Life as He Planned It
There are two sides to "Though None Go With Me", there is the Christian side as we follow Elizabeth and the trials which come her way as she chooses to believe in God and that he has a plan for her life. And then there is a love story side as Elizabeth shares her life at different times with Ben and Will. Both of which interweave as an older Elizabeth talks to her granddaughter Lisa in the hope that she will not make a hasty decision to leave the town of Three Rivers with a boy she hardly knows. As such if you are a fan of Christian movies this side plays out nicely as it works through about God's plan not being what we want but through faith we have to believe. But if that doesn't appeal then you have this rather pleasant, okay very cute and quaint romantic tale which has heartbreak and joy full of innocent charm.
Elizabeth Bishop (Cheryl Ladd) recounts her life to her Granddaughter Lisa (Lindy Newton - Thicker Than Water) in the hope that it will prevent her from making a foolish decision to run away from the small town of Three Rivers. Telling her all about her relationships from falling in love with Ben (Brad Rowe) to then marrying Will (David Norona) telling of all the heartbreak and joy but how the whole time she had faith in God that what ever came her way was part of his plan even if it didn't tie in with what she had hoped for.
Now I have one major criticism of "Though None Go With Me" and it's not that in being innocently charming it paints a very innocent picture of growing up and romance, or that in the entire movie the closest it gets to swearing is when we hear the word "damned". Nope my one criticism is the way the present with older Elizabeth talking to Lisa feeds back to the past because it signposts what is to come and spoils what could have been some nice surprises. Actually I have a lie as the wig which Cheryl Ladd wears as the older Elizabeth looks so ill fitting that it cheapens the movie from the moment we meet her.
But gripes out of the way with and we have this storyline of Elizabeth recounting her life to Lisa in the hope it will stop her from making what could be a foolish choice to leave Three Rivers. There are two parts to this, the Christian message and the romantic tale which interweave. Now some may find all this a bit fake, it has to be said that it is very innocent and cute especially as it deals with the romantic elements but the innocence of it does add to the charm. When Elizabeth meets Ben and through some less than subtle prompting start dating the whole date montage with ice cream floats in the diner is so nostalgically quaint that it does feel like it is a very false picture of America in the 1950s. But it does make this romantic tale charming and it does have various ups and downs as life doesn't run in the smooth way that Elizabeth has planned.
This leads to the Christian message of the movie and that is having total faith in God and his plan for us even if life doesn't go how we hope and plan. As such in the life of Elizabeth, we have love, death, illness, heartbreak and enough to make Elizabeth question her faith as she constantly appears to be tested by one turmoil after another. But at the same time it shows how God works in mysterious ways with all these turmoils leading to Elizabeth becoming useful in a way she could never have imagined. It is a message which will warm Christian viewers hearts but probably cause not Christians to pour scorn on this tale.
Now whilst Cheryl Ladd may be the big name in this movie she actually has quite a small part to play as she plays the adult and older Elizabeth, which means we have her talking to her granddaughter and in the bits where Elizabeth is grown up. That means that for the most it is Amy Grabow we watch playing the young Elizabeth and she does a very nice job of playing a 50s young woman who is dealing with love as well as heartbreak. It is as you will expect very innocent as is the whole movie making her character seem a little false but still a joy to watch. And it is the same with the rest of the cast which includes David Norona, Brad Rowe and Emily Hardy who all play the younger versions of the movies important characters.
What this all boils down to is that "Though None Go With Me" is a pleasant little Christian movie with a strong Christian message about doing God's will even when it doesn't tie in with your own plans and hopes. But there is also a pleasant little romantic drama which interweaves with this message giving it plenty of innocent charm.