The curiously named, Moondance Alexander is a spirited teen living with her eccentric mother. She is faced with another uneventful summer until she discovers a lost pinto pony named ... See full summary »
The curiously named, Moondance Alexander is a spirited teen living with her eccentric mother. She is faced with another uneventful summer until she discovers a lost pinto pony named Checkers who has jumped out of his paddock. Although Moondance returns the horse to his rightful owner, the gruff and mysterious Dante Longpre, she is convinced that Checkers is a champion jumper in disguise and is determined to help him realize his full potential. Moondance manages to talk Dante into training her and Checkers for the Bow Valley Classic and despite the criticism of her peers; discovers that perseverance, loyalty and individuality can land you in the winner's circle. Written by
"Saddle Club" meets "Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen" and "Bratz", as the prettiest friendless teenage girl in cinema history goes up against her "Queen Bee" nemesis in a local equestrian competition. Throw in a little "Pollyanna" here for good measure as the friendless girl manages to inspire the adults in her town to lead better lives.
Kay Panabaker plays the friendless girl (Moondance Alexander), and Kay is so pretty she makes figure skater turned aspiring actress Sasha Cohen look rather plain by comparison. And Kay is a polished enough actress with enough effortless charm to almost make this film work. Unfortunately she is saddled (pun intended) with one of the worst written scripts you are likely to ever encounter.
The best scenes are those where Panabaker is alone on the screen and the worst are those involving her teenage rivals-the dialog given to these inexperienced cast members is almost surreal in its staggering lameness.
The film is at least one back-story too many as there just isn't time to adequately cover Moondance coping with her father's death, reconciling her mother's new romantic interest, getting flirty with the son of her mother's boyfriend, saving stable owner Donte (Don Johnson) from a wasted life of alcohol abuse, turning her horse Checkers into a competitive jumper, and giving Roscoe P. Coltraine (James Best) a few moments of mild comic relief.
"Moondance Alexander's" target audience of preteen girls and Sasha Cohen fans wasn't enough for it to get a widespread theatrical release but it is available as a direct-to-DVD product. There is nothing original or exciting here but it is a pleasant enough family film. And the dare to be different theme is handled quite nicely.
Then again, what do I know? I'm only a child.
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