Princess Cut

princess-cutGenre: Romance, DramaDove-Family-Approved-12
Studio: Watchman Pictures
Release Date: November 2015

Grace dreams of finding “Mr. Right,” but when yet another relationship goes horribly wrong, she starts to question God and whether such a guy exists. When she meets Jared a nice guy who opens doors for her and doesn’t hide his interest, Grace believes things might finally turn around. But before long, Jared pressures her in directions that conflict with her convictions. Determined to stop repeating the same mistakes, Grace embarks on a journey, with the help of her dad, to discover the true meaning of love and what it means to wait on God. A quest that eventually leads her to the handsome next-door neighbor.

Princess Cut delivers a heart-warming romance that focuses on an important, though often unpopular, message. It explores the importance of waiting on God and the vital role of the father. Though predictable in plot, its faith-oriented and family-friendly values make for a sweet, inspiring story.

Grace is a nice, caring young woman who longs to find love, making her easy to relate to. I liked her relationship with princess-cut-clint-graceher family. Ashley Bratcher portrayed her beautifully and fit the part. And Clint … be still my beating heart! It’s hard, if not impossible, to not fall for the handsome and kind doctor. Joseph Gray did a wonderful job bringing him to life. While Grace and Clint made their share of mistakes throughout the movie, their flawed characters made them real.

Though I greatly enjoyed the film, I would have liked more story and character development. Grace jumped from one relationship to the next too quickly, detracting from her romance with Clint and her implied personal growth. Some of the characters (such as the therapist and best friend) were too stereotypical and even strange. Their over-the-top characterization made them hard to take seriously and even harder to understand why Grace might feel compelled to listen. Brooke would have benefited from being toned down too. While her character brought needed conflict to the story, her self-absorbed and rude personality made it difficult to believe that Clint would have ever been interested in her. Her flighty and erratic behavior didn’t fit someone who achieved her profession.

The acting and dialogue were stilted at times, but in the end, the powerful message far outweighs the rest. Princess Cut will appeal to viewers who enjoy a good, clean romance with Christian values.

Review copy provided by writer and director. Thanks!

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Love on the Air

love-on-the-air-hallmarkGenre: Romance
Studio: Hallmark
Publication Date: September 2015

Sonia (Alison Sweeney) has just been dumped — on air. Her listeners, who tune in for relationship advice, have learned along with Sonia that her love life is in shambles. To make matters worse, the network merges her show with Nick’s Man Cave. Nick (Jonathan Scarfe) stands for everything Sonia opposes, but as long as the ratings continue to rise, they are stuck working together.

Sparks fly from the get-go as the two rivals butt heads on and off air. Nick’s opinionated and independent co-host infuriates him. To prove that his advice works, Nick vows to help Sonia win back her fiancée. However, he didn’t count on falling for his “project” and now he may have made the biggest mistake of his life.

Love on the Air delivers a deliciously fun and cute story. Sweeney and Scarfe are brilliant in their roles of the rivals who fall in love. Their snarky comebacks elicited numerous chuckles as I eagerly waited to hear what they’d say next. Their chemistry was palpable and believable, making this one of the most enjoyable Hallmark films I’ve watched this year.

Is it cheesy and predictable? Absolutely! But let’s be honest, we wouldn’t pick a Hallmark movie if we weren’t looking for a bit of both. It’s a light, feel-good story that leaves the viewer with a goofy grin and happy heart.

I recommend this battle of the sexes movie to anyone who enjoys sweet and delightful romantic comedies.

The Boxcar Children Movie

the-boxcar-childrenGenre: Children’s Movie
Publisher: Phase 4 Films
Release Date: August 2014

Rated: G

Four orphaned siblings run away to avoid being split up. They have a grandfather but have never met him and fear he is cruel because he didn’t like their mother. When they stumble across an abandoned boxcar deep in the woods, the children know they’ve found a safe haven. Relying on lots of creativity and hard work, Henry, Jessie, Violet, and Benny Alden make a beautiful home that they keep hidden from the rest of the world. Along the way, they make unlikely friends and experience many adventures. However, when one of them falls ill and needs help, they risk losing the little utopia they’ve created.

The Boxcar Children delivers a sweet, family-oriented film for people of all ages. Based on the book by Gertrude Chandler Warner, this movie is a rare gem. In this day and age, it’s a breath of fresh air to find a story that imparts the importance of family and values. Through the characters, viewers learn about hard work, kindness, putting the needs of others first, and much more. Parents can comfortably let their children watch this movie, knowing that they will receive positive lessons from it.

The book series was one of my childhood favorites; the tattered pages bespeak to countless hours of enjoyment. I remember making “boxcars” with my brothers and reenacting the Alden’s adventures. Watching the movie felt like traveling back in time and experiencing the tale for the first time all over again. It didn’t matter that I’m many years past its intended audience.

I strongly recommend The Boxcar Children to parents and children alike as well as to anyone who simply enjoys a good, clean story with great values. I, for one, hope to see many more films like this one in the future.

Review copy provided by Entertainment One. Thanks!