Beyond the Prairie, Part 2: The True Story of Laura Ingalls Wilder (2002)
Love Finds the Prairie
So a few years after we had "Beyond the Prairie: The True Story of Laura Ingalls Wilder" we got this sequel, "Beyond the Prairie, Part 2: The True Story of Laura Ingalls Wilder", and I could easily just say read my review of the first movie as this second is pretty much more of the same. That means that once again fans of Laura Ingalls Wilder's original stories will be disappointed whilst those who grew up on the wholesome tales of the TV series are just as likely to be disappointed.
The thing is, that as I watched "Beyond the Prairie, Part 2: The True Story of Laura Ingalls Wilder" it reminded me of a more recent series of family dramas set in the west, the "Love Comes" series of made for TV movies based on the Janette Oke stories. From the gentle storyline which is constantly accompanied by a gentle soundtrack which when it alters it leads you back to what is happening, prompting you as to how you feel, right through to all the little episodes which make up this story as Laura, Almanzo and their daughter Rose make the journey from Dakota to Missouri.
As such "Beyond the Prairie, Part 2: The True Story of Laura Ingalls Wilder" is full of wholesome charm which makes it a warming distraction yet at the same time it isn't exactly gripping. Yes there are moments of drama, an encounter with a couple of mean looking men draws you in but the minute it is over it goes back to its ambling along nature. It is again a movie which frequently relies on the likeability of the cast to make it work with Meredith Monroe bringing beauty and a simple charm to the movie whilst Skye McCole Bartusiak is effective as Laura's little girl. But the thing is that there is no edge to any of the performances and it makes it all kind of forgettable.
What this all boils down to is that "Beyond the Prairie, Part 2: The True Story of Laura Ingalls Wilder" is a charming bit of afternoon drama for those who long for the wholesome entertainment of yesteryear. But at the same time it isn't great and is more like one of the more recent "Love Comes" movies than the "Little House on the Prairie" which I grew up watching.
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