Sunday, August 6, 2023

Making Waves: Movie Review

A lightweight romance with bland storylines.

Amelia (Holland Roden) is an over-worked music producer at a record label in Nashville, who would love her job if her boss actually listened to her occasionally. Her boss reluctantly approves a trip to the Outer Banks Music Festival to try and sign a new indie band. This happens to be her hometown, her high school boyfriend and childhood best friend still live there, and of course the ex is secretly the lead singer of Figure 8’s.   2023

Directed by: Terry Ingram

Screenplay by: Kate Schriver, Laura Streicher

Starring: Holland Roden, Corey Cott

Making Waves has a lot of standard elements of typical Hallmark romances: big city girl unhappy with her job returns to her small hometown where she re-meets her childhood sweetheart. At least the Outer Banks is a real location (a string of islands along the North Carolina Coast), and we’ve moved away from generic smalltown. However, it’s filmed in Vancouver, Canada and it’s missing – especially to locals – what makes the OBX special and unique. It’s a great setting, especially for a film like this with a music festival at its centre, but it is missing that added realism when filmed on location.

The drama is that Will (Corey Cott) decides to not tell Amelia that he’s fronting the band she wants to meet and sign. It doesn’t get stretched out, and it is a mostly fun obstacle thanks to Cott’s big smile and puppy dog eyes. He lights up every time Amelia enters the room. It is a sweet romance as both Will and Amelia still like each other and want to support each other, but it’s also a little lackluster. They hang out occasionally and rehash old times, but they don’t have undeniable chemistry. They’re just two nice people who will end up together because there is nobody else.

All of the secondary storylines are superfluous. They help round out the film but they don’t add anything interesting to the plot. The secondary characters to go with them aren’t much better; there’s a self-absorbed boss who doesn’t listen to others, a best friend who completely out of the blue gives up her job for no real reasons, and the husband of a the best friend who is so paper-thin he’s almost invisible.

For a music-centered movie, the music should probably be a better sell. It’s a nice sounding indie pop band, but they only have two songs. One of which is heard in snippets throughout the movie and the second one isn’t performed until the final scene. The movie would probably be a lot better served if a secondary storyline was dropped and instead gave the band another song or two.

Making Waves has a lot of the features that makes Hallmark movies popular: A nice lead couple, with very little comedy and very little drama, just a sweet romance between two adults. A very lightweight movie and is easy to watch.