TV film review: Love’s Long Journey (2005), directed by Michael Landon Jr.
This is the second sequel to Love Comes Softly, a feelgood Hallmark TV film I rather liked, because Dale Midkiff. Unfortunately, if True Movies screened Love’s Enduring Promise (the sequel) recently, I missed it, which I’m now kicking myself for, as I would probably have been more interested in that than I was in this, because Dale Midkiff. Oh, he’s in this one too … for about TEN SECONDS. Sadface!
Between Love Comes Softly and Love’s Long Journey little Missie has apparently grown up (Erin Cottrell), married some guy called Willie LaHaye (Logan Bartholomew), and headed out in order to set up a farm somewhere not next door to ol’ Maw and Paw.
Missie is pregnant, but doesn’t want to stress her husband by letting him know too soon as he has a homestead to fix up. Meanwhile, hanging over the family like some sort of dark cloud, are the bandits Trent (John Savage), Mason (Jeff Kober), and their more reluctant younger pal Sonny Huff (Richard Lee Jackson). Sonny is only in it in order to get enough money together to get his own farm, where he can live with his younger brother Jeff (Graham Phillips). They’ve both been orphaned, see.
Willie hires himself some farmhands: Scottie (W Morgan Sheppard), Henry (James Tupper), Cookie (Frank McRae) and Norwegian ex-pat Fyn Anders (Johann Urb, who pulls off such a decent Norwegian accent I had to look him up – he’s an Estonian who grew up in Finland!), and they all become one happy, feelgood family.
On the next farm over lives Miriam Red Hawk McClain (Irene Bedard) with her Scottish hubby, and as luck would have it, she’s delivered many a baby before. Occasionally, her brother Sharp Claw (Gil Birmingham) and his tribe camp on the land, and Missie is delighted to be able to teach the children how to read, because she really misses teaching.
And so it plods along, as one, big happy Christianised cuddle. I might not have thought Love Comes Softly was too nauseatingly religious, but maybe I was just distracted by the disturbingly handsome Clark Davis. The fact that he only had about ten seconds worth of screen time (maybe 20, at a push, and a bit more if you count the voiceover) meant there were no such distractions, and instead there was a lot of Godbotherin’ goin’ on. Bleagh.
This film also isn’t half as cute as Love Comes Softly, so it fails there too. It’s good enough, and full of “hey it’s THAT GUY!” moments, but it’s not for the less religiously inclined, and it’s a bit bland. If you like the general setting, though, like the Little House on the Prairie, it’s a good enough watch.
3 out of 5 jam jars.