Thursday, March 1, 2018

The Trouble with Mistletoe

Hollywood might be a little slow in waking up to the buying power of women viewers, but a group of three women filmmakers certainly aren't. Their subscription movie service, Passionflix, is Netflix for women who love romance novels. In the US, the site offers a wide range of romantic movies, including many golden oldies, but for us here in South Africa, we only have access to their original content.

The best thing about Passionflix is that all their original movies are adaptations of successful romance novels. Wisely realising that romance readers are a built in audience, they're tapping into this pool of ready-made stories by turning some of the biggest selling novels of the genre into movies.

In last week's post I spoke about my love for Hallmark movies, especially all their feel-good Christmas movies, but they do have flaws: the plots are often thin, the conflicts weak, the characters' motivations inconsistent, the dialogue corny - and that's just the writing! This is where Passionflix has gotten it so right. By adapting books that already have great writing, strong conflicts and well-developed characters, they already guarantee a much higher quality movie experience.
And unlike Hallmark, Passionflix doesn't keep the content family friendly. These are movies made for adult women, and they don't close the bedroom door!

Of Passionflix's three full length movies (and one 'quickie'), my absolute favourite so far is (surprise, surprise!) a Christmas movie, The Trouble with Mistletoe. Based on the second book in Jill Shalvis' Heartbreaker Bay series, this movie features a steamy love story, some snappy dialogue, gorgeous lighting and settings, and, best of all, a gorgeous hero (none of those rather bland, square-jawed heroes Hallmark favours, but an honest-to-goodness swoon-worthy hero).

I've known of author Jill Shalvis for years (and heard her speak at the RWA conference in San Diego), and I've had a number of her books on my Kindle for ages, but it was only after watching this movie that I started to read her Heartbreaker Bay books. I'm loving the books, and now I can appreciate how closely the Passionflix writer(s) have kept to the original story, which is a rarity in movie adaptations.

Whether you choose to read the book or watch the movie, do yourself a favour and explore the world of Heartbreaker Bay. And if you're in South Africa, and not yet ready to commit to a subscription to Passionflix, The Trouble with Mistletoe is also available to watch through Amazon.