Rosamunde Pilcher: Valentine’s Kiss (TV 2014, 2 x 90 Minutes)



Part One

Valentine is famous for writing parenting guide books and being the perfect mother, wife and woman. But then out of the blue her husband Nicholas announces that he wants a divorce and leaves her, then a short while later their teenage kids decide to go and live with him. The timing couldn’t be worse as their twenty something daughter, Sophie, is about to get married. So even as things get nasty between Valentine and Nicholas the wedding forces them to regularly collide. On top of this Valentine’s got a book coming out that her pushy agent says needs to sell millions to keep the publisher afloat. Gradually Valentine comes to accept that over the years her work life balance has gone badly wrong and realises that she must learn to be a better mother, change and somehow get her kids back from the manipulative Nicholas who now only cares about getting as much money from her as he can in their bitterly fought divorce, so he can start a new life with his long term lover.

Whilst all this is going on, a friend tries to set Valentine up with the handsome local aristocrat Lord Mallory and a charming but roguish journalist called Daniel enters her life. Although Daniel is there to write a magazine article about Valentine they end up having a one night stand and even though they deny it they fall in love. But when Valentine reads his article she feels betrayed by him because he wrote something that she said off the record whilst in a vulnerable state. Valentine refuses to see Daniel anymore and when her lawyers say that the article will be used against her in the divorce Valentine gets him fired from the magazine. After that whenever their paths cross there are angry fireworks between them, even though deep down they still have intense feelings for each other.

Meanwhile Sophie’s fast track career threatens to come to a sudden halt when she unexpectedly gets pregnant. This puts pressure on her relationship with her fiancée Grant in the run up to their wedding and Sophie is in danger of making the same mistakes that her parents did. Then when the big wedding day finally arrives tragedy strikes throwing Sophie and those around her into a spin.

Part Two

As the divorce becomes an all-out war Valentine’s reputation is being so badly damaged by Nicholas and his lawyers that her fans and publishers start turning against her. She realises she is in danger of losing not just half of her house and wealth but also her entire career. So with the help of her pushy agent, who up until now has been pressuring Valentine to air her dirty laundry in public and cash in on the notoriety, she must fight back to regain the trust of the public and her family. At the same time Valentine must be strong enough to help Sophie recover from a painful loss and stop her from destroying her own marriage before it has really even started. As only with her mother’s help will Sophie be able to recover and start to rebuild a successful life with the man that she loves.

Then after years of frustration and failure Nicholas finally achieves success as a theatre director. But it’s a hollow victory as his selfish behaviour has by then alienated his kids and he realises success is meaningless without them. At the same time Lord Mallory tries to persuade Valentine that she will learn to love him if she would only give him a chance, but in her heart she knows it won’t work.

Eventually as Valentine manages to win back the affection of her children and become a better mother she realises that Daniel was just being truthful in his article, that what he wrote wasn’t intended to hurt her; it’s just that he can see her more clearly than anyone else. Then Valentine and Nicholas have the final showdown in the court and after all the fireworks, these two now changed people are able to come to an amicable divorce. Then try and begin their now separate lives.

Whilst all this is going on Daniel suddenly realises that his avoidance of long term relationships is the reason he is lonely and that love is more important than work. So even though life and fate seems intent on keeping them apart Valentine and Daniel finally stop arguing long enough to admit that they are perfect for each other and they kiss. The kind of kiss that lasts a lifetime…

Cast & Crew

CastKatja Weitzenböck, Rupert Graves, Eliza Hope Bennett, Zoe Tapper, Jean Yves Berteloot, Nina Schmieder, John Hannah und Eileen Atkins
DirectorSarah Harding
WriterMatthew Thomas
Director of PhotographyDavid Marsh
Production DesignerJeff Tessler
CostumesJacky Levy
MusicJennie Muskett
EditorDavid Rees
ProductionVerena von Heeremann
(Executive Producer ZDF)
Herbert G. Kloiber
(Executive Producer)
Rikolt von Gagern (Producer)