Anyone who has read my Sunset Over Hope Valley re-cap posts would know that my favorite character on When Calls the Heart is Tom Thornton. And anyone who has read the Season 5 finale re-cap post would know how disappointed I was by Tom’s absence in that episode. As a fan, I have found a way to make up for the dissappointment. According to his IMDB Filmography, Max Lloyd-Jones (the actor who portrays Tom Thornton) starred in the film, Flicka: Country Pride. It just so happened that this movie was airing on television recently, making this movie reviewing experience too good to pass up. Before watching this movie, I:
- Have never read My Friend Flicka by Mary O’Hara.
- Have never watched the My Friend Flicka television show.
- Have never seen any of the previous Flicka films.
- Did not watch a trailer or read reviews for Flicka: Country Pride.
I had no idea what to expect from this film. This was the second straight-to-DVD and third/final film in the Flicka trilogy, so my expectations were set low. How did Flicka: Country Pride turn out to be? Keep reading to find out!
Things I liked about the film:
- The acting: While the cast of Flicka: Country Pride was good, the three stand-out performers were Kacey Rohl, Teryl Rothery, and Max Lloyd-Jones! I had never seen any of Kacey’s acting performances before, so I wasn’t sure what to expect of her performance in this movie. However, Kacey’s performance in Flicka: Country Pride blew me away as she successfully helped carry this film alongside Clint Black and Lisa Hartman! I’ve seen Teryl perform in five Hallmark movies, as well as Cedar Cove, and she was a great addition to this film’s cast! Besides When Calls the Heart, I’ve seen Max in six movies and several episodes/video clips of Switched at Birth. What I’ve noticed after watching these projects, including Flicka: Country Pride, is that Max has always appeared to put in a 100% effort and all the talent he has into the roles he is given.
- The cinematography: For a straight-to-DVD film, and just as a film in general, there was good cinematography! Some of the best scenes in Flicka: Country Pride were the scenes that involved any of the characters riding horses. The camera angles and editing that was used for these scenes helped add a sense of excitement and intrigue.
- The incorporation of grief: In most movies featuring a young, grieving protagonist, the focus on grief appears self-contained for the young protagonist. In Flicka: Country Pride, however, we get to see how grief affects the other characters surrounding the young protagonist. What’s also interesting is how grief influences the choices and ways of seeing the world for some of these characters in the film. I felt this was a great choice for the creative team behind this movie as this concept is not always explored in family/children’s films.
- The on-screen chemistry: When I was watching Flicka: Country Pride, I felt that Max Lloyd-Jones and Kacey Rohl had good on-screen chemistry! Their relationship on-screen appeared so believable, that it looked and felt like they truly cared about each other. The friendship that both Max and Kacey displayed in this movie came across as very life-like, with both of them acting like they really got along with each other.
What I didn’t like about this film:
- Some predictability: During my viewing of Flicka: Country Pride, I noticed there were some moments in the film that felt predictable. It wasn’t like a typical Hallmark Channel movie, where you, more often than not, know most of the movie before even watching it. However, there were some story points that I was able to correctly guess before it happened.
- An insufferable bully: While Siobhan Williams did a really good job portraying the character of Kacey’s bully, I really did not like Siobhan’s character. Not only was she annoying, but she could easily get under someone’s skin. Also, I can’t believe Siobhan’s character was named Stephanie Meyers (I’m not making this up). Either that was pure coincidence or someone really didn’t like the Twilight series.
- Lindy and Toby’s relationship: Clint Black and Lisa Hartman had good on-screen chemistry in Flicka: Country Pride, but I felt like their relationship was not highlighted to the level that it could have been. In the movie, Lindy and Toby try to pursue a romantic relationship. However, compared to the other storylines and subplots, this particular story element didn’t feel like it went anywhere. It seemed like it just got lost in the shuffle.
- The ending: To me, the ending of Flicka: Country Pride was too much of a cliffhanger. Toby tells Lindy that he has a surprise for her, but we never get to find out what that surprise is. The fact that this movie is the last in the Flicka trilogy makes this ending even worse. Based on the ending, my guess is the creative team behind Flicka: Country Pride planned on making a fourth movie, but they never got around to it.
My overall impression:
Flicka: Country Pride is a good movie! In fact, this movie surpassed my expectations! What’s great about this movie is if you watch it without ever having seen the other Flicka films preceding it (like I did), you won’t have a difficult time following along with the story. I’m actually glad I saw Flicka: Country Pride because now it raises an interesting question: how come we, the Hearties, have never seen Tom Thornton ride a horse on When Calls the Heart? In all the seriousness I can give as a movie blogger, I think Tom being able to ride a horse would make a lot of sense. I feel this way because:
- I would be willing to guess that Max Lloyd-Jones gained some horse riding experience while working on Flicka: Country Pride.
- In Season 2, Tom did mention his family had a farm.
- Not only have we seen Jack and Charlotte (Tom and Jack’s mom) Thornton ride a horse on When Calls the Heart, but Tom and Jack’s dad/Charlotte’s husband was a Mountie.
Hopefully, if Max Lloyd-Jones returns to When Calls the Heart to reprise his role as Tom Thornton, maybe we’ll see him finally ride a horse. As for Flicka: Country Pride, I would definitely recommend this film!
Overall score: 8 out of 10
So, what did you think of this review? Are you encouraged to give Flicka: Country Pride a chance? Let me know in the comment section!
Have fun at the movies!