To conclude Romance Week(s), Christa and I are reviewing what is destined to be a film classic, ABC Family original movie Lovestruck: The Musical. Check out Christa’s thoughts here!
Lovestruck: The Musical
Where to Watch:
A successful choreographer becomes young again (not just in spirit) and tries to sabotage her daughter’s wedding.
The Uncondensed Version:
Jane Seymour, how the mighty are fallen, stars in this ABC Family production about a choreographer who can’t accept aging or her daughter Mirabella’s impending nuptials.
Right off the bat this starts to feel like an extended episode of Glee when Jane Seymour (Harper)’s command to “just dance” transforms into an extended song and dance routine. Unfortunately, Harper’s knee starts acting up mid-routine, tragically cutting the number short.
It all hits the fan when Mirabella arrives, announcing her intentions to stay in Italy with her husband after the wedding instead of returning home to star in her mother’s show. Harper threatens to sue, Mirabella un-invites her mother from the wedding, and you know the scheming has just begun.
Despite these obstacles, Harper decides to attend the wedding, but her knee is still giving her trouble. She downs a vitality tonic her assistant found in the theater, which should not have made it through airport security in her carry-on. After some minor indigestion, POOF, Harper is young again! Cue another song!
Cut to the horribly named Mirabella, who is sharing with Marco her great ambition of staying in bed with him all day and having 6 kids. Marco has apparently turned over a new leaf and no longer lives as the so-called “Playboy Prince.” Two points here: 1. Terrible, terrible nickname. 2. The actor isn’t the worst looking guy ever, but he’s just not charismatic at all, making it so hard to imagine women falling over themselves for him. In spite of the charm that allegedly oozes out of him, Marco is having trouble expressing his feelings for Mirabella in vow form.
Luckily, we don’t have to put with Marco/Mirabella for too long as young Harper, pretending to be a distant cousin of Mirabella’s named Debbie, crashes the party. Her plan is basically to stop the wedding by making out with Marco.
So we get a ton of comedy of errors-type humor with Debbie freaking out when Mirabella tells stories about her past misdeeds and trying to get her to wear more sunscreen. There’s also an incredibly cringe-worthy song and dance to “Like a Virgin.”
Shortly after, Debbie acts really drunk and kisses Marco, prompting him to make a long speech about how Mirabella has made him a better person but he can’t be the man she deserves, etc., etc.
Debbie starts to feel super guilty about this, especially when Mirabella confides that she never wanted to be a dancer. (Ok, but if you don’t want to be a dancer, you don’t want another career??? You just want to marry an Italian dude and have a bunch of babies?)
Meanwhile, Harper’s ex/Mirabella’s father arrives in time to wreak havoc. While Debbie advises Mirabella that she should give Marco a chance to tell the truth, the dad (I totally forget his name) tells Marco to bury the truth and stomp on it and light it on fire.
When Harper’s ex, Ryan (I gave in and Googled it), recognizes her as Debbie, she gives him a dose of the tonic. I know, this plot point was a bit of a stretch for me too, but it set up the opportunity for Harper/Debbie and Ryan to do a routine pretty much out of Dancing with the Stars. And, of course, for Harper/Debbie to overhear Ryan confessing that he still loves her and made a huge mistake when he cheated on her years ago.
After reverting back to her more mature self, Harper finds Marco and tells him to make a gesture that shows how he feels about Mirabella. Just as Mirabella decides to leave for good, Marco tells her he loves her as Harper and Ryan let all of the drafts of his vows shower down on the two. An original song follows that will make you so incredibly glad most of the soundtrack involves covers of songs. Lyric sample: “I just ask you ‘Do you?’ I do. Me too.” It’s not exactly Shakespeare, is it?
You’re probably thinking this movie HAS to be over by now, but NO; this is the Inception of ABC Family movies, and there’s one final twist no one could possibly see coming.
Harper’s assistant arrives and tells her the third dose of the tonic is permanent, which some 1930s vaudeville guy discovered the hard way. Apparently everyone except Harper can see the drawback of eternal youth, and it gets super Tuck Everlasting-y when she has to choose between living out her natural life or living forever young.
Which will she choose???
Yeah, let’s be real, this ends basically the way you would expect an ABC Family movie to end, but let’s maintain the illusion of suspense.
This is a cheesy, sappy, unoriginal, and somewhat disturbing TV movie…so I found it really entertaining.
There are some unintended messages about aging built into this film…basically that you have to accept your life is over once you reach a certain age. Age with grace, essentially, because it’s the done thing. Also accepting the natural life cycle. I really hope we can agree that immortality would not be the greatest, but I think we’re going to have to give serious thought to what we consider the natural life cycle and by what means we are willing to extend our lives (I’m hoping robot bodies). Maybe it’s a bit unrealistic of me to expect an ABC Family movie to talk about particularly complex ideas, but I WANT TO BELIEVE. (I also may need to watch slightly less sci-fi.)
Don’t even get me started on Mirabella and Marco.
If you take this film as a piece of light entertainment, though, it’s really effective. Chelsea Kane as young Harper/Debbie was actually pretty good, in my opinion. And funny.
To be honest, I want a spinoff about the vaudeville guy. Presumably he’s still out there somewhere doing his vaudeville act? Or maybe he’s had to modernize.
Mostly because this film doesn’t deserve 4, and I don’t feel like busting out my 1/2 PPHs.
See Christa’s review here!