Love Begins
by Phil Boatwright

Janette Oke’s Love Begins from her Love Comes Softly book series is now a Hallmark Channel movie and it arrives on DVD from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment November 22,2011.

FILM SYNOPSIS: After their father’s passing, Ellen Barlow (Julie Mond, General Hospital) and her sister Cassie (Abigail Mavity, Summerland) struggle to maintain thefamily farmin Anderson’s Corner. When Clark Davis (Wes Brown, True Blood) finds trouble in town on his way to California, Ellen agrees to hire him at the far to work off his debts. Before long, Clark and Ellen unexpectedly develop feelings for each other.

PREVIEW REVIEW: Now look, I tear up over Hallmark Hall of Fame commercials, so don’t let the expression “chick flick” cause you to label me a chauvinist. But I have sat through the entire made-for TV/DVD Love series by Janette Oke and my conclusion is that the screen adaptations are more suited to feminine sensibilities. This is a chick flick of the highest order. So, what’s wrong with that? Guys are bombarded by movies that go boom, so why shouldn’t the fairer sex have sentimental movies about lifting up what we should all hold dear: love, honor, and regard for others and reverence for God and matters of faith. Melodramatic, yes; set on a dustless frontier, for sure; but the production, like its predecessors, is involving, gently paced, and after several doses of tame theatrics, leaves viewers with a happy ending. Come to think of it, I may watch it again. Not rated, I found nothing objectionable. It’s a soap opera set in the Old West, but it is life-affirming and reminds us that faith in God and the fellowship of family and friends will bring harmony and inner peace to our lives. Nice supporting performances from Nancy McKeon (The Facts of Life) and Jere Burns (Dear John).