- Jun 24, 2003
- Real Name
- Michael Osadciw
LOVE COMES SOFTLY
Studio: 20th Century Fox Television
Film Year: 2002
U.S. Rating: PG
Film Length: 88 minutes
Aspect Ratio:[*] 1.78:1 widescreen enhanced[*] 1.33:1 fullscreen
Audio:[*] English Dolby Digital 3.0 Surround
Subtitles: English, Spanish
Closed Captioned: Yes
SLP: US $24.90
Release Date: NOW AVAILABLE
Film Rating: :star: :star: :star: / :star: :star: :star: :star: :star:
Starring: Katherine Heigl (Marty Claridge), Dale Midkiff (Clark Davis), Skye McCole Bartusiak (Missie Davis), Corbin Bernsen (Ben Graham), Theresa Russell (Sarah Graham)
Directed by: Michael Landon Jr.
Written by: Cindy Kelly & Michael Landon Jr
Book by: Janette Oke
Marriage was the deal. Love was the surprise.
Based on Janette Oke’s best selling series of books, Love Comes Softly was written and directed by Michael Landon Jr. The story is of a young couple who dream of a new life on the American plains in the 19th Century. As they reached their destination, the young woman’s husband tragically dies of an accident. Marty is left a widow, and with no way back home, she’ll never survive the unforgiving winter approaching.
At the day of her husband’s funeral, Marty is approached by a widower named Clark Davis. He offers her a marriage of convenience – she can live at his home over the winter with him and his nine-year-old daughter Missy. The arrangement would have Marty act as teacher to Missy, who is still mourning from the loss of her mother. When spring arrives she can return home with no strings attached. She is appalled at his “marriage” offer over the grave of her husband. But she realizes there are no other options for her.
Living with Clark and Missy prove to be challenging. Their relationship starts sour and they are difficult to live with. In time they find solace in each other, and each find strength and courage as the three of them share the pain of those they have lost. When spring arrives Marty readies for her trip back home. Will she be happy leaving the place and the people she’s come to know? Should she choose to loose Clark and Missy whom she’s grown to love? Love Comes Softly has a gentle Little House of the Prairie feel that makes this movie a nice family viewing. Even though the acting can sound a little rehearsed like a school play, or the special effects and props are a little sub-standard (eg. the barn wood that is supposed to be burnt and charred is actually wood painted black), it’s still an entertaining Sunday night movie.
VIDEO QUALITY :star: :star: 1/2 / :star: :star: :star: :star: :star:
The movie opens up with wonderful contrast and colours in the fields of the American Plains. Viewers will be disappointed to see a harsh digital appearance. Compression artefacts like back blocking and mosquito noise are very apparent in areas on screen such as shots of tall grass or even up close details on clothing. These artefacts prevent real detail from showing through. The disc also suffers from some added edge enhancement. Thankfully the image is colourful enough and has lifelike flesh tones for me to forget about compression problems. Contrast is good but can be better, as black levels appear a little higher than other movies. For those interested, a full screen version of the movie is on side B.
AUDIO QUALITY :star: :star: :star: / :star: :star: :star: :star: :star:
The audio is adequate for this television release. Presented only in Dolby Surround, there is enough enhancement of the front soundstage using Dolby ProLogic II. The music score provides most of the surround effects, although there are some environmental effects as well. As a dialogue driven drama, the center channel information is never drowned out by the main channels.
SPECIAL FEATURES ZERO / :star: :star: :star: :star: :star:
There are no special features on this disc. A trailer for Hangman’s Curse is included.
IN THE END…
Love Comes Softly is a nice ‘made for television’ drama that is family orientated and a pleasure to watch. Disappointing only is the quality of the video presentation. Given the short run time of the film, a better job on this title could have been done even if it’s only a made for TV movie. Those who like the movie deserve better.