Accidentally Engaged (2016): Old Fashioned Romantic Fun (Review)


Accidentally Engaged

Directed by Letia Clouston from a screenplay by Jake Helgren (based on a story by Elizabeth Snoderly) “Accidentally Engaged” stars Brant Daugherty (Pretty Little Liars, Relationship Status), Lexi Giovagnoli and guest stars Maureen McCormick (better known to fans as Marsha from The Brady Bunch) in an old fashioned sort of romantic film where the fun quotient outweighs the drama. 

Clarissa Byers (Giovagnoli) is a struggling actress in Hollywood who has finally gotten a big scene, eight whole lines, in a film with former child star Chas Hunter (Daugherty). A prop causes an accident with hot coffee and the set is shut down for two hours and Clarissa is fired. Her agent, Jeanette (McCormick) commiserates and gives her favorite client a pep talk.

The actress is scheduled to be at her best friends wedding, as Co-Maid of Honor and is excited to go. At the coffee shop where she works, Chas shows up and spotting Clarissa leaves without ordering anything. Byers’ boss points out a picture on the internet of Hunter with a girl who looks like Clarissa.

Clarissa (Rissa to her friends) approaches Chas and the two talk briefly about the scene where she got fired and his being a childhood star. She returns home for the wedding preparation and when asked by her chums does deny that she and Hunter were together. The end result has  Veronica and Kelly plastering  the information that the star and Rissa are an item  all over the Internet.

Rissa returns to LA and Chas asks her a favor, could she pretend to be in a relationship with him to keep the identity of the girl in the photograph secret? She agrees and the fun begins.

There are some truly funny bits in this romantic  “Chick Flick;” the accidental proposal itself is amusing and Hunter’s real girlfriend Suzie (Meredith May) is quite funny as the shallow and money obsessed publicist that Chas has a relationship with. 

Daugherty (who played Noel Kahn on PLL from 2010 to 2014) is engaging, charming and has a Corey Haim  grin that is endearing.Giovagnoli has that cornfed girl next door look and a relaxed approach to her role as Rissa that works well with Daugherty’s equally laid back performance. The two mesh well and provide that old fashioned sort of romantic spark that is genuinely fun to watch.

There is a little drama, it is after all, a romance and these scenes are not overdone. A comedy of errors, or error,  that results in a film that says a little about Hollywood, actors, small towns and coming home, “Accidentally  Engaged” is a feel good film aimed at a general audience. There is no swearing, nudity or violence so  the entire family can watch this one.

It was brilliant to see Maureen McCormick as Clarissa’s agent.  The actress looks great and was excellent as the agent with a heart.

Rather interestingly, the director, and two writers have both worked with Giovagnoli on several other projects while romantic lead Daugherty is definitely the new kid on the block.  Regardless of familiarity the story is a cute one that moves well and despite a somewhat predictable ending is entertaining and amusing.

“Accidentally Engaged” is a 3.5 star film. Nothing to get wildly excited about but it does offer up a decent storyline with likable characters and we enjoy seeing their journey.

Author: Mike's Film Talk

Former Actor, Former Writer, Former Journalist, USAF Veteran, Former Member Nevada Film Critics Society

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