A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Your Love Never Fails is a lightweight romantic drama that champions family togetherness and simple rural values. Originally aired as a Hallmark Channel TV movie, it's an earnest, wholesome film from beginning to end. The issue at hand is an impending divorce and disputed child custody arrangements. Life in the big city (New York) is contrasted with life on a ranch in Texas. The child involved is well-adjusted, well-loved, and never in danger. A minister appears in several scenes and offers spiritual references to the Bible and its lessons about marriage.
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What's the story?
In YOUR LOVE NEVER FAILS, it's been a long time since 9-year-old Kelsey (Kirstin Dorn) has seen her dad. Living in New York with her busy bank executive mom Laura (Elisa Donovan), Kelsey's visits back to Texas and her dad Dylan's ranch haven't been regular at all. Kelsey misses him, but she's content with her life. All that changes when her mom is summoned home to address a newly-filed custody request. Dylan (Brad Rowe) is desperate to be an important part of Kelsey's life. Mom and daughter's initially reluctant return to Texas finds them dealing with conflict in the courtroom, the re-establishment of old relationships, and unexpected lovely days spent enjoying small town pleasures and Dylan's beautiful ranch. Despite the escalating pressure from Laura's New York boss, what surprises the estranged family most are revisiting old feelings and exploring the possibility of new ones.
Is it any good?
Message-driven with a charmingly natural performance by Kirstin Dorn as Kelsey, the film never transcends its reliance on by-the-numbers cliches, unsound plotting, and contrived situations. It's a well-meaning, if incompetent film. The messages are simplistic: ranch life is idyllic; big cities are impersonal and materialistic; divorce is never to be taken lightly.
It appears that the filmmakers made easy choices based on convenience rather than logic. The courtroom scenes, headed by a judge (Catherine Hicks with the only Southern accent on display and a terrible one at that) can't be taken seriously. A ludicrous but pivotal plot premise is that no one could afford plane trips for Kelsey's visits to Dylan despite his considerable ranch restoration, his new business, and Laura's high level bank job. Still, for families who like neat, happy endings, cute animals and pretty scenery, and at least one feisty little girl may find it an acceptable time-filler.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can discuss movies with strong messages. What is the intended message in this movie? Why is important to be aware of the intent of the filmmakers?
Kelsey was frustrated by her parents' choices and felt left out of the decision-making process. How can you make sure that you are heard in your home when it is important to you?
What are pros and cons of living in a big city as opposed living in the country and vice versa. What do you like about where you live?
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