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Love’s Long Journey

Drama / Family
2005 / 88 minutes
Rating: 7/10

Missie LaHaye isn’t quite the perfect wife – she’s an impossibly bad cook – but she is good with a gun, and in the Wild West that’s far more important.

Our story begins with Missie and her husband Willie heading out west to start their own ranch, far from their family, and far from anyone they can count on. But even in the Wild West friends can be had – Willie hires a group of castoff ranch hands that no one else wants, and Missie befriends her Indian neighbor, creating a community out of this group of outsiders. And when Missie becomes pregnant, and bandits come looking for their savings, it is these friends that Missie and Willie will have to rely on.


The only caution regards the violence. One bad guy is shot and killed, but it isn’t gory, and he does have an opportunity for redemption.


There are now nine other films in this series, and all are more or less based on a series of novels by Christian author Janette Oke. But in the two that precede this one – Love Comes Softly (2003) and Love’s Enduring Promise (2004) – both included an instance of misuse, or at the very least questionable use, of God’s name.

Fortunately, Love’s Long Journey can be enjoyed all on its own. I am intrigued enough to check out a few more, and will let you know when I have.

See the trailer below.

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Drama, Movie Reviews

An American in Austen

Drama / Romance 2024 / 84 minutes Rating: 7/10 In the opening scene, we discover that Harriet-the-aspiring-author is struggling with writer's block, but her alter ego, Harriet-the-librarian is having quite the day. First a teen patron asks for a recommendation and Harriet gets to introduce the girl to Jane Austen. Harriet briefly hugs a copy of Pride and Prejudice before handing it over. Then Harriet's boyfriend of three years, Ethan, arrives early to take her to an anniversary dinner. But when Ethan pulls off the most romantic surprise marriage proposal ever, Harriet finds herself giving what might be the worst answer possible: "Maybe?" That scene ends with a quick cut to Harriet commiserating with two friends, all three wondering what on earth just happened. When they see a shooting star, one friend suggests Harriet wish for a do-over on the night. But instead, she wistfully declares, "I wish for Mr. Darcy." And that's when it happens. On the cab ride home, Harriet falls asleep, only to wake up in the back of a carriage. She's confused, thinking it's all a rather scary joke. Even when the carriage stops, and she meets the Bennets – mama, papa, and the five sisters who believe that Harriet is their just-arrived American cousin – still thinks it's a prank, some kind of play being put on for her behalf. She only starts to clue in when she notices there are no telephone or power lines, and no planes flying overhead. The shooting star has done its work – she's been transported into Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, and soon she's going to meet Mr. Darcy! This will best be appreciated by Austen fans, who will understand the different ways that Harriet's arrival is messing with the original story, and her attempts to get things back on track. There's a fun Groundhog Day homage going on here too, with the way Harriet begins each day. Instead of alarm clock music repeatedly starting off Bill Murray's day, we have a rooster's crow startling Harriet again and again. Like Murray, Harriet has that moment where she realizes she's still there, and she's still stuck, living out another day in this same story. Cautions After realizing that even Mr. Darcy doesn't compare with being loved by Ethan, Harriet looks up to the heavens and offers what's basically an agnostic prayer. She never addresses God or anyone. She seems to be speaking to the sky, perhaps hoping for another shooting star to come by and grant her a second wish. The other caution would be the one you can tack on to every Hallmark movie: the god here is love. And while God is love, love is not god, and to elevate it so is to make an idol out of it. Conclusion We're all Jane Austen fans in this household, and it was that very love that left us split on this creative riff. For the loyalists, it's just annoying to have a ditzy, maverick American walking through the original story and messing things up. But I quite enjoyed how Harriet was both stuck in the story, constrained by what Austen wrote, and yet still able to cause new and original problems for the Bennet household, all while staying within the spirit of the original. This is a Hallmark film, and while still predictable enough, it has a good dollop of creativity that left me wondering exactly how it would all work out. So, safe for the whole family, but best enjoyed by those already well-acquainted with Jane Austen and yet not fiercely loyal to her. You can watch a short scene below... ...