Love Comes Softly2003

Genre: Romance, Western, Drama
Writer/director Michael Landon Jr. continues in his famous father's footsteps by creating moral family entertainment set in the early days of the American prairie. Stubborn Marty Claridge (Katherine Heigl, Grey's Anatomy) travels west with her new husband--but after they find a beautiful patch of land, her husband dies in an accident before they've even started building. A man named Clark (Dale Midkiff, Air Bud: World Pup) makes a proposal: If Marty will enter into a platonic marriage with him, he'll pay for her passage back east in the spring. What Clark needs is a mother, however temporary, for his willful tomboy daughter Missie (Skye McCole Bartusiak, Beyond the Prairie, Part 2). Missie fights Marty's presence fiercely while Clark, though supportive, speaks few words, and Marty suspects she's made a terrible mistake--but time reveals otherwise. Love Comes Softly, based on the popular Christian novel by Janette Oke, is a romance, but Landon carefully avoids any bodice-ripping histrionics. Problems get solved perhaps a little too easily, but the movie is cleanly written, pleasantly understated, and respectful to its characters. For many viewers, Love Comes Softly will be a welcome change from overheated secular love stories. --Bret Fetzer

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