In-Lawfully Yours {Jesse and Naomi} (Movie Review)

Plot Summary

When Jesse catches her husband Chaz cheating on her, she immediately files for divorce.  But as they are trying to finalize the details, Chaz’s father dies, leaving his mother in turmoil as she fights against an evil company trying to buy her house so they can tear it down. Jesse feels an obligation to take care of her ex-mother-in-law as her ex-husband tries to hurry her out of her own home.  As she helps her ex-mother-in-law pack up her belongings, Jesse finds herself falling for Ben, the local pastor, who is actually her ex-brother-in-law and used to be married to her ex-husband’s sister.  But as the two of them grow closer, Chaz works to stir up the small town of Bethel Grove against them, possibly threatening to end their relationship forever.


Production Quality (2 points)

In-Lawfully Yours checks the box of having a nice surface appearance.  Money was obviously spent on camera work, video quality, and audio quality.  The soundtrack is a silly ‘small town’ composition, but it’s obviously a jab to stupid Hallmark soundtracks.  The sets and locations are pretty good for this type of movie and obviously showcase the ‘small town’ elements this movie is trying to make fun of.  The biggest problem here is the editing.  Even if you’re creating a satire, this does not mean that editing should be ignored.  In-Lawfully Yours is just a random collection of spliced together ‘funny’ scenes with little continuity between them.  In short, this film meets the minimum production standard Christian films should meet, but this does not mean that it’s flawless.

Plot and Storyline Quality (.5 point)

In-Lawfully Yours is obviously an attempt at satirizing a stereotypical Hallmark small town romance film.  The problem is that the satire is not completely committed to.  At times, the satire is painfully obvious, though not always funny, yet at other times, satire is arbitrarily abandoned.  Dialogue is purposely nonsensical, ripe with offhand swipes and nods to cheesy movie concepts.  But sometimes meaning is awkwardly forced into the dialogue.  Characters are noticeably empty, but they don’t live up to their full comic potential.  Satirical scenes and concepts, like the infamous interrupting-church-services bit from Hidden Secrets, are vastly overused to the point of embarrassment.  This aside is actually the entire purpose of this plot, and its overuse is cringe-worthy.  In the end, everything is neatly fixed in purposefully childish ways.  Essentially, In-Lawfully Yours is a poor man’s Christian Mingle.

Acting Quality (0 points)

Unfortunately, satires still need good acting.  Throwing your cast members into scenes without giving them coaching is no better than Hallmark.  Had the acting been better, this film might have actually been funny.  Emotions are either stale or over the top.  Line delivery is mostly lazy.  It’s disappointing that the acting wasn’t better, because I think there was potential here.


Corbin Bernsen has become somewhat infamous for creating subtle parodies of Hallmark movies, but In-Lawfully Yours tries a bit too hard.  Where Christian Mingle was organic satire, this new film wears out the same concepts over and over again and forces comedy down your throat.  It could have been interesting—tongue-in-cheek references to small town movie clichés are perfectly adequate when executed properly.  But when it comes to satire, familiarity breeds contempt.  Silly Hallmark concepts deserve to be made fun of, but this one is just too repetitive to be funny.


Final Rating: 2.5 out of 10 points

14 thoughts on “In-Lawfully Yours {Jesse and Naomi} (Movie Review)

Add yours

  1. Having read this I thought it was really enlightening. I appreciate you taking the
    time and energy to put this informative article together.

    I once again find myself spending a lot of time both reading and commenting.

    But so what, it was still worth it!


  2. I thought that the review of this movie was great. I don’t think it is offensive at all i just think it tells the truth that nobody wants to admit that hallmark isn’t holy. Hallmark has always been considered makers of meaningful movies which at one point they were better but now a days all they seem to care about is hearts flowers and vanity!


  3. We watched the movie last night, and it was delightful. Perhaps the reviewer worked too hard to find fault. The acting was fine, especially M. Henner. Not at all a satire, but just a sweet love story.


    1. Thanks for reading! I was actually looking forward to this movie because I thought it would be a good comedy, but I was disappointed. I definitely agree with the consensus that there is a desperate need for wholesome family entertainment. In my opinion, Christian entertainment can do better than this and the purpose of this blog is to use constructive criticism to encourage Christian creators to do better. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!


  4. I’m truly offended at the Hallmark satirization comments… First, there is nothing wrong with the movies that Hallmark independently produces. A great deal of hard work goes into satisfying that gaping hole in entertainment that isn’t full of trash. Secondly, stereotypes come from somewhere, and I felt this small-town atmosphere was very true to form. The movie itself was delightful, and was everything I was looking for in an uplifting, Christian themed movie. I heartily enjoyed it!


    1. Thank you for reading this blog! You are certainly entitled to your opinion; it is not our intention to offend anyone. It is definitely true that there is a gaping hole in modern entertainment and we desperately need more wholesome movies from Christian creators. However, we still maintain that Hallmark movies need to be more realistic in their portrayal of people and circumstances. Every person is different, but I personally feel that Hallmark does not represent me. Thanks again for reading and God bless!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Great blog love what you’re doing I think it is sad and shameful how most christian movie producers overthink spreading the gospel. Bible movies are especially worn out and almost never portrayed the right way. Bible movies should be some of the easiest films to make because all they would have to do is just read the actual stories in the bible as a script and not use british actors. Anyway i think this blog is really successful!


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