Love's Abiding Joy

  • Review Date: May 18, 2007
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2007
  • Running Time: 87 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Slow, sappy, Christian-themed TV adaptation.
  • Review Date: May 18, 2007
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2007
  • Running Time: 87 minutes





What parents need to know

Positive messages

The protagonists are the picture of love, compassion, and family togetherness. The film also features women who are strong-minded for their day, working and reading.

Violence & scariness

One character dies of natural causes off-screen.

Sexy stuff

Jeff and Collette flirt, hold hands, and briefly kiss.


Very little. One use of the word "hell."

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

One character gets drunk and starts shooting off a gun around town. No one is hurt.

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.

Parents say

Not yet rated
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Kids say

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.

Families can talk 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?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:January 2, 2007
DVD release date: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

This review of Love's Abiding Joy was written by

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  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Kid, 12 years old June 22, 2009
Someone dies! Lots of sexual content! The Word HELL and lots of drinking! and a lot of good and bed role models.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking


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