Luke James

#HerBoyfriendsSecret, #HouseOfDarknessNewBlood, and more – TV Reviews

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Table of Reviews

Her Boyfriend’s Secret – Review

Her Boyfriend’s Secret – Lifetime – 2 hours and 3 minutes

Her Boyfriend's Secret

Melissa was recommended by her friend Travis (a contractor) to decorate John’s home.  She prepared several design options and he loves her work.  And her.   After flirtation exchanges, the two start to date.  Melissa thinks her new adventure loving, horse-riding, pilot boyfriend is a dream come true.  They are quickly falling for each other.  But when Carey, John’s ex, visits, she warns Melissa that John is obsessive and attacked her.  Also, he lied about his job and his name.  Carey informs Melissa that he is smart and dangerous.  Melissa blows off Carey’s warning until Travis warns her that John can be a little weird.  She decides to investigate John’s home, car, and past.  This “great” boyfriend has more than one secret.

Seriously, how many warnings do you need!! As Melissa gets more clues to John’s dark side, she continues to stay in the relationship.  While she tells Travis it’s to investigate, she tells Carey she still believes him.  Melissa makes so many dumb decisions while attempting to be a smart investigator.  It’s hard to care about Melissa taking John down because you are too busy yelling at the screen.  You just want to shake her.  Even though this movie leaves you wanting more from its protagonist, John can’t be ignored.  His charm is infectious and his lies will leave you up at night.  He is the perfect sociopath.

I give it 3 out of 5 stars

I’m not ready – Travis

I want you to know I’m not going anywhere – John

I’m gonna post something – Ashley

You still haven’t told me who you are – Melissa

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House of Darkness: New Blood – Review

House of Darkness: New Blood – LMN – 2 hours and 0 minutes

House of Darkness: New Blood

After her husband left her a ‘Dear John’ letter and never came back, Brooke and her son Dylan are left to pick up the pieces.  With Judd’s proposal, she feels almost whole again.  She starts to fantasize about the perfect wedding when Judd’s mother Elaine’s nurse abruptly quits.  He wants to go back to his family home, find a nursing home for Elaine, and sell her house.  Alison feels this is too much for him to handle alone, so she asks Judd to bring her and Dylan.  Judd is happy to have the help.  On her first night, she hears and sees things in the night.  She explains it as a side effect of her medication.  But she decides to stay because her son loves being there.  However, the longer she stays the worse her delusions get until she can’t take it anymore.  Just as she is about to leave a picture, film negatives, and a file will expose the truth about the house.  And the truth doesn’t care about what you believe.

This movie has a very slow build to tell the back story of both Judd and Alison while creating a connection between then and Elaine.  The movie even sets up a reason for Alison’s delusions with her heavy sleeping medication.  So you start to wonder if she is having a mental breakdown.  To get in a few scares, this movie uses creepy figures, a sleeping child calling for its mother, and scary voices.  For seasoned thriller/horror pros, this movie is laughable.  The fainter at heart may jump once or twice.  But it’s the truth that will leave you with more questions than answers.

I give it 3 out of 5 stars

It’s ok. It’s been a while since there were kids in this house – Dylan

It was Judd’s favorite and Michael loved it – Elaine

There’s no shame in being sensitive – Doris

Well, you better figure it out – Brooke

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The Bobby Brown Story – Review

The Bobby Brown Story – BET – 4 hours and 0 minutes (divided over 2 days, 2 hours each day)

The Bobby Brown Story

Part 1

In 1980, Bobby Brown rode bikes with a friend, within minutes that friend was stabbed to death in front of him.  When he comes home after being fired from New Edition, he walks past the foyer where his friend died.  He enters a state of depression and decides to get money any way he can.  When his mother Carol sees him looking for her gun, she calls Jheryl Busby to set him straight.  He gives Bobby hope by reminding him the company is obligated to give him a solo album.  With his brother Tommy as his manager, Bobby starts a solo career.   When his first album King of Stage gets mediocre responses, Busby convinces Motown to give Bobby Brown another chance with L.A. Reid and Babyface (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer).  Motown agrees.  Bobby is happy with the second chance but he must be able to do this album his way.  That decision leads Bobby Brown to become the King of R&B.

This movie gives you 5 minutes of pre-New Edition Bobby Brown and the rest is after New Edition.  So, it’s a good idea to see The New Edition Movie first.  It showcases Bobby’s strong family ties and determination to make it as a solo artist.  However, he always did it with New Edtion in mind.  He always wanted to top them to prove he was needed.  That is the way Bobby handled everything in life. He was constantly proving himself to doubters.  While the first half will feel like a long music video with Girlfriend, Rock With’cha, and My Prerogative, it’s a testament to the career and talent of Bobby Brown.  In case you are watching for Whitney, the couple meets, gets engaged, and gets married in this part.  But their story was never a fairytale with drugs, infidelity, and two pregnancies before they even said ‘I do’.

You know if you take that thing out of here, you probably gonna have to use it – Carol

For this to work, you need to get the right producer – Ralph

So fellas, who’re your stylist – Tommy

Y’all gotta let me be me – Bobby

Your son’s got a real head for business – Brian

I don’t know which show is better – Whitney

Oh, is that all I am? I was here before you and I will be here after you – Robyn

Part 2

Deep into his addiction, Bobby Brown is consistently on the wrong side of the law.  Drug use has made him paranoid, get in car accidents, and have a stroke.  As he lies in a hospital bed, Whitney and Bobbi Kristina, his daughter, are by his side.  They decide to stop using all drugs and get their lives back on track.  The first step, go on a vacation to the Bahamas.  The second step was to go to rehab but when the family lands, Bobby is arrested for a parole violation in Florida.  He is sentenced to a stint in jail.  It’s there that he sobers up for the first time and resist the temptation of drugs.  Meanwhile, Tommy has been working on a way to rehab Bobby’s image to get him back on top.  A reality show starring him and with his family.  This show solidified what their fans feared.  The world of the Browns was falling apart, no one was at the helm, and Bobbi Kristina was there for it all.  Bobby has to put his life back on track before he loses his life.

The second half of this movie is filled with so much pain and sadness, it’s hard not to cry.  This movie pulls no punch but doesn’t cast complete blame.  While Carol Brown refused to see her son’s faults, he saw them within himself.  The same drive he put into the growth of his career, he put that same drive into the downfall of his career.  The hardest revelation in this movie is the truth all addicts bare: just as they are getting themselves together, everything around them falls apart.  As Bobby finds love, a career, and sobriety, he loses four family members in 3 years.  The movie ends on one positive note: The real reason Bobby Brown is standing today.

I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars

I’m a start without you – Whitney

We need to rehab your image – Tommy

It feels desperate – Bobby

Do I look like Whitney to you – Alicia

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His Perfect Obsession – Review

His Perfect Obsession – Lifetime – 2 hours and 3 minutes

His Perfect Obsession

Allison and her daughter Abigail enjoy their time together while talking on the phone with their Aunt Charlotte.  Then they hear a sickening sound.  Charlotte was hit by a car and died.  At Charlotte’s funeral, Allison, Abigail, and Allison’s husband Wyatt meet Bart.  Bart was Charlotte’s accountant and want to help get her affairs in order as quickly and painlessly as possible.  Wyatt on the other hands sees something else, he believes Bart was hitting on Allison and wants him to stay away.   Wyatt’s possessiveness leaves Allison shocked because Wyatt is having an affair.   She and Abigail overhear him talking to his mistress, so she ends their relationship and kicks him out.  Wyatt goes to drown his sorrows at a bar and runs into Bart.  After they exchange words, Bart leaves.  Wyatt believes he has won but he doesn’t know that Bart has been quietly stalking Allison on social media and he feels now is his chance to make his move.   He will do anything to have Allison and Abigail all to himself.  Even kill.

With the era of social media, this story rings too true.  It’s easy for a stalker to watch your page, post, or tweets for years and you never know.  Quietly creating an obsession without you knowing they exist.  And with Bart being a quiet unassuming guy, Allison would have no need to worry about her or her family’s safety.  As things start to turn for the worse, Allison must count on her greatest strength: Abigail.  Being recently blinded to medication, most movies would have her be a hindrance.  But this movie shows Abigail as ABLED not disabled.  This is the most beautiful quality of this movie.

I give it 4 out of 5 stars

She cries sarcasm instead of tears – Allison

Are we all going to pretend he wasn’t hitting on you right in front of me – Wyatt

I want you to leave – Alice

I may be many things but I am not clueless – Bart

Why did you park in the street – Abigail

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Dinner For Two – Review

Dinner For Two – TVOne – 2 hours and 0 minutes

Dinner For Two

Chris prepares a soul food meal, pours a glass of wine, and plays a mix CD.  Then he hears a knock at the door.  It’s his ex Angie.  She knows Chris needed her so she came by to help.  While he cooks Angie’s favorite meal, the two talk about how they meet at Pierson University in 1992.  Chris was awestruck by Angie’s singing voice and beautiful looks.  While they eat, they discuss their first breakup over infidelity and how they got back on track.  Angie continues to talk hoping it will help Chris stop drinking and get his life back on track.  Chris continues to talk because he hopes they will get back together and have his family again.  Angie wants him to stop looking at the past and focus on the future.  Chris doesn’t see a future anymore and wants to end it all.

This is the serious talk all couples should have before they decide to break up.  This couple doesn’t get loud, talk down to each other, or throw things.  They have a true heartfelt conversation.  Both have messed up in the past and married for a brighter future.  As they look back using objects, food, words, they see unfulfilled promises and multiple warning signs.  Each college scene is emphasized with wardrobe and technology to put you back in that time period.  While each is at fault, they have a hard time accepting those faults.  This movie should be used as an instructional video on how to correctly argue.  Sit back and watch with your significant other.  Have the conversation you have been too proud, too hurt, or too angry to have.

I give it 5 out of 5 stars

It’s alright. People make mistakes – Chris

You know how we do. Whenever you need me, I’ll be there – Angie

You know you are a good guy Chris – Jay

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He’s Watching – Review

He’s Watching – Lifetime – 2 hours and 0 minutes

He's Watching

After a few FaceTime calls, Angela is worried her boyfriend Michael is cheating and she just isn’t sure what to do without proof.  Then she looks up from her desk and sees Kyle., her old college boyfriend and famed photographer.  He wants help with his financial portfolio and has hired Angela’s company.  But only if he can work with Angela.  The business meeting evolves into a dinner out and drinks.  The two talk about the past and talk about continuing their friendship.  However, after Kyle’s art exhibit sparks fly and the two end up in bed.  The next morning Angela wakes up to breakfast by Kyle and a voicemail from Michael.  Michael’s voicemail is a “first date” anniversary message for Angela that leaves her in tears.  She regrets her night with Kyle and breaks it off with the hopes they can just be friends.  She is ready to trust Michael and make their relationship work.  Kyle won’t ever let that happen.

The story of Kyle and Angela is old and boring.  However, Kyle’s backstory holds more promise.  He is the Bad Seed all grown up.  His ability to weasel his way into Angela’s life is believable and eerie.  With just a smile and a camera, he can charm himself into anyone’s life.  Another saving grace is Laurie. The comic relief, best friend says all the right things at the right time.  Plus she his handy with a gun and a computer.  DVR this one and watch it for a rainy day.

I give it 2.5 out of 5 stars

It wasn’t luck, Michael – Angela

I only care what we have now – Michael

Kyle, I only do elevators on the second date – Laurie

I’m glad we can have a different kind of future now – Kyle

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#LoveByThe10thDate, #NewEditionBET, and more- TV Reviews

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Table of Reviews

Love By The 10th Date – Review

Love By The 10th Date – Lifetime – 2 hours and 2 minutes

Love By The 10th Date

Gabby is a struggling artist who has been unlucky in love. However, while out with friends she learns that a relationship isn’t real until you reach 10 dates. She and her friend, Nell, decide to give it a try. Her friends, Billie and Margot, tell her to present the idea to their boss, Maureen. Maureen begrudgingly agrees to do the article, but she has 2 months to get to 10 dates with the same guy. If she does, she will get her article published and $5,000. Otherwise she gets nothing. This dating trip will take her on a path to superheroes, ministers, triple dates, inappropriate pictures, and a room full of feathers. But is the man she seeks, a man she knows … or a man knows? (Believe … that will make since when you watch the movie).

Too much fun. Get ready to say OMG more times than you can count. It is fun seeing Gabby go on each disastrous date, because we have all been on one. You may struggle with the fact that she is investing too much in one date, but that’s the point. If you invest too much, too early, it can lead to disappointment. You need to be strong and hold on to the love you have … friends, family, and faith. This movie is fun. So get your wine, friends, and chat.  And be ready for part 2.  The only annoy part was the bleeping.

I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars

It lived once. And if it lived, it’s real – Gabby

He could tell from the internet that your vagina is magical – Nell

I like what you did with your hair, it’s nice – Dante

I can’t do it. Someone else can do the interview. I can’t do it – Margot

Not a hope in hell – Maureen

We should sit her and let our hearts break – Billie

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The New Edition Story – Review

The New Edition Story – BET – 6 hours and 0 minutes (2 hours over 3 nights)

The New Edition Story

Part 1

In 1978, Mike Bivins and Ricky “Slick” Bell stood in the back of a club as their friend, Bobby “King of R&B” Brown, took the stage and froze. The next day, Bobby explained that he wasn’t ready for that crowd, but he could do better if they were with him. Mike and Ricky agreed, but only if they got to sing too. Bobby made the “promise”. However, they knew they needed another member. Ricky had they best guy in mind, Ralph Tresvant. Ralph was a shy Kung-Fu kid with a powerful voice. The foursome impressed Brooke Payne with a headlight performance and got a tryout. After seeing them again, he decided to be their manager and they started working the talent contest circuit. When Brooke thought they were ready, he had the perform for Maurice Starr’s competition. They lost by the judges’ vote, but won by the crowds’. Maurice gives them a chance, but tells them they need a 5th member. Brooke knows his nephew Ronnie DeVoe is perfect. Ronnie is constantly practicing with the hope that he can join the group someday. After a dance rehearsal, the group accepts Ronnie as a member. Once in the booth, Maurice has his eye only on Ralph. So much, he offers Ralph a side deal: Leave the group and become a solo act. Of course Ralph says no and the group continues on. But after a whirlwind tour, the boys come back to the Orchard Park Projects with a harsh dose of reality in the form of $1.87. Their next move is up to their mothers, Gary Evans, and MCA.

This part one leaves you on edge for part two. The young boys, who play New Edition for 3/4 of the movie, embody every move and nuance of New Edition. At their young age, these young actors will be a force to reckon with in the industry. Like a lot of music biopics, you will quickly see the normal downfalls (i.e. not understanding contracts, pointing blame, etc), however you never see how those in charge start tearing the group apart. A single word … LEAD … can have a ripple effect on a group. And, a visual change that can only be described as beautiful, the young boys morphed into young men. With this seamless change, you know which young man represents each member and you haven’t lost that connection you gained in the beginning. And the icing on the cake … the actors really sing. The did a great job matching their voices to the iconic New Edition sound. To all other stations, please take notes. This is how you do a biography. Get ready to dance, sing, laugh, and get mad. Don’t miss a second of this movie, DVR it, watch it again until part 2.

I didn’t stutter – Mike

As long as we all get to sing – Ricky

Naw, man it’s not the right time – Ralph

It’s because I gotta earn my spot – Ronnie

Yo, what the hell you doing – Bobby

Alright, alright, alright, enough with the pillow talk. Especially since ya’ll don’t know what y’all are talking about – Rick Payne

Just think about it – Maurice

Flo, this is a business decision – Gary Evans

Part 2

As the group prepares for their next album and tour, they start to turn on each other and act out.  However, the group, and their mothers, are plagued bad contracts and no money while still living in the projects.  With pregnancies, arrest, showboating, and fighting off stage, Gary questions if Michael Bivins should be a part of a group.  The group, especially Bobby, decided to keep him.  On the other side, when a fight happened on stage, in front of a crowd, Gary gives the group a choice: The Group or Bobby Brown.  With tears in their eyes, they chose the Group.  Bobby starts to spiral into drugs, while the group continues as a foursome.  However, later Bobby learns about a clause in his contract that will give him a leg up.  Now, Mike starts to ask questions about the business, contracts, and production deals after seeing “Fast Break Productions” on their album.  Mike is determined to learn the business and make a decision for the group’s future in a “professional Orchard Park” way over prime rib to go.  With the group finally standing up for themselves, Ralph introduces his solo work to the group.  The group is instantly pissed.  Ralph feels he has been carrying the group and deserves this, but the group feels like he has deceived and is abandoning them.  Ralph wants out, but Jheryl explains he has to do one more New Edition album, before he can get a solo deal.  With this news, Ralph meets up with the group, Jimmy Jam, and Terry Lewis; and gets the biggest shock of his life … Johnny Gill.  Ralph wants to walk out and Johnny is just confused.  But, the two talk privately and realize they have more in common than they ever knew.  Also, Ralph learns that Johnny isn’t the new Bobby, but Mike wanted Johnny to be the new Ralph.  Ralph and Johnny realize that working together is best and record Can You Stand The Rain (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer).  The group is set to go on a world tour, with money and a hit single, but they are about to get hit with a surprise.

WOW … just wow.  This is a real true story.  No one was glamorized or disparaged.  This is what happens when everyone (artists, writers, producers, etc) sign off on a biopic.  Part two focuses on the group transition from young men of bubble gum pop to grown men of R&B.  Although their record and production company tried to keep them children by keeping them clean shaving, hiding relationships, hiding children, and controlling the music, New Edition was determined to take control over their future.  With Michael Bivins being to New Edition what Otis Williams was to the Temptations, every member learned that no one man was bigger than the group.  Although these men will continue to change with separate careers and success, what will it take to bring them back together and tear them apart.  Let’s sit back and get ready for part 3.

What you saying?  We can’t live our lives – Ralph

I know he tried to kill me, but did he? – Bobby

Now, who’s the b***h – Mike

Gary I think you should go – Ronnie

Yeah, calm down – Johnny

That’s my job. I slide up in anything – Ricky

Man ya look so soft – Brooke

Mr. Michael bivins, welcome to the music business – Jheryl

You got a girl pregnant – Gary

Congrats, you’re gonna be a daddy – Jeff

Part 3

The group prepares for the NE Heartbreak tour with Bobby Brown and Al. B. Sure (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer).  Bobby is not happy to being an opening act and wants to change the set.  This way he could sing with the group for the classic songs.  The group says no because Johnny is sing his part, so Bobby leaves disgruntled.  At the end of the tour, New Edition and Bobby Brown are at the peak of their careers, but they all want more.  Bobby wants to feel connected to New Edition, Johnny wants a solo career with MCA – not Motown, Ralph feels pressured to live up to Bobby, and Mike, Ricky, and Ronnie are urged to make their own group.  Later the group is on BET’s Video Soul to introduced their non New Edition projects (Poison, Sensitivity, My My My, and Don’t Be Cruel) but give hope for another New Edition Record (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer).  Six years later, they deliver and put together a tour.  Brooke knows this tour is a mistake because they are only doing it for the money and are not fully committed.  They must do 13 shows before they get paid.  However, Ricky is doing drugs, Bobby is not showing up, and everyone is showing off money they don’t have.   With only a half the shows done, the tour implodes with an on and off stage fight that leaves Brooke’s heart literally broken.  The group decides New Edition is officially over.   Each guy has to find his own way.  Some with drug addiction, another job path, or a new group.  But what will it take for all 6 come together as, 1st, brothers and, 2nd, a group.  Well, the answer is … “The Glue”.

The only disappointment in part 3 is that it had to end.  You will be on-line buying this movie and the songs.  Each member was 100% honest about their downfall and their insecurities.  Fame can lead to egos but real men will always work it out.  It’s wonderful to see a group come back together at a time of joy, instead of a time of pain (i.e. a member’s funeral).  With a finally performance at the BET 25th Anniversary, the group sings a medley of their loyal fans that have sat for 6 hours of 3 days.  The medley includes Candy Girl, Can You Stand The Rain, Cool It Now, Mr. Telephone Man, and more (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer). During the performance, you are taken back through pivotal moments in their lives.  Trust and believe you will cry and beg for more.  BET better put this on DVD and Blu-Ray soon and please add bonus content.

I give it 5 out of 5 stars

Man, what the hell? Man you got me looking like Gumby – Bobby

Bob want the whole show to hisself – Ralph

Everything is mental – Slick

Just say the word and I got you.  In front to all these people – Mike

Man why do ya’ll keep babying this asshole – Ronnie

What have I always said? He may not come when you want, but he is always on time – Johnny

Exactly, and they were more professional then than they are now – Brooke

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Girls Night Out – Review

Girls Night Out – LMN – 2 hours and 0 minutes

Girls Night Out

Reese has a great surprise for his bride-to-be, McKenzie. He invited her best friends and sorority sisters to have a surprise bachelorette party. Joelle, Rebecca,and Sadie have not seen McKenzie since she started dating Reese and moved away. McKenzie feels bad about leaving them, but she didn’t feel safe at school after she was attacked by her boyfriend, Brandon. She later got a restraining order against him but the statue of limitations will run out in a year. Determined to forget all their past issues, they vow to have a night that would put their college days to shame. While at a strip club, the ladies dance while leaving their phones and wallets behind. That’s when Brandon shows up and grabs McKenzie’s phone. When McKenzie comes back, she sees pictures of her and her friends dancing. She wonder who took them when she gets a call. Brandon tells the girls they have to break up into two teams, complete a scavenger hunt, and complete all 8 task without informing anyone … or he will kill Reese. And Brandon makes sure these women understand that Reese life is truly in danger. Even though the women are on two teams (McKenzie and Joelle, Sadie and Rebecca), they are steadfast to get though this alive, save Reese, and get Brandon out of their lives.

This is a fun thriller with a “Saw“-like scavenger hunt that will take them to the scariest, coldest, and darkest parts of the city (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer). As each task becomes more heartbreaking and sickening, you feel for these women. You hope that they will stay strong and fight against Brandon once they are face to face. For a while, you’ll be wondering why is he doing this, but more of his motives are reveal with each challenge. You will be shocked and amazed at the lengths these women will go through to help McKenzie get her fiance back. With a good body count, sit and watch from beginning to end with no interruptions. I you miss anything, you will be lost.

I give it 4 out of 5 stars

Oh, so you’re a baker – Reese

I love you like crazy – Mackenzie

That’s kinda weird and kinda awesome – Brandon

I could never let you go – Joelle

It is now – Brandon

I am sure he wants us to end up on the 6 o’clock rule – Sadie

If we all stick together, we will be just fine – rebeccater

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The Birthday Wish – Review

The Birthday Wish – Hallmark – 2 hours and 0 minutes

The Birthday Wish

Gwen planned her life when she was a child; so she’ll never feel out of control like she did when her dad died.  While directing a commercial, she is once again paired up with Dave, a creative director.  They work well together, but Gwen is focusing on her 30th birthday bash.  On New Year’s Eve, Gwen and her boyfriend, Alex, go to a party and Gwen is hilariously hunting for a ring.  Alex tells her she must wait for the right time. And according to her plan, the right time is on her 30th birthday, which is 7 days away.  She is certain she will get a ring from Alex, but when he fails to produce a it, she is hurt.  As a joke Dave brings her a big cookie, she makes a wish and blows out the candle.  She wishes to see herself in 10 years.  The next morning she wakes up with bad eyesight and goes to see the doctor.  With a few drops, she sees the unexpected.  She sees Dave as her loving husband, kids, a dog, and an SUV.  She is shocked at the revelation.  Gwen tries to create distance between her and Dave while trying to reconnect with Alex.  But when Alex leaves town for an interview in LA, Gwen is given ample time to get to know the real Dave while learning something new about herself.

The Birthday Wish is fun and offers not 1, not 2, but 3 engagements. This movie is filled with comedy and heartfelt moments Hallmark fans loves.  Now, understand that this movie does not go back in time.  Gwen has more of a premonition of the future and has the option to change.  This movie teaches that the most well made plan is none at all.  Just live life to the fullest and fun.  The score for the movie is a bit repetitive at times and aren’t needed in scenes.  Because of her plan, Gwen focused so munch on the destination, that she is not enjoying the journey.  So don’t make Gwen’s mistake and enjoy this journey now.

I give it 4 out of 5 stars

You ask a lot of questions for a guy I barely even know – Gwen

Funny, talented, and gorgeous. How did I ever get so lucky? – Alex

It is hard to remember. It was technically last year – Mia

Wow, you’re evil – Dave

You need to sit him down and talk to him Gwen.  You need to know where you stand – Katherine

You’re not gonna argue about it. That’s a new one – Bruce

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