving up their engagement party and wedding to coincide with the 10th anniversary of the day they met. They decided to tell Jack and Barrett this together because the two don’t get along since the first time they met.

Ten years ago, Naomi took Barrett to one of Jack’s concerts, and Barrett dismissed Jack and his pop music, especially his hit song. Backstage, Barrett continued her critique and insulted the food. Jack heard her comments and expressed she couldn’t write something if she tried. Jack’s manager, Simon, stepped in and offered to find Naomi something she could eat. And that’s when Naomi and Simon met. However, Jack and Barrett have been at odds since that day. Naomi and Simon worry that Jack and Barrett’s bickering will hinder them from working on the party and the wedding. Jack and Barrett promise to be on their best behavior, but both have concerns. Jack worries that Barrett will nitpick over every detail and write everything in her notebook. Barrett worries that Jack won’t take anything seriously. But they promise to put Naomi and Simon first.

Barrett plans the engagement party at Jack’s home and gives him one job: the music. When Jack shows up 5 minutes before the party starts with a playlist in hand, Barrett panics. She wanted live music for Naomi and Simon. Then, Barrett gets an idea. Jack is a musician, and the happy couple loves his music. So she asks Jack to play. Jack hasn’t played on stage in years, but Jack agrees to do it if Barrett sings with him. Their rendition of Jack’s song goes viral, and Jack’s fans want more.

Simon and Naomi think the best wedding gift Jack and Barrett can give them is a performance at their wedding. Jack isn’t sure what to sing, but Naomi believes it should be an original song. Jack hasn’t written anything in years, but Barrett is an English professor that writes poetry. However, she doesn’t let anyone see it. Jack and Barrett agree to write an original song and perform it at the wedding for their friends. They will discover each other and themselves in their collaboration.

This musical tale is a slew of apologies wrapped in flashbacks. During their worst day, Jake and Barrett discover they met each other. And looking at anyone through a filter of pain and rejection will cause people to make a mistake. Viewers will see Barrett and Jack’s first encounter through their viewpoints. Each perspective is hilarious and slanted in the narrator’s favor. As Jack and Barrett reveal their struggles, they understand that they misconstrued each other from the beginning. The songs are divine, and Jack’s relationship with his son, Teddy, is open and honest.

I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars

How are your 12 cats – Jack

My two cats are great. Thanks for asking – Barrett

Hey, you better not torpedo my grade – Teddy

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Love in Wolf Creek – Review

Love in Wolf Creek – UPtv – 2 hours and 0 minutes

Sam runs the Wolf Creek Wildlife Refuge with the support of the town. The refuge needs a lot of funding for repairs and more space. Sam doesn’t know if she can keep it open without more money. Sam’s sister, Sunny, posts a video of Sam saving eagle eggs, and the video goes viral. Olivia runs the tristate animal protection fund. After seeing Sunny’s video, Olivia adds Wolf Creek to their shortlist of funding recipients. Olivia wants to visit the refuge tomorrow to see if it meets their criteria. Sam happily accepts the visit but panics because it needs a lot of improvements before Olivia’s walkthrough. 

Sam goes to the Wolf Creek hardware store to rent a drill, but someone checked it out earlier and won’t return it until the afternoon. The hardware store’s owner, Marietta, offers to drive it to the refuge after the renter returns it, and Sam graciously accepts her offer. After Sam leaves, a man, Calvin, comes for bullets, but the store doesn’t sell them because Wolf Creek is a conservation town. Austin, Marietta’s nephew, suggests Calvin go to the next city, and Calvin leaves. Austin offers to go to the refuge and deliver the drill because Marietta has macular degeneration. The condition will cause Marietta to go blind in six months, but she is in denial. 

Austin comes to the refuge and sees Sam working with a distressed horse. He offers to help and calms the animal. Then, George, a local merchant, runs to Sam. He accidently hit a wolf on the road. He tried to help, but the wolf ran off. Sam heard about this wolf and his pack returning to Wolf Creek. This wolf is the alpha male. If the alpha dies, it will devastate the entire wolf pack. Sam must find, examine, and possibly save the wolf if needed. Sam worries she can’t do it and prepare for Olivia’s visit. Sunny offers to set up the refuge while Sam looks for the wolf. Austin decides to go with Sam to cover more ground. It will take longer because Calvin is hunting the same wolf. The wolf’s pelt is worth more than anything, including Sam and Austin’s lives. 

This movie is an adventure story with romance in the background. While Austin helps Sam track the wolf, they help each other conquer their fears. Sam is claustrophobic, and Calvin will test her. Austin helps her relax during a heart-pounding moment of betrayal and pain. Austin is a cautious person and therefore hates to take risks. For the good of the wolf, Sam convinces Austin to step out of his confront zone. With a movie that has caves, yellow jackets, and a terrifying leap of faith, it isn’t all doom and gloom. The writer interjects moments of humor to ease the tension. While entertaining the audience, the plot gently stresses the importance of conservation and lets Sam and Austin fall in love. 

I give it 4 out of 5 stars

If there’s no photo, it never happened – Sunny

I don’t need recognition. The refuge needs funding – Sam

I saved your coffee, though – Austin

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Let’s Get Physical – Review

Let’s Get Physical – Lifetime – 2 hours and 0 minutes

Sadie meets with her real estate agent, Mayor Kemp, to look at a property for her new business. She plans to open a fitness and wellness studio focused on pole dancing and massage therapy. She loves the space and asks Harold to find her an apartment because she is tired of staying at the inn with creepy dolls. Carol, the town reporter, notices Sadie’s bright clothing and high heels and runs into April’s salon. They gossip about the new woman in town. After days of zero clients, Sadie walks into April’s business and asks how to get customers. April offers to tell her clients about Sadie’s Dazzle and Spin. Then, April mentions she has an apartment above her garage available if Sadie needs it. Sadie moves in quickly with April and April’s husband, Marty. Nana, a local merchant, tells Sadie to attend the small business owners’ meeting. Nana becomes Sadie’s first customer. One day, April hears weird noises coming from Sadie’s back office. At first, Sadie says it’s her massage clients. Soon, April will know the truth. Sadie is a sex worker, and her job will ripple through this small town.

Loosely based on Alexis Wright, this movie points out everyone’s wrong and the discrimination in legal charges. Sadie points out the hypocrisy in Only Fans being ok but her work among consenting adults being illegal. It shines a light on the clients, the wives, the town, the media, and Sadie. The only hero in this movie is Nana because she points out everyone’s flaws. And the good Sadie provided for Luton. She gave the wives confidence and kept secrets. However, she solicited affairs for money and didn’t pay taxes. Sadie’s insurance policies were her downfall. This film is a fair depiction and analysis of a demonized industry.

I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars

Would you touch Jim for free – April

Don’t knock it to you tried it – Sadie

What are you doing here? Do you own a business I am not aware of – Nana

Oh, it feels so good to be right sometimes – Carol

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Autumn in the City – Review

Autumn in the City – Hallmark – 2 hours and 0 minutes

Piper left Omaha and moved to New York City two months before her 30th birthday. She decided to give herself two months to find her passion. If not, she will return home and take over her parents’ patio furniture store. Piper found a sublet in the West Village from a friend, Amelia, of a friend, Abbie. Amelia had to go to Japan for work and left notes for Piper. Piper goes to a temp agency and tells her recruiter that she is flexible. Any job could be the first step to her passion.

Austin meets with his mother, famed journalist Patricia, for lunch. Patricia requested an interview for Austin at the New York Chronicle. Austin respects Patricia’s career, but Austin doesn’t want to be a journalist. Austin wants to write children’s books. He asks Patricia if she read the books he sent her, and she shrugs his books off as fairy tales. Austin meets Alan for the interview, and Alan shows Austin to his desk. This meeting isn’t an interview. Alan gave Austin a job based on Patricia’s recommendation and status. Austin grits his teeth and decides to do poorly on purpose to get fired.

Piper fiddles with the heater, but nothing helps. So she caves and gets Amelia’s notes to fix it. One of the items states what Piper should do if the man across the hall comes knocking with wine. Before she can finish reading, Piper answers a knock at the door. Austin is there with a bottle of wine, and Piper remembers him as the taxi stealer. She was doing a juice run and thought Austin was hailing a cab for her to be considerate. However, he was signaling it for himself. Piper reads Amelia’s message for Austin. Amelia understood they weren’t in a relationship, but now she is ready for something more serious. However, she doesn’t want that with Austin. Austin stops Piper from finishing, and they continue on their walk.

Piper goes to a cafe before her next temp job and meets the proprietors, Toby and Will. They were dreamers from a small town like Piper and found their place in New York. Piper decides this cafe will be her new home away from home. Toby and Will see Piper doodling and notice her astounding artwork. Austin walks in, and Piper has invaded his favorite cafe. She tells Austin her purpose for being in New York, and he finds it diluted. But when Toby and Will mention Austin’s dream of writing children’s books, Piper doesn’t see a difference. Piper urges Austin to submit his books to a publisher and see what happens, but she doesn’t show Austin her drawings. Then Toby and Will suggest Austin show Piper how to get around on the New York subway. Austin and Piper feed off each other’s dreams and encourage each other to grow. But can Piper achieve her goals with a few weeks to go? Can Austin get out of Patricia’s shadow with her approval?

Piper is in the right place at the right time. She finds an apartment next to someone who can help her see and achieve her unspecified vision. While this movie follows the romantic movie tropes, it stands out in one way. Piper hides her talent from Austin in the beginning. Viewers can see her artwork and know it’s perfect for a children’s book. So you watch and wonder when they will merge their talents. Luckily they have Toby and Will to nudge them in the right direction. This movie won’t be a favorite of the 2022’s Fall into Love season, but it’s a cute film.

I give it 3 out of 5 stars

Fine. I’ll do it. But I’m not going to like it. Just like this salad – Austin

But I’ve never broken up with somebody on behalf of someone else before – Piper

I know you mean well. But Austin has a lot to answer for – Patricia

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