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Ryan Paevey Fumbles Hallmark's "Fourth Down and Love"

Sparks are reignited when a single mother and a pro football player coincidentally meet again on her daughter's flag football field after his career is interrupted by a sports injury.

Starring:  Pascale Hutton and Ryan Paevey

Fourth Down and Love
Image:  Hallmark Media

Fourth Down and Love Has Some Cringeworthy Moments 

Fourth Down and Love has the trappings for a great Fall movie since it's about the number one, all-American pastime--football--but it still fails to chalk up points on the scoreboard.

I'm not a fan of football and don't pretend to understand it, but Hallmark fans who follow the sport have commented on social media that many of the football-related scenes are riddled with errors.  

You don't have to follow football to notice how out-of-place Ryan Paevey looks on the field.  He's a pretty boy, not a jock.

Erin (Pascale Hutton) and Mike (Paevey) are former college sweethearts.  She ended their relationship years previously because she didn't want to stand in the way of his career aspirations.  

Now, as a divorced mom with a daughter on the flag football team Mike is coaching, Erin can't avoid him.

Mike stays with his brother and sister-in-law while he recuperates from another injury.  The couple tries to play Cupid to reunite Mike and Erin, who clearly still have feelings for each other, but their methods are embarrassingly awkward.  The entire family gathers at the window to spy on Erin and Mike without trying to hide, and in one scene, Danielle asks for help "organizing the pantry" to give the ex-lovebirds time alone.  Who invites guests over and uses cleaning the pantry as an exit strategy?  The writers undoubtedly were striving for comedy, but the results are cringeworthy, not funny.

When Mike's mom, protective of her son's heart, is reacquainted with Erin, she gives Erin the "I'm watching you" signal, which no normal mom would openly do.  

Tacky moments like these are sprinkled throughout the movie, and they only make the viewer feel uncomfortable, not entertained.

Fourth Down and Love Offers Another Empty Performance by Ryan Paevey

I don't want to give Ryan Peavey fans a stroke from my unpopular opinion, but aside from his hunky good looks, Paevey is a poor actor.  There.  I said it.  

Think back over Paevey's Hallmark filmography.  His acting is soulless in each one.  

You might argue that Hallmark roles are so similar that actors are limited to the same recycled character traits and don't have the opportunity to plunge deeper emotionally.  If that's your stance, consider movies featuring favorite stars like Lacey Chabert, Tyler Hynes, or Andrew Walker.  Chabert always exudes warmth, but she can also be quite playful.  Hynes is romantic, sensitive, and witty.  Walker is sardonic and possibly the best Hallmark kisser.  

What does Paevey bring to the table, aside from his gorgeous face?  Nothing.  He delivers every line in every movie with the same emotionless monotone and rarely seems connected to his leading lady.  His eyes are lifeless.

Fourth Down and Love
Image:  Hallmark Media

Maybe acting isn't Paevey's calling.  After all, he grew up working in construction with his father and bartending.  When he was scouted for modeling in high school, he initially turned down opportunities before ultimately accepting one, which led to his first acting role in General Hospital.  

Considering that Paevey launched his own brand called Fortunate Wanderer, selling custom prints of photography from his travels, hand-made jewelry, and outdoor gear, maybe acting is a way to pay the bills but not where his heart belongs.  "Heart" is certainly lacking in his roles, though he's often saved by his co-stars.  In the case of Fourth Down and Love, Hutton is in the zone and able to make a few touchdowns for the cast with her humor and animated antics.

More "Woke" Themes in Fourth Down and Love

Hallmark can't resist injecting political ideology from the left-wing playbook into many of their newer movies, and Fourth Down and Love is no exception.  

Erin's daughter, Kiera, is on an all-boys flag football team, and the boys avoid throwing the ball to her, even though she's a great player.  Kiera stumbles upon the existence of an all-girl team, which she joins, and the girls win the championship when pitted against the boys' team.

The social commentary Hallmark is making aligns with militant feminist doctrine.  The underlying accusation is that boys are misogynistic and forever a source of toxic masculinity, and that girls can do anything a boy can.  Financial resources exist to fund the boys' team, but the girls have to work harder at fundraising to be able to add more girls' flag football teams to the roster. 

Fourth Down and Love
Image:  Hallmark Media

This is like the ridiculousness of girls citing discrimination when they are scorned for wanting to be in the boy scouts, as if there isn't a female equivalent they could join.

If you want to write a story about a girls' flag football team, fine.  But, to include overtones that "men are bad" to bash the patriarchy is woke garbage and doesn't belong in a Hallmark movie.

Is Fourth Down and Love Worth Watching?

While some of the scenes fall out of bounds in Fourth Down and Love, the movie is worth watching once, especially if you're a Paevey fan.  If you decide to pass, you won't be missing anything.

Fourth Down and Love
Image:  Hallmark Media


  1. I agree with these comments. Ryan is good looking but not the best actor in my opinion. I disagree with the Tyler Hynes comment though. I don't think he's the greatest actor and doesn't show a lot of emotion to me


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