Michael Landon Jr. directed this Western melodrama whose tone bears more than a passing resemblance to his late father's series, Little House on the
Marty Claridge (Katherine Heigl) and her starry-eyed husband, Aaron (Oliver Macready), leave Eastern civilization behind, unprepared for frontier hardship.
Marty certainly never imagined she find herself a widow so soon, but Aaron dies after being thrown by his horse. The suddenly single Marty soon gets an offer she can’t refuse: Widower Clark Davis (Dale Midkiff) needs a feminine touch to tame his tomboy daughter, Missie (Skye McCole Bartusiak). If Marty will marry him, she'll have a roof over her head for winter. Clark is even good enough to build an escape clause into the bargain — when the snows thaw, he'll pay Mary’s passage on the next wagon train out. Amazingly, he doesn't even make any improper husbandly demands. Clark really just wants a mother figure to teach Missy how to act like a lady. The self-absorbed Marty proves a bust at doing chores and surrogate motherhood, but when she finally forgets about her own troubles and comes to grips with her ready-made family’s grief, she bonds with Missy, making the child a dress out of her late mother’s clothing. Clark later rescues Marty from a blizzard. To Marty’s shock, she realizes she's carrying her deceased husband’s child; will she realize her place is with Clark and Missy before she makes the mistake of getting on that springtime caravan headed East?
Though bland and predictable, Landon's Western romance gets good mileage out of Midkiff and Bartusiak’s believability. Heigl, unfortunately, is grievously miscast: She romps through the prairie grass like a homecoming queen at a cowgirl cotillion.
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- Released: 2004
- Rating: NR
- Review: Michael Landon Jr. directed this Western melodrama whose tone bears more than a passing resemblance to his late father's series, Little House on the Prairie. Marty Claridge (Katherine Heigl) and her starry-eyed husband, Aaron (Oliver Macready), leave E… (more)