Having headed West with her true love Aaron (Oliver Macready) the journey has been hard for Marty (Katherine Heigl - Under Siege 2) but finally they have found where they plan to set up home. But Marty's dreams of happy future are shattered when Aaron dies falling from the horse leaving her with nothing. Not long after burying her husband widowed father Clark Davis (Dale Midkiff - Pet Sematary) offers her an unusual proposition, he wants to marry her as he is struggling to raise his daughter Missie (Skye McCole Bartusiak) and needs a wife to help raise her and as Marty has nowhere to go it makes sense. And if it doesn't work out he will be happy to pay for a ticket back East come next summer.
I have watched a few of the movies based on the books of Janette Oke and the good news is that they all worked without knowing the back-story. But finally I got to watch "Love Comes Softly" which is the first movie in the series and introduces us to the characters of Marty and Clark. Now what is there to say about "Love Comes Softly" other than for those who have yet to see any of these movies is that it is like "Little House on the Prairie", it has that sort of tone where we have some drama, some humour, some romance and some religion. And yes that does make it old fashioned but it also makes it a joy for those who grew up on the wholesome entertainment of "Little House on the Prairie".
As to the actual story well to be totally honest "Love Comes Softly" is pretty obvious, that is after the speedy set up which due to the preacher leaving for the next 6 months Marty has to bury and marry on the same day. Well what we have is Marty as a complete fish out of water when it comes to being a mother and living on a homestead, having to learn how to cook, kill chickens and of course deal with Missie a tomboy who stubbornly doesn't want a new mum. I suppose I should say spoiler alert here but to be honest it is totally obvious that not only will Missie warm to Marty but Marty and Clark's marriage of convenience will turn into more.
The thing is that whilst "Love Comes Softly" is predictable it is also very charming with a wonderful mix of humour and drama. Katherine Heigl and Dale Midkiff delivers some easy to warm to characters in Marty and Clark whilst Skye McCole Bartusiak is outstanding as Missie a tomboy who pretends to be strong but is hurting beneath the surface.
What this all boils down to is that as the first movie in the "Love Comes Softly" sets up what is to come quite nicely delivering that wholesome charm which is missing from many modern movies. Yes it is predictable but that allows for lots of gentle fun and drama.