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