lovebeginsLove On The Range

Love Begins (DVD)
Stars: Julie Mond, Abigail Mavity, Wes Brown, Jere Burns, David Tom and Nancy McKeon
Director: David S. Cass, Sr.
Scriptwriter: Michael Moran from the novel “Love Finds a Home” by Janette Oke
Composer: Stephen McKeon
Cinematographer: Maximo Munzi
Allied Faith & Family/Fox Home Entertainment
Rating: PG
Running Length: 89 minutes
“Love On The Range” is part of best-selling author Janette Oke’s series on love. Titles such as “Love Finds A Home” from the “Love Comes Softly” series intrigued readers of the books, and now the western touch is here on DVD, which is also captioned. As an aside, the DVD also includes trailers for “Water for Elephants” and “Snow Flower and The Secret Fan,” both of which are admirable films.
Our story begins in the Old West about the turn of the last century. The Barlow sisters, Ellen (Julie Mond from “General Hospital”) and her younger sister, Carrie (Abigail Mavity from “Summerland”) take care of their farm after the death of their parents. The kindly sheriff (Jere Burns from “Dear John”) and  the innkeeper (Nancy McKeon) keep an eye on the girls. Along comes trouble in the form of two roustabout cowboys, Clark (Wes Brown from “True Blood”) and the troublesome Daniel ( David Tom). Soon, they are in trouble and in jail. Daniel breaks out, but Clark decides to stay and work off his debt of damage to the inn’s restaurant. The sheriff takes Clark to the Barlow Farm for a month of work, and, of course, this handsome cowboy is of interest to Carrie (“he resembles Pa”) and Ellen (he’s a handsome guy, but one who crawls out on a roof during a thunderstorm). No one trusts Clark, but he works hard and through repairing barns, roofs and storms and their damage, stays on and perseveres. This is not un-noticed by the town and Ellen, who has a secret.
“Love Begins” is a gentle story, even with the shenanigans of Daniel and a reluctant Clark. Young Carrie, has her share of boldness that embarrasses older sister, Ellen. It’s clear that she may need help in directing Carrie. The characters are drawn well here and aptly portrayed by the actors. Julie Mond is quietly effective as the older sister who holds to a moral code. Jere Burns as the sheriff steals his scenes with effective mannerisms. David Tom as Daniel is the height of trouble and seems to enjoy this role. It took me a minute to recognize Nancy McKeon as the owner of the inn. Wes Brown, as the remorseful Clark, is quietly effective. Though he certainly doesn't have much to say, you know he is always in the scene. The scenery is beautifully photographed and the soundtrack by Stephen McKeon stands by itself, enhancing the film.
All in all, “Love Begins” is a well-filmed, PG-rated movie of love on the range with a kid sister and friendly sheriff to boot. However, there is a red herring. With all the talk of watching out for rattlers, the chicken coop was still safe.
Copyright 2011 Marie Asner