Movie Review: Love on Harbor Island (2020)
Synopsis: Harbor Island native Lily Summers now lives in Seattle and dreams of being an interior designer. When her aunt, Maggie, has a fall, she returns to Harbor Island and has mixed emotions as she uses her interior design skills to fix up her aunt's inn, once her home, so it can be sold. When she meets one of the inn's tenants, a pilot who runs an animal rescue center, sparks immediately begin to fly. However, while she would love to remain on the island with him and her aunt, her career goals complicate that decision.
Review: Even after mowing the lawn yesterday evening, I still had time to watch a movie with my wife before going to bed. Since we have so many saved in our streaming library, we decided to just take them in order, and this was the next one on the list.
I'm not going to lie, I wasn't really expecting a whole lot from this film, mostly because the whole animal rescue center thing, at least from the description, made it sound an awful lot like a movie we just watched the night before. However, the film did end up being better than expected.
The main theme of the movie, Lily (Kohan) trying to decide whether to remain on Harbor Island or continue her career in Seattle, was a lot more intriguing than I thought it would be, mostly because it wasn't as predictable as movies like this usually are. Even though she loved the island and had plenty of reasons to stay, including the pilot, Marcus (Rosner), it was hard to see how she'd be able to do that without giving up her dream because it wasn't as though there were a whole lot of opportunities for her to do the kind of interior design work she had wanted to do since she was a kid.
I also am going to say I thought the romantic subplot was just as interesting and liked how the relationship progressed at a believable pace and, unlike some other romantic films, didn't have the main protagonist giving up her life's goals/career just because she met a man. It might have been nice to see Marcus have a few flaws rather than being seemingly perfect in every way (other than not knowing how to use the internet) but that only served to make her decision a bit harder, so I'll give it a pass.
On a similar note, I like how the movie portrayed her ex-boyfriend, Bradford (Gonek). He obviously wasn't right for her, especially after she started to find herself, but, at the same time, he also wasn't a terrible person. Heck, he was even willing to lose out on a profitable deal because he knew it would hurt her. It was a refreshing change of pace when compared to movie ex-boyfriends (or current boyfriends) who are total jerks.
I do feel like the movie could have used a bit more of a backstory regarding Lily's best friend, Christie (Cam). In particular, I found I was curious why an attractive and seemingly single woman had zero interest in having a guy like Marcus for herself and, instead, was overjoyed Lily was falling in love with him. I don't know if the movie would have been made better or worse had there been some sort of fight between them, but I wasn't crazy about how one-dimensional she was, especially since she was given quite a bit of screen time for a somewhat uninteresting character.
Final Opinion: The movie exceeded my expectations overall, mostly because the ending wasn't quite as predictable than I thought it would be. I don't know if it was one of my favorite Hallmark movies, but it is still worth taking the time to watch.
My Grade: A-