A Cowgirl's Song
By Tara McNamara,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Heart & harmony in wholesome, inclusive family drama.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Strong messages about overcoming adversity. Themes include compassion, humility, perseverance, and teamwork. Also an anti-gambling message.
Positive Role Models
No villains here, just regular people who mean well but make poor choices. Characters help others, do service work, and come up with creative solutions. Strong family relationship. Women are clear and direct with establishing and maintaining boundaries.
Female-driven storyline, with strong, independent women who show they can both take care of themselves and come together to support one another. Real-life paralyzed barrel racing champ Amberley Snyder demonstrates the power of ingenuity and purpose. Representation includes characters with disabilities and some racial diversity in the form of supporting characters in influential roles (sheriff, record producer, judge, friend/potential love interest).
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Violence & Scariness
Brief moments of peril that are quickly resolved. A car crash (not shown) left a character paralyzed and killed her grandfather.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Romantic stirrings and conversations about dating.
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While upset, the main character calls her friend "a stupid loser."
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Products & Purchases
A banner with a sponsor's brand emblazoned on it hangs behind characters for a long scene, suggesting potential product placement.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adults drink wine with dinner.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that A Cowgirl's Song is a wholesome family drama about overcoming adversity that also features country music performances. This Oklahoma-set story offers female-forward storytelling, with teen girls and a grandma using their ingenuity to overcome problems. Three characters are portrayed as living with a disability or chronic illness, including a paralyzed barrel racer. Other positive representation includes actors of color in important supporting roles. Romance is a key factor in the story, but it's all very innocent, and women establish and maintain healthy boundaries. Also notable is that there's no traditional villain here; rather, we see people who mean well making iffy choices. The effects of a fatal car crash are felt, and adults drink wine with dinner. Language is limited to "stupid loser." Themes include perseverance, compassion, and teamwork.
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A Cowgirl's Song
Based on 2 parent reviews
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Excellent movie for any age.
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What's the Story?
During a family hardship, Halley (Savannah Lee May) and her sister, Brooke (Darci Lynne, the ventriloquist who's coming up as a singer), go to live with their grandmother (Cheryl Ladd), a famous country singer who retired after her husband's death. And when the girls' dad is arrested for a crime he didn't realize he was committing, the girls and their grandma come upon a solution to pay for his defense, relying on their own talents.
Is It Any Good?
The music here is more original than the story, but both come together with a refreshing approach. This cowgirl follows some old trails: Films about aspiring musicians are endless, and the "Hey! Let's put on a show in a barn!" concept dates back to Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney in the 1930s, if not further. Writer-director Timothy Armstrong even creates a visual metaphor about overcoming obstacles by having a character literally get back on a horse. Of course, there's a reason these are stock plots: We're suckers for these stories. And happily, Armstrong's characters, while as clean-cut as Andy Hardy, are used in service of entertainment that's far more inclusive than films made in the early days of Hollywood.
Halley is an aspiring singer-songwriter, and the music is pretty good (revelation: Ladd can sing!). On the representation front, Halley's sister, Brooke, uses elbow crutches following the car crash that left her paralyzed and killed her grandfather. Brooke, who's a former rodeo competitor, also meets real-life inspiration Amberley Snyder, a barrel racer who found a way to keep riding and competing after losing the use of her legs. In these touches -- plus the story of kind friend Maddie (Maggie McClure, who wrote the movie's original songs), who has lupus -- Armstrong shows a concern for positively portraying underrepresented groups. Some might argue that includes those who live in small country towns like Chickasha, Oklahoma, where the movie was filmed. The characters take a measured approach to pursuing their dreams, and there are no baddies here, just people trying to do their best. Sometimes they succeed, sometimes they mess up, and, as Ladd's character says in the film, "Sometimes bad things just happen, there's no reason why." In A Cowgirl's Song, Armstrong delivers a message to young viewers that all we can do is be the best we can, use the skills we have, and be grateful for the life we've been given.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about what it means to overcome adversity. What is perseverance, and why is it an important life skill?
How is A Cowgirl's Song inclusive? Why is positive representation important?
Talk about gambling and how the film portrays it. What's the appeal, and when is gambling problematic?
Halley signs a management contract without counsel. Parents, discuss how your kids should handle a tricky situation when they're being pressured.
Which characters are role models, and why? How are humility, gratitude, teamwork, and compassion demonstrated, and why are these important life skills and character traits?
- In theaters: April 22, 2022
- On DVD or streaming: April 22, 2022
- Cast: Cheryl Ladd, Savannah Lee May, Darci Lynne Farmer
- Director: Timothy Armstrong
- Studio: Samuel Goldwyn Films
- Genre: Family and Kids
- Topics: Brothers and Sisters, Great Girl Role Models, Horses and Farm Animals, Music and Sing-Along
- Character Strengths: Compassion, Humility, Perseverance, Teamwork
- Run time: 93 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG
- MPAA explanation: thematic elements
- Last updated: February 17, 2023
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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Where to Watch
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