When Calls The Heart: Heart And Soul

Movie review by
Tracy Moore, Common Sense Media
When Calls The Heart: Heart And Soul Movie Poster Image
Soapy historical drama not likely to keep tweens' attention.
  • NR
  • 2015
  • 88 minutes

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Loyalty, honesty, integrity, family, faith.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Though some adults are portrayed as grifters or morally impure people who engage in affairs or are dishonest or scheming, others are upstanding and morally centered and work hard to maintain community ties and conform to the values of the group.

Violence & Scariness

A woman hits a man in the face with her bag to escape; a man wrestles a woman, then throws her to the ground; a police officer punches a bad guy three times and knocks him out; men pull guns on each other but put them away; reference to a robbery at gunpoint (not shown).

Sexy Stuff

Embracing; a newly married couple kisses; woman confronts man about an affair; lots of lingering subtext of desire or affection (not expressed).

Language

"Bastard."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Drinking in saloon; beers and a champagne toast at a wedding; cocktails at various events.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that When Calls the Heart: Heart and Soul is a soapy historical drama about the Canadian frontier by author Janette Oke. The characters face the trials and tribulations of frontier life but also romantic conflict, the excitement of proposals, and the comings and goings of various suitors. There's some period-appropriate drinking in taverns and at events, some romantic embraces, near kisses, and a few full kisses, lots of subtext about unstated feelings, and some mild punching, as well as guns drawn but not fired. There's also one use of "bastard." The film is suitable for tweens but not likely to keep their attention.

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What's the story?

The frontier saga continues when Jack and Elizabeth (Erin Krakow) are pulled apart while he works as a Mountie and interloper Charles Kensington tries to win her hand. Rosemary celebrates big dreams of performing in a play but learns the opportunity may not be what it seems. Newcomers to the frontier also turn out to be different from what they first appeared, while Abigail (Lori Loughlin) also discovers that Bill Avery may not be the man she thought he was.

Is it any good?

Some of the acting is a bit hokey, and the plots feel ripped straight from romantic novels, with many scenes centering on longing and repressed feelings. This translates into a bit of a watered-down but pleasant-enough version of Downton AbbeyFans of period dramas will get their fix, but only kids with a particular interest in such settings are likely to stay engaged. Still, there's nothing unwholesome other than the hardships of the era.

WHEN CALLS THE HEART: HEART AND SOUL hinges on unstated feelings, strictly observed social norms, and restrictive gender roles. The focus here tends to be on romantic relationships with a focus on people not being who they seem. Set against a frontier backdrop, positive themes of loyalty, trust, and integrity emerge as the glue that binds a community together. Any person is only as good as her word, and mixing that in with the etiquette and customs of status, class, and wealth makes for easy watchability.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about why historical dramas are so popular. Why do we like watching TV shows and films from different eras?

  • How would you survive a long time apart from a loved one? 

  • Gossip plays a central role in the lives of these frontier people. Can gossip ever be a good thing?

Movie details

Themes & Topics

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For kids who love history and drama

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