Monday, May 9, 2016

Movie Review: When Calls the Heart

Movie title: When Calls the Heart
Movie reviewer: Alexis A. Goring, founder of “God is Love” blog

When Calls the Heart is a delightful movie featuring Erin Krakow, Daniel Lissing, Jack Wagner and Lori Loughlin. The movie is set in the past, focusing on a family-friendly town founded in the pioneering days of America. The genre of this movie is drama. It’s based on a book written by Janette Oke.

The name of the small town is Hope Valley. New Year’s Eve is approaching and the town has been selected for a feature in the San Francisco Herald, thanks to Rosemary who submitted an essay to the newspaper’s contest about a “real frontier family.”

Rosemary LeVeaux (played by Pascale Hutton) poses as a married woman, convincing Lee to pretend to be her husband because that’s a fine print requirement for the winner of the essay contest. Hilarity ensues and makes the viewing audience laugh at the extreme measures Rosemary goes to keep up the charade. She works hard to convince the newspaper reporter that she is married. But she works even harder to shine the spotlight on her beloved town in a way that impresses the reporter in the best way possible.

Meanwhile, Bill Avery (played by Jack Wagner) works hard to convince Jack that he’s behind bars for the wrong reason. He did not commit the counterfeiting crime. This subplot provided a healthy dose of suspense and intrigue. It made me as the viewer want to figure out the mystery. The plot twists were unpredictable and kept me guessing until the final second when the answer was revealed.

Amidst the main plot and subplots is a segment of this film that will tug at your heartstrings. It’s the part of the story that features two young children—a brother and a sister—both under the age of 15 who ran away from home and are camping out in the woods. The young boy sneaks into town to steal food and wood for the campfire. But by after a few hidden attempts, he’s caught red-handed by the hotel owner/cook Abigail Stanton (played by Lori Loughlin) and the schoolteacher Elizabeth Thatcher (played by Erin Krakow). These two women take him and his sister under their wing and try to find out about why they ran away. But these two young children are not very trusting nor open, at first.

There is a sweet love story weaved throughout this movie and it centers on Elizabeth working hard to win back the love of Jack Thornton (played by Daniel Lissing), the only man who she wants. But after witnessing another man propose marriage to Elizabeth, Jack is guarded with Elizabeth and questions her true intentions.

Aside from the engaging dialogue and satisfying storyline, the filmmaking aspects of this movie deserve attention. So here it is: The costume design for this movie was impressive. The women’s bustle petticoats were true to the time period and the men’s boots and straight-legged trousers were historically accurate. The acting was pretty good and convincing. The actors played their parts with candor and composure. The storyline swept you away into the fictional town of Hope Valley and made you feel like you were a member of their community, watching the story unfold.

My overall reaction to this film was good. It was an old-fashioned story filled with family values and themes of hope and restoration. I’d recommend this movie to anyone who wants to experience a heartwarming story and companionship of characters that have your best interest at heart, even if it’s only for the 88-minute duration of the movie.

*, a web store that sells Christian Movies, provided Alexis A. Goring with a complimentary copy of When Calls the Heart - It Begins with Heart DVD (movie) in exchange for an honest review.

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