It’s been quite awhile since a professionally filmed in Vermont movie has occurred so this one was anticipated by many and filmed at a variety of locations, primarily in Chittenden County.
From IMDb: Two Vermont girls, Samantha and Jessamine, are each other’s everything. Their small-town way of life is suddenly jeopardized by two out-of-staters: Jess’s new fiancé and a corporation threatening Vermont’s age-old maple syrup industry.
Soulmates was released on September 12, 2021.
Filmed in 2018, the best parts of the movie are the location shots, particularly the Jericho Center Country Store (temporarily renamed as Rusty’s Country Store).
Vermont natives Samantha and Jessamine are inseparable best friends. That is, until the maple syrup company moving in to town endangers everything they hold dear – like their small-town way of life. In order to ensure the safety of her sisterhood and to protect the town, Sam will go all out to keep things from progressing between Jess and this company.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t come anywhere close to the standards of Ethan Frome, Spitfire Grill or even Sweetheart’s Dance…
which were also filmed in Vermont back in the 1980’s and 90’s, when Hollywood seemed to fall in love with Vermont locales. However, it’s still much easier to watch than Return to Salem’s Lot which was filmed in St Johnsbury and several other cinematic clinkers.
It’s not a bad movie by any means but it closely mirrors the Hallmark “Vermont” holiday movies in terms of schmaltzy romance and cliches. The best “made in Vermont” movies don’t go overboard with obligatory Vermont references, in-jokes, flatlander references and other cringeworthy remarks tossed in for their own sake.
The Brattleboro Reformer sums it up perfectly:
At times, the film seems like an outsider’s idea of what Vermont is. The film often speaks of Vermont being “a few decades behind.” That is true to a certain extent, but not to the point of our protagonists laughing at Landon when he suggests renting a film online. And a few unfunny jokes about the lead best friendship being confused for a romantic relationship occur, which would be bad in a mainstream Hollywood film, but just seem wrong in this Vermont-made film.
Funny Farm was an excellent example of a “fish out of water” movie that added some wry “winks” to Vermont quirkiness, without going overboard. When Ben & Jerry’s references come up you know it’s jumped the shark.
The movie is available on Amazon.com and a number of other viewing platforms.