Dr. Belinda Owens agrees to let her now-pregnant medical school friend Dr. Annie Watson stay with her while Annie’s husband goes out of town for a short-term job. Believing that his wife needs help, Lee Owens sends for Annie’s controlling mother-in-law, who is impressed with her natural midwife advice, as opposed to Belinda’s medical training. In the midst of this, Lee feels himself torn between worrying about his wife’s desire for a child and his new apprentice’s interest in his adopted daughter Lillian. In the end, they must all learn to work together as they face a medical emergency and other small town tragedies.
Production Quality (1.5 points)
As the main Love Comes Softly series comes to a close, the production is no better than it ever was, only coming in at average. The video quality is just okay, and the camera work is stock. The musical score is generic. The sets and locations are pretty good, but are still quite limited. Costuming and makeup are not terribly authentic. The editing is not up to par, but as we will see next, there really wasn’t much to work with. In summary, the production quality of Love Finds a Home is not as bad as it could be, but with the resources available to Hallmark, it should be better.
Plot and Storyline Quality (0 points)
There is no way to quantify what the true plot of Finds a Home is. There is no driving storyline or compelling arcs. This story is a collection of recycled inspirational frontier scenes and incidents, interspersed with discussions on medical lingo. There are too many disjointed subplots thrown together, so that the movie hops from one thing to the next without creating a common theme or giving the audience a reason to keep watching. In this final installment, Love Comes Softly boils down to a generic family-friendly cable show or a frontier television program rerun. The dialogue is straightforward and non-compelling, thus creating cardboard characters. A bunch of stuff happens and gets resolved just in time for the movie to be over. It doesn’t even end like a typical Love movie, but just stutters to an inevitable conclusion that leaves the viewer wondering what happened to this movie saga that once had such great potential.
Acting Quality (1 point)
With the complete exit of Dale Midkiff and Erin Cottrell from the franchise, the acting is certainly not terrible, but neither is it dynamic. Line delivery is procedural and emotions are absent. As previously mentioned, the vanity of these ‘frontier’ characters does not cease. In the end, poor acting, combined with bad plots, ultimately was the demise of this otherwise epic saga.
The Love Comes Softly saga limped to a close with this eighth installment, another movie that borrowed the title and some character from a Janette Oke book and completely disregarded the original plot that was far more interesting than another generic Hallmark movie. Gone are epic journeys and conflicts, just another small 19th century town filled with people doing stuff. Having finally fulfilled a commitment to rip off all eight of Oke’s better novels, Hallmark then set their sights on a new money-making venture: prequels and sequels!
Final Rating: 2.5 out of 10 points