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Featured DVD Review: In-Lawfully Yours

September 15th, 2016

In-Lawfully Your - Buy from Amazon: DVD
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In-Lawfully Your

In-Lawfully Your just appeared on my desk one day. It’s a small film, so small that there’s no page on Rotten Tomatoes. Is it worth checking out? Or is the target audience way too small for success?

The Movie

The film begins by introducing us to Jesse as she goes to a hotel and tricks her way into a hotel room. She’s there, because her husband, Chaz, is there... with his mistress. However, Jesse is not as concerned about that as she should be, because she’s there to deliver a message. She’s been trying to call him all day. His father is in the hospital. Chaz is more concerned about not letting his parents know what happened and certainly doesn’t want them to know they are getting a divorce. Jesse is willing to go along with this. She even keeps it up when the pair return to his home town of Bethel Cove for his father’s funeral. Chaz had never taken Jesse to his home town before, as he was not proud of his small town roots.

At the funeral, Jesse sees a man talking to Chaz’s mother, Naomi. She asks who that is and Chaz says he’s a life insurance agent. The thought of a life insurance agent trying to take advantage of a grieving widow set her off. Shortly afterward, she learns his name is Ben and he’s a pastor. (He routinely jokes about being an “after-life insurance agent”.) Not only that, Ben is also Naomi’s son-in-law, as he was married to their daughter, Sara, before she passed away a few years ago. After the funeral, Chaz tries to get his mother to quickly pack up the house so she can move. (He found a buyer and the deal will fall through if she’s not out of the house in a month.) Jesse offers to stay behind and help her pack and Chaz is not happy about that and accidentally let’s it slip that the two are getting divorced. Despite this, Jesse stays with Naomi to help.

On the way out of town, Chaz stops by the local diner to meet Daphne, whom he knew in high school. He mentions he’s getting a divorce and Daphne gets the impression that Jesse is the one who cheated on him. We later learn that Chaz has a reputation for dating women like that and Chaz did nothing to correct Daphne, so we can’t blame her for this assumption. Chaz asks Daphne to keep an eye on Jesse and make sure she doesn’t stay with his mom, or in the town, for any longer than necessary.

It doesn’t look like this plan will work, especially when Jesse and Ben start spending time together.

I asked above if the film’s target audience was too small for this film to succeed. About ten minutes into watching the movie, I hit the pause button and started researching it. I was convinced it was a Lifetime or Hallmark Channel original movie. This isn’t an insult, as there are lots of people who love these movies. I’m not one of them. In-Lawfully Your is a romantic comedy that has some strengths and more than a few weaknesses. On the positive side, both Chelsey Crisp and Marilu Henner are both good in this movie. On the negative side, both of the leading men are playing characters that are a little flat and that hurts their performances. Also, it is a Rom Com and has all of the usual Rom Com clichés, including the weak characters.

That said, if you are in the target audience and are looking for a safe, faith-based romantic comedy, then give this film a chance.

The Extras

The first extra on the DVD is a 14-part, 26-minute long behind-the-scenes featurette that looks at how the film was made at Regent University. There is also a deleted scene.

The Verdict

In-Lawfully Your is a rather typical romantic comedy that is aimed at a faith-based audience. It is safe entertainment for those who want it. There’s not a lot of extras on the DVD, but enough that it is worth checking out, if you are in the target audience.

Filed under: Video Review, In-Lawfully Yours, Marilu Henner, Chelsey Crisp, Philip Boyd, Joe Williamson, Erin Muroski