Starring Erica Durance and Jordan Young
Lily (Durance), a marketing expert with dreams of becoming a photographer, has quit her job and is going to Scotland for a vacation with her mom, Kait (Jo Cameron Brown). They stay with Cait’s old friend Mairi (Juliet Cadzow), mother of Logan (Young), and the mothers attempt to bring Lily and Logan together. When the whiskey distillery Logan runs with his brothers faces stiff competition from a copycat firm, Lily works with him to revamp the marketing of a new product he’s about to launch. She gradually grows close to him and his son, but their romance is threatened when a secret Kait has been keeping from Lily comes to light.
The movie was directed by Heather Hawthorn Doyle, whose credits include two excellent Hallmark films, The More Love Grows (2023) and The Secrets of Bella Vista (2022).
Erica Durance. The actress was likeable as down-to-earth Lily, and I enjoyed watching how the character bonded almost immediately with Logan’s endearing son, Finn (Bradley Connell). This movie gave Durance the opportunity to show her considerable range, first in the scene in which Logan mentioned Kait’s illness. Lily was furious that Logan, who she expected transparency and honesty from, hadn’t told her before that her mother was ill. The drama escalated when Lily learned from Mairi that Kait was terminally ill with liver cancer; the news shattered her. Durance was equally effective in the scene in which Lily confronted her mother to ask her why she’d hidden her illness from her. The actress was the best reason for watching this movie.
The lighter aspects. Kait and Mairi playfully conspired for Lily to bump into Logan. And when Lily and Logan went out for dinner, the mothers giggled like schoolgirls as they speculated about how the date was going. The matchmaking mothers were one of the cheerier features of A Scottish Love Scheme. Also enjoyable was the fun day of sightseeing that Finn planned just for Lily and Kait, which included a tea party on the beach and kite flying. Finn’s special gift created indelible memories for Lily to treasure.
A picturesque setting. The movie was filmed in East Lothian, Scotland, and featured verdant countryside, a quaint historical town with places with whimsical names such as the Foraging Goat, a stone bridge, and a magnificent castle, all of which was appealing.
The romance. This moved sluggishly, perhaps because it featured a “mature” couple; they’d both been married before and might have been more cautious than younger people would be about entering a new relationship. Lily and Logan’s conversation as they got to know one another focused largely on their marketing efforts, which wasn’t all that interesting. Though chemistry was apparent, first when they were dancing in the pub, it wasn’t powerful, and when Lily and Logan finally confessed their feelings for one another, right before the kiss on the bridge, the declaration seemed stilted. Young had such a subdued presence in this film, and because of that, Durance easily outshone her costar. Middle-aged romance needn’t be this uninspiring, Hallmark.
The lie. Lily was upset that everyone around her knew that Kait was ill but didn’t say a word about it. To be fair, Logan assumed Lily already knew—a perfectly reasonable assumption on his part. After learning from Logan that Kait was ill, Lily had to pry additional details from Mairi, who balked, saying at first that it wasn’t her place to reveal them. Then she admitted how serious the situation was. The unfairness of this subterfuge didn’t sit well with me. Kait said she’d hid the news because she didn’t want to taint her last trip with Lily, but she owed her daughter the truth so that Lily could process the news and work through her emotions. The lie was unnatural—what mother wouldn’t tell her beloved daughter she was dying?—and seemed cooked up specifically to intensify the drama.
The accents. The movie was clearly striving for authenticity—usually a good thing—but the Scottish accents, particularly those of the male actors, made their speech difficult to decipher. This was a deterrent to getting through this movie.
Erica Durance’s clothing. Many of her outfits were in drab colors and conservative to the point of being dowdy, making the actress look older than her forty-five years. I’m not sure why the the costume department couldn’t have made her appear more stylish.
My grade for A Scottish Love Scheme: C-
Caroline Kaiser is a professional book editor who specializes in fiction and memoirs, and she’s been guiding writers toward publication since 2007. Caroline is also the author of two ghostly mystery novels, Virginia’s Ghost and The Spirits of South Drive. Before she embarked on an editing and writing career, she spent many years working in a Toronto auction house as an antiques appraiser. Apart from curling up on the couch and drinking tea as she watches Hallmark movies, Caroline enjoys baking and exploring London, Ontario, the picturesque city she now calls home. Her website is www.carolinekaisereditor.com.