Recap: June in January (2014)

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Surprise, surprise: another Hallmark movie that really, really doesn’t like women.

Let’s meet Alex and June. Alex (Wes Brown) is a lawyer and June (Brooke D’Orsay) is a nurse practitioner and they have been dating for two years.  He proposes to her at his parents’ annual New Year’s Eve party and his mom, Diane, barely keeps the sourpuss look off her face long enough to raise a glass for the happy couple. Diane does not approve of June. Why? Because women are always jealous and competitive of one another, that’s why.

Another woman the movie wants us to hate is Bethany, Alex’s former college friend. Bethany’s a major B, and I’m soooooo bored of seeing bitchy mean girls being bitchy for the mere sake of conflict. Bethany is grossed out by June’s job – nurse practitioner – and we learn that she’s moved to town to be Diane’s assistant. Diane, of course, is a top interior designer in the whole country. Imagine that.

After the party, Alex and June say goodnight to one another. Wait a second. Alex has to be around 30, and he still lives with his parents why? They just got engaged and are not even spending the night together? I’m suspicious that this movie has seriously old-fashioned morals under the surface here. When she gets home, she pulls out the creepiest wedding scrapbook I’ve ever seen, and that’s including Monica’s.

Flashback sequence to June as a young child, poring over her parents’ wedding album with her mom. They’re talking about June’s fantasy wedding, which will be in a rose garden on a June day, with a string quartet and surrounded by close friends and family.

She wakes up the next morning, and greets her dad in her mom’s wedding dress. WEIRD, DUDE. This is her way of telling her dad that Alex proposed, I guess. Also, she’s been living with her dad since her mom passed away three years ago. Her dad exposits that she’s been planning her wedding her whole life, so she basically has everything planned out already. I have lots of Feelings about the treatment of women in this movie, but we’ll get to that later.

June works at a family clinic, with Tessa as her receptionist. She shows up to congratulations from the patients in the waiting room, and then diagnoses an Italian man nicknamed Maestro with Seasonal Affective Disorder. Fun stuff, huh?

Later, she tours the rose gardens with Alex. She wants to book it for their June wedding (for someone who is obsessed with weddings, she sure has NO IDEA how booking a venue actually works) and he is just happy to marry her wherever. While he has to take a mysterious phone call, she goes to the florist to book her very specific floral arrangements.

Alex is a lawyer, which Hallmark HATES, but they’re about to improve his stock: he just got a job offer at a top environmental firm to litigate environmental law. But it’s in Cleveland and he has to move in three weeks. Hold up. He sought out a head-hunter to find him a better job, had an interview with a firm in another state, and got a job offer and accepted without waiting to discuss with his fiancée? Alex is a horrible, horrible life partner.

This obviously fucks their June wedding up, so he wants to marry her right away, because his logic is that if they wait to marry in June, it means living long-distance for three months. What? Why? It’s very simple, you dummy. You both move there, you ask for a shitload of help from local friends and family, and you plan it for June. DONE. I have known many people who have successfully planned their wedding from a completely different country, don’t be so damn lazy!

June is visibly upset about this decision, but finally relents. Their wedding is in three weeks. I am sad for June.

Meanwhile, Bethany and Diana co-conspire because Hallmark Women Are Awful. We find out that Alex and June met when Alex went into the clinic for a strep throat. Mmm, romantic. Bethany is like, how convenient that a nurse practitioner is marrying a rich dude. Diana agrees, even though merely one Google search revealed that family nurse practitioners can net up to $90K a year. So….

When none of their alternate venues work out, Alex and June decide to ask Diana for some help, since she’s well-connected. D just straight up offers to host the wedding at their house instead; Alex is relieved while June is very reluctant, probably because she’s watched Monster-in-Law. Later, while jogging together, she confesses to Alex she’s worried that his mother will take over the wedding planning, and that she doesn’t approve of her because of her job? And he reassures her that she’s an N.P. (unspoken: rather than just a nurse) and ugh.

Listen, not everyone gets a dream MIL. When she communicated her concerns to Alex, he should’ve called Ol’ D up and set her straight: we appreciate all your help, but please let us plan this on our own. This is not June’s responsibility; when it’s your family, it’s on you.

Alex is stressed about his share of the wedding to-do list because he has no idea about anything. Hallmark Men: Hopelessly Clueless. His BFF Matt literally goes, “Yeah well, you’re a guy.” I’m grinding my teeth. Diana sees her opening, and offers to help out, since she’s got great connections. Alex takes her up on it because he refuses to be accountable for anything.

Wes Brown makes Alex a halfway decent dude, mostly because he’s so very much a twin of Kerr Smith, but Alex is such a brutal character: he put the pressure on her to have the wedding right away, knowing that her only dream was to have a June wedding. When she explained why this bothered her, his only solution was to postpone the wedding, but she was already halfway through preparations by then. Don’t act all put-upon about your rightful share of wedding tasks when you are the only reason you’re in this exact position.

Brooke D’Orsay has a really quiet, genuine moment when she tries on her mom’s wedding dress for a fitting and cries about missing her. It’s very nice and realistic, and I’m not going to make fun of it.

Ah, the wicked women of interior design are brewing some trouble across town. Diana inquires if Bethany and Alex ever boned down (more or less); Bethany admits she wished it so, but he was dating her roommate instead. She mentions that after he broke up with the roommate, she thought they shared a Significant Moment at a party once. I’m very certain you did not, Bethany. Diana gives her the photographer’s portfolio to bring over to Alex, and Bethany jumps at the chance.

At his office, she is slinky and coy and stretching all over his desk like a cat in heat. He’s oblivious.

When June looks at the photographer’s work, she thinks it’s too serious and dramatic for their vibe and rejects it. She doesn’t understand why he didn’t just go with one of her preferred photographers, which means Alex couldn’t figure out how to look at pricing packages online or call a few people? Alex does not deserve June. Alex admits that it was his mom that set it all up, and June realizes that her worst fear (a meddling Diana) is coming true.

June’s dad is dating a lady named Grace, who is nice and totally forgettable, but she does advise June to try getting along with Diana, rather than fight it the whole way. Or just have her son actually assert himself and make things right? Goddamnit, Hallmark. Once Grace leaves, June and her dad have a nice moment; he knows she’s more upset about moving away from her family, friends, and job, on top of missing her mom during this time. It’s pretty sad, you guys. This poor girl loves this schmuck and is going out of her way to accommodate what he wants, and getting very little in return.

June tries to take Grace’s advice and shows up at Diana’s office. Bethany makes fun of her scrubs, so let’s hope Bethany doesn’t need medical care in her future. Diana has already arranged a reverend and catering company for the wedding, without consulting with June, and she also wants to add her friends to the guest list. June is cowed and weakly agrees.

After June leaves, Bethany approaches Diana with Alex’s wedding to-do list. She’s added something she thinks they overlooked. Diana smiles evilly. What could it be?!

Tessa and June shop for the maid of honour dress, while Alex pouts during his suit shopping. Again, dude, this is on you. After their shopping trip, Alex wants to spend a nice night with June, but she still has a bunch of shit to do. Not only does she have to pack up her entire life, she has to arrange for a replacement at work, and plan her damn wedding in a week and a half. Fuck Alex and his perfectly coiffed head.

Bethany and Diana join Alex and June to taste the caterer’s menu. The only problem with it is that it’s vegetarian-only, with no meat options. June raises this concern and gets shot down by the other women. Alex: passive as can be.

June is officially pissed. She and Alex fight in the parking lot; he just wants to get married, whereas the wedding is super important to her. Alex says, “I have the Y chromosome. I just don’t care about the wedding details!” I’m not even going to deign this quote with a comment.

Oh, June’s engagement rings falls down her bathroom sink and when a young plumber comes to fish it out, she flirts with him. He warns her that his ex-wife never forgave him for not getting the wedding she wanted. Oh my god, why does this movie hate women so very much?

She’s officially freaking out and panics to Tessa about the bad omens: losing the ring, flirting with a stranger, etc. Unfortunately, Tessa tells her to calm down, because this wedding is important to her: Matt asked her to be his plus-one. But you were already going to the wedding! Would someone please just listen to June?

Bethany visits Alex at his office to drop off unspecified legal wedding documents from Diana. She invites him to lunch and he accepts. They reminisce a bit about the Good Old Times, and he’s amiable with her. She confesses that she not only had a crush on him back then, but that she still has one! She says that he’s making a huge mistake by marrying June, because he’s classy and she’s…not.

Alex’s reaction:
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Alex grows a backbone for approximately thirty seconds, wherein he ruthlessly tells her that he knew she had a crush on him. Why didn’t he act on it? He was never interested, because she was manipulative and self-serving, and nothing’s changed. With that, he leaves. See ya, B!

June and Alex quickly find out what those legal documents were: a pre-nup! (This was B’s suggestion to add to the to-do list) They both show up at Diana’s office to lose their respective shit on her. First of all, pre-nups are totally fine and very reasonable when either partner has a significant amount of assets to their name, JUST SAYING. But yes, obviously that was to be just a private decision between the actual couple themselves. Diana thinks he’s making a mistake with this marriage, because June’s just focused on the wedding. June snaps and calls it: the wedding is OFF! Finally! Alex, for maybe seven seconds, tears a strip off Diana for colluding with Bethany to ruin the wedding, and Diana seems to not have any idea that Bethany was meddling on her own.

June goes home to cry in bed all night, and ignores Alex when he tries to coax her out to apologize. When Diana gets home that night, Richard (her husband) is there to firmly but gently scold her for being a terrible person. In a pretty surprising turn, Diana agrees and seems to realize how badly she’s fucked things up.

The next day, Bethany shows up to work to see her stuff packed up. She’s fired! I have a problem with Diana essentially nurturing the mean, nasty streak in Bethany and then promptly hanging her out to dry, but whatever. Diana was an idiot and left a copy of the wedding contact list on her desk, so Bethany secretly steals it and warns Diana that she’s “going to regret this!” I mean, probably not though.

June’s dad gives her a letter from beyond the graaaaaaave. But really, it’s a letter that her mom wrote for June on her wedding day; her dad thinks it’s more suited for what she’s going through now. It’s a generic but sweet letter, and June cries some more. I’m not going to shit on this, you guys; I would’ve been inconsolable if I were June.

June and Alex meet up to apologize for everything, even though she really has nothing to apologize for. She wanted the wedding to be perfect, because she wanted her mom to be proud of her, since it was something they planned since she was little. For some reason, she gets down on one knee and proposes to him.

The day before the wedding, June and Alex are at the house, making sure the preparations are going smoothly. Diana pulls them aside to apologize, and offers her mother’s wedding ring to June as a gesture of goodwill. Wouldn’t you know it, the ring fits perfectly. June is smart to say that while it does help, it doesn’t mean she’s forgiven Diana.

Meanwhile, shady B calls the reverend. We don’t hear their conversation, but I’m sure it’s not to talk theology.

As such, the reverend is a no-show on the wedding day. Bethany told him it was cancelled, and now he’s out of town. Diana, in a scandalously short mother of the groom dress, tells the guests that due to a mix-up, the wedding will have to be postponed. But wait! Maestro – June’s Italian patient – has a cousin, Father Louis, that can do the job! Father Louis, as it turns out, was about to play golf so he is wearing golf pants with his collar.

As she descends the staircase in her mother’s wedding dress, June announces (to herself and her dad), “June, the January bride.” I discover that she hasn’t updated or modernizing the dress at all, including the billowy lace sleeves from the ‘70s. I feel bad being judgy about this, so I’ll keep my mouth shut.

The actual ceremony is very short and I didn’t pay attention to anything, because the pianist seated behind Diana and Richard was so distracting; his head was right between the two of them, and he faced away from the altar or looked back over his shoulder like so:IMG_20150323_201910

Who was in charge of this stage direction?

Oh yeah, and this movie ended on a really weird note: some guest turns to her husband and whispers, “You know they’re honeymooning in Cleveland.” What does that even mean? Are they not moving to Cleveland anymore? Was all of this for naught? Will Maestro ever recover from SAD? Will Bethany ever find happiness? Are Matt and Tessa meant to be because they’re the only black people in this movie?

THE END

2 Rating

The actors all did a nice job with the shitty material they had. This movie perpetuates so many gross and tiresome stereotypes about women in particular, that I can’t even give it a conditional pass. June was completely set up to fail. Women are raked over the coals for how well they plan and throw a wedding, whilst being sweet and accommodating throughout. She is making major, major sacrifices for this guy and he makes no attempts to consider her feelings, assert himself, or help her in any way.

I’m the real loser here for trying to fix this stupid fucking movie anyway.

Top IMDb Comment:

I was surprised this was dated 2014 it reminded me of an Ally McBeal ep.

5 thoughts on “Recap: June in January (2014)

  1. I liked the movie but then I had a mother in law much like Diana, told me to do whatever I wanted for our wedding but then became very pushy and pouty about her opinions on everything. The only consolation I got from my husband was when he called her one day and yelled at her saying you lied you didn’t want her to do whatever she wanted. That was 44 years ago. Hallmark seems to make movie that good for 50 years ago and good for the center of the country morals – sweet and sugary. I enjoyed your thoughts!

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  2. I enjoyed the movie but also thought Alex was very selfish to put himself before his bride.
    But I’d love to read you post without the foul language. My parents always told me if someone used bad language it was because they were too stupid or immature to come up with better verbiage.
    So please, do us all a favor and clean it up!

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  3. I cannot understand a couple things here: 1) Why did the writer of this so- called “review” found it necessary to put down a “feel good movie” and trash it with her personal comments, and 2) Why did the writer have to use such vulgar language? ( f word and the G__ Damn it word). A “RECAP” should just be facts of the movie, not personal opinions.

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