Saturday, May 5, 2012

Cinema Saturday: Flicka 3

Flicka 3: Country Pride
20th Century Fox
May 1, 2012
111 min
Clint Black, Kasey Rohl, Lisa Hartman Black
IMDb/buy at Walmart or Sam's Club

Based on the characters in Mary O'Hara's My Friend Flicka, Flicka, the beautiful but sometimes wild acting mustang is back.

Flicka 3: Country Pride brings both Flicka and Clint Black's character Toby over from Flicka 2 -buy (which, admittedly, I have not seen yet). Hired as stable manager at the Cherry Creek farms, a stable that's been struggling since the death of its trainer - and the husband of its owner - years before Toby brings Flicka, the wild mustang with him.

Lindy (Black's real life wife Lisa Hartman Black), the stable owner is a bit wary of the horse at first but happy just to have a new stable manager around recently quit. Kelly (Kasey Rohl), her daughter, however, immediately feels a connection with the horse. The teen, once an avid who hasn't ridden in competition or public since the death of her father, begins riding Flicka in secret - and loving it.

Just as Kelly's finding out that Flicka might be just what she needs to bring her back out of her shell, the stable is facing more hardships than ever. Financial difficulties are becoming more pressing than ever, their trainer is hiding something from them, and tension between Kelly and her former best friend (Siobhan Williams) - a rider on their stable's team - seem to have reached a boiling point.

When Kelly's finally found something good, will everything else come tumbling down?

While a (human) character, Toby, does carry over from the second movie and Flicka is in all three of the Flicka movies, the movies (based on synopses and reviews) all seem to be standalone, no worries if you haven't seen the others (as mentioned, I haven't.)

Flicka 3 is not solely a horse movie in that the majority of it is not about a girl's relationship with her horse or training, riding or working with said horse. There's a lot of riding, shows, as well as interaction between Flicka and Kelly but there's also teen drama of Kelly having trouble fitting in with the riders at the stable/those same kids at school, the drama at the stable, and the relationship between Kelly and her mother - as well as where Toby fits into it all.

It's a good family film with a lot of horses - Flicka particularly - included. It's great for tween age girls who can still enjoy a wholesome film. If you're/they're looking for CW-lite, this isn't really it. It's sweet and almost kind of sappy at times, but it works for what it's doing.

While Flicka 3 is a bit like The A Circuit, if, you know, it weren't set on The A Circuit as Cherry Creek is a struggling stable and The A Circuit is horse riding and shows meets Gossip Girl. It has some of the similar class struggles (Kelly doesn't have as much money, the stable needs more while other girls are paying to board numerous horses) and girls fighting over boys, trying to figure out where they stand with each other. (I still think the reason Kelly and Stephanie had their falling out was weak at best and just plain odd at worst.)

It's a wholesome, light, family film with really nothing objectionable in it. The acting isn't top-rate - I really liked Kacey Rohl, though, and thought she did really - everyone else was okay.

Flicka 3 is available only at Sam's Club and Walmart.

-As a side note, it seems a little odd a movie targeted at who this seems to be targeted at, has a character named Stephanie Meyers - a character who's first and last name they say repeatedly. I really did keep waiting for just one person to mention Stephenie Meyer or Twilight in some way.

Thank you to Fox & Think Jam for my copy of the film to review!

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