Fox // 2006 // 88 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // May 22nd, 2008
Something something something love something.
Are you ready for some dream unfolding? How about some dream unfolding that happens to belong to love? I bet you do. Love's Unfolding Dream is the sixth installment in the "Love Comes Softly" books, written by best-selling author Janette Oke. At least that's what it says on the back of the disc case. I'll confess right at the beginning that prior to watching this DVD, my knowledge of the series was nil. My wife had actually read the books, but that topic never made it into our spousal dialogs.
Even though I wasn't aware of the narrative going into Unfolding Dream, it wasn't necessary for my enjoyment of the film. Add yeah I use the term "enjoyment" rather loose, but more on that later.
So here's how things unfold (ka-pow!). Belinda (Scout Taylor-Compton) is a young woman who wants to be a doctor, even though society (this story is set in the 1800s) frowns upon the gumption of a woman trying to break into the career of a medicine. She eventually convinces the prickly town doctor (Robert Pine) to let her come on as an assistant, which she joyously accepts. Meanwhile, a guy named Drew (Patrick Levis) drops into town to rebuild an inherited, rundown farmstead. Homeboy's a well-bred lawyer looking to unload the house and return to New York to begin a lucrative career in his father's law firm.
Except for one small problem -- he's taken a hankering to Belinda, whose outlook on life vexes him so, but man is she purty! Can these two lovebirds reconcile their drastically different lives and forge a happy existence together?
The answer is of course yes because this is a syrupy-sweet, down-home, God-fearing family drama and, you know, that's cool. There's plenty of room for this kind of stuff and while I'll never watch Love's Unfolding Dream again I recognize its merits and can say it's well-executed and gee-willikers-heck! yes I moderately enjoyed it.
Maybe it's because I've watched an amazing amount of offensive debauched crap during my tenure at the Verdict, so family-friendly fare like this -- so hard to come by -- is a soothing balm. Add to that there's a healthy dose of good, old-fashioned Christian values and you can't go wrong if you're looking for a saccharine, low-impact slice of period romance to park your family in front of on a Saturday night.
It's got everything you could want: nascent feminism, a can-do attitude, moral lessons about pursuing dreams and helping the less fortunate and following your one true love, barn-raising, emergency surgery that miraculously didn't lead to terrifying, oozing infections and a distinct lack of premarital sex.
If that sounds as appealing to you as a sponge bath administered by a Kodiak bear then I don't think this is the film genre you should be messing around with in the first place.
No-frills disc: clean 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen and 2.0 stereo and no extras.
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Scales of Justice
* 1.78:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 88 Minutes
Release Year: 2006
MPAA Rating: Not Rated