In-Lawfully Yours (2016) Review
Sometimes you run across films that don’t catch your interest at first because you know nothing about them. One of these films is In-Lawfully Yours. This film persisted in popping up while browsing Amazon, but still, I resisted. But one night when in desperate need of something cute and fun, I finally hit the “play” button.
As the film opens, we meet a furious Jesse (Chelsey Crisp). She’s busy tracking down her husband Chaz, a man who isn’t answering his phone and up to no good. Ultimately, she finds him cheating when she bursts into his hotel room. But for now, she puts aside her anger because her father-in-law is in the hospital and family is more important.
Time passes and in the aftermath of her father-in-law’s death, Jesse decides to stay behind in her husband’s hometown to help her mother-in-law (Marilu Henner) pack up her house. Only trouble is, her now ex-husband decides the day of his father’s funeral is the perfect time to tell his mother about the divorce.
Chaz leaves behind the small town (and Jesse!) he never liked while Jesse becomes more of a support to her MIL. While there, Jesse meets the handsome pastor, Ben, who also happens to be the widowed husband of Chaz’s sister. Needless to say, things are about to get complicated.
You know those films that have a preconceived stigma attached? The kind that suggests a film is going to be too silly to really enjoy? This was my impression of In-Lawfully Yours. I knew it’d be the kind of wholesome film not unlike those on Hallmark Channel, but something about it just didn’t appeal to me. Fortunately, I looked past this issue and decided to give this one a chance.
In its romantic-comedy genre, In-Lawfully Yours falls into the “cute” category. It’s charming and manages to be a little bit different than the norm. It’s these kinds of scripts that grip my attention and keep me entertained. This film is certainly one of those. Production wise, it might not be the most polished nor does it claim any flashy gadgets, but the heart of this story is pure gold.
Though many elements work together to make this film work, it’s perhaps the characters that make this one so interesting. From the leading men to Marilu, everyone is fantastic. But it’s Chelsey’s Jesse who keeps us giggling and on our toes. We’re never quite sure what she’s going to do next, and in this case, that’s a good thing. Her propensity to ask questions and cheekily speak her mind is lovably infuriating (and also admirable). The romance in this film is also beautiful. It’s not a firework kind of romance in the same sense as the classic literature romance pairings. But nonetheless, this love story is swoony and perfect for these characters.
The story is character driven, and I love this. Within this element, everything and everyone is comfortable. It’s an “easy” kind of characterization that seems to allow them all to be genuine as characters. In tandem, one of the most bittersweet and surprising (in a good way) aspects is that not everything ends with a big bow on top. Don’t mistake me, this story is an HEA tale, but there’s one portion of the story that opts for bittersweet, and I admire its “life approach” to this particular bit.
Big budget or not, this movie is a delight from the first moment to last. It sparkles with a kind of unburdened feeling. Some of the issues are “heavy,” but the script never lets its poignant moments ruin what remains a lighthearted story.
Content Note: There is some minor “innuendo,” but nothing graphic. There is one (non-graphic) visual implication of an extra-marital affair. In-Lawfully Yours is rated PG.
Have you seen In-Lawfully Yours? Did you enjoy it? Let me know your thoughts on this lesser-known romantic comedy in the comments!
Featured image credit: Ocean Avenue Entertainment
“In vain have I struggled. It will not do. My
feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me
to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.”
(*The romance probably ranks somewhere in-between a three or four heart, but the film is so cute, I decided to round the rating up!)
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