LOVE’S UNFOLDING DREAM
MOVIE: **1/2 (out of 5)
DVD EXPERIENCE: * (out of 5)
Erin Cottrell as MISSIE LAHAYE
Scout Taylor-Compton as BELINDA TYLER
Dale Midkiff as CLARK DAVIS
Robert Pine as DR. MICAH JACKSON
Victor Browne as SHERIFF ZACH TYLER
Samantha Smith as MARTY DAVIS
Patrick Levis as DREW SIMPSON
Directed by: Harvey Frost
Studio: RHI Entertainment
BY KEVIN CARR
Approaching a film like “Love’s Unfolding Dream” has to be done properly, especially if you’re a male film critic like me who has a thirst for the summer blockbuster. And as much as I like ongoing film series like “Star Wars” and “Die Hard,” I have to look at this series of films, based on Janette Oke’s best-selling books, as a popular series with its own audience.
Having only seen one other film in this ongoing six-part series (the previous one, “Love’s Unending Legacy”), the first thing that this new film demonstrated was that it was being consistent in the series itself.
“Love’s Unfolding Dream” takes off several years after the previous film. Belinda Tyler (Scout Taylor-Compton) has grown up into a women under her adoptive mother Missie LaHaye (Erin Cottrell). She’s still full of spunk, but she’s directing her energies into becoming a professional woman in a men’s world. Belinda wants to be a doctor, and she won’t let anyone tell her otherwise.
Belinda gets a job with the town’s physician, and soon starts to cross paths with Drew Simpson (Patrick Levis), a lawyer from New York who is fixing up family property in town. Drew fancies Belinda, and he begins to court her. However, both of them must come over their own stubbornness to make the relationship work.
The general theme of this installment is the empowerment of women. Sometimes taken a bit too seriously (and sometimes presented with a bit too much modern sensibility to be truly realistic), “Love’s Unfolding Dream” works for the series. It’s not my cup of tea, but then again, I doubt anyone made this movie with me in mind.
There’s no clear bad guy in this one, like previous films. The struggle comes from Belinda and Drew overcoming their issues. A side-story is presented in which Belinda helps a woman in town read, against her husband’s wishes. However, the husband is still a decent guy, just with a bruised ego.
Like previous “Love’s” films, this one has a pristine look for the old west, with everything freshly made and nothing in disrepair (except the property that Drew came to town to fix up). It’s not terribly realistic, but for fans of the genre and – more importantly – fans of the series, this one is something they’ll enjoy.