Plot Details: This opinion reveals major details about the movie's plot.
Maybe because it's the latest in the Hallmark Channel's seemingly never ending Love Comes Softly series based on the Christian themed prairie romance novels by Janette Oke, the 2011 release Love's Everlasting Courage, hits all the right notes, but seems a bit tiresome. This film sticks to the same basic formula as the previous eight installments in the series, although it is a little more tragic than most, but there's nothing new or different, other than few new characters and the ending is a bit more bittersweet.
Set in the 19th century mid-west, prairie farmer Clark Davis (Wes Brown) is struggling to make ends meet on his modest homestead, due to a lengthy drought. Subsequently, his supportive wife, Ellen (Julie Mond) offers to take a job as a seamstress in a nearby town, leaving Clark to take care of their young daughter, Missy, (Morgan Lilly). The local banker is pressuring Clark to pay up to avoid foreclosure, when Ellen is suddenly stricken with scarlet fever.
In the meantime, Clark's parents (Cheryl Ladd and Bruce Boxleitner) have arrived for a visit. Despite Clark's attempts to nurse her back to health, Ellen succumbs to the disease. Clark's strong faith is severely tested when he has to decide whether to let his parents take Missy home with them or trust God to give him the strength to carry on and raise her in Ellen's absence.
While all of the film in the Love's Comes Softly series emphasize strong family values and reliance on God during difficult times, some of the films tend to soft peddle the religious themes. However, this film features one of the strongest examples of unwavering faith of the entire series, when Clark's father counsels him in the aftermath of Ellen's tragic death. Rather than offering platitudes or attempting to explain it away as God's will, he offers a simple, direct, and powerful message of hope and encouragement.
With the addition of Cherly Ladd and Bruce Boxtleitner, this film also features one of strongest casts in the series, although the overall quality of the acting is a bit uneven. Wes Brown comes across a bit too wooden in some scenes, while Julie Mond's character is a bit too saccharine. Due to the excellent cinematography, the stark mid-western scenery almost becomes another character in the story.
As a sentimental, faith based, film that promotes strong family values, Love's Everlasting Courage, recyles the same formula that has made it one of the most successful Hallmark Channel series' of all time. Long time fans of the series will likely not be disappointed in this effort despite the fact that it is a bit more tragic and bittersweet than some of the previous installments. During these perilous times filled with so much hatred, greed and violence, it's hard to be critical of films that offer a strong inspirational message of faith, hope, and encouragement. For that reason alone, this film is worth a mild recommendation, especially for fans of the Hallmark Channel's lightweight, family themed, entertainment.
Many thanks to Mona for adding this to the database
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Viewing Format: DVD
Video Occasion: Good for Groups
Suitability For Children: Suitable for Children Age 13 and Older