With his career as a country singer going down the pan Bo Price (Toby Keith) has started to hit the bottle. But then he learns that his brother was killed in a military exercise and returns home to Tennessee for the funeral. Also heading back to Tennessee is Angela (Kelly Preston) and her rebellious teen daughter Dixie Leigh (Lindsey Haun) as Angela's brother also died in the military exercise. That spells trouble as Bo and Angela were an item 18 years earlier until Bo just packed up and left leaving Angela carrying his child. Now not only will old grievances be brought to the fore but Bo is going to meet the daughter he has never met which is made even more complicated by the fact that Angela's father Jake (Burt Reynolds) is an old fashioned patriarch who expects things to happen his way.
The most surprising thing about "Broken Bridges" is that it isn't a made for TV movie as that plot line is text book TV movie. From the one time couple coming face to face, the rebellious teen, the estranged daughter as well as the damaged soles everything about it screams Hallmark movie. Now in fairness "Broken Bridges" has a bit more grit to it than say a Hallmark TV movie but it still runs the same course.
So what does that mean? Well from the minute you learn that Bo and Angela were an item and Dixie is the daughter he never met you can guess the outcome and equally guess that with singer Toby Keith involved there will be a variety of musical scenes in the mix. Does that make "Broken Bridges" a bad movie? Nope but it certainly won't be for everyone and in a way I would say it is a movie for fans of TV movies who long to watch something which whilst easy to watch is not overly soft. And to be honest I enjoy the odd TV movie or two and despite its obviousness "Broken Bridges" entertained.
The thing is that whilst a little grittier than the norm and featuring some well known names and faces such as Kelly Preston and Burt Reynolds it is forgettable. The characters are cliche, the redemption resolution is obvious and the conflicts between the grumpy Jake and his daughter as well as Bo and Angela are text book. But it is watch able with some reasonable performances and it has its heart in the right place.
What this all boils down to is that "Broken Bridges" is not a movie for everyone and is best suited to those who enjoy the easy watching experience of an afternoon TV movie.