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Dan's Review: "We Love You, Sally Carmichael!" A sweet, yet common romantic comedy

Aug 14, 2017 12:54AM ● Published by Dan Metcalf

Elizabeth Tulloch and Christopher Gorham in We Love You, Sally Carmichael! - © 2017 Go Films.

We Love You, Sally Carmichael! (Go Films)

Rated PG.

Starring Christopher Gorham, Elizabeth Tulloch, Sebastian Roché, Andie Nibley, Jack McBrayer, Paula Marshall, David Nibley, Alicia Hannah, Perez Hilton.

Written by Daryn Tufts.

Directed by Christopher Gorham.

GRADE: B

REVIEW:

I have a few hang-ups when it comes to romantic comedies. The biggest problem is they all seem to follow the same basic formula: Two people who are obviously meant for each other must find a way to overcome some obstacle to arrive at a predestined conclusion. If the story is well written and the characters are developed properly, I can sometimes be entertained along the way, but it’s a rare occasion. We Love You, Sally Carmichael!, a new romantic comedy that recently appeared in local theaters has an added degree of difficulty, since it was produced here in Utah. Local productions tend to be well intentioned, but often lack high caliber acting or production value.

Christopher Gorham (who seems to look the part of a Mormon, having also portrayed an LDS missionary in 2001’s The Other Side of Heaven) plays Mormon author Simon Hayes, who writes a successful (yet critically panned) series of young adult romance “Siren” novels about a love affair between a woman and a merman under the pseudonym Sally Carmichael (Gorham also makes his directorial debut in the film). Simon hates the books and copes with their success with his anonymity. His publishers (Jack McBrayer and Paula Marshall) force Simon to meet with an eccentric but major movie star named Quinn Perry (Sebastian Roché) who wants to star in the film adaptation, but only if he can meet the real Sally Carmichael. Simon agrees to avoid being sued. Along the way, Simon encounters a “Siren” fan club and lets loose on his real feelings about the books, which grabs the attention of a bookstore owner named Tess (Elizabeth Tulloch), who also owns a small independent newspaper. Tess convinces Simon to write an editorial about the “Siren” books, which goes viral, bringing a lot of unwanted attention. In the meantime, a romance sparks between Simon & Tess (a widowed single mother) and Perry spills the beans about Sally Carmichael’s true identity.

So, the good news is, We Love You Sally Carmichael! is about as good as any major motion picture release romantic comedy. The less-than-good news is, it follows the same basic formula as most rom-coms, making it less than memorable when compared to all those major studio films.  

Even so, there are a few genuine laughs to be had in We Love You Sally Carmichael!, mostly at the expense of the recent Twilight book/film phenomenon, authored by the very real Mormon scribe Stephenie Meyer. The absurdity of a love affair between a human and mythical creature is entirely conspicuous throughout the film, but there’s also a heartfelt message in there about the love affair between fans and creators, suggesting that it’s okay indulge yourself in a little absurd romance, even if it’s absurd.  

Despite Gorham’s light touch directing and some quality actors on board, there are a few moments when We Love You, Sally Carmichael! suffers from a few “quality” gaffes, like poorly constructed news local news coverage scenes and some supporting actors that are obviously, well…local.

These small flaws don't completely ruin We Love You Sally Carmichael!, a sweet film that should resonate with audiences inside Utah and beyond.


We Love You, Sally Carmichael! Trailer

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