Apple of My Eye

Movie review by
Renee Schonfeld, Common Sense Media
Apple of My Eye Movie Poster Image
Gentle story about teen's adjustment to life-changing event.
  • PG
  • 2017
  • 84 minutes

Parents say

age 10+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 8+
Based on 2 reviews

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The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Presents a constructive and positive response to a radical change in the status quo. Even with a debilitating condition, one can still enjoy life to the fullest and make the most of the resources at hand. Encourages a proactive participation in one's own rehabilitation.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Central teen character, suddenly blind, undergoes significant changes as she moves through the traditional "stages of grief," beginning with denial and reaching acceptance. She emerges ready to face life with strength and optimism. She's surrounded by loving parents who are supportive, compassionate, determined, and gentle. Members of the sightless and service animal communities are portrayed positively. No ethnic diversity.


A girl falls from her horse. An animal appears to be in distress, perhaps unconscious, but that's quickly resolved.




Southeastern Guide Dogs is a featured organization. Several other facilities are identified: The Margaret and Isaac Barpal Veterinary Center, Tarawin Farm, Keith D. Hirst Canine Center, Centennial Farm.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Apple of My Eye is the tale of a 15-year-old girl who loses her sight in a riding accident, her recuperation, and the adjustments she must make. The film is appropriate for mature older kids as the story unfolds softly, with no wrenching emotional outbursts or excessive sadness. The filmmakers have opted for the simplicity of portraying a teen and her parents dealing with unexpected heartbreak and challenges by taking positive action from the outset. There are sad moments, but those are always offset by life-affirming acts and a compassionate community. And, for animal lovers, a miniature horse and some beautiful dogs are center stage. An early scene shows the girl falling from the horse. (Spoiler Alert): A later scene finds a beloved animal in distress, but that is resolved happily within minutes. The film identifies a number of Southeastern U.S. social service, animal, and medical facilities.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 7 and 13-year-old Written byHEIDI C. February 14, 2017

perfect family movie

The best family movie we have seen since Dolphin Tale 1 and 2.
I purchased the movie for my 13 year old for valentines day, without knowing the lead character... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byloussa March 2, 2018
Teen, 13 years old Written byLaneybug04 July 28, 2017

Laneybug04 reviews

It's disappointing because it ends on a stupid thing u don't get to see if she gets better or if her and Sebastian fret togather

What's the story?

The opening moments of APPLE OF MY EYE find Bailey Andrews (Avery Arendes) prepping for the Nationals, a prestigious horse-riding competition. At 15, Bailey is an accomplished rider who loves every moment of time spent with the animals she treasures. But Bailey falls. And while it seems for a moment that she's okay, it's only a few hours until her vision is affected. Her worried parents (Amy Smart and Liam McIntyre) are quick to respond. Sadly, what seemed like just a "little" fall has resulted in a major injury. Her condition is serious and most likely will lead to permanent blindness. Bailey's struggles with the reality of the situation, and the changes she must make are serious, but, following her parents' positive lead, she encounters the special world of guide dogs, Braille, other sightless teens, and the possibility of a full life. It doesn't hurt that Charlie (Burt Reynolds), the head trainer for Southeastern Guide Dogs, "Apple" (a very special miniature horse), and Sebastian (Jack Griffo), a young man with his own challenges, will significantly impact her course. 

Is it any good?

Writer-director Castille Landon chose restraint and gentleness in this story about a teen's coping with blindness, making it a good bet for kids who appreciate poignancy without the heavy drama. Performances are solid; especially noteworthy are Amy Smart, as the heroine's mom, and Jack Griffo, as a special new friend. In keeping the tone positive and light, Landon sacrifices emotional depth, but it works for the intended audience. Unfortunately, she stumbles a bit by introducing other story elements that are never explored or resolved (i.e., tension between parents over their differing roles as financial partners and a very late appearance by Bailey's friend). Apple of My Eye is a gentle film for family sharing. Who can resist a tiny horse who sleeps tucked up close to her downhearted but very loving BFF?

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the significance of Bailey's parents during her rehabilitation in Apple of My Eye. What important traits did Caroline and Jason exhibit to help their daughter through the difficult times? What were Caroline's specific contributions? Jason's? 

  • The "Five Stages of Grief" are concepts about grief, constructed by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, an American psychiatrist, circa 1960s.  Look up Kubler-Ross, the five stages, and the far-reaching influence of her insights. Which "stages" did Bailey go through in this film?

  • What is the meaning of the expression "apple of my eye"? How is this story and this title a play on words? 

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love horses

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