As seen on the Hallmark Channel, When Calls the Heart, Heart of the Family DVD is an episode in the Heart of the Family series. The episode is inspired by the novel by Janette Oak, author of the Love Comes Softly series. We loved the Love Comes Softly series so I was looking forward to this new-to-me series from FishFlix.com.
Keep in mind that I have not watched any of the episodes up to this point, and I'm jumping into Season 3, so I have no idea of the events that lead up to Heart of the Family.
There are 20 scenes in Heart of the Family beginning with a welcome home party for Elizabeth. Elizabeth returns to Hope Valley to teach and is welcomed by Jack, the small town constable who warms up to Elizabeth by showing her the new schoolhouse. She then offers to take care of a neighbor's homestead and his two children and Jack steps in to help when it proves to be more than she bargained for. Meanwhile, Bill Avery, who is about to bust a counterfeit ring that leads him to Hope Valley, mysteriously declines Jacks help. Then Elizabeth's former suitor, Charles Kensington, who also works for her father, shows up in Hope Valley to do business with (what I think are) hopes to win back the heart of Elizabeth. Just when Jack thought Elizabeth's heart was for him, he is left to wonder if Charles holds a place in her heart. There are some other minor characters and plots interwoven throughout the story as well.
What I thought:
While the Love Comes Softly series was each a complete movie, the Heart of the Family series is more of a television series than a movie, even at 88 minutes long and on disc - DVD. So of course, we were left wondering what would happen next in When Calls the Heart. I feel like we were just getting to know the characters when it ended and worse yet, it ended with a cliffhanger ending. I felt it was an ending appropriate to a television series, but not an ending for a movie, like I was expecting. It looks like an enjoyable series - one that I would want to watch weekly if I had it on air. Since each episode is not a full movie, I feel like there should be at least two or three episodes in a set to make it worth while since each episode cannot stand alone. So, I was a little disappointed at the cliffhanger ending and didn’t walk away with the full satisfaction that you get when watching a movie with a complete plot.
The When Calls the Heart series so far is a wholesome, romantic adventure series set in the wild frontier. I love that When Calls the Heart is set in the early 1900s. I'm thinking I need to back up, start at Season 1, and get caught up! Produced by Michael Landon Jr., the Heart of the Family film itself is high quality with good actors. I love the wholesome aspect of the main characters and the series in general. I liked that I could watch this with my 8 year old daughter, even with the "television drama" feel and the "shadier" scenes for the time period.
In fact, FishFlix.com movies are designed to be wholesome movies that Christian families will enjoy, and they offer a variety of films on their site. In fact, you can click below to see what my Crew mates reviewed.