Release Date: Nov 19, 2013
Source: DVD sent by publicist in exchange for an honest review
My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
About the DVD: (from the publicist)
When Calls the Heart, directed by Michael Landon Jr. and based on the best-selling books by Janette Oke, tells the story of a young high society teacher receiving her first classroom post in a prairie town in the Western Frontier. Determined to prove to her family that she is brave enough to live on her own, Elizabeth (Poppy Drayton) struggles with her own fears and doubts until she discovers her late Aunt's diary. Her aunt (Maggie Grace), also named Elizabeth, had set off on a similar adventure as a teacher into the frontier, where she struggled with prairie life and eventually met and fell in love with a Royal Canadian Mountie (Stephen Amell). Reading her aunt’s words, the young Elizabeth decides to put her future in God’s hands and embark on her own adventure where she uses the diary as her guide as well as Edward, another Mountie (Daniel Sharman), sworn to see her arrive.
This is such a great movie, I really loved watching it! The story is so romantic, it is beautifully filmed and it's just a fantastic movie. It is a wholesome story, but not overly so. I think fans of inspirational historical fiction are going to love this movie as much as I did.
The movie tells the story of Elizabeth Thatcher, a somewhat spoiled young woman intent on becoming a teacher in the Canadian West. While her family strives to keep her from going into the dangerous country all by herself, she finds the diary of her aunt Elizabeth who also was a teacher in the west. As Elizabeth reads about her aunt's struggles on the frontier, the movie provides flashbacks to Aunt Elizabeth's story interwoven with young Elizabeth's current journey.
I have not read the book "When Calls the Heart," but from what I saw on the DVD extra features, "Aunt Elizabeth's" story is the one from the book and "young Elizabeth's" story is a new story for the movie and subsequent Hallmark TV series. I have also watched the TV series, and while both the series and movie are wonderful, they are very different. My heart broke a little when I first started watching the tv series because I didn't get to see the story continue in the way that it was told here. I would advise watching this movie with a completely separate mindset from watching the tv series and reading the book because they are very different.
This movie not only tells a wonderful story, but it is absolutely gorgeous to look at. The area where the fictional town of "Coal Valley" is set is spectacularly beautiful. The costumes are outstanding, I found myself distracted by the beautiful lacy details on the clothing.
I found myself especially drawn into "Aunt Elizabeth's" story. I loved how she was so stubborn and independent, and wouldn't accept help even when she needed it. She got into some adorable, awkward scrapes being so stubborn. Then I couldn't help but get drawn into "young Elizabeth's" story too when she started on her journey to Coal Valley. The friendship and romance that developed between Elizabeth and her Canadian Mountie escort was just so swoon-worthy. I loved it!
Bottom Line: This is a wonderful film all around. The story is heart-warming, the romance is sigh-worthy, the acting is spot-on, the setting is gorgeous. I really enjoyed watching it and I can't wait for more like it.
Purchase "When Calls the Heart" here:
Disclosure: I received a copy of this DVD from the publicist in exchange for an honest review.