A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Pure Country, Pure Heart is an easygoing family drama about two teenage Tennessee sisters who desperately want to know more about their deceased dad. Country music is a major part of the fabric of the film as the story unfolds. The girls are budding songwriters and talented musicians. Their search takes them to Nashville, and Willie Nelson appears as himself in a rousing performance. Expect to hear mild swearing: "hell," "butt," and "fart." Other than that, there's nothing offensive in the film. There's a bit of romance, a bit of sadness, and attempts to heal the family after a loved one's life is cut short when children are young.
What's the story?
In PURE COUNTRY, PURE HEART, it's serendipity when a pipe breaks in the Spencer family home, and teens Ada (Kaitlyn Bausch) and Piper (Cozi Zuehlsdorff) find a trove of family memorabilia in a flooded storeroom. Their dad was killed in Iraq years earlier, and while they know he was a hero, there's little else their mom will tell them. To her it's all too painful. Still, they're determined to know exactly who their father was. In a letter among the flooded treasures, they find one name -- a connection, they hope -- and they're on their way. Along their journey, Ada and Piper meet a bitter disabled Marine, a charming old veteran, a young musician, and a classic country star. The two girls, who love the world of music and are budding songwriters and singers themselves, learn more about their father with each new lead. It's only when their mom, Elizabeth (Amanda Detmer), discovers her daughters' secret search that they find themselves in trouble. Then it's up to both the girls and their mom to resolve issues that might have been easier to deal with if their mom hadn't been keeping secrets of her own.
Is it any good?
Spirited performances by the two teen leads, along with plenty of country songs and an emotionally satisfying though predictable story, should appeal to young Nashville fans, particularly girls. Willie Nelson appears for a big number. Wrestling star Shawn Michaels shows up in a cameo, and to add some name value to the cast list. Other than that, it's all up to Bausch and Zuehlsdorff to carry Pure Country, Pure Heart, and they do just fine. Ronny Cox, a familiar character actor who's had a rich career, gets to be a musician for this one, and he obviously enjoys every moment. The movie isn't original, but it's entertaining enough, the music is fun, and resolution comes easily. Tweens and up.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the popularity of movies that involve people discovering secrets from the past. What about this concept makes it such an appealing genre? What is your experience with keeping secrets?
How much influence does the type of music in a film have on whether or not you want to see it? What kinds of music will you specifically go to see? Are there films you avoid because of the musical genre? Why?
In Pure Country, Pure Heart, wrestling star Shawn Michaels appears in a very small part, and Willie Nelson sings one song at the end. Both well-known men are on the cover of the DVD and highlighted in marketing material. Were you disappointed by their abbreviated participation? Why do you think the production company puts such famous people front and center when selling their movie?
- On DVD or streaming: August 1, 2017
- Cast: Kaitlyn Bausch, Cozi Zuehlsdorff, Amanda Detmer
- Director: Damon Santostefano
- Studio: Warner Home Video
- Genre: Musical
- Topics: Brothers and Sisters, Music and Sing-Along
- Run time: 84 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG
- MPAA explanation: mild thematic elements and language
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.