As soon as we found out that Golden Globe-nominated Kind Touch specialist Jennifer Love Hewitt was appearing in a Hallmark Hall Of Fame TV movie on CBS alongside Betty White, we had to see it. For one thing, she is playing a reporter — which means that in addition to being a Kind Toucher, she’s now a Truth Toucher. And second:
Spoiler: That shot of J.Lo.Hew in the lower right corner never appears in this movie.
Have you ever wondered what it would look like if you were Betty White, and you realized you’d capped the most fruitful and pop-culturally hip 18 months of your career by sharing the screen with a woman who was in The Client List? I’ll show you:
But we’re getting ahead of ourselves.
We open with Betty arriving at Union Station on Valentine’s Day, just as she has every day for the past sixty-five years, glaring at people who are having happy reunions.
She does this because on Valentine’s Day, sixty-five years ago, her husband Neil deployed to WWII and never returned. Betty goes inside and lovingly touches the random memorial in the train station of photos of the soldiers who left for war from there — also on Valentine’s Day — which exists just so that Betty can touch the glass (because of course there’s a photo of her and Neil) and pant a bit. Then she flashes back to the day they parted.
Neil is a nice, sensible chap in dress whites; Betty is wearing a massive head wound, which seems off-color when you are sending your hot piece off to the battlefield. We learn she is pregnant, and then we get the obligatory scene where they can’t stop kissing each other goodbye, and she even leaps onto the train to give him one last deep smooch — at which time the camera pans down for the also-obligatory shot of her lifting up one of her feet, because his tongue has levitating powers.
But not great ones — seriously, if he knew what he was doing, her heel would be sky-high, touching her butt. Betty could’ve saved herself a lot of heartache if she’d realized that. So she bids him farewell, and then runs alongside the train as people do (somehow without falling or bumping into each other, which seems totally unrealistic, when you have that many people jogging alongside a moving object trying to wave hankies into the air). Then she remembers she had a card for him so she manages to get it to him through the window.
And instead of pocketing it to read later — say, once he no longer has the privilege of being able to see her from the window — Neil wastes all those precious feet of train platform to stop and open it immediately. I guess he didn’t want to waste any more goodbye energies in case it said, “So long, CHUMP, I’m actually a prostitute! Happy V.D. indeed!” But it doesn’t: It’s all about how he has her heart and needs to bring it back to her. So he runs to the caboose.
Thirty seconds later those men pants him. I mean, I assume.
Then we meet Jennifer. She works on a show called American Diary, and presumably for verisimilitude, runs around with… a diary. No, even better: It’s a Filofax. FOR REAL. The following three shots were taken within seconds of each other:
Yes: She unsnaps it, opens it, and immediately closes it (presumably because the calendar inside still says 1993). It is Brando-worthy stage business, to be sure. Have book, open and close book, validate book’s presence in rest of movie. Book = truth. Touch book, touch truth.
Jennifer’s producer Julie (whom you might recognize from… tons of stuff) wants them to graduate to hard news, so she’s pimping a story about a Senator, and goes on and on about how they don’t want to be stuck in Schmoopville forever. The big boss overhears and gets crabby. Jennifer insists she’s happy where she is, and then they walk off together so that he can pitch her a story: His grandson knows Betty’s grandson, or something, and heard all about how Betty has gone to the train station every year to wait for her lost love. Jennifer is all, “AND…?” Because she thinks Betty has to have done something interesting with her life or else she’s a pathetic old biddy with a bench fetish. As they walk into a conference room, Jennifer then proceeds to crap all over the story, even though two seconds ago she was saying she was fine with being a Schmoopsville Truth Toucher. It is here that we get to see what she’s wearing:
This shot does not do justice to how much cleavage was pouring out of her shirt. Hallmark: When You Care Enough To Send The Very Breast.
Needless to say, the dude in the sportcoat is Betty’s grandson, played by Sean Faris, of the long-dead and forever-awful Reunion (among other things). And he’s heard Jennifer insulting his grandmother, basically likening her to a really loyal but pathetic breed of Japanese dog, or something (seriously, that was her analogy).
So he puts on his psycho Tom Cruise face and smug-sneers that he’s pretty sure his grandmother doesn’t want to be a part of this anyway. Which he could’ve told the boss man over the phone, but I guess it’s more fun to drag him into the office and then make him stare at Jennifer’s boobs. I am sure they agree. Anyway, once he leaves, Jennifer’s boss basically orders her to Get The Story.
So Jennifer puts on her best bangs and shows up at Betty’s, but Betty hasn’t heard of American Diary and isn’t interested in being interviewed, so she’s all, “Sorry, can’t Truth Touch this,” and then goes full Slammer Time on her with the door. And in trying to get a shot of the exact moment Jennifer gets a nose full of wood, I accidentally ended up with this funky picture:
This should have been the poster for the movie. It could also have been the poster for a horror movie in which Betty terrorizes Jennifer, which I would have watched more earnestly.
Jennifer, though, will not be daunted. So she knocks again and says, “I know [Sean].” This half-lie — more of a Truth Tickle, really, than a full Touch — gets her in the door, where she sees a fireplace full of family photos and a huge framed sepia-toned shot of Neil. Betty then calls Sean and gushes that his “friend” Jennifer is here. Jennifer reacts to this about as subtly as you’d expect:
And Sean and his serial-killer goatee are all, “Awesome, she’s there right NOW? I might come over and sup on her cleavage.”
Hallmark: For when you care enough to send the hairy best.
Once he arrives, there is some verbal sparring, and we get a story about the barren rose bush in the front yard: Sean keeps insisting it’s dead, but Betty won’t get rid of it and says it still has some life left, and the reason is because Neil planted it for her. Once she pushes off to do something that’s conveniently somewhere else, Neil has the audacity to Truth Touch the Book:
He closes it on her fingers and tells her that it was a douche move to lie her way inside, and he’s right. Jennifer insists she just wants a chance to tell the story blah blah blah. We all know where this is going. Betty doesn’t say yes but she doesn’t say no.
At this point, let’s recap what we know of Jennifer: She works at a warm-and-fuzzy newsmagazine show which she both claims to enjoy and then also made fun of, she has a Filofax, and she insulted Betty in front of her grandson and then used his name to lie her way into Betty’s good graces to save the career she also seems to think is boring. So basically, she’s an asshole. And this impression will not change. Because later, she and her photojournalist boyfriend are at dinner with Julie and her man, and he talks about how he’s up for another assignment; she asks what it is, and he says, “A lifetime assignment.” He does not, unfortunately, mean a Lifetime assignment, although Client List 2 would be a wonderful addition to his resume. At this point, Andrew The Boyfriend pulls out an engagement ring, and Jennifer makes this face:
Because she is an asshole. And her friends make these faces:
Because they think this is adorable, and they might be smug assholes. And her fiance makes this face:
Because he thinks his little intro was clever, and has no idea that Jennifer thinks he is an asshole. But he is about to find out:
And then this happens:
Why? Because, she says, he asked for an answer, but “[he] didn’t ask me the question.” Yes, essentially, Jennifer is pissed at him because he tried to propose in front of their friends, and by using wordplay instead of barking out, “Will you marry me?” Which, as it turns out, would have been even MORE horribly embarrassing for him, because she had no intention of saying yes. So she’s angry that he didn’t ask her the way she wanted, even though she wouldn’t have accepted. See? Asshole.
At this point we are wondering, “Why do we care what this brazen harlot does with the rest of her life?” So we get hurried backstory that Andrew is a traveling photojournalist who is often on the road, and Jennifer resents this suddenly. Indeed, he’s due in Fiji the next day. She’s all, “Oh, RIGHT. FIJI.”
As if the word “Fiji” in photojournalist circles means, “The inside of a stripper’s vagina.” So she tells him that he should go and by the time he gets back they will have forgotten all about this ugly little incident and can continue as if it never happened. Our little Truth Toucher wants to live a lie. Andrew leaves obediently and lets her keep the ring for thinking purposes, because he is a wuss. Julie then pops in and wonders what Jennifer’s freaking hangup is, because Andrew is great. Jennifer is all, “SIGH, I might need more.” She’s not sure what that is, but we do know what it isn’t: more skirt.
So, the next day — or whatever — Jennifer shows up at Betty’s to try and sucker her into a little casual Truth Pat. But Betty has a standing date at the veteran’s hospital, so she’s all, “Do you want to Truth Touch me there?” And Jennifer does (and of course Sean tags along, because he has no life). Jennifer chose an army-green maxi dress for the occasion, just so all these wounded and aged veterans would feel very close to her.
Betty reads to the boys and makes them laugh, all while Sean and Jennifer marvel over her moxie. Sean says that Betty is always very clear on who was really hurt in all this war nonsense. Jennifer gets all drooly over what a good grandson he is, devoted to taking care of her the way she took care of their family, and then Sean gets momentarily judgy that Jennifer is not really that close to her own family, as if we are all supposed to have a tree full of Betty Whites. Then Jennifer puts away her f’ing Filofax:
Which I only show you because REALLY? You want to take notes on your interview subject, and THAT is what you choose? I used to be a reporter, AND I used to own a Filofax. Not at the same time. But even if it had been, I would’ve used the Filofax for phone numbers and not for Truth Touching. It is really hard to Truth Touch when you are trying to write and keep up with the speaker, and also, sometimes when you can’t read your own writing, the Truth Touching becomes Lie Caressing and that is a whole different business. Anyway, Jennifer makes some dumb show of her lower back aching, which prompts Sean to get Crazy Tom Cruise on us again:
He actually says, “Try stretching your HIPS. It’ll LOOSEN THINGS UP.” Because he wants to Truth Touch her in her Honesty Cave. This is their first Moment. Hallmark should make a card for this. “Dear lady, I want to Truth Touch you in your Honesty Cave. Let’s see what your hip flexors can do. Love, Pubic Face.” Seriously, I hate his beard so much. The pictures can’t do justice to how creepy he looked.
Okay, so: Jennifer then sucks up to Betty and Betty agrees to do the story. There is some exposition about how Sean the Wonder Beard has a book coming out about stretching and exercise, just so that we’re all clear that he’s not some creep who wants to get up in Jennifer’s flexors. And then Betty and Jennifer sit down in the garden, with news cameras rolling, for some major Truth Massage. Betty tells Jennifer that she grew up with Neil but never really noticed him until he moved away and then came back in his hot sexy dress whites. They started flirting, so we get a date montage full of things like them picking tomatoes and then pretending to feed them to each other:
Basically, imagine every “date” that Taylor Swift and Jake Gyllenhaal ever “went on,” and you will get the gist. So they’re totally in love. The problem is that every time this actress looks at him “tenderly,” she is doing it with this face:
It is a pretty face, but it is also, in repose, a bitchface. In this scene he’s all, “I can’t remember a time when I didn’t love you,” and judging by her facial expression, she is thinking, “I can think of a million times when I did not love you, and this might be one of them.” Hallmark: When You Care Enough To Send The Very Detest. Okay, that makes no sense. But, you know the drill: They fell in love.
Meanwhile, Jennifer decides to track down Sean, for reasons that are totally unclear except that I guess when she thinks about him, she Truth Touches herself. I know this because when she sees him at his job doing this with a young boy…
… she’s all, SCHWING.
So she goes inside and decides to try and Truth Touch him a little bit. She Googled him and found out he used to be an athlete and then he was a trainer with the NBA until he abruptly quit. Why did he quit? Why, Sean? Tell the woman with the appealing fake microphone.
Sean says he quit because if you KNEW all those PEOPLE, you’d UNDERSTAND: They’re all DIVORCED because they’re always TRAVELING and they never see their FAMILIES and EVIL and ROTTING SOCIETY blah blah blah, he’s saying everything that is the opposite of Andrew. So Jennifer knows deep down in her hip flexors that she’s going to let him stretch them to their limits really soon. But since she has no good reason for being there, other than that she’s nosy and horny, she pretends she wants to learn some back stretches. So Sean offers to help. Then what?
THEN SHE PUTS AWAY HER FILOFAX BECAUSE SHE BROUGHT IT WITH HER AND HAD IT OUT TO TAKES NOTES ON HIS LIFE EVEN THOUGH HE IS NOT PART OF HER STORY. Seriously, I feel like this prop was Jennifer’s Method, as if she felt like she couldn’t really delve into the soul of a reporter if she didn’t have a massive businessy-looking thingy to wield. I am shocked she didn’t have one in The Client List. If she had, she probably would’ve won the Globe. Yeah, Temple Grandin is an autistic genius, but DID SHE HAVE A FILOFAX WHEN SHE WAS MAKING THOSE COW HERDING THINGS? NO.
Anyway, once the Book of Secrets has been put away, Sean gives Jennifer a taste of her own medicine: He Kind Touches her shoulders.
And this all but brings her to orgasm, so she leaps up and pretends her fiance has called — screaming the word “FIANCE” just so Sean doesn’t miss the point — and then bumbles out of there.
But far from getting the message, Sean’s face is all, “Fiance? Cool, the more the merrier. I hope he likes edible man-panties!”
Back to Betty: She and Neil got married and bought a junky old house from her uncle, or something, and fixed it up together. We get a whole montage of how much fun it is to wear overalls and a kerchief while you pull up rotting wood and move things around and sweep and dust.
Basically, everything you would’ve seen if Taylor Swift and Jake Gyllenhaal had they dated long enough to build a Habitat For Humanity house. They painted, they danced, they got soaked by sprinklers and kissed, they planted a rosebush, and then she wrote a song about it that moved fifty million copies. But the war loomed, see, and sure enough Neil got called up to the pacific theater. Betty soldiered on without him, pregnant and writing him multiple letters a day, with lipstick marks on the envelopes. But everyone in the neighborhood dreaded the Western Union man, and sure enough, once day after the baby was born he came for Betty. Neil was missing in action. “MISSING ISN’T DEAD,” she snarled. The Western Union man immediately did this:
I think it was supposed to be… grief? Pity? But it came off like he was afraid she had LOST HER MIND and was about to Hulk Smash the front door and then beat him with it. Again: better movie.
At this point, Betty has had enough reminiscing for one day, so she decides to take a break and go inside. And then we cut to the world’s most awkward shot of J.Lo.Hew talking to her cameramen — it’s total “peas and carrots” nonsense, like, thae director was clearly like, “Just mumble something about how maybe when she feels better you can shoot more, or whatever.” And we do this because obviously, Betty White is going to collapse. But they have to cover the fact that it’s not going to be Betty White doing the collapsing, because they are not going to hire an 89-year old ntional treasure and then ask her to drop onto some prop wooden stairs. That is bad juju. So they get some dude in a wig to play Betty White Collapsing Onto Prop Wooden Stairs:
Which, you’ll note, happens right by the barren Rosebush of Love that Neil planted. Jennifer is all, “NOOOOOO,” and we fade to commercial. Hallmark: When You Care Enough To Send Your Very Best Ass Double.
At the hospital, we learn that she had a minor heart attack, but should be fine. Jennifer of course assumes this is her fault, because she thought she seemed to have an invisible Truth Touch, yeah, but apparently it may have hammered Betty’s soul too hard. And because she sucks, I want to agree that it is her fault. But Sean insists that it isn’t, and that Betty has never been happier than when she was reminiscing with Jennifer. And they sit down and Jennifer — she of the Your Grandmother Is A Tragic Japanese Dog comment — schmoops that you can’t fix a heart that isn’t broken, and that isn’t a story of heartbreak but rather one of everlasting love.
And Sean is like, SCHWING. Because here, he, too, realizes that he’s going to get some, and he only wishes Hallmark would make a card that said, “Thank you for thawing your cold dead heart, because now you can warm my lonely wang with it.”
So Jennifer goes home and gets a phone call from Andrew. He is in Fiji. When she finds out that he’s being offered the chance to go out on a homemade boat with a bunch of natives, and that it’s extending his trip, she gets really pouty. Because he SAID he couldn’t wait to SEE her, and now instead he’s taking some once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to maybe win a Pulitzer, as if her pelvis is not enough of a prize.
Enter Hallmark: “Dear friend. My pelvis is the trophy, and you just lost the race. Best wishes.” They hang up crossly. And who should call but Sean. They make small talk for a second, and then he says, “Why don’t you ever answer your door?” And she goes, “Because there’s no one at my–” and then realizes she is totally in a Scream movie all of a sudden.
Why she opened the door to this person I will never know. Hallmark: For when you care enough to send your leery best. It leads to them almost kissing — seriously, can this guy be that big of a catch if he KNOWS she said she had a fiance (even though WE know that was a moderate lie), but he’s still trying to floss her teeth with his soul patch? — before she tells him he really has to leave.
So Jennifer returns to work and gets that hard-edged story on the Senator. And he’s so impressed by the Truth of her Touch that he asks if there happens to be anything he can do for her. Inspired, she gets him to unseal some records and he tells her that there were two survivors of whatever wreck left Neil missing in action. Betty had thought there was only one, but through contrivance, nobody ever was able to learn about the other survivor until now, because nobody has the electric Truth Touch of Jennifer Love. It is here that we get the worst shot of the entire movie.
Y’ALL. SHE IS THE ONLY GOLDEN GIRL LEFT. DON’T GIVE US THESE DESTRUCTIVE VISUALS.
Anyway, Jennifer zips on over to Texas to talk to the descendants of this man, who passed away a few years ago. And guess what she brings?
THE FILOFAX. Which she deploys ON THE HOOD OF A TRACTOR. The lady is like, “Honey, we haven’t used one of those things ’round these parts since the Piggly Wiggly started selling them cellular phones.” For real, girl, buy yourself an iPod Truth Touch or something. Anyway, conveniently, Tractor Dude’s father had told him everything about his war experience. Apparently, after they crashed, both he and Neil were hurt. He was hurt much worse. But only one could be saved, and so Neil said, “Save him.” Neil is a hero. Did you doubt that? Did you think this was going to be the story of a man who died while having an orgy with some comely natives in the jungle? Hallmark doesn’t make cards for that.
Betty is thrilled to hear this touching truth. Jennifer says that there was a Bhutan native who brought Tractor Dude’s father to safety, and she’s going to try and find him. Because there is no limit to the reach of her Truth Touch. They are calling him Meringue. I swear. I don’t know how they spell it, really, but it sounds like meringue, so Meringue it is. Jennifer’s boss, though, thinks all this touching is getting out of hand (oh, puns, I love you), and now wants her to stop the story. He tells her it’s OVER. So she tells him she’s taking a vacation. He is all, “Well, your job might not be here when you get back,” and she’s all, “FINE,” and her producer friend is all, “Have you gone insane?” And Jennifer is all, “Sean Sean true love Sean Betty Sean,” and Julie is like, “Um, SEAN? What about Andrew?”
BUSTED. Jennifer decides she will quit Sean. But Sean doesn’t want to quit her.
Smug smug flowers stop and smell the roses blah. Jennifer reminds him that she has a boyfriend, and he then, like, advances on her with this FACE, my god the FACE:
Seriously, he gets closer and closer, with his Murder Scowl, and then intones that her telling him she has a boyfriend just makes him hotter for her. What? Also, how is this news? This guy is not charming. This means Jennifer Love — in real life — will probably be dating him in like ten minutes. So he leaves, but then as he’s prepping for his book signing, Betty tells him to invite Jennifer. He’s not sure. Betty doesn’t want him to give up on love. Or on Love. Yawn. SHE HAS A FIANCE. As far as you know.
Said fiance arrives home from Fiji and gets a totally lukewarm reception from Jennifer. It’s as if her neighbor has just popped by for a cup of sugar. Jennifer tells him it won’t work, and says, “It’s not your fault, and it’s not my fault.” Translation: It’s totally your fault. But because Andrew is nice, he agrees to call in some connections in Bhutan and try to find this random tribesman who might have been with Neil when he may or may not have died. As Jennifer is hugging Andrew goodbye, Sean pulls up and does this:
He is all Crazy Tom Cruise pissed. He is going to go rip up a couch with a machete.
Jennifer, though, doesn’t see her stalker, so she does some very deep internal self-Truth Touching and realizes that she’s free and clear to boink Sean, and starts fantasizing about how excited he’s going to be when she tells him he can pull his Cupid arrow out of its quiver and shoot it at her. So she gets all dressed up for his book signing, and walks up right in the middle of it, and cuts the line, and hands him a book to sign. Then she starts yapping about something and he’s all, “Um, this isn’t a good time. Let’s talk some other time.” This upsets her:
She can’t BELIEVE that the prospect of swapping Truth Serum with her is not more important than the fact that he’s IN THE MIDDLE OF A BOOK SIGNING, LADY.
But, good news! Andrew came through for her — he found Meringue. Because I guess when you randomly pop by Bhutan, and ask, “Hey, does anyone know Meringue from Bhutan,” somebody answers, “Yeah, that dude lives next to my cousin. He bakes pies.” So Jennifer rushes over to tell Betty the good news. Betty’s reaction:
Because, see, she’s terrified that this Meringue will turn out to be a lemon. ZING.
I just realized that I forgot something: Somewhere in here, Jennifer tried to get her job back. Her boss, to teach her a lesson, gave away her office and set her up in a cubicle. By her reaction, you would think he had said, “We are giving you an office in a subway station urinal.”
But the best part is that her beloved statuette, of which she has apparently won several, says, “Outstanding PR Professional of the Year.” Which, if you are a journalist, is terrible. PR awards are for people who can convince you that Continental not serving complimentary airline food anymore on its flights is actually a good thing because it means you’re being given the gift of choice. It is not for Truth Touchers. So maybe she’s not so much dealing in truth, as varnished lies. Oh, that’s right, Hewitt, did I just expose your soul? METHINKS.
Back to the main plot: They set up a big Skype session with Meringue, and that’s when this all starts to feel like one of those Cisco commercials with Ellen Page.
However, he appears to be in good health. Well whipped, smooth, with stiff peaks. Meringue haltingly tells Betty that he remembers Neil, and we flash back to the day Neil sacrificed himself so that the other dude could escape. I guess the lady with the cart was only willing to make one trip and could only hide one body, so they loaded up Neil’s wounded pal and left him behind:
But, lo, Neil lived. He recovered and hung out with Meringue and his pals, Tart and Petit Four. Neil often fondled a photo of Betty and their infant son, and prayed a lot for her safety. AND, during the day, he went on missions with them to scout out/defend against the Japanese. He was a super handy jungle pal. I’m not sure why he didn’t try to escape, but whatever. Maybe he, like Andrew, was having fun out on the road. One day, Neil saw a child hiding next to the body of his dead mother, and Neil decided to try and save the child. But just then, he noticed Japanese snipers, and as he dove to cover up the little boy — seriously, this boy is to this movie what dogs are to Michael Bay movies — he gets shot in the back. Meringue and Tart and Petit Four all want to save Neil, but no, he demands that they row the little boy to safety.
I guess Neil has a thing for reaching to camera.
He should have flung himself onto the floor of the caboose and reached at Betty when his train left that day. It would’ve been much more consistent with his character. Anyway, even though our narrator was gone at this point, we get treated to this close-up of Neil, alone, dying, and whispering Betty’s name before his last breath. It was nice of Meringue to embellish his story to include that little detail. So of course, Neil was dead by the time Meringue floated light as a cloud back to that spot. They buried him under a rock etched with a cross. He is a hero. Again. Because, again, we knew that this Hallmark movie was not going to end with Meringue sending Betty a card that read, “Sorry about your husband, but if it helps, he died while swinging naked from a chandelier and fornicating with a coconut while drinking booze made from distilled urine,” and thus Betty was not going to get the chance to read that and reply, “Oh, good, so he died as we lived.”
Through all this, Jennifer and Sean swap all these wet-eyed expressions of longing.
Sean is all, “It’s so sad that this man didn’t get to come to my book signing. I wonder how his hip flexors are.”
And Betty is like, “Would you two KNOCK IT OFF? I’m trying to act the shit out of it here.”
So as soon as they can escape outside, Jennifer exposits to Sean that Meringue is going to try and find the spot where they buried Neil, and the military will try to bring him home and give him a proper burial. Even though he’s probably been quite happy in his little corner of Bhutan lo these sixty-five years. But Sean wasn’t interested in exposition. As soon as it’s established that Jennifer and Andrew were hugging goodbye, not hugging in afterglow, he inches closer to Jennifer and then finally gets sweet, sweet Truth Tongue.
Hallmark: For when you care enough to send your salivary best. Also, how bored do they look? When you are making out with your soulmate, it shouldn’t look like you lost a bet.
So, the military finds Neil’s body and tells Betty he’s being awarded all kinds of posthumous honors for bravery and service and heroism above-and-beyond. She is thrilled. They also bring her his effects, which I hope have been thoroughly deodorized and disinfected, and which include his leather wallet — which contains the valentine.
And Hallmark is like, “We’d just like to point out that if she’d bought him a Hallmark card, instead of trying to get all cutesy and homemade, it would look like NEW because a Hallmark sentiment is a bionic sentiment.”
Then we get the hero’s welcome for Neil’s coffin. They bring the TV cameras to the train station, and Betty waits as the color guard escorts his flag-draped coffin to her. And it is here that Betty White seems to think, “My God, is my career comeback what’s being buried here?”
But it’s STILL NOT OVER, you guys. No. Instead, we get this little scene at Betty’s house where Sean says he’d love to meet her family, as she has met his. She stiffens and is all, “Maybe.” And then in some hastily added story to try and make her seem less cold, she gets all weepy that she hasn’t wanted to see her mother since their father died because she didn’t want it to feel different. Um, hello? HER HUSBAND DIED. Not just your father. This is supposed to make us sad for her, but I just want to smack her for letting her own bullshit get in the way of acting like a human being. Sean, though, thinks this is all totally awesome and he’ll go with her to Boston to see her family. And as they hug, the sprinklers — which we last saw spritzing Neil and Betty in their Montage Of Our Happy Home — go off on them. So what does Sean do?
He just holds her there. I’m not kidding, for like twenty full screen seconds, he holds her in the water’s spray and laughs and laughs and LAUGHS and Crazy Tom Cruises all over the place. RUN JENNIFER. The truth you are not touching is that he is going to skin you and wear it to Church.
Meanwhile, out back, the dead rosebush — which Sean kept trying to get Betty to remove because for a dude who allegedly believed so much in The Power Of Love, he had absolutely no qualms about telling Betty to uproot her beloved’s plant, and also he has obviously never seen TV before — actually has a bud on it. She is amazed. And then a song comes on her radio that was her song with Neil, so she stands back and revels in feeling him there with her finally, at long last. I know this because he actually WAS there with her:
And as far as I’m concerned, this shot means that she died in this moment. But this is a Hallmark movie, so no, as far as THEY are concerned, she lived to be 174 and invented a cure for melancholy.
Fuggery: 4 out of 10. Jennifer’s maxi-dresses frightened me, and her eyelashes blended into her bangs a lot, but Flashback Betty had some seriously cute period costumes.
Fromage: 9 out of 10. The rosebush bloomed? Check. Kissing the coffin? Check. Man died saving child, after already saving his comrade? Check. Story of man’s death saves one girl from herself and vaults her into a new life of commitment with a man of arguable sanity and even more questionable facial hair? Check. A flower in someone’s hair? Double check.
F*ckwittery: 9 out of 10. Look, because Betty White is a professional, it was hard not to feel for her a little at the end when she got her closure. But I AM SO SURE that Spurned Andrew randomly found the native man who buried Neil, and I AM SO SURE he was nice to Jennifer after the way she crapped all over him just for continuing to have the exact same career he had when they met, and I AM SO SURE she ended up with Sean Faris instead of reporting him to the police.