In retrospect, we should’ve been suspicious when we saw the words “Nora Roberts” in small print on the box cover of this one. I’m no big fan of Roberts, who mostly writes sappy romantic drivel (you know, in my humble opinion), but me and my mom were drawn in by John Corbett’s name and also the fact this movie is about ranchers and horses. Me and Moms — we loves us a good girl-loves-horse flick. And in the last couple of years, we’ve seen several we really enjoyed (Dreamer, Flicka, e.g.). Unfortunately, while there were parts of this movie that WERE entertaining, for the most part, it was pretty bad.
The movie opens with a funeral. We soon learn that the patriarch of an enormous Montana ranch has died, and in his will, he left his property to his three daughters. The problem is, the three daughters all have different mothers. Only one of them, Willa, grew up on the ranch, and she’s never met the other two, who have also never met each other. The second daughter, Tess, is a stuck-up writer from LA, and the third, Lilly, is a timid mouse with a mysterious past. In order to actually inherit the ranch (worth $24 million), the will says the three girls have to live there together for an entire year.
For two hours.
Each of the three women soon starts falling for a fella’ — cue Nora Roberts hamminess and lots of smooching. Meanwhile, someone has decided the girls don’t deserve to get the ranch, and is trying to scare them off, first by killing animals and then moving onto people. This mystery subplot is the only reason we watched this film to the end — though it wasn’t a very riveting substory, once we got into it, we decided we couldn’t just quit without finding out whodunnit.
There are some scenes of fairly snappy dialogue between the three sisters — we laughed a few times, I will confess. But for the most part, this is a supremely corny chick flick with little to endear itself to anybody who has half a brain. Even if you, like us, are tempted to rent it because of John Corbett, I’m telling you right now you’re better off rerenting season one of Northern Exposure instead. And if you’re in the mood for a movie about girls and horses, I think you’ll like Dreamer or Flicka a lot better. They were pretty cheesy too, but had a lot more substance and a lot less grody smooching than this one.
Of the movies we watched over Thanksgiving, I’ve ranked this one at number 8. And now you must be DYING to find out what movie ranked at the bottom, number 9. It must be hard to imagine a movie worse than Montana Sky — and yet, I assure you, we managed to find one! I’ll be reviewing it next, so stay tuned!
Cast: Ashley Williams, Charlotte Ross, John Corbett, Nathaniel Arcand