Sunday, November 6, 2011

Love's Christmas Journey

About the Movie:

"While still mourning the loss of her husband and daughter, recently widowed Ellie King (Natalie Hall) visits her brother Aaron Davis (Greg Vaughan) and his children for Christmas. Ellie does her best to enjoy the holidays, even making new friends with Mrs. Thompson (JoBeth Williams), a local shop keeper, and handsome admirer Deputy Strode (Dylan Bruce). Settling in nicely with her brother's family, Ellie also meets Erik (Bobby Campo), a young man abandoned by his outlaw father whom Aaron has taken in as one of his own. When Aaron travels out of town to purchase adjacent land for farming, Ellie agrees to watch his children, but the season’s festivities are threatened when Aaron goes missing."

My Review:

Love's Christmas Journey is a new two-part, four-hour journey Love Comes Softly fans won't want to miss! While the two new prequels that aired back in September and October on Hallmark Channel (Love Begins and Love's Everlasting Courage) were sweet, they really were lacking a certain depth and quality that made the first few movies of the series great. With the last two additions being rather disappointing, I wasn't expecting too much with this latest, much longer movie. I am happy to report that I was pleasantly surprised!

As more movies kept being added on to the series, I thought it was sad not to learn more about Missy's brothers (introduced in Love Comes Softly and Love's Enduring Promise). They simply seemed to vanish, even when Clark and Marty (Missy's father and stepmother) still came back off and on throughout the first six movies. I was so excited to learn that Love's Christmas Journey brought back Aaron (Missy's younger stepbrother)! And not only Aaron, but a yet-to-be-introduced younger sister named Ellie, who has a heartbreaking but ultimately hopeful story of her own.

There are so many wonderful surprises in this movie! The length definitely helps to give the characters more time to face challenges and grow. The overall quality is much better than the prequels (as well as the seventh and eighth movies), despite a little bit of lingering romantic (etc.) corniness, which can be cute, albeit awkward, sometimes! (And speaking of awkward, there's one falling scene near the beginning that is pretty out-of-the-blue, providing a laugh-out-loud moment.)

Yes, there is a bit of cheesy acting, which isn't so bad in a feel-good Christmas movie. But overall the acting is very good! I love that Sean Astin (of Lord of the Rings fame - Samwise Gamgee!) is the mayor!! And I knew a certain man in town looked familiar... Mr. Cunningham is none other than the actor (Stephen Bridgewater) who played Mr. Taylorson in Love's Long Journey and Love's Abiding Joy! How fun is that??

This movie packs an emotional punch, then wraps up the hurting in a great big group hug and a pretty red bow. And I enjoyed every minute! There's some Wild West-fighting tension that made me cringe and cry out, some adorable children scenes, and some romantic moments that made me go "Awww!" and smile. Love Comes Softly fans will recognize much of the background music, as well as a few references to Clark and Marty. With themes of justice, generosity, and hope, this is a great Christmas romantic Western to watch with your girl friends or family this season.

Movie Trailer:



Want to learn more about the movie and the whole Love Comes Softly movie series? Visit the Hallmark Channel website!

27 comments:

Kav said...

Great review, Amber! I'm hopiing that this one will be aired on another network closer to Christmas since I don't get the Hallmark Channel. :-)

Amber S. said...

Kav,

Thank you! :) I do hope you get to see it sometime - it's really sweet and just right for the Christmas season!

Glad you could stop by!

~Amber

Live in Stereo-News said...

Grea5t cozy movie.

Amber S. said...

Live in Stereo-News,

Yes, I agree! :)

~Amber

Faye said...

I hope it comes out on DVD so I can see it! Great review :) Sounds amazing :)

Michelle said...

As always, you've written a fantastic review, Amber! I wasn't aware of this movie until I checked Laura Frantz' blog on Saturday. Luckily, I found out just in time to set the DVR to record. : )

I haven't watched it yet, but I'm looking forward to it all the more after reading your review. : )

Amber S. said...

Faye,

I hope it comes out on DVD, too - so I can put it on my Christmas wish-list! ;) Glad you enjoyed the review, and I hope you get a chance to see it!

~Amber

Amber S. said...

Michelle,

Aww, thank you! :) I didn't hear about it until a few days before, when I clicked on a Christmas movie site link on Bluerose's blog. I'm so glad we both got the memo! ;)

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did! Yes, it still has some corniness, but it didn't bother me as much as it did in the prequels. I really liked this one so much more than the two prequels and the 7th and 8th movies in the series! It was a lot of fun to watch with a couple of the other girls here at school. :)

~Amber

Renee (SteelerGirl83) said...

Arrrgh I haven't seen ANY of the new movies! I don't get this channel so I miss out. :-( I'll definitely have to check it out on DVD.

XOXO~ Renee

Amber S. said...

Renee,

They just keep coming one right after the other, LOL! I'm sorry you haven't had a chance to see them yet, but I especially recommend this one if you get to see any of the new ones! Hope it comes to DVD soon. :)

~Amber

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

Yay can't wait.

Amber S. said...

Juju,

Hope you get a chance to see it sometime! :) I really enjoyed it, especially watching with friends!

~Amber

Anonymous said...

Amber,

I thought that Missy was the oldest child of Clark since she is the only child Clark had when he and Marty met and got married or am I remembering it wrong?

Thanks Neal

Amber S. said...

Neal,

Oh my goodness!! You are quite right! I don't know why I had it in my head that Aaron was older... Aaron was Marty's oldest child, but Missy (born to Clark and his previous wife) was older than Aaron, Arnie, and now Ellie, as well.

Thank you so much for correcting my mistake! I will make the appropriate change(s) in the post. :)

~Amber

Anonymous said...

Has anyone heard if this is ever going to release on DVD? I've looked everywhere but assume it isn't out.

Amber S. said...

Anonymous,

I wish I knew...

Love Begins and Love's Everlasting Courage are both out on DVD now, but as far as I know there's no word on Love's Christmas Journey. :( I'm guessing/hoping that it will be out sometime, since both of the prequels have been released on DVD! Maybe they're saving it for this upcoming Christmas season...?

Anyway, thanks for stopping by, and I hope we hear some good news soon! :)

~Amber

Anonymous said...

Here's to hoping! :)

Thanks Amber

Amber S. said...

Anonymous,

You're welcome! :)

~Amber

Amber S. said...

For anyone and everyone who finds this post:

It's finally available for pre-order on Amazon.com!!! As of today (October 5, 2012), the pre-order price is $16.93, and the release date is October 30, 2012. So it should indeed be available this Christmas season!!

It was a long wait, but maybe that will make the re-watching all the more enjoyable. :)

Thank you to everyone who has somehow found my review and taken the time to read it!

~Amber

Maria Lamb said...

I have been looking to clear up who Ellie is in "Loves Christmas Journey". Thank you for clearing this up for me. I have ALL the DVD's and enjoy watching them in chronological order starting with "LOVE BEGINS". Now I know about where to put "Loves Christmas Journey". I choose to view it right after "Loves Abiding Joy" as there is a 2 year story break between the that movie and "Loves Unending Legacy". This series never ceases to fill my heart with hope, love and encouragement in my daily walk with God in my life each time I take a week or so to watch them all yet again. I am an avid reader and have yet to read the book series. That is next on my list of things to do and I will probably purchase them too. :o)

Amber Stokes said...

Maria,

You're welcome! So glad my post was helpful to you. :)

That's fun that you have all of the DVDs and watch them in order! I have all of them except the two prequels (Love Begins and Love's Everlasting Courage). Unfortunately, those two weren't favorites of mine. :( And the last couple in the series weren't my favorites either... But still, it's a sweet series overall! That's so wonderful that the stories encourage you in your walk with God. I feel the same way, especially about the first few. They're filled with great words and examples of faith to ponder. :)

I hope you get a chance to read the books soon! Actually, it's been soooo long since I've read them (at least, I think I read all of them...?). I remember really enjoying the last couple, with Belinda's story (different from the movies, but with some similar elements to the 6th one).

Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving a comment!

~Amber

Daniel Mupe said...

im just about to watch this series (although 2 yrs late ) bt they have proven extremely watchable. thanks for your preview

Amber Stokes said...

Daniel,

How fun! Never too late to enjoy some Christmas cheer. :) Thank you for reading my review, and happy watching!

~Amber

Unknown said...

Watched Love's Christmas Journey and it ends "to be continued" in 2011. Has it been continued? Would love to see how it ends.

Amber Stokes said...

Unknown,

Oh, bummer! :( I'm wondering if you only saw the first half, perhaps? The special (about 3 hours) is available on DVD, so you should be able to find the the full version. :) Here's a link to it on Amazon. Hope you're able to watch it all soon!

~Amber

Sue Frazier said...

The Hallmark Channel only shows the first part? Wonder why they don't show the whole thing.

Amber Stokes said...

Sue,

When the movie first aired and I watched it in college, I remember it was divided into two parts, which they showed back to back... I currently don't have Hallmark Channel, so I can't say for sure, but I suppose now they might show the different parts on different days? Or they only show Part 1 for the most part? I agree that would be odd and unfortunate. :( I hope you're able to catch both parts sometime - either on TV or via DVD!

~Amber