It’s movie night at our house, and we’re watching Princess Cut from Watchman Pictures! It’s a clean, Christian romance movie. Will my kids and I like it? Read on!
I’m watching this movie with my 7-year-old daughter and 10-year-old son. My 5-year-old is just here for the popcorn. We don’t watch much TV, but my kids love to have movie night with me. I’m always on the lookout for movies that I can watch as a family without having to worry about inappropriate content for my kids, and this fit the bill.
I’m going to give you a fun recap of the Princess Cut movie. It’s full of spoilers. This is for people like me who love reading recaps before, during, and after watching movies. The rundown if you want to stop now and skip the spoilers and read this recap after you watch: We all ended up liking the movie. I’m not sure if we were supposed to think the parents were model parents, but they made mistakes, like all parents do. I’ll be sure to point some of them out for you. Watch this movie and tell me what you thought, too. I’d love to discuss it point-by-point.
One minute into this Princess Cut movie and my 7-year-old daughter is proclaiming there are too many adults. I’m thinking the lighting and sound aren’t produced by some major studio, but they’re still totally ok. It’s like Lifetime movie quality, which is fine. My son was still making popcorn for everyone at this point so he missed the opening.
We find out that Grace is the main character. She’s dreaming about getting married and she’s ready to pick out her wedding ring at the local wedding ring store. She’s actually looking at wedding rings in a jewelry store. Without a man.
We see the inside of Grace’s family home. Are her parents full-time farmers? With that home? Grace’s family has way fancier stuff than most farmers I know. Their house is really nice. I know people like that who have tech jobs and hobby farms. I don’t know farmers-who-solely-farm with houses that nice. Not saying they don’t exist, just saying that this looks like a Hollywood version of a farmer or something. Most farmers I know have houses that look like the houses in the Misty of Chincoteague movie – distinctively smaller and older. Grace’s family’s kitchen is super nice, very farmhouse-trendy, and they’ve got a lot of expensive furniture. Their house is really big, too. They’d need an enormous farm and lots of favorable crops to afford that.
Back to Grace and her family. Grace is pining after Stewart and thinking about her big date with him tonight where he’s going to tell her “something important.” She thinks they’re goin’ to the chapel and they’re gonna get married (someday). She really thinks Stewart is going to pop the question. Grace’s parents frown that Stewart isn’t coming to dinner with the family.
Grace meets Stewart for dinner at the diner, and we find out that by “something important,” Stewart meant that he was going to go all frat boy on her with his bros. Grace pouts. I wouldn’t want to date her, either. She could at least be friendly to the new people. Break up with her, Stewart. She’s not into you or your friends. You’re a college boy and you’ve moved on. When you have kids and they ask you what it means when someone is being a “wet blanket,” show them what Grace is like in this scene.
Aaaaaand then it turns out that Stewart is engaged. But not to Grace. Grace is really a terrible judge of character. What was she thinking? Why would Stewart invite an ex-girlfriend to a gathering where he intended to announce his engagement? Either Stewart is a horrible person or Stewart didn’t even know that Grace thought they had a romantic relationship at all. We don’t see anything on-screen to show that Stewart is anything other than a stereotypical frat boy, so I’d think he would be more likely to not invite his ex-or-current-girlfriend to an engagement party to his new fiancé. I deduce that Grace’s relationship with Stewart was completely platonic and that Grace fabricated the romance out of whole cloth.
Grace goes home and tells her parents that she felt like a third wheel with Stewart’s friends, and it’s over with Stewart. I don’t know where Grace even met Stewart. Did they ever even have anything in common? Grace’s little brother listens in.
We see Grace’s dad talking about manly stuff. My 10-year-old son gets really interested when Grace’s dad starts talking about men needing to know what it takes to be a real man. My son is ready to be told what it takes to be a real man. He likes Grace’s dad a lot.
Grace and her family play a board game and little brother Drew totally trolls her by having one of the playing pieces be Stewart not marrying her in the Game of Life.
Grace’s little brother Drew puts an ad in the newspaper saying that he’s got a girl who can cook macaroni and cheese and she needs a MAN. What year is this taking place? Do little boys even know what newspapers are anymore? I had to explain the whole concept of “want ads” to my kids not that long ago because it came up in a book we read for homeschool. Maybe Grace’s little brother is homeschooled, so he knows about ancient history stuff, like newspapers and classified ads.
We see a montage of hopeful suitors answering the want ad and interacting with Grace’s parents, who keep turning them away and telling them the ad was a mistake, or has been filled. There are a lot suitors considering that no one reads the newspaper anymore. Later on we see Grace’s smart phone. I guess it’s present day but rural folk in the Carolinas still use newspapers. None of those suitors are right for our Grace. We already know Grace’s judgment is pretty bad, so it’s a good thing her family doesn’t let her see these guys or she might start shopping for wedding rings again.
Grace talks to a guy named Jared at some shop, and she’s moving on quickly from Stewart. Grace is that friend you have who can’t stay single. She wants to date Jared now. Jared doesn’t seem like much of a catch. Could he even support a family? I don’t think so. Grace’s judgment is bad.
Grace tells her parents that she wants to go on a date with Jared. Yep…Jared is going to be the rebound boyfriend. Grace’s dad wants to meet any potential dates before Grace can date them. I’m not sure how old Grace is, but she looks like she’s in her early-to-mid 20’s. Her parents treat her like a high schooler. Wanting to meet men before she dates them is super weird for a woman in her 20’s. People have babies and go to war at that age. I wonder if maybe I somehow missed that Grace is supposed to be 15 years old. I check the synopsis for the movie and it says that Grace is in her early 20’s. Ugh. Grace needs to learn to make adult decisions. This is what happens when you make all the decisions for your child because you’re afraid of them ever making a mistake. They don’t learn how to make good decisions or stick up for themselves. Grace has terrible judgment, but I think her parents need to accept that Grace’s terrible judgment came from somewhere. Grace seems pretty nice, she’s just decisionally-challenged.
A man in a suit visits Grace’s dad and we find out there’s a note of pending default against the property. Aha! I knew they couldn’t afford that fancy kitchen and all that nice furniture. I know they have access to all those Carolina furniture outlets and all, but that stuff in their house cost a pretty penny even if they paid discount prices. Looks like Grace’s parents need some financial literacy courses. How do you end up bankrupting a family farm that’s been in the house for generations? They probably went to public school and got signed up for a credit card at age 18 when they visited a college campus. I’m guessing it was all “life on credit” from there. Grace’s dad goes full redneck and yells at the man in the suit, “Git off ma property!” It’s perfect and I like Grace’s dad a lot. Find a way to save your family’s farm, Grace’s dad!
Grace’s parents meet some hot new doctor named Clint. Grace’s parents are clearly picking out the new doctor in town as their future son in law. They’re sizing him up big time. Clint better marry our Grace before she picks that Jared guy. My son thinks Clint is pretty great. He already wants to be just like him.
Instead of the hot new doctor, Grace goes out with Jared. What are you thinking, Grace? I didn’t see any pre-parental meetings between Jared and your parents! What are you doing with the boy from the coffee shop when there’s a hot doctor in town? Grace and Jared awkwardly joke about wanting to meet the right person. Jared is like Hans from Frozen. He’s playing Grace. He is totally going to be the villain. Grace should be able to tell that, but she’s a terrible judge of character and was recently imaginarily engaged-to-be-engaged, so she doesn’t see how fake Jared is.
As they walk along together, my 7-year-old observes that Jared is “so much taller” than Grace. It’s true, Jared looks like he could tuck Grace under his armpit and Grace wouldn’t have to bend. They’d be fine individually but they do not make a good on-screen couple. We all feel zero attachment to Jared. Grace needs to be done with him so she can move on to the hot doctor with her parents’ subtle nods of approval.
Jared and Grace get caught in the rain and run into a car to escape the downpour. Grace is all wet and Jared leans in for a smooch. Jared is awkward and Grace is even more awkward. They’re so wrong for each other. UGH, Grace won’t give Jared a kiss until he puts “a ring on it.” I mean, no need to kiss on the first date, Grace, especially not with rebound-coffee-shop-boy, but I don’t get the whole fetishization of simple kissing. And it is a fetish, the same as cultures fetishize seeing ankles, shoulders, etc. But, YMMV, Grace, if you want to set those boundaries, I’m all for Jared respecting them. You tell him no kissing and he’d better listen! Also, your body language says that you’re totally not into Jared, so why are you dating him? Why is your self-esteem wrapped up in whether or not you have a boyfriend? You need to learn to be happy with yourself, develop yourself as a person, but instead you’re just jumping from man to man.
Jared invites her to come into his house to get dried off, but Grace won’t come in because “she shouldn’t.” Shouldn’t come into his house? Why not? My kids and I are lost. What’s wrong with visiting his house? They’re grown adults. Jared assures her that his roommate is always playing video games so they wouldn’t be alone. Oh…she was worried about being alone with him? How did Jared know she was worried about that? Does Jared know he’s the type of person women should fear being alone with? She’s in her early 20’s, she can go into a normal man’s house without worrying about it. This whole exchange is weird. Jared is weird and he knows he’s weird. Get away from him, Grace.
Also Grace, FYI, don’t plan on marrying grown men who play video games all the time. Grace, you look like you’re used to a certain financial lifestyle filled with nice things, and store workers with video game habits don’t seem likely to keep you supported in a way that you’re used to. You don’t want to live on credit like your parents, do you?
Oh no! Despite our warnings, Grace’s gut instinct, and Jared’s creep factor in knowing that Grace should be worried about going into his house, Grace goes into Jared’s house. Why, Grace? You felt creeped out by Jared, didn’t you? Enough that you didn’t want to be alone with him? If he creeped you out, going into his house is not showing us that you know how to make good decisions for yourself. Maybe this is why your parents are still treating you like you’re 12. Jumping from rebound boy to rebound boy…Grace, you need help.
Cut away to Grace’s parents talking about the debt on the farm and how there’s an offer to buy the farm. Isn’t this a really common romance novel plot? If it were a romance novel Grace’s dad would sell her to someone for a large dowry so he could pay the debt. Since this is modern day, I bet the hot doctor is going to save the day somehow when he marries Grace or something.
We’re still with Grace’s parents when they start worrying about Grace. Grace’s parents are calling her and Grace isn’t answering her phone. Mom’s intuition tells her that something is wrong about Jared. Dad wants to have Jared over for dinner so they can figure out what’s wrong with Jared. Jared is creepy but seriously what is wrong with Grace and her parents? Everybody knows something is wrong with Jared, even Jared knows something is wrong with Jared, so why is Grace dating him? Once you know something is wrong, you don’t need to figure out what it is – you just need to stop dating him.
Grace needs to stop rebounding and her parents need to figure out how to live within their means.
One scene later and it turns out that they were worried for nothing. Grace conveniently comes home, soaking wet, and I guess everything is fine and she probably watched Jared and his roommate play video games or something. Grace’s mom bawls her out like Grace is twelve years old. Seriously? It looks like it’s about 3:00 in the afternoon. It’s not exactly scandalous to be 24 years old and out and about all day. Grace’s mom is surely familiar with Grace’s poor decision-making skills, but maybe Grace needs room to make mistakes so she can finally grow up. Cut the cord, Grace.
Grace calls her one female friend (Tessa) and freaks out that Jared kissed her. She’s super anxious about that attempted kiss in the car? And anxious about what her parents want. She agonizes that she doesn’t want her parents to know about what she’s been doing with Jared. Did we miss something? All I saw was him try to kiss her in the car. Her friend asks if Jared “forced himself” on her. Grace says, “Not exactly,” and I’m wondering what in the world happened at Jared’s place. Grace, you don’t sound like you have healthy boundaries. What in the world did Jared do to you? Did something happen in his house besides video games? Did you tell him to stop? The movie didn’t show anything and we are all left confused about what exactly happened. Does Grace mean that time when Jared tried to kiss her in the car and she turned him down and then he stopped? Was that the “not exactly” forcing? Right now it looks like Grace is crazy and Jared is just a boy who wanted a kiss one time in the car. Like pretty much every normal boy, ever.
Her one female friend on the phone doesn’t do what a supportive friend should do, which is to help Grace understand that if she’s not sure whether Jared respected her boundaries, then he probably didn’t, and that she should never see Jared alone again if she was creeped out and feels like he “not exactly” forced himself on her. The words are, “You don’t have to blame yourself if you said ‘no’ and he didn’t respect that. But next time if your gut is telling you that it’s a bad situation, listen to your gut and leave.” Instead, Tessa is like, “It’s just a kiss. Go to a therapist because you have the cray cray big time.” I clue in that Grace’s friend is what my mom would call, “worldly.” I guess that the therapist is going to be very, very worldly.
Grace visits a therapist. The therapist is chewing gum during the whole therapy session. She is just the worst. I can’t stand the therapist. She’s going to be a villain. I just know it.
Grace tells the therapist how the man she’s dating always wants to be physical and she feels guilty. We, as the audience, haven’t really witnessed any of that, so we’re in the dark about it until Grace tells this to the therapist. I thought it was just the one gently attempted and gently rebuffed kiss in the car, not anything like he “always wants to be physical.” Grace thought she was engaged to be engaged to Stewart, a man who seems to have had no idea that Grace thought they were even exclusively dating, so we’re not even sure that Jared did anything else other than the attempted kiss in the car. Grace has an imagination. The movie isn’t letting us know what really happened.
I appreciate being able to watch this with my young kids, so I don’t want to have to watch Jared repeatedly trying to make out with Grace in the movie while she fends him off, but this vague storytelling style is not something I’m used to and we’re all left a bit confused. Is Grace an unreliable narrator? The way we see it, it just sounds like Grace is upset about any touching at all.
The therapist asks about past relationships and Grace says her heart has been passed around like a football. None of us are sure what that means. I wonder inwardly if “heart” is a euphemism for another part of the body, but my kids are just confused. Love multiplies, it doesn’t divide. It doesn’t sound like Grace loved people in those relationships – she just sounds like a desperate barnacle. Honestly, I’m just not sure at this point. Is Grace still freaking out about the attempted kiss? Is that what this is all about?
The therapist says a bunch of gobbledygook and then declares that Grace should try a “starter marriage.” You know, just get married to try it out. Break down those barriers. (I knew she was a villain!) Grace translates for herself that the therapist is telling her to live with someone before getting married. I thought the therapist was just telling her to get married to Jared and then get divorced when she got tired of him. Both of those things are bad advice. The therapist is a bossy, gum-chewing villain. Get out, Grace!
For once, Grace uses good judgment and gets away from a someone who is not respecting her life choices. Grace hurries out, completely creeped out, and I figure out that Grace wasn’t using “heart” as a euphemism for anything else, she just keeps imaginarily thinking that relationships are a lot more serious than they really are. I bet every single man she dated thought he was securely in Grace’s friend zone, and all the while Grace was picking out their wedding colors. Grace needs better communication skills. Our poor Grace is just jumping from man to man, desperate to always have a boyfriend. What will she do now? At least she’s smart enough to clue in that a “starter marriage” is not going to result in the long-term marriage that she wants to have. Neither is a friend zone relationship, but nobody tells that to Grace.
Grace goes home, something happens with some papers that I wasn’t clear about, and then Grace yells at her little brother that sometimes she wishes he wasn’t even her little brother. Then she runs after him and tells him she’s sorry and she didn’t mean it. Grace was verbally abusive. She crossed the line of what loving family members say to one another. Women in their 20’s should have matured out of that kind of behavior years earlier. Stewart really dodged a bullet when he didn’t realize that he was engaged-to-be-engaged to Grace.
They go on a rural bike chase that we don’t really see. Little brother Drew ends up in a cornfield after getting hit by a car. It took all of us a few minutes to figure out if he just fell off or if he got hit by the car. We weren’t sure exactly why he was lying dazed in a cornfield. Hot doctor is back. Little brother Drew is ok. The hot doctor stops and checks on Drew, but he doesn’t ask Grace out or anything. There were no sparks.
Grace goes home and sobs on her bed. Her mom comes in and Grace sobs unintelligibly about feeling guilty with Jared. Grace’s mom tells Grace that she’ll love her no matter what she’s done. If I was her mom I’d totally think she was pregnant because Grace is really flipping out like it’s the end of the world. Her mom is remarkably calm considering how badly Grace is losing it. Did Jared “not exactly” rape Grace when she went into his home? No, he did not rape her. Grace explains everything to her mom and to us. We clue in that something did, in fact, happen in the house, and it wasn’t video games. Grace says that the night it rained, Jared kissed her and he wouldn’t stop.
That’s called sexual assault, Grace. There’s a name for it – you don’t need to be confused and refer to it as “not exactly forcing himself” on you.
They talk to Dad. Grace tells her dad that Jared pushed their relationship to be much more physical than she knows is “right.” Ugh, it’s called sexual assault, Grace! Clarity in communication could really save you a lot of trouble. Dad is calm and handles it ok, especially because Grace doesn’t actually tell him what really happened, but he says they forgive her. They forgive her for being sexually assaulted by Jared? That’s all kinds of wrong, but Grace didn’t tell her dad what happened so how would he know? Grace’s mom should have clarified. Grace’s mom would also benefit from better communication skills. I want Grace’s dad to know what really happened because somebody needs to go have a man to man talk with Jared about how no means no. I’m pretty sure that if Grace told her dad that she told Jared “no” and he kept on, Jared would be in for some country-style justice. Real men teach boys that no means no.
Somebody needs to have a talk with Grace about healthy boundaries. Grace’s mom, worldly friend, and villainous therapist have all failed her. Somebody needs to inform Grace’s parents that it’s not Grace’s fault that she got sexually assaulted. She didn’t “ask for it” by going into Jared’s house to get dried off in a rainstorm, especially when Jared reassured her that his roommate was home and that everything would be fine. Grace is clueless about this.
My ten-year-old son asks me what Grace meant when she said that what they were doing was inappropriate. He wonders if they did “that.” I have to explain to him that she just means kissing. He is worried about Grace. He asks, “Are you sure they didn’t do ‘that’?” I have to explain to my ten-year-old son that they did not have sex and that Grace is upset that Jared kept kissing her when she told him no. He’s sad for Grace that she got kissed when she didn’t want to be, but relieved that Jared didn’t do “that” to her.
Grace’s dad doesn’t have all the info, but he realizes that Grace is incapable of protecting herself and he steps up to the plate. Grace’s dad calls her a princess, tells her he’ll help her find a man, and that it’s not an arranged marriage but that he will be there to help and guide her. Grace needs guidance, she clearly does not understand how to set boundaries. Grace and her family don’t really understand that arranged marriages aren’t the same as forced marriages, and that cultures that practice arranged marriage usually have the couple meet, get to know each other a bit, and agree that they make a good match and want to get married. Man and woman are free to say no to a possible match. So yes, actually, what Grace’s dad is talking about is really similar to a lot of arranged marriage practices. Arranged does not equal forced.
Grace needed to learn some decision-making skills years ago, but now it’s time for damage-control. What is Grace doing with herself besides rebounding? At one point Grace says she’s taking some kind of design course, so apparently she’s getting some sort of higher schooling. Grace doesn’t appear to have a job. She doesn’t go shopping and it seems like she’s just got that one worldly female friend. I guess her whole life is focused on getting that MRS degree. But she doesn’t want the MRS degree from Jared.
Grace avoids Jared’s phone calls. Grace, just answer the phone call and tell him that you feel that he sexually assaulted you and you never want to see him again. No means no, Jared. Boom. Done. Instead, they run into each other when Grace has a big stack of books, and Jared is believing that he has a chance with Grace and that no means yes. Jared chases after her, which prompts my 7-year-old to declare that Jared is “creepy.” My 7-year-old gets it. Grace shuts down Jared and tells him she doesn’t want to be in an intimate relationship until she’s married. Jared comes off as a total creeper but he tells her he thought they had a real relationship. You thought wrong, Jared! You were just the rebound dude. Plus, you are a sexual assaulter. Just because Grace’s parents made her take the blame doesn’t mean I will.
There’s a montage of Grace reading what I think are motivational books.
Grace’s worldly friend sees the hot doctor and she texts Grace. She’s into him. She calls dibs on him via text.
Hot Doctor goes to Grace’s house and invites her somewhere. Grace is super guarded with him. She should be, after the last rebound guy sexually assaulted her and her parents blamed her for it (and then forgave her for being sexually assaulted). At least Grace understands that her judgment is bad and that she needs help. That’s the first step to recovery, Grace.
Hot Doctor goes straight to Grace’s parents and tells her parents that he’s seeking their permission to get to know Grace and that he wants to pursue the possibility of marriage. Just like that, hot doctor completely creeps me out now. He’s jumping into this level of seriousness way too fast. I think in a proper arranged marriage the hot doctor’s parents should have contacted Grace’s parents to see if the two might make a good match. That way the hot doctor and Grace are on an even playing field. They can both either accept or reject freely. By the hot doctor approaching her parents himself, it looks like the hot doctor has all the power and Grace is just passively there waiting for him to pick her out like an item in a store and her parents are the ones who get to decide if she’s available to him or not.
I think it’s well established that men can have terrible judgment when it comes to women – just as bad as Grace is displaying. I question the Hot Doctor’s judgment with rushing into this. He hasn’t spent any time around Grace. How does he even know she’s not dating Jared anymore? He doesn’t even know that Grace is probably going to be a complete wet blanket around his friends, say horrible things to him when she’s angry, has poor boundary-setting skills, that she feels guilty about touching, that she thinks she passed her heart around like a football, and that her parents blamed her for being sexually assaulted. Couldn’t he have her go out with a group of friends first and see how she acts before they decide to become “engaged to be engaged?”
My son loves the hot doctor and thinks he’s upholding Christian values. My son wants to be just like the hot doctor. Ok, my son will make a great dad and husband someday, it’s true. I don’t want him marrying a verbally abusive wet blanket, so I’d better start helping him hone his decision-making skills.
Grace’s dad just about cries with joy at finding a man who knows how to act like a man, tells hot doctor Clint that he’s a good man, and they have a moment. I have to admit that I much prefer hot doctor Clint to the sexual assault rebound boyfriend Jared.
Clint and Grace sit outside together and there’s a lot of bug noise in the background. You cannot get away from that bug noise when you’re in the country. Clint tells Grace that he wants to explore a deeper friendship. Wow, Clint, could you be any less clear? You told her dad you want to pursue marriage but you tell Grace to her face that she’s in the friend zone? That’s not cool, Clint…not honest…it smacks of duplicity. Maybe you’re being vague because you know it’s weird to ask her to think about marrying you when you have just met.
Wait…then Clint realizes he’s being vague, and he mans up and translates for Grace. He flat out asks her if they can explore a relationship with a possibility of marriage. Grace is like, “The old stupid me who rebounded from man to man like a desperate barnacle would have said yes, but now I recognize that I have horrible taste in men, so I can’t without my Daddy saying it’s ok.” Clint tells her he thinks she’s amazing and he already asked permission from her parents. Ugh. I hate that Clint didn’t talk to Grace first to see if she was at all interested. That’s the cart before the horse again, Clint.
I had a man ask my dad once if he could date me. My dad asked him if he had talked to me first. The man had not. My dad told him to ask me if it was ok first, then to come back and ask him. News flash: I had zero interest in dating him. UGH. He went around me to basically get my dad’s endorsement before talking to me. My dad didn’t fall for it.
Clint should have casually asked Grace if it was ok if he talked to her dad about dating her – THEN asked her dad. Then they can have this outdoorsy talk where they decide to go courting and Clint can reassure Grace that her dad said it was ok. Clint is a nice guy and trying hard, he just messed up. I can forgive him.
Then Clint gives Grace a flower and explains how it represents stuff. He wants to treat her with respect so that even if they don’t get married they can remain friends. Finally, someone is explaining to Grace that she deserves to be respected.
My son looks like he’s taking notes in his head so he can say that stuff to the woman he loves someday and give her a flower, too. I hope his future wife appreciates him someday because he’s going to be an awesome husband and father. My son says he likes Clint a lot because he loves the Lord. I can’t fault him there, Clint does seem like a pretty great guy, and sincere, despite his hasty choices. (Disclaimer: My husband and I met each other and then went home and told our friends that we had met the person we were going to marry. We got married eight months later. Spoiler alert for us: Hasty worked out.)
There’s a montage where Clint and Grace do stuff that does not involve pressing their lips together. Clint is respecting Grace’s boundaries.
Grace’s one female friend worldly Tessa comes over and she’s irate that Grace stole the hot doctor from her. Grace says she didn’t know that was the guy she called dibs on. Tessa didn’t even know his name, so I think we can all agree that the dibs did not count. Tessa demands that Grace break up with Clint, but Tessa is out of line. Grace says she’s just friends with Clint and so they can’t break up. That’s not entirely truthful, Grace, most people would say you are “engaged to be engaged” at this point. Even Grace looks uncomfortable with her untruthfulness.
Then some blonde woman we’ve seen once before in a random scene comes around to another random person. The blonde woman has Clint’s picture, and says that looking for him and he’s a “28-year-old doctor.” What a weirdly specific way to describe an adult. She doesn’t want to be around long, she says, casting herself as the city girl who hates the country. Why is she in the country, then, searching for Clint and obviously wanting to marry him?
She shows up at Grace’s house and says she’s looking for Clint, who just bought property nearby. If she doesn’t want to be around long, why is showing up to look for Clint WHO JUST BOUGHT PROPERTY THERE and is presumably EMPLOYED AS A NEW DOCTOR THERE.
The blonde woman explains to Grace and her family that she’s not related to Clint Masters YET. I knew that she had designs on our Clint! Go away, you shameless hussy. Clint is Grace’s man now! They’re engaged to be engaged, even if they’re telling people they’re just friends!
City slicker blonde woman starts to leave and then Clint drives up right then. Clint sees her and is like, “What are you doing here?” He’s not happy to see her. My son comments that Clint is double dating. Apparently, my son thinks that when you have your old girlfriend meet your new girlfriend it’s called “double dating.” I think it’s great that my son clued in immediately that this was the old girlfriend. We’ll have to have a talk later about double dating, double timing, and bad timing.
Grace’s mom is totally clueless and invites Brooke to stay with them. What in the world, Grace’s mom? I know there is the southern hospitality and all that, but if my ten-year-old son clued in that this was Clint’s ex-girlfriend, you should have, too. Did Grace get her bad judgment from you as a genetic thing? Maybe Grace’s parents are really ok and the bad judgment is just inherent in the gene pool. I can’t decide if Grace’s mom is really that clueless or if she’s just keeping her enemies close. Maybe she’s just waiting for the perfect opportunity to tell Brooke, “Well, bless your heart.”
Grace asks Brooke how she knows Clint. Brooke explains how they grew up together and dated all through college, and then Clint went to medical school. Brooke doesn’t have a clue that Grace is dating Clint but she’s cast as the city girl who views all other girls as a threat, so that’s coming.
Clint is helping Grace’s dad with farm work because the combine is broken. How does Clint even have time for this? Don’t young doctors have really long work hours? Clint and Grace’s dad don’t look sweaty at all, but you know in real life they would have sweat rings like Saturn out in that humidity and heat.
Grace’s dad flat out asks Clint about Brooke. Clint says he even had the ring and everyone thought they would get married, but he broke it off. Clint has an ex-fiance! Not just an ex-girlfriend! Maybe that was the kind of thing you should have told Grace before you started entertaining the idea of marriage, Clint. Oh wait – you two barely knew each other’s names when you started entertaining the idea of marriage. You should all feel awkward and rethink this plan. Maybe be honest with each other that sometimes you can just get to know another person without pressing lips and without entertaining the idea of marriage. There’s a middle ground.
They all have dinner at the farm around a giant farmhouse table, the cost of which is likely partially the reason for the farm’s financial troubles. Brooke takes oddly cautious bites all through dinner. Like she doesn’t want to mess up her lipstick. Brooke fails my “let me know you can eat dinner without looking like a crazy person” test. I question Clint’s ability to choose women if he was engaged to someone who eats like she doesn’t want to mess up her lipstick.
Everyone talks at dinner until Brooke asks Clint how he likes being a doctor. Then everyone at the table falls silent. I guess everyone did know that Brooke is shamelessly chasing after Clint. Grace’s dad explains that Clint is taking a week off to help with the harvest. Then Clint has to leave because of a mysterious phone call and Brooke follows him out the door. Clint tells her things are different now. Clint tells her he is in a new relationship and he’s trying to do things the right way. Brooke doesn’t have a clue, but she’s mad about right ways and wrong ways. My son says she looks mad over her failed attempt to get Clint to dump Grace.
Then it’s the next day and the farm is saved because of Clint’s mysterious phone call the night before. They get the combine running because Clint has a buddy who knows how to fix stuff. It turns out that you can pay a mechanic on a new doctor’s salary. Maybe Grace’s parents were too busy spending money on new furniture, so I guess they couldn’t pay one to fix the combine that would SAVE THEIR ANCESTRAL FAMILY FARM. This is not a family with great judgment. How has the farm even lasted three generations in that family? I’m guessing the ancestors were more frugal. I’m pretty sure Clint doesn’t actually own any furniture because we’ve never seen any, and he bought a fixer-upper house and is doing the work on it himself from the sounds of it. That’s also why he had money to pay a mechanic. You don’t think he made his buddy work for free, do you? Clint doesn’t seem like the kind of guy who would use his friend like that, but Clint doesn’t seem like he’s rolling in money as a new doctor who probably has huge student loans to pay off. Maybe they bartered.
Grace and Clint do a full body side hug. Their lips don’t even come close to touching, so Clint is respecting Grace’s boundaries. I think we all knew Clint would respect her boundaries.
Brooke is still around. She doesn’t seem like the type of girl who respected Clint’s boundaries, if you know what I mean. There’s zero discussion of Clint’s past, even though he was engaged to a stalker. Men’s pasts don’t matter, I guess. Clint mentioned a sports car on the phone with his mechanic buddy and it makes me wonder if Clint has a past that includes fast cars and fast women. Maybe he’s a bad-boy-turned-good. I’m interested in Clint’s backstory. Why did he turn away from his worldy fiancé and all that goes with that? It seems like the kind of thing he should talk about with someone who he’s engaged to be engaged to.
There’s a harvest festival and my husband wanders through and says that everyone there looks like homeschool kids. Actually there’s a lot more flannel than I usually see around here, but he’s right. Everyone looks pretty happy and there are a lot of kids compared to other scenes in the movie. It looks like a typical, happy homeschool large family group get-together. There’s a lot of fried chicken and corn on the cob and I’m getting hungry. There’s sweet tea in a punch bowl, which looks like a terrible idea to me in September. Don’t they have yellowjackets in the Carolinas? They’d all land right in the sweet tea within minutes where I live. Anyway, everyone knows that punch goes in a punch bowl. Tea goes in a pitcher. I’m disturbed by this breach in liquid serving etiquette but I’m going to let it slide since they might do things differently in the Carolinas. Don’t these people have a Chick Fil A with those sealed jugs of sweet tea and lemonade? Those keep the yellowjackets out.
There’s a trap shooting competition and my son is keenly interested. Grace is a good shot and you can tell that when she hits the target, that’s the moment when Clint thinks, “I’m going to marry Grace now. That woman is the one for me.”
Brooke tries to shoot a target, but misses, then jams her gun and she starts to sweep everyone with the muzzle, but Grace’s dad keeps her from doing that. Good thing he was close by. Why did Grace’s parents and Clint let Brooke have the gun by herself in the first place? Did anyone even check to see if she knew what to do? Clint was engaged to the woman, didn’t he know that she knew nothing about gun safety? That wasn’t great judgment. I blame Grace’s parents and Clint. Brooke looks like a whipped puppy and I feel bad for her because she tried hard. She didn’t even rub her shoulder after the first shot, and you know she would have wanted to.
Clint shoots fine. Grace is less impressed with Clint’s shooting, since in her world all men can shoot well, right? It’s just a given. He’s minimally competent in her world.
Then Brooke meets Jared. At first, I think they might find love with each other but I’m like, “What would Brooke ever see in a coffee shop and video game dude?” She wants to marry a hot doctor and sell his newly-purchased property immediately and get out of the Carolinas, not a shop worker who lives with a roommate who plays video games all the time. Brooke tells Jared that her fiancé, Clint, is the reason she’s out here. Jared isn’t interested in Brooke, anyway. He still hasn’t gotten over Grace. Brooke and Jared team up to “have some fun” at the expense of Clint and Grace. They are revealed to be the villains of this romance story.
Brooke stays with Clint and she gets Grace leave and go to some barn or garage or something, and Jared is waiting there.
Jared corners Grace and he tries to get Grace to accept jewelry. Why is that “having fun” with Grace? Why did Jared say he wanted to “have some fun” with Brooke but then he tries to be nice to Grace and give her jewelry to win her heart back? Grace tells him she is uninterested and to give it up.
Jared is touchy-feely. My son is shouting at the TV, “NO, JARED!” My son knows that no means no.
Brooke is outside with Clint. Brooke cries to Clint that she didn’t “wait all this time for some good for nothing farm girl to come between us.” Get over him, Brookie. You can’t even shoot trap without jamming your shotgun and sweeping the crowd with the muzzle. You never stood a chance. You don’t even want to stay long in that town anyway, remember?
Switch back to Jared and Grace. Grace says they’re done and Jared grabs her arms aggressively, shoves her backwards, and declares that he’s not done. Jared goes full octopus. He’s got eight arms and they’re all over her at once.
Clint walks in right then. It’s just like a romance novel.
My son yells to Clint, “BEAT HIM UP. FIGHT.” I’m pretty sure this is his most favorite part of the movie.
Jared picks up a shovel to use against Clint. Jared only fights unarmed when he’s fighting against women. Jared swings the shovel and my son declares that Jared is going to jail. Jared is not only a sexual assaulter, he’s also a regular assaulter. My son chooses to inform me right then that it’s just like when Ned Kelly in historical Australia swung a shovel at a police officer in Australia and went to jail for three years. There’s time during the shovel swinging for him to tell me all about it. We all agree that Jared should go to jail.
Grace’s dad comes in and they subdue Jared, then kick him out. Jared runs off and if this was a romance novel or a horror movie, Jared would be back one more time so he could get killed. This is a family movie, so Jared just leaves. He should have gone to jail. Maybe they’ll call the cops later. Grace’s dad tells Brooke she has overstayed her welcome and needs to leave.
Brooke cries that she’s not going anywhere, but Clint is like, “Let’s go home.” They leave and none of us think that they’re getting back together. Clint is just getting rid of her.
Grace’s character isn’t written as the brightest bulb in this show, so she’s not sure, and there’s a mini-montage.
There’s outdoorsy stuff happening and for a second, I wonder if the family lost the farm after all and had to move into a tiny cabin. There are large hot dogs on the grill, Clint shows up again, and then he proposes to Grace on a misty hilltop at twilight. He planned this with Grace’s dad. My son takes notes for his future proposal scenario, asking me why men always kneel down when they ask a woman to marry them. My son thinks they were supposed to kiss after the proposal. I agree. They were supposed to kiss. I’m pretty sure that even arranged marriage couples get to kiss when they get engaged. Clint is still respecting Grace’s boundaries. Clint and Grace get married and live happily ever after.
Grace’s family isn’t perfect but most of the relationship examples on TV and movies out there come from the likes of Worldly Friend Tessa, Starter Marriage Therapist, or No Means Yes Jared.
Football Heart Grace: Imagines relationships, does not set healthy boundaries, finally turns the bulk of her decision-making processes over to her parents even though she’s 24. Finds help through reading books.
Worldly Female Friend Tessa: Willing to dump her best friend over imaginary dibs on a hot guy she saw once at a coffee shop.
Grace’s dad: Wants real men but doesn’t take care of his own finances. Loves his family but somehow crippled his daughter’s ability to grow into an independent adult with good boundaries and decision-making skills. Possibly doesn’t understand what sexual assault is.
Grace’s mom: Ditto, except we are certain that she does not understand what sexual assault is.
Sexual Assault plus Regular Assault Jared: Ew.
Pretend Fiancé Stewart: Sounds like a regular guy who had no idea he wasn’t securely in the friend zone with Grace.
Mysterious Past Clint: Don’t put the cart before the horse.
Stage 5 Clinger Brooke: Ew.
Hopeful Want-Ad Suitors: Ew.
Little Brother Drew: Believes relationships are based on good cookin’.
Starter Marriage Therapist: Ew.