Greer Grammer and Joey Lawrence in Emma's Chance (2016)

Doing the Right Thing for the Ranch Thing

Emma (Greer Grammer) had planned to wait for her mum to pick her up from school but after some ribbing from her friends she goes with them. Their destination is a ranch where they dare each other to climb in over the fence. Unfortunately things don't go to plan and Emma ends up caught and being ordered by the school's principle to do some community service at the ranch doing what ever they want her to do. It is there under the supervision of Kevin (Joey Lawrence) and Susan (Missi Pyle) that she learns all about the abandoned horses which the ranch takes in and finds herself bonding with one very temperamental horse called Chance. But Emma learns that the ranch is in financial difficulty and so with her friends set about trying to save the place.

Look, as a movie reviewer one of the things I should say is that "Emma's Chance" doesn't break any new ground, not surprising as every year it feels like at least one or two new horse movies get made which use similar stories to the previous year's movies. As such "Emma's Chance" combines several familiar story elements from Emma bonding with a troubled horse to the actual ranch being in financial trouble. It also adds on elements of peer pressure as Emma finds her friends keep on wanting to lead her astray. I could go on but as I said this doesn't break any real new ground.

But that doesn't make "Emma's Chance" a bad movie in fact this delivers the clean cut family drama which rarely gets made now days and whilst at one time I might have found it all a bit cheesy now I found it refreshing. There is a gentle beauty and wholesomeness to "Emma's Chance" which rubs off on you and makes you feel good about doing the right thing. And a lot of that comes from the writing but just as much from the casting with Greer Grammer bringing innocence and beauty to the part of Emma so she comes across as a good hearted girl but one in the real world where she has to deal with peer pressure. There is also Joey Lawrence and Missi Pyle who are also very likeable as actors and that rubs off on how we feel about their characters.

What this all boils down to is that "Emma's Chance" is truthfully just another horse movie but one which is well made and the sort of wholesome family entertainment which makes you feel good that this sort of movie still gets made.