"Clark Davis (Wes Brown) struggles to maintain his land and support his family during a long drought. With a bank loan to repay, his wife, Ellen (Julie Mond), takes a job in town as a seamstress, but soon becomes ill with scarlet fever. Devastated to lose his beloved wife, Clark and his young daughter Missie (Morgan Lily) turn to his parents Irene (Cheryl Ladd) and Lloyd (Bruce Boxleitner) for support. Clark must find a way to save his farm and survive Ellen's death without losing the person he loves most: his daughter."
After seeing the first prequel Love Begins when it aired on September 17th, and after re-watching the original Love Comes Softly the following weekend, Love's Everlasting Courage was not much of a surprise and served as a predictable transition piece.
Like Love Begins, these characters left me wanting more. Clark's lack of depth is a bit disheartening, as are his see-sawing emotions. The conversations and scenes feel a bit stilted, and also share a lack of historically satisfying quality with its predecessor. Not to mention the fact that the sister who played such a dominant role in the first prequel is suspiciously absent in the second one.
That being said, this movie is more meaningful than Love Begins, and the inclusion of Ben and Sarah's characters (from the original Love Comes Softly) is a sweet surprise for long-time fans. How fun to see them meet - although Ben is more adorable rather than stern and handsome! ;)
The title of the movie - Love's Everlasting Courage - is fitting, and one that serves as a good concluding note for those who have been following this "Love Saga," as Hallmark terms it. In this movie we only see Clark's transition stage, following the death of his first wife and preceding his marriage with Marty. Yet even amid all the tragedy and uncertainty, the love of God and family sustains Clark and reminds him of the courage needed to trust God and face the coming days.
My friend and I had a running commentary going throughout the movie, as we are apt to do while watching movies together! ;) Here are some of our observations/comments that you might enjoy:
- The rattlesnake finally shows up! We were certain that the younger sister was going to be bit by a rattlesnake in Love Begins after Clark warns her to beware of rattlesnakes in the high grass. And yet she goes to the meadow about 5 times or so (possible exaggeration...) and never gets bit! Talk about unfulfilled foreshadowing. So what do they do? They stick a rattlesnake in the very beginning of this movie. ;)
- My friend kept trying to diagnose Ellen as she showed signs of getting sick. The fatigue, the paleness, the fever, and the red rashes all make sense for scarlet fever from what I can tell after Googling the disease - but the cough??? Not sure about that one...
- This one's my favorite! During the commercial break, there was a Hallmark advertisement for the "Love Saga" (this series), and they talked about how "love heals" and "love triumphs." Well, my friend wasn't sure if Love Triumphs was a reference to the name of another movie they were making! We groaned (and laughed, of course), then discussed what they could possibly do to extend this series. We decided that Love Triumphs would be the prequel to the prequels - a story about Clark's parents and how they met during the Civil War while he was fighting for the Union and she was a Confederate spy. ;)