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Love Comes Softly
When Marty headed west with her husband she had big dreams of a cozy farmhouse and a happy running in through the door. But life has a way of throwing us the unexpected, and when Marty’s husband unexpectedly dies, leaving Marty stranded in a covered wagon with winter fast approaching, kind hearted Clark Davis offers to marry and protect her for the winter, promising she can leave in the spring. Clark, a fellow widower, however, has a headstrong daughter that is not exactly keen on the idea. Can a marriage of convenience blossom into a love that will build a legacy of faith and steadfastness? From the best selling books by Janette Oke, and director Michael Landon Jr. comes a story of love and faith on the great American prairie—Love Comes Softly. Starring Katherine Heigl, Dale Midkiff, and Skye McCole Bartusiak.
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Marty Claridge (played by Katherine Heigl) headed west with a dream, a wagon, and a loving husband named Aaron. And with her fierce determination and pioneering spirit nothing should have stopped the dream she held in her heart. And nothing did. Until one day. When Aaron’s horse returns from an early morning ride without his rider, Marty becomes concerned, but she does not face the fact that her husband may be gone until a man slowly rides up to her camp. Devastated, Marty’s pioneering spirit and hopeful heart are crushed. But winter is quickly moving into the prairie, and she will not survive until spring with a mere wagon for protection.
Clark Davis (Dale Midkiff) has a problem too. His wife—the love of his life—died several years ago, leaving him a small daughter named Missie (played by Skye McCole Bartusiak). While the two are as close as a father and daughter can be, Clark is beginning to recognize that his headstrong daughter may need a woman’s guidance in her life. Clark needs a woman to care for his daughter, and Marty needs a home until spring. Kindly, Clark offers to marry her with the condition that he will pay her wagon fare back east in the spring. Desperate for help, and alone in a vast land, Marty accepts.
But it seems that the marriage of convenience in Love Comes Softly might not be as convenient as was first imagined. With such a tiny house, Clark ends up sleeping in the barn, and Marty—still grieving after the painful loss of her husband—locks herself up in her room for days on end. When she finally emerges she finds a sympathetic Clark, but his daughter Missie is another story altogether. Headstrong might be an understatement. Missie was perfectly happy with her life before Marty came, and the appearance of a strange, incompetent, sobbing woman in her former domain is not exactly pleasing to the young girl.
As fall turns into winter, and winter into spring, however, a quiet patience and a slow creeping love soon makes its way throughout the Davis homestead. Will it be enough to reconcile Missie and Marty? And what happens when spring finally arrives on the prairie in Love Comes Softly.
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A Legacy of Love
When strangers Marty and Clark started out in a marriage of convenience, they did not expect it to last past spring. But love had a different story in mind, and though it may come slowly, love always wins. Love Comes Softly is a film filled with valuable lessons about love, family, and faith in the midst of pain and difficulty. One of these lessons is that sometimes love comes in the most unexpected places, and in the most unexpected forms. Marty, Clark, and Missie did not expect to be a family, in fact, two of them fought tooth and nail to make sure it never happened. However, love can sometimes take us by surprise, and Love Comes Softly is a wonderful reminder that sometimes the people we never expect to love, are put in our lives for a reason. Another wonderful reminder in the film Love Comes Softly is that love, like all gifts, comes from God. Clark is a steadfast Christian, and his quite, trusting faith, and humble love soon wear off on Marty’s skepticism. Love Come Softly is a reminder that love can unlock even the most closed and fearful of hearts, and that God’s love is often the key to healing wounds of times gone by.
What began as a marriage of convenience grows into a legacy of faith and love on the American prairie in Love Comes Softly. As Marty, Clark, and Missie battle the elements of winter and their own confused feelings they discover that God places people in our lives at just the right moments and that sometimes the worst moments of our lives lead to eternal love and faith. As fall turns to winter, and winter turns to spring the characters of Love Comes Softly learn valuable lessons about what it means to be a family, that faith can unlock the hardest of hearts, and carry the most unstable of relationships, and that faith and love take courage, and that sometimes love just comes softly.
Love Comes Softly has been rated PG by the Motion Picture Association of America and may include topics and issues not suitable for younger viewers. This film received the “Family Approved” award for all ages from the Dove Foundation. As always, it is recommended that parents preview all content to determine what is suitable for their children, but the film Love Comes Softly is generally considered appropriate for most older audiences.
If you enjoyed this heartwarming film about life on the prairie you might enjoy some of the other films in the series. Love’s Enduring Promise, the sequel to Love Comes Softly continues the story of Marty and Clark. Love’s Long Journey is the story of Marty and Clark’s legacy, as it picks up the story with Marty and Clark’s daughter Missy, as she heads out on a long journey west with her new husband Willie.
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