Preview by Joshua Maloni
Jennifer Love Hewitt is underrated.
There are many thoughts running through my mind having just watched her CBS film "The Lost Valentine." But that impression is the strongest.
It's not to say the movie is without merit. It's actually quite evocative, this tale of a soldier compelled to fight for his country and the love he leaves behind. Heart tugging and hopeful, "The Lost Valentine" is worth its placement in the Hallmark Hall of Fame series. It's even something a dude could watch and not feel any less manly.
And Hewitt is largely responsible.
As an actress, she's never been more "real." She's transparent as TV journalist Susan, and it's easy to imagine what her character is going through as she struggles with a job she love-hates, a boyfriend who's hardly around, and a new family she happens upon. Hewitt's character is worth rooting for, and her performance is worth notice.
As a producer, Hewitt nabbed one of TV's hottest talents: the resilient Betty White. Perhaps best known for her role as Rose Nylund on "The Golden Girls," White has risen to the top lately for her comedic turns in "30 Rock," "Community" and "Saturday Night Live."
In "The Lost Valentine," White goes against the grain and shows off her serious acting chops. White stars as Caroline, a young wife whose husband, Neil, is called off to duty right as she's about to give birth to their first child. Caroline says goodbye to Neil at Union Station on Valentine's Day, and then returns annually for 65 years waiting - hoping - the two will someday be reunited.
It's a touching story and another reminder that Hewitt deserves more credit within her industry. Having moved past such projects as "The Tuxedo" and "Garfield," Hewitt quarterbacked a successful series on CBS ("Ghost Whisperer"), skillfully took on the role of a housewife turned prostitute in last year's "The Client List," and followed that up with a guest starring role as a multiple rape victim on "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit." Now, she's produced a love story sure to captivate and inspire audiences.
Though movie star her looks once defined her as a celebrity, and her work in youth-oriented projects such as "Party of Five" and "I Know What You Did Last Summer" once defined her as an actress, Hewitt has proven of late that she has the talent to be taken seriously as an actress and a producer.
In speaking about her role on "SVU," Hewitt said she figured it was time she grew up and took on more meaningful and socially conscious roles. It's time Hollywood grows up, moves beyond Hewitt's past projects, and gives her the chance to work on projects befitting someone with this level of talent.
"The Lost Valentine" airs Sunday, Jan. 30, at 9 p.m. on CBS.