WHAT IT’S ABOUT
The second film featuring an American Girl character is available again on DVD. “Felicity: An American Girl Adventure” tells the story of Felicity Merriman (Shailene Woodley), a ten-year-old girl living in Williamsburg, Virginia on the eve of the American Revolution. Felicity is learning to be a gentlewoman while her father struggles with political decisions as a Patriot. Felicity learns to use kindness and inner strength to save a horse from abuse, convince her father’s indentured servant to not break his contract and bring peace to political enemies in her small corner of the Colonies.
WHAT I LIKED
Not being a ten-year-old girl – and not ever being a ten-year-old girl, as I’m told – I really can’t relate to the “American Girl” movies. However, having grown up with a sister and seeing how the ten-year-old girls in my family have behaved over the years, I can understand how this film will speak to that demographic.
As with the other “American Girl” movies I’ve seen, this definitely has a strong message behind it for girls to be themselves and have faith in humanity. As unrealistic as this message can be against the backdrop of the real world, it isn’t a bad message to be giving girls at such a young age.
The thing I liked most about “Felicity: An American Girl Adventure” was the fact that it didn’t try to tackle the problems of the world. It didn’t try to put Felicity in the thick of the politics of the day or in the middle of the fighting of the Revolutionary War. Instead, she was empowered to affect change within her very limited reach. This is a dose of reality that is good to have for a child. Kids are not meant to save the world, and sometimes uplifting films can over-emphasize the possibility of that actually happening.
WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE
Like I said earlier, I’m not – nor have I ever been – a ten-year-old girl. Thus, I found this film to be a bit of a softball. The world of the prim and proper is of little interest to me, so watching Felicity learn (with great interest and relish) the ins and outs of etiquette during tea or the place of a woman in the 1770s was just dull.
Also, the production value was quite low on this production. I wasn’t expecting anything on the level of “Kit Kitteridge: An American Girl,” which was made for wide release and dropped into theaters, but this TV production didn’t have much pizzazz behind it. The backdrop looked nice, shot in practical locations of a historic village (rather than building it from scratch), but that’s just fortunate location managing. The other meant-to-be-realistic scenes, like that of the soldiers looked more like a historical reenactment than a period film.
There are some decent behind-the-scenes featurettes, on par with those on the “Samantha: An American Girl Holiday” DVD release last year. New featurettes include “Women in Williamsburg” and “All About Felicity: An American Girl.”
Featurettes imported from the previous DVD release about five years ago include “On Set with Felicity” and “Felicity’s Williamsburg.”
WHO’S GOING TO LIKE THIS MOVIE
American girls who like American Girl.
Watch this clip from "Felicity: An American Girl Adventure"