A Brush with Love is a Pinterest board come to life. It’s all pretty pastels, cherry blossoms, and the cute British guy. (Okay, it’s my Pinterest board.) But while it’s nice to look at and dream about for an hour or two, it’s also a bit random and serves little purpose. (Again, my Pinterest board.) Arielle Kebbel and Nick Bateman play Jamie and Max, two beautiful people who hate each other. They are childhood acquaintances – she is best friends with his sister – and they meet again when he rents the apartment below hers. The two seem to be going in separate directions but are ultimately united by their artistic passions.
It takes a lot before they realize this though. There’s a studio opening, a missed job opportunity, a desperate art show entry, and of course said British guy. Jamie is the owner of Canvas Creations, a small art studio that she plans on expanding with the help of her retired father. She enjoys teaching young students and helping them find inspiration, but she’s also kind of settled into this life. A painter at heart, she’s put aside her true love after experiencing disappointment upon disappointment. Her dream is to have her own show in Paris, but she can’t even manage the top prize at the local art exhibition. This may be due to the fact that her paintings look like something out of the bargain bin at Big Lots, but what do I know?
In waltzes Max, a landscape architect who prefers working as a groundskeeper because it gets him in the dirt and out of administrative responsibilities. Jamie loathes him because of the many times he’s teased and humiliated her through the years. The real sticker is something he did fifteen years ago when he sent her love notes in class, convincing her that she had a secret admirer. It’s not hard to deduce that Max has always been in love with his sister’s best friend; he just has a shitty, teenager way of showing it. But now he has to convince her that he’s in earnest and not a rootless commitment-phobe, a task made harder by the appearance of Michael (Matthew James Dowden). Michael has the qualities Jamie wants most in a guy, namely focus and ambition. He also brings her pretty pink flowers.
Hallmark is all about the fantasy of love, and since Bateman is not my type, I probably wasn’t going to care for this movie anyway. Max is squinty and good looking in an anonymous model sort of way, which may be why he doesn’t seem to have much personality. Kebbel does a better job of showing off her character’s insecurities, and Jamie’s struggles are at the forefront. I can’t help but feel that she’s being too hard on Max though. Despite his reputation, he doesn’t show himself to be a fickle, womanizing jerk that others, including his sister, make him out to be.
Dir: Peter DeLuise
Writer: Katherine S. Chang, Joie Botkin
Cast: Arielle Kebbel, Nick Bateman, Matthew James Dowden, Hilary Jardine, Adil Zaidi, Daryl Shuttleworth, Kathleen Duborg, Brenda Crichlow
Time: 84 min
Country: United States
Network: Hallmark Channel