After getting involved with the wrong people and getting involved in a fight that damages a local café, Clark Davis ends up in a jail cell alone when his partner in crime escapes. Since Clark stays behind when he could have left, the local sheriff decides to have mercy on him and give him a chance to work off the damage he caused. Clark ends up helping two sisters, Ellen and Cassie Barlow, with their struggling farm, since their parents passed away and left them with all the work. Before he knows it, Clark finds himself interested in the Christian beliefs of Ellen and finds himself falling in love with her.
Production Quality (2 points)
With Hallmark taking full control of these Love Comes Softly spinoffs, the production quality improved slightly. The camera work is solid, as is the video quality, including good outside shots. The sound quality is consistent throughout. The sets and locations are authentic, but slightly limited. The costuming is pretty good, but there are still some historical time period errors, such as excessive makeup and hairdos. The editing is above average, yet there is not much content to work with. But overall, this is not a cheaply made production and certainly could have been a lot worse.
Plot and Storyline Quality (1.5 points)
After silently departing from Janette Oke’s original plotlines in the original Love Comes Softly movie franchise, Hallmark has now manufactured a sequel using characters implied in the books or younger versions of main characters. Perhaps it was better to be honest and upfront about inventing a concept loosely based on novels, since Love Begins isn’t really that bad of a plot. It’s not overly cheesy, yet it is also not very creative. The dialogue is fairly stock and seems to drag on, since this plot is quite shallow for content. Thus, the characters need more deepening. Yet the events that happen are realistic and relatable. Nothing outlandish will be found here—Love Begins is a simple, straightforward Hallmark romance that mostly avoids a cheesy identity. While there is nothing very creative here, it is at least an average plot.
Acting Quality (1.5 points)
This is a very small cast, and their acting is certainly not horrible. The acting overall definitely reaches the average mark. Some actors and actresses needed to be coached better so that they were more authentic acting. As previously mentioned, there are some unrealistic costuming and makeup issues, which seem to be a plague in Hallmark frontier movies. In the end, average is a word that sums up Love Begins.
Unable to resist the urge to continue to spin out more made-for-television movies loosely based on Janette Oke’s creative concepts, Hallmark did not commit glaring errors in Love Begins. Rather, they settled for a down-home inspirational romance that many people will find enjoyable. Yet the real question remains: how many more of these types of movies does the market really need?
Final Rating: 5 out of 10 points