The Saga Continues
3 years after her husband was killed as he intervened in some trouble Missie (Erin Cottrell) and her son Mattie (Brett Coker) are returning to be near by her mother and father Marty (Samantha Smith) and Clark (Dale Midkiff) where she is to become the new teacher. But after the loss of her daughter many years earlier and then her husband Missie's faith has become tested until she finds a strange calling to attend the church where a group of orphans are arriving to be housed and despite no room decides to take in Belinda Marshall (Holliston Coleman). Missie also finds herself falling for the town's sheriff Zach Tyler (Victor Browne) despite having felt like she could never love anyone again after her loss.
Whilst "Love's Unending Legacy" is not the last movie in this series of movies based on the Janette Oke novels it is the last one for me having watched all the other movies out of order. That is part of the reason why these movies are good as whilst they have a storyline about characters which evolve over the series they each work as standalone movies. As such at the beginning of this fifth movie we get spoon-fed enough of the story to set the scene over Missie's husband Willie dying and her decision to return home to Clark and Marty. Having said that for those who have followed the movies will be left with some annoying gaps such as what happened to the various workers who helped on the LaHaye ranch.
But once you get past the set up we get back to familiar territory with various storylines from Missie dealing with having feelings for another man, her struggle over faith as well as a storyline surround Belinda and her brother Jacob being orphans. And that familiar territory leads me to say that once again we have that "Little House on the Prairie" feel with moral lessons to each of these stories and a wholesome nature to it all.
But there is a slightly different feel to this movie and it is the first where Michael Landon Jr. doesn't direct or have a role in the writing and you can sense that change in management despite still being involved as co-executive producer. And at the same time whilst I have never read the books on which these movies are based I understand that this movie deviates from the book which is sure to upset fans of the original stories.
Aside from that well "Love's Unending Legacy" is nicely acted but I wouldn't say it has any great performances or great characters. Although Erin Cottrell and Dale Midkiff are once again enjoyable as Missie and her father Clark whilst Victor Browne is certainly handsome and kind as Sheriff Tyler.
What this all boils down to is that "Love's Unending Legacy" is again a good episode in this wholesome series of movies. But it is only good and lacks that bit of magic which makes it the heart warming experience of the first few movies.