Just One Kiss Review

By BobJ Jun 7, 2023

Literature professor and lounge singer encounter one another through chance encounters and soon fall in love – unaware that their budding romance is due to an intricate plan devised by both mothers!

Krysta Rodriguez takes the role of Mia while Santino Fontana plays Tony, an up-and-coming performer in Manhattan supper club. Illeana Douglas and Aida Turturro complete the cast.

Plot

Just One Kiss, featuring Krysta Rodriguez and Santino Fontana as Krysta and Santino respectively, premiered as part of Hallmark Channel’s “Spring Into Love” lineup on April 2, 2013. The story revolves around an English professor at college who meets an eccentric club headliner before they fall in love and discover that each has something they have in common with each other.

Mia and Tony both face issues; her former flame is returning, while he has just recovered from heartbreak. But they find comfort in one another and begin spending more time together; bonding over Rosie as well.

Just One Kiss stands out from recent Hallmark films by departing from standard cliches such as an aborted kiss or misunderstood moment leading to separation and reconciliation, not sugarcoating divorce and acknowledging children must deal with losing a parent – making this movie standout among other Hallmark offerings and making Just One Kiss an outstanding 2022 Hallmark flick! Furthermore, its feature cast includes Broadway actors and singers — something not often found among Hallmark films!

Cast

Krysta Rodriguez stars as literature professor Mia who is starting a new chapter with her daughter Rosie and unexpectedly encounters Tony, an attractive headliner in a Manhattan supper club, through a series of chance meetings.

As they spend more time together, romance blooms between Mia and Tony as well as developing a closeness between their daughters. Unfortunately, obstacles do arise including Mia’s soon-to-be ex-husband and Tony’s overbearing mother.

Fisher Stevens directed and wrote the script for this film, featuring both live action scenes as well as rotoscoped animation.

Just One Kiss’ is a delightful departure from typical Hallmark tropes. With an exceptional supporting cast and even though its male lead may not stand out particularly, this film still makes for a fantastic viewing experience overall. Additionally, this Hallmark movie manages to acknowledge divorce without resorting to either convenient dead parent trope or unrealistic co-parenting arrangements.

Director

On April 2, 2022, Hallmark Channel premiered a romantic comedy movie directed by Fisher Stevens and written by Patrick Breen titled ‘Spring Into Love.’ Krysta Rodriguez stars as Mia Rivera opposite Santino Fontana who portrays Tony Delaney; Krysta has previously appeared in shows like Quantico Daybreak Smash as well as singing duets with Fontana including duets of classic romance songs such as Fly Me to the Moon dueting with Illeana Douglas who portrays Mia’s mother Marlene while Aida Turturro portrays Sofia who plays Sofia who plays Tony’s mother compared with Krysta Rodriguez’s voice work!

Monnette Sudler of Philadelphia jazz musician fame offers a relaxing and soothing musical track for this film. While she is well-recognized on her home scene, Sudler remains relatively unknown to audiences outside her own city. Additionally, this movie blends live action scenes with rotoscoped animation – providing Turturro with his first Hallmark experience! He described it as being like being involved with one big hang-out session!

Rating

Just One Kiss offers an enjoyable departure from the usual Hallmark movie tropes. While there is the predictable aborted kiss and miscommunication scene that leads to separation and reconciliation, this one excels due to a very talented performance by its protagonist at an exclusive supper club he frequently sings in; though his singing voice sometimes misses by quarter notes occasionally (he excels despite this limitation!). He does an outstanding job.

Supporting cast members are very impressive, especially Krysta Rodriguez as Krysta’s female lead. Additionally, it is heartening to witness a movie which does not shy away from depicting the realities of divorce without sugarcoating its pain; plus it’s refreshing that unlike many Hallmark movies with musical themes this one features jazz musicians rather than Broadway performers/singers in leading roles (something which we haven’t seen much in 2022). Monnette Sudler of Philadelphia jazz guitarist fame plays an outstanding part here and Monnette Sudler does very well here despite being unfamiliar to many audiences.

By BobJ

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