Friday Flicks: The Extra Romantic Edition

Something new, something old, something Hallmark. We round up three swoon-worthy horse movies for Valentine’s Day.
The World We Make (2019)

“New Adult Romance” is a rather new subgenre in Young Adult fiction that deals with protagonists just exiting high school or just entering college. It’s about that weird in-between stage where you have to start planning for BIG things, i.e., finding a career you’ll be happy with for the next forty-odd years, while also realizing you don’t actually know how to do your own laundry or fry an egg. But mostly … it’s about finding love.

The World We Make introduces us to Lee, who doesn’t know what she wants when she grows up, and Jordan, who knows exactly what he wants. Everything gets way more complicated when their two worlds collide.

The movie is super cute while also dealing with some really big issues. The two leads have great chemistry and the actress playing Lee, Rose Reid, does an admirable job at making her riding scenes look as authentic as possible.

I give The World We Make 3.5 out of 4 Golden Horseshoes.

The Horse Whisperer (1998)

This movie is controversial. Some people consider it the ultimate horse movie, while others think the ending is total garbage. To be brutally honest, I never cared for it. Possibly because I hate ambiguous endings — especially in romance movies — but mostly because the opening scene is just way too graphic.

I also have trouble finding sympathy for two teens forcing their horses up an icy slope in the first place, and I certainly can’t empathize with the “quietly suffering” husband or the “exhausted” barn owner that locks Pilgrim up in a ratty back stall with a leaky roof. We’re supposed to hate the “pushy” career woman that doesn’t let anything stand in her way, but, yeah, she’s actually awesome!

Anyway, it’s the movie that launched a thousand Natural Horsemanship careers and one very fresh-faced Black Widow.

A troubled horse. A troubled girl. A wise old man. I don’t think I need to do the full recap…

I give The Horse Whisperer 2.5 out of 4 Golden Horseshoes. #sorrynotsorry

But definitely check out my article “Celebrity Equestrians: Robert Redford” from 2014.

Love in Paradise (2016)

Finally, no Valentine’s Day is complete without a cheesy Hallmark movie. Don’t you dare roll your eyes at me. You know I’m right.

Love in Paradise is about Avery, an aging TV “cowboy” who gets sent to do a PR event at a struggling ranch in Montana. While there he meets a down-home hottie, Heather, who is not afraid to get her hands dirty.

The movie is surprisingly funny as our fish-out-of-water Californian navigates a real life working ranch and the two leads, Luke Perry and Emmanuelle Vaugier, have great chemistry. I also love the meta quality in that Hallmark is basically poking fun at it’s own movie making process.

I give Love in Paradise 3 out of 4 Golden Horseshoes.

Go riding.

Amanda Uechi Ronan is an author, equestrian and wannabe race car driver. Follow her on Instagram @uechironan.