6.2/10
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26 user 4 critic

Finding Normal (2013)

Not Rated | | Comedy | TV Movie 18 May 2013
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2:34 | Trailer
The only thing standing between Dr. Lisa Leland (Candice Cameron Bure) and the wedding of her dreams in the Hamptons is a 2600-mile drive from Los Angeles to Long Island. However, a run in ... See full summary »

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Brian Herzlinger
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Cast

Credited cast:
Lou Beatty Jr. Lou Beatty Jr. ... Doc Shelby
Andrew Bongiorno ... Dr. Steve
Valerie Lynn Brett ... Mandy (as Valerie Boucvalt)
Dodie Brown ... Dr. Maggie Parks
Candace Cameron Bure ... Dr. Lisa Leland
Pam Dougherty ... Rita Caffey
Jim Elliott Jim Elliott ... Judge Denton (as Big Jim Elliot)
Delia Farizath ... Maria (as Delia Cobos)
Kendrick Hudson Kendrick Hudson ... Jimmer
Mark Irvingsen ... Lester Toole
Ashleigh Jolly Ashleigh Jolly ... Carly
Nina Leon ... Hispanic Woman
Gavin W. Miller Gavin W. Miller ... Founder's Day Dance Attendee
Isabel Myers ... Kimberly
Anthony Paderewski ... Passerby
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Storyline

The only thing standing between Dr. Lisa Leland (Candice Cameron Bure) and the wedding of her dreams in the Hamptons is a 2600-mile drive from Los Angeles to Long Island. However, a run in with the law in the country town of Normal, North Carolina leaves Dr. Leland with a choice--Jail or community service. Sentenced to serve three days as the town's doctor, Lisa has her world turned upside down by a man she would never expect. Quickly, Lisa finds that there's a lot more to Normal than she could have ever imagined. Written by Jeremy M.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

18 May 2013 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Normal ist anders See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Pure Flix Entertainment See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color
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Did You Know?

Trivia

During Dr. Leland's court appearance for her speeding violation, Lester mentions she was driving a 3-series with the N54 twin-turbo inline 6 (engine). This is an actual BMW car and engine combination, and the internal company code used to identify this particular engine really is "N54". This means that despite his simple nature, Lester is a car aficionado and likely very tech savvy for even knowing this information. See more »

Goofs

While at the courthouse, a map of Louisiana is shown behind the judge, but the scene takes place in North Carolina. See more »

Connections

References Doc Hollywood (1991) See more »

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User Reviews

 
OK TV-Movie with a not-top-subtle religious/political agenda
17 June 2014 | by sohrmnSee all my reviews

"Finding Normal" is not -- by any means -- a horrible film. Nor it is a particularly good film. It has decent enough production values for a TV-Movie, but the conservative religious and political views expressed in the film may not be everyone's cup of tea.

Basically, the film follows a "big city" doctor who learns to love "small town" living. To be fair, the broad-based "city vs. country" stereotypes used in the film are nothing new. In fact the basic storyline is similar to Doc Hollywood (1991).

People who live in the "big city" are generally depicted as being cynical, snobbish, no-good folk who do not regularly attend church and (gasp) may even support the ACLU.

Rural people, in contrast, are generally depicted as being friendly, quaint, authentic, hardworking, decent folk who regularly go to church and believe that the greatest threat to America is the ACLU.

Yes, this TV-Movie did not invent these cultural, geographic and political stereotypes, but they certainly do not help the audience care about the characters.

Anyways, so the "big city" doctor needs to do a bit of community service in a Southern small town. To the film's credit, the town is not racially segregated....Although the film does seem to borrow a bit from Andy Griffith Show.

"Doc Shelby" -- one of the main actors in the film is arguable the best character -- in terms of development, acting and writing. You really do believe that his character plays a leadership role in the community and, faced with his own mortality, wants to make sure that the town will not be without a doctor.

Most of the other characters rarely move outside of the "big city" and "country bumpkin" stereotypes.

This is probably why one of the funniest lines in the film is when it gives characters lines, which are critical of judgmental people and stereotypes. It occurs early on in the film, when the "big city" doctor sits down for dinner and, yeah the irony is just hilarious.

In terms of its religious and political viewpoints, the film waits awhile to hit the audience over the head with them.

In fact, Netflix did include film in their "faith and spirituality" genre, which may have caused the film to be seen by audience members who are not fond of conservative politics or the religious right.

Yet, the message in the film gradually becomes clear; the "big city" doctor needs to be "saved" from the evils of big city life. How will this occur? If you did not know that this film was designed for a (conservative) Christian audience, then the right-wing hole that the film digs itself into may be hard to stomach.

Everyone in the town assumes that the "big city" doctor is nominally Christian and have nothing with expecting her to attend church as part of her community service.

The main "hot button" story line element has the small town fighting against the evil ACLU, in order to keep a Christian cross on public land.

The complex issue of religious freedom and church-state separation is basically reduced to an accusation that anyone who does not agree with the cross being on public land -- by itself -- is unAmerican tyrannt.

Granted, if you are a conservative Christian who shares the belief that religious freedom should only apply to your church, then the film's weak efforts at a "court room" drama may appeal to you.

Probably the biggest problem with the film is that nothing really major happens -- in three short days -- to explain the huge -- almost absurd -- shift in the "big city" doctor's personality and values.

Beyond the legal dispute, the big city doctor saves the life of a young girl and plays phone tag with her big city finance.

The problem is that we already know that the big city doctor is quite good at being a doctor. While she does, rather quickly, fall in love with a local boy, that is not really enough to explain the radical shift in her personality and values.

In the end she ditches her big city finance -- who may or may not be a stereotypical, big city, ethnically-ambiguous, non-Christian character (read Jewish).

No doubt the finance is more concerned with his career then the woman he loves, but so to is the woman herself.

The problem is that the woman goes from an Independent career gal, to the type of women who believe that women should be less focused on their career and more focused on being a good and obedient wife.

It is a pretty significant change, which is never really explained or justify in the film.

he only thing standing between Dr. Lisa Leland (Candice Cameron Bure) and the wedding of her dreams in the Hamptons is a 2600-mile drive from Los Angeles to Long Island.


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