A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this story deals with the death of a family member, depression, and hard financial times. After the death, Missie and Willie grow apart, not speaking. One character, upset at having his ranch taken from him, gets drunk and starts shooting his gun around town. Another character, the villain, lies and manipulates his daughter with the hope of killing her paramour.
What's the story?
In the fourth television adaptation of Janette Oke's series of books on life on the frontier, Love's Abiding Joy finds Missie (Erin Cottrell) and Willie (Logan Bartholomew) LaHaye enjoying a visit from Missie's father Abel (Kevin Gage). But no sooner has Abel arrived than the family is visited by the death of one of their own. The loss tears the family apart and breaks everyone's heart. Reacting to the death, Missie quits her job as a schoolteacher and Willie takes a job as the town's sheriff, where he must do work that challenges his morals. Can the family survive the loss with their love and faith intact? And can they do so while that devilish Mayor Doros (the delightfully menacing John Laughlin) is working to take over the prairie?
Is it any good?
Co-written and directed by Michael Landon, Jr., Love's Abiding Joy combines the heart of both without the pacing or plot that made his father's work a success. The irony, of course, is that there's very little joy to be found. There are some heartwarming scenes in which the family reaffirms what's most important to them -- God and family -- but mostly, the story is disjointed with little character or plot development. This is not a story meant to be seen without being familiar with the rest of the series. On its own, it's boring and saccharine.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how you honor the life of those in your family who have passed. How do you feel when you lose someone you love? Families can also talk about what this family decides is important. Do they express their faith the same way your family does? In what ways are they different?
- In theaters: January 2, 2007
- On DVD or streaming: January 2, 2007
- Cast: Drew Tyler Bell, Erin Cottrell, Logan Bartholomew
- Director: Michael Landon Jr.
- Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
- Genre: Family and Kids
- Topics: Book Characters
- Run time: 87 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG
- MPAA explanation: mild thematic elements
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