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Flicka is a feel-good family film in the spirit of Shiloh which was all the rage when I was a kid. I was in my late teens when Flicka came out and I was not interested at all-a movie about a girl and her horse. Gee, wonder how this will end? But, after taking a closer look at the cast-oh fine, Alison Lohman-I gave it a chance and was quite surprised. Sixteen year old Katy McLaughlin (Alison Lohman) is a country girl at heart, she longs for the open fields and the farmstead as opposed to her boarding school which is where we find her in the opening scenes. Her father, Rob (Tim McGraw) thinks she is destined for college and something more. These two bump heads throughout the entire movie, yet, you still feel the love between them through it all. Katy finds a wild mustang in hills and falls head over heels for the creature. Her father who owns a quarter horse ranch will hear nothing of keeping the horse. Ignoring her father's wishes, Katy works with the horse in secrecy and slowly the two form an amazing bond. While the movie isn't perfect, it has a lot going for it, most notably the cast. Lohman and McGraw are perfect as father-daughter, just barley pushing the envelope, yet always managing to keep it just right. In their own respects, they both deliver amazingly well as opposed to over-the-top. Ryan Kwanten is Howard, the older brother to Katy and the opposite of her-everything their father wants for her he wants. He does quite well, torn between staying true to his father and the farm and helping Katy reunite with Flicka. Finally, there's mom Nell (Maria Bello) who is the peacekeeper and the glue that holds the family and the farm together. She is the one that truly sees the bond between Katy and Flicka; unfortunately she battles with Rob who is stubborn and thick-headed. What I truly enjoyed was the suspense and not knowing whether this was going to be a happily ever after (Shiloh) or a tragic tear-jerker (The yearling, Old Yeller). This was never truly apparent until the last few minutes of the movie, constantly you get yanked up and down like a yo-yo, thinking its going one way, then it takes off in another. The scenery is beautifully breathtaking, the script walks a fine line of clichés and just barley keeps it from being too washed-out, and the cast delivers everything perfectly. Lohman's Katy is at once strong-willed and stubborn, yet has a gentle soul that she bares through her eyes, those deep brown bedroom eyes that dare you to blink and miss a second. Her loyalty and never-ending love for Flicka caused even me to shed several tears, both in her pain and her happiness. McGraw-what's up with all these singers thinking they can act?-is quite good here, though his performance in Friday Night Lights was just a tad deeper and better in a different way. Throughout all the fights and conflicts at the end of the day all he truly wants is his daughter to be happy and safe. One scene really sticks out even now as I type this where he talks to Katy that will surely tug at the heart-strings (once you see it, you'll know the one). Kwanten is great as the big brother and son who would rather have the opportunities Katy has. Despite the fact I can only think of one scene where I internally clapped for him, it was still a deep one. Bello is mom and ties with Lohman as the best acting for me. She is just trying to keep everyone happy and heads above water, always the optimist. Did I already mention Lohman? Oh well, here it is again, her eyes will captivate you, her smile could knock a dove from a tree, and her commitment to the role is genuine 100%.
This could have been a good movie, but I could not get past the bad
casting. Ryan Kwanten (now 30) is only nine years younger than "Mom"
and "Dad". Alison Lohman is 27. I'm sure they could have found some
younger actors to play the children which would have made the story
more palatable. The accents were also terrible -- more like North Texas
Watching the poor horse that was always raring up was a little disturbing. Is that horse always like that, or if not, how do they get it to act like that for the movie?
Overall the acting was B-movie quality. Some of the stunts were OK, but most plot elements were poorly written. For example, the mountain lion would have been trapped or shot as soon as it was sighted near the ranch. Mountain lions are notorious for dining on dogs and people. They generally stay clear of feral horses.
The sympathy for feral horses in this movie is idiotic. One horse probably does more environmental damage to the planet in one year than any other single creature could accomplish in a lifetime.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
SG's review of this movie is absolutely horrid! The movie is amazing! A
2 hour long trailer? Hard to follow? Only if you have ADD or are the
type to fall asleep 10 minutes in!
Flicka has heart, true heart. The movie will make you laugh. It will make you cry. It will make you want to watch it over and over and over! Especially if you love horses!
My favorite horse film used to be Black Beauty, but now Flicka is right up there alongside it!
About the movie:
Home for the summer from boarding school, Katy comes home to her much-loved family ranch. She arrives with a secret, and when her father finds out he orders her to spend the summer doing chores and making up a grade to pass the school year. Out one morning on a ride, she is encountered by a mountain lion... the quarter horse she rode spooks and runs, but a black mustang comes to the rescue. Katy immediately takes to the horse and claims it as her own; a disposition which her father soon forbids. She sets out to do as her father asks, but also sneaks out at night to secretly train the beautiful mustang, Flicka. I'll tell no more, for you need to see this yourself! I'll only say now that this film is about a young, passionate girl on a quest of understanding, a father's love, and overall: beauty.
The acting is wonderful (10++), the directing is wonderful (10++), the scenery is AMAZING (10++). And the story is just beautiful (10++)!
See this movie!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Hey I don't care what any other viewers say. I loved, Loved, this movie.. I thought it as very good. A good family film.. It made me, and my father cry, and cry from beginning to end .. no bad language which was a fresh look, on the usual movie.. good family matters, and morals.. I thought that song in the trailer, was very touching. To tell you the truth, from watching the trailer, and commercial.. I really truly thought the "brother" in the movie was going to be her very hot boyfriend.. well I guess i was wrong.. my father knows a lot about horses and says the horse "flicka" is changed many times during the movie.. still on my top list of great family movies.. 2 thumbs up!!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
If you're a fan of the book 'My Friend Flicka' or the original 1943
movie of the same name, you are going to be severely disappointed with
This isn't the story of a young boy daydreaming about owning his own horse, and when his dad allows it he chooses one thought to be too crazy to tame, a boy who learns about love and responsibility. It's the story of a teenage girl who daydreams about owning her own horse, goes out on her own to catch a wild mustang, and tries to train it behind her father's back. Her father sells it when she gets hurt, then she turns around and steals it from the rodeo. The moral of this heartwarming tale is that if you disregard your parents often enough, they'll eventually cave in and see that you're right.
So basically, nothing to do with the original Flicka at all.
Good old Gus is reduced to an extra with a few lines (like passing on that 'Flicka' is Swedish for 'little girl) instead of a caring and involved farmhand who disobeys his boss because of a little boy's love. Flicka becomes a mustang, not part of the family's herd, and Katie (instead of Ken) is not allowed to have her own horse as her father is stiff, strict, and - let's face it - sexist. And the cougar takes a more sinister and active role.
The worst thing about this movie is what it teaches young kids about horses. The things that Katie does in the film are unrealistic and downright dangerous, and the father is absolutely right in trying to stop her (though if he had have taught her how to train the horse as he did in the original, things would have turned out differently, but then society these days requires more action).
This movie is the typical childhood Black Stallion fantasy, to the point where they even made Flicka BLACK instead of sorrel. It wouldn't have been as bad if they did not try to use the name of a much loved classic novel to promote their film. Were this a stand alone story, it would have been far more acceptable, but to claim that this film was based on the novel is a joke.
That being said, it was beautifully filmed and Tim McGraw did a much better job acting than I expected.
Bottom line - your kids will love it, but if you're a fan of the original or know ANYTHING at all about horses, this movie isn't for you.
This film is just HORRIBLE! Its not even true to the original at all!
This film totally ignores the original book.There are also many, MANY
changes in this one from the original, like this one:The main character
is changed to female Katy McLaughlin, when in the original it was male
Ken McLaughling.Horses even died on the set of this film.And I'm sick
of EVERYBODY saying ''No horses died, its just a rumor.'' or ''They
just made that up, no horses were killed.'' Well, horses WERE killed!
Isn't that horrible? Horses have helped us in dozens of ways and they
shouldn't be slaughtered! This is just a stupid, horrible movie! Two
words: SKIP IT.The original is much better than this movie.If you watch
the original, trust me, you will NOT be displeased.Down with this
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
If you want something with love and touching character and not this perverted new "Parents are not supposed to be your friends" nonsense (I mean I believe parents have to be strict but this is some new garbage), watch the "Cheetah Girls." If you hate the lack of mother daughter and father son bonding, skip this one. Nell is also a despicable character. Forget the fact that Maria Bello is an imbecile who thinks "bro" is black or white slang. Can't stand these idiots who think "bro" is black, white or Visigothic slang or that Visigothic girls are the most broish. They might as well have thought "Friends" was more pop than "Seinfeld." Please avoid this stupid ass one. Ghetto Italian/Puerto Rican movies are better. "Bro"-saying Annabella Sciorra could have played a better role as mother, and Aleska Palladino could have done a better role as Katy and there would be much more love. Sciorra playing a "bro"-saying ghetto Italian/Spanish mother and Aleska Palladino being a proper belle. And there would be hugs and it would be like that in real life.
If you love horses as sentient and amazing creatures, capable of
thoughts and feelings and deserving of respect, then avoid this film as
it will just infuriate you. If you love horses as riding equipment or
as something to show off on Instagram, you'll probably enjoy it.
Katy (Alison Lohman) doesn't love horses, she loves riding them. There is a difference. If she loved Flicka she would have been just as satisfied watching her run free as a wild mustang, but instead she had to imprison her and break her so that she could ride her and feel 'free' at the expense of the poor horse.
I've always been a fan of Alison Lohman, but this film managed to ruin that. She is completely miscast as a sixteen year old free- spirit (read: spoilt brat). In her mid-twenties during filming she is just too old for the part, highlighted by the casting of parents so close in age to her. The character is so thoroughly unlikeable and seemingly perpetually miserable.
From what I have heard the book is for a mature audience, but this film adaptation is most definitely for rednecks or the brain-dead Lifetime market.
Katy McLaughlin (Alison Lohman) struggles in boarding school and would
rather work at the family horse farm. Her father Rob (Tim McGraw) is
grooming her older brother Howard (Ryan Kwanten) to take over instead
but that's not his dream. She returns home to the ranch with her
father, brother, mother Nell (Maria Bello), ranch hands Jack (Danny
Pino) and Gus (Dallas Roberts). On a harrowing ride, she is rescued by
a wild mustang from a mountain lion. They capture the horse and she
calls her "Flicka". Her father balks at the expense and muddying of his
purebred horse herd. He entertains an offer for the ranch which makes
Howard happy and angers Katy. He sells Flicka to the Rodeo. With the
help of Howard and his girlfriend Miranda Koop (Kaylee DeFer), Katy
enters the rodeo as a man. When her father figures out the rouse, she
decides to escape with Flicka.
Alison is getting a little too old to play a teenager. Tim McGraw is not the most imposing presence which his character needs badly. Maria Bello doesn't feel like a country wife. Most of it still works as a simple family movie. There are no real surprises. It's sentimental old fashion. There are a lot of horses and there are beautiful vistas. The drama is old time stuff and the villain is a mountain lion.
I am trying to be objective when rating movies on here. As an example,
I gave my favourite movie a 9, and Flicka (an 8 on my scale) has always
been my second favourite. However, I'm not sure I can stay completely
objective on this one, because I see a lot of people don't think it's
that great, and yet I can't give it any less than 8.
Flicka is a horse movie, I have to face that fact. This is probably why it's not as loved by the casual viewer as it is by me. When I first watched it I was a horse person. I'm not really anymore, but I still adore them, and that might affect my view on Flicka.
To me it's more than a horse movie. It has a bare minimum of romance, which I like, not because I don't like romance, but because so many stories are about more than that. But it is a story about love; a girl's love to a wild horse, and her battle to tame it in spite of her father. It's about a father's journey to getting to know and respect his daughter, and a family learning to break the silence and speak up about what bothers them. Her brother's sub plot is very touching to me, and the parents' relationship is a nice touch. This movie is warming and heart-breaking, and if you like horses or family love, or best of all, both, this movie will definitely make you feel, maybe even cry.
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