Some sequels are never meant to happen. They trivialize the original. I watched and enjoyed The Note (2007, Hallmark Channel) with Genie Francis as Peyton McGruder and Ted McGinley as Kingston Danville in the lead roles. And as chick flicks go, I could have easily written the script and endings for a solid sequel. Unfortunately, I didn't write. I watched the sequel, Taking A Chance On Love.
In The Note, the scope went beyond the standard chick flick genre to include a broader message of forgiveness. The movie tracked smoothly. Peyton desperately searched to heal her own emotional wounds with the forgiveness promised in a letter she found washed ashore from an ocean crashed plane. This was a mellow movie worth the view. The Note II – Take a Chance on Love was so disconnected that if I had not taken an assignment to review it, I would have given up and clicked elsewhere after the first 15 minutes.
In this sequel, Peyton is challenged in a letter from a reader to defend her belief expressed in her Heart Healer column that "passion should be tempered with caution". After her curiosity and personal agenda compel her to contact the letter writer, the storyline becomes a jumbled skipping back and forth between parenting and romantic issues. Viewers endured flashbacks to the '60s to witness the letter writer's tale of a love lost to practicality. At that point, every viewer should have been able to predict with a certainty that by the end of the movie the estranged couple would…. well, just say I won't spoil the ending for you in case you haven't seen the beginning.
Especially for a chick flick, The Note II is very flat and lacks the flash to at least inspire the rolled eyes reaction to the predictable happy endings of mediocre chick flicks. However, although very clumsily done, I was entertained by a number of relationship issues that The Note II exposed.
The flick briefly touched upon the very real post divorce impact on children. Long-term issues of blame and guilt often divide parents and children, especially when communication is poor. Kingston attempted a fatherly reconnection after a relationship cutoff from his 19-year-old son, due to an emotionally conflicted divorce some 12 years earlier. The resolution of the relationship was left hanging in this movie. Another sequel perhaps?
Peyton's developing relationship with her newly found 19-year-old daughter was thrown in as a sideline and not fully developed. But I chuckled at the teen’s trite reminder to her mother that, "Mother doesn't have an ‘S’ in front of it."
Another relationship hot topic, marital infidelity, was added to the mix. But again, the movie failed to enrich the theme into clear relevance. Overall, The Note II seems to have a lot of different ‘chapter titles’ mentioned without any writing on the pages or going any where.
I have a favorite line from the movie, which came near the end. I suppose my time was not fully wasted because of it. From the voiceover where Peyton was writing her column, we hear "… confront the ghosts determined to destroy my future." Peyton's ghosts included marital betrayal, attempted suicide, giving up her child for adoption, and other unmentioned trauma.
As a therapist, I cannot resist commenting that, if left unresolved, these types of emotional traumas and many others realistically destroy or interfere with healthy relationships and the experience of enduring love and romance. In the end, I find that the strong message of both The Note I and The Note II is to "find your ghost and bust it” to have a chance at love.
If you like chick flicks, The Note II – Take a Chance on Love, might be an okay watch on a slow night.