Inspired by Janette Oke’s best-selling series, the new-to-DVD stars Erin Krakow, Daniel Lissing and Lori Loughlin. Directed by Michael Landon, Jr.
FILM SYNOPSIS: It’s the Great Northwest frontier in 1910, and young teacher Elizabeth Thatcher receives her first classroom assignment in Coal Valley, a small coalmining town that has just endured a fatal mining disaster. Financially strapped and broken in spirit, the community is at first resistant to this newcomer. Soon, they find Elizabeth charming and full of character. But the new constable Jack Thornton (Daniel Lissing), is at odds with the pretty but petulant schoolmarm. They just seem to rub each other the wrong way. Could there be a romance ahead? If you don’t think so, you haven’t been reading many of Janette Oke’s works.
PREVIEW REVIEW: When Calls the Heart: Lost & Found remains true to the spirit of Janette Oke’s stories. The DVD release, a combo of two episodes of the TV series, continues with Ms. Oke’s “young women struggling on the prairie” theme. Its staid and true gentility appears to have found a niche audience. Ladies, you can expect more of the show on DVD.
I was disappointed with the cornball, clunky, and forgettable movie version of this series last year, which featured a different cast. I found neither the characters nor the actors portraying them very inspiring. Helped greatly by TV veteran Lori Loughlin in a supporting role, the new Elizabeth Thatcher (Erin Krakow) and her true blue Northwest Mountie (Daniel Lissing) offer viewers a saving grace by giving dimension and likability to their roles. And Michael Landon Jr.’s intuitive direction keeps us engaged.
The production values are all what you’d expect in a Michael Landon Jr. production, and this Little Schoolhouse on the Prairie wannabe is replete with faith-based themes and reminders that communities need to pull together in order for a society to survive and thrive.
I suspect this is a series aimed mostly at a female demographic. But we guys could do worse than brew a cup of Earl Gray on a blustery night and watch this weekly Hallmark Channel family drama with our womenfolk.
Not rated, I found the content family-friendly.