When Sarah Cain, a self-involved big-city newspaper columnist, travels to Pennsylvania for the funeral of her Amish sister, she soon discovers that she is the legal guardian of her five ... See full summary »
Jason thought his inheritance was going to be the gift of money and lots of it. Was he ever in for a big surprise. Based on the best-selling book "The Ultimate Gift" by Jim Stovall, the ... See full summary »
An aspiring author during the civil rights movement of the 1960s decides to write a book detailing the African-American maids' point of view on the white families for which they work, and the hardships they go through on a daily basis.
Bryce Dallas Howard
Katniss Everdeen voluntarily takes her younger sister's place in the Hunger Games, a televised fight to the death in which two teenagers from each of the twelve Districts of Panem are chosen at random to compete.
"One Night With The King" chronicles the life of the young Jewish girl, Hadassah, who goes on to become the Biblical Esther, the Queen of Persia, and saves the Jewish nation from ... See full summary »
set in South Carolina in 1964, this is the tale of Lily Owens a 14 year-old girl who is haunted by the memory of her late mother. To escape her lonely life and troubled relationship with ... See full summary »
When Sarah Cain, a self-involved big-city newspaper columnist, travels to Pennsylvania for the funeral of her Amish sister, she soon discovers that she is the legal guardian of her five Amish nieces and nephews. Rather than choose to move to Lancaster County to finish raising them there herself, or let them be separated by the foster care system, Sarah decides to take them with her back to Portland where she believes she can make a new life for them. However, she soon realizes that the modern world has forced them to compromise who they are, and that she has moved them there for all the wrong reasons - a motive which is soon exposed - because secrets can really never be kept secret. In order to find her own redemption, she knows she must make a choice to give them back their lives in Amish Country. And whether she remains part of their lives will have a lot to do with how much she has grown to love them. Written by
The character mannerisms and wardrobe for 'Elliot Gould''s newspaper editor character are based on Tim Fitzpatrick, a deputy editor at The Salt Lake Tribune. Fitzpatrick's father is a former publisher of the newspaper. When the crew arrived to film scenes in the Tribune newsroom, they loved Fitzpatrick's look so much they copied it down to the last detail. See more »
This wasn't particularly exceptional, in my view, but was very well done for what it is, as a light comic drama. Yes, it is a feel good type of film, and even commits the sin of having a happy ending. If you would prefer to see a tale of violent vengeance, of some sort or another, this isn't your film. And, if you are a fan of car chases...you may have to settle for a horse and buggy.
And while this has one or two moments which are a bit contrived, or even slightly preachy, or maybe even after-school-specialish, on the whole it isn't too heavy handed. And a genuinely interesting story, as well as some solid performances (especially by Lisa Pepper as Sarah), make this a worthwhile effort.
On the downside, the available material as far as culture clash, individual and group identities, and the relationship with the outside world isn't too deeply mined, and we instead get a surface treatment with a few symbolic moments which seem to be treated as needed plot devices, rather than moments for a deeper exploration of character or human behavior. The story and characters could have benefited from a more thoughtfully developed script in some of these moments.
But the writing is stronger on the subject of family relationships, which is more the focus here than the relationship with the outside world. And the film does well here, exploring Sarah's relationships with her departed sister, with the man who wants to marry her, and with the family she had for too long lost contact with. The least engaging performance there may have been Tom Tate, as Bryan. But while he does come across as a bit wooden, and dull, that is pretty much what the character required. It is obviously part of the message of the film, that Sarah at times hasn't been as appreciative of the plain, but reliable and virtuous Bryan as she maybe ought to have been.
And, ultimately, the film itself takes on some of the same characteristics it seems to admire in Bryan and in the Amish. It is a bit simple, and at times dull, and at others a bit too preachy, but overall solid, reliable, and well intentioned, and able to find joy in the simpler pleasures of life.
Perhaps I shouldn't be surprised then that this was directed by Michael Landon, Jr. The overall approach is similar to that of the "Little House on the Prairie" series in which his father starred. You might add or subtract a star or two according to whether that appeals to you.
Whatever the limitations of the genre however, this type of family entertainment can be done poorly, or it can be done well, and this example is at least above average.
6 of 7 people found this review helpful.
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