‘American Idol’ Star Lauren Alaina’s New Hallmark Movie is Both Cute and Cringe

Samantha Agate
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Lauren AlainaHallmark

Lauren Alaina stars as Callie Jackson in the new Hallmark film, Roadhouse Romance. The Season 10 American Idol runner-up has become a prominent voice in the country music scene since her time on the show. Alaina is a natural when it comes to acting in this light-hearted romance story. This is her second made-for-television film and certainly not her last.


Truthfully, most movies on the Hallmark Channel are super cringe. Roadhouse Romance definitely has its cringe-worthy moments. Most of them come from Tyler Hynes who plays Luke in the movie. Callie returns home from the Army to find that her family lost the recipe to her late grandfather’s signature barbecue sauce. It seems like a lackluster plot until you find out that their restaurant, Tucker’s Roadhouse, is struggling financially.

Lauren Alaina Shines in ‘Roadhouse Romance

The movie was filmed in Vancouver, Canada, but is set in Tennessee. Alaina is quirky and adorable, totally bringing her bubbly country personality to Roadhouse Romance. When the characters speak about Tucker’s Fall Music Festival, you know right then and there that Alaina is going to have several musical performances in the film.

Luke, the typical Hallmark hot guy, accidentally hits Callie’s truck pulling into a spot at Tucker’s Roadhouse. His car won’t start so he is forced to go inside and stay in one of the rooms. Luke is not a fan of country music which feels illegal in the presence of such an incredible American Idol country singer like Alaina. She performs the song “Run” at Tucker’s Roadhouse and sounds phenomenal as always.


Callie teaches Luke how to line dance, an homage to Alaina’s time on Dancing with the Stars. It is a bit of an awkward scene to watch because the chemistry just isn’t there. She later tries to recreate her grandfather’s barbecue sauce, which leads to a kitchen fire. Luke saves the day by helping her take care of a burn on her hand. This is the kind of scene that makes you want to roll your eyes.

When Callie’s dog, George Jones, steals an oven mitt out of the kitchen, she and Luke go running after him. Luke falls in the garden and gets covered in dirt. The fall looks pathetic. It’s the kind of fall that you watch back in slow motion and point out all of the flaws. Alaina gets props for running in heels during this ridiculous scene. She was obviously very committed to the role.

The Typical Hallmark Ending Happens Just as Expected

Callie sings again during an open mic scene in Roadhouse Romance and she’s fantastic. It gives so much nostalgia to Alaina’s time on American Idol where we got to see her blossom. Callie finds the barbecue sauce recipe eventually. The movie doesn’t have the typical Hallmark conflict where the couple fights and then reconciles. The main plot literally just centers around a condiment.


The most unexpected love story is the one between Luke’s manager Dan and Callie’s aunt. Of course, Luke’s girlfriend shows up, and it is back to reality for all of the characters. Tucker’s Fall Music Festival almost gets postponed due to low ticket sales, but then all 300 tickets miraculously get sold. It’s the most predictable part of Roadhouse Romance.

The American Idol alum stuns with yet another song at the festival, which is actually just a room with about 12 people in it. Filming during Covid might have affected how many people could be in the festival scene at one time. The movie ends with Luke breaking up with his girlfriend and kissing Callie. These people move on fast, a staple of Hallmark movie relationships.

If you love sappy romance movies and a few moments that will give you second-hand embarrassment, Roadhouse Romance is a film for you. Alaina is perfect for Hallmark because she is genuinely delightful to watch. I definitely think she could take on more challenging roles in the future. She would slay a role in a sitcom or a television series centered around music.

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