Roberts' Ranch Romance & Relationships
Willa (Ashley Williams - Snow), Tess (Charlotte Ross) and Lily (Laura Mennell - The Last Trimester) all had the same father, Jack Mercy, but different mothers and they had never met till their father passed away and they all attend his funeral and will reading. But they are in for a surprise as having spent his life building up his ranch it is now worth $24,000,000 and it is to be split between the three sisters. Except first they have to spend an entire year living together on the ranch to be entitled to their inheritance. With each sister being very different it is not an easy year especially when they discover someone is slaughtering cattle and seems to be stalking one of them.
To be 100% truthful the TV adaptations of Nora Roberts' stories are not good movies, they're not even that good when compared to other TV movies, but they are watchable. And that is their saving grace, the storylines may end up feeling familiar, the acting at times is a little shaky and in the case of "Montana Sky" the blend of ranch movie, romance, comedy and thriller does not gel very well, yet it is still entertaining. In fact whilst "Montana Sky" is an adaptation of a Nora Roberts's story it is very similar to other TV movies set on a ranch where we have some bonding and some romance.
So "Montana Sky" has an entertaining opening as 3 half sisters, all fathered by the same man and who have never met arrive for his funeral. It is slightly amusing purely because each of these women are very different and whilst unbelievable the will reading which sets up the situation of them having to live together on the ranch for a year in order to get their inheritance is also fun. The trouble is that whilst this set up is fun and does a decent enough job of introducing not only these sisters but the various men who will be pivotal what follows on from there is rather ordinary.
Now part of "Montana Sky" is about these 3 sisters bonding, learning to like and trust each other and whilst it's amusing that ranch girl Willa doesn't like city girl Tess it is for the most very obvious. I did say for the most as you will find yourself both surprised and laughing when they share a naked hot tub, a scene which almost feels more male fantasy than sister bonding session. It is also just as obvious that each of these sisters will end up with a man in their life be it Lily finding reassurance in the arms of nice guy Adam or man eating Tess going after man in uniform Sheriff Nate. It's all entertaining but again obvious especially the antagonistic relationship between Willa and local rancher Ben McKintock.
But that is just one side of "Montana Sky" as this is based on a Nora Roberts' story we also have the thriller aspect as not only do we learn that someone is slaughtering animals but Lily has a deranged and dangerous ex husband who beat her and she fears he is stalking her. Now on one hand this is good, we have a touch of mystery over what is going on and whilst one part is very obvious there is a twist to all of this. The trouble is that there comes a point where the outcome of the twist is signposted, in fact it's not so much signposted but told to us about 20 minutes before the twist arrives. It's too convenient and almost seems like for 95% of the movie we have had this story built and then suddenly with time running out the ending is just plonked on. It is the same issue which I have seen in all the adaptations of Nora Roberts' books and a reason why they end up being disappointing.
As for the acting well it's a case of beautiful looking people on a ranch. Ashley Williams, Laura Mennell and Charlotte Ross as the sisters are all beautiful in different ways and whilst they all deliver different characters the characters are cliches. The men John Corbett, Aaron Pearl and Nathaniel Arcand are not much better, handsome in different ways and playing yet again cliche characters.
What this all boils down to is that "Montana Sky" is entertaining but it is not a great TV movie and to be honest is no different to countless others, especially those which give us romance on a ranch. If you like the other Nora Roberts' movies you will probably enjoy "Montana Sky" but for those who like to rip into movies that are made for TV then stay well clear as there are many issues which spoil this.