There are movies a family can watch and then there are movies that a
family will watch and want to add to their own library. Below are
several that fit the latter category.
Facing the Giants
Facing the Giants is a movie about a Christian high school
football coach, Grant Taylor, struggling to keep his team alive — a team
that is on a 6-year losing streak when the movie begins. The rest of
Grant’s personal life seems to be falling apart at the seams as well. He
has a car that won’t stay running, a house that needs repairs, and he
and his wife Brooke are struggling with infertility. A trip to the
doctor reveals that the infertility lies with Grant. As everything piles
up, he hits the proverbial bottom.
Just as Grant is about to give up, a gentleman who goes through the
halls of the Christian high school praying for the students comes into
Grant’s office and encourages him to keep on going. He tells him that
one cannot fully know when the end has come. We then see Grant make a
point of praying and searching out the Lord regarding the circumstances
in his life, especially the football team, and making a determination
that he is going to “prepare for rain” and not give up with his players.
As Grant’s personal journey unfolds throughout the movie, so does
that of his wife Brooke as she struggles with infertility. As a woman
also diagnosed with infertility (though we recently received a miracle
pregnancy) I felt that the emotions surrounding this heart breaking
issue were more than adequately and honestly portrayed within the movie.
From the tears to the sacrifice of praise Brooke offers up, my own
heart responded in answer to the wide array of emotions portrayed as the
For those used to the usual Hollywood drama and acting this movie may
seem stifled and at times poor in the acting department. However, for
those seeking a family friendly movie that touches on heart issues that
regular, every day people struggle with, this is the movie to watch.
Anne of Green Gables and Anne of Avonlea
Be prepared for you and your entire family to have your hearts
captured by a little red-headed girl who wishes her name was Cordelia
rather than just plain Anne.
We meet her as an orphan girl helping a harried mother of several
sets of twins, and who loses herself in books and her imagination to
cope with life. Although it may seem a bit melodramatic at the start,
Meagan Follows as Anne does such an incredible acting job that even the
adults in the family get drawn into her story.
Following Anne on her journey to finding a forever home, we see the
progression of a couple mistakenly taking her into their home, thinking
she is the boy they sent from the orphanage for help on their farm,
taking her into their hearts instead.
Now that Anne has found her forever home, she can begin to live as
other children, and she does that with charm and whimsy. Getting
herself into all sorts of scrapes, from almost drowning in a leaking
dinghy as she playacts the Lady of the Lake, to frightening her bosom
buddy Diana into a dead faint because of her scary stories, to dyeing
her hair green, the entire movie is one that entertains and entrances.
From lovable child that is at times almost flighty, to solid and deep
young woman, Anne’s world changes and the people around her grow up.
She resists such changes, perhaps in response to a lost childhood
pre-adoption, and in so doing almost loses herself. Anne steals
everyone’s heart, but can’t find her own. However, going away from her
beloved Green Gables and teaching at a woman’s college causes her to
find who she really is and discover what is really important.
Following Anne from childhood to adulthood in both series is one that
will take the viewer on a journey from hysterical laughter to romantic
sighs and even sappy tears. Children will love her and adults can’t help
but revisit their own transition from childhood to adulthood as they
watch Anne’s passage of the same. The “Anne movies” will be movies that
delight old and young alike and will earn their investment many times
over as they are watched repeatedly throughout the years.
Man from Snowy River and Return to Snowy River
Due to a tragedy in his life, Jim Craig, a young adult, is forced out
of his home in the mountains of Australia in order to prove himself.
Rejected by the highlanders and not belonging to the valley, he is a man
not only seeking to prove himself to the people of the mountains, but
he must find who he is as a man.
Arriving into the lowlands, he comes to work for a rancher named
Harrison, as one of the cowhands. Falling quickly for Harrison’s
daughter Jess, Jim is also drawn to a costly stallion that Harrison
After secretly breaking the colt with Jessica, Jim
is the one blamed when the colt runs off with the brombies (wild
horses). Harrison sets up a challenge for any man who wants to take it,
to not only get the colt back, but also to capture the wild horses so he
can add them to his existing herd. Jim is one of the men who takes this
Return to Snowy River takes up where Man From Snowy River
left off, though a few years have lapsed in the story line. It is
difficult to understand where the characters are and where they have
come from in the opening moments, simply because Jim Craig is missing
and Harrison is being played by a different actor.
However, because of
the acting and particular scenes, the viewer will be drawn in just as
quickly as they were with the first movie.
With stunning footage, beautiful music scores, and the ultimate
romance, both movies are mesmerizing to watch and viewers will more than
likely find themselves watching them again as the years pass.
Some may find the movies slow paced, as dialogue and relationships
are minimal and, instead, scenery and horses are emphasized. However,
for those that love beauty, whether it is in horses running, music that
steals your breath, or a love story that transcends all obstacles, this
is the movie to watch.
(Please not that there is mild profanity in these movies that some may feel make them inapropriate for children.)