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LEARNING TO LOVE is a satisfying, uplifting movie. The actors and director make the most of a somewhat stereotypical, but entertaining, script. LEARNING TO LOVE portrays an inviting, desirable Christian worldview filled with prayer, Bible reflection, church worship, repentance, and self-giving love. Though the children and adults hide behind personality facades, everyone changes direction once they realize the error of their ways and have their own come-to-Jesus moments. LEARNING TO LOVE is an enchanting, wholesome movie for the whole family.
LEARNING TO LOVE is an exuberant, cheerful movie on Pure Flix that brings together a hurting family that learns to feel joy and love again, when a former teacher arrives to homeschool the two daughters and learns to love that noble calling again. LEARNING TO LOVE is a satisfying, uplifting entry into the family-safe romance genre, with a strong Christian, biblical worldview stressing repentance, prayer, church worship, Bible reading, and redemption.
As the movie opens, Steph Miller is a woman with suitcases loading into a New York cab. Steph is leaving her high-power advertising agency job, plus a 10- year relationship with boyfriend James, to start over in Miami, Florida and moves in with her lifelong, friend Mia. Hoping to land another ad agency job, her first interview is with Harry Carlton, who starts with general questions about her background and experience. She admits she started as a public-school teacher but grew to dislike it. Harry admits she’s in the wrong interview because he’s trying to find a teacher to homeschool his two young daughters. As a result, Steph’s tardy for her real interview with the ad agency, and their impression goes from bad to worse.
That night, Steph prays, as well as talks to a picture of her late mother. In the morning, Mia finds out that Harry Carlton lives in one of the most exclusive beachside enclaves in Miami. She convinces Steph to at least check out what the job would be like. After meeting her prospective students, Rosa, age 10, and Bella 9, as well as talking to Alice, the “housekeeper and personal chef,” and seeing the poolside house where she would get to live, Steph accepts Harry’s job offer.
As the relationships develop, Steph offers her own style to the mix. Though Harry, also known as Mr. Carlton, had a long-standing house rule that all adults are addressed as Mr., Mrs. or Miss., Steph insists everyone go on a first-name basis. Along with academic lessons, Steph wants life lessons as well, like field trips to go bowling as a family. Steph also begins to lift the fog of the forbidden subject of talking about the girls’ mother. The mother’s untimely death occurred when they were only toddlers. So, the father shut down any mention of the mother due to his grief.
Steph shares her Christian faith along with teaching the girls academic studies. She integrates Bible stories into her curriculum. She also teaches and encourages prayer. Finally, Steph invites the family to her church on Sunday morning where they all participate in worship.
Steph’s personal touch eventually wins Harry’s heart, and a budding relationship begins. Rosa and Bella balk at first, thinking that their dad will neglect them in favor of Steph. So, they hatch a plot to get rid of Steph. Will they succeed?
LEARNING TO LOVE is a top-notch production, complete with real home interior and exterior sets against a backdrop of scenic Miami settings. Also, the actors make the most of a somewhat stereotypical script for romantic movie storylines. So, the viewer stays engaged through the story and character development, guided well by the director.
LEARNING TO LOVE has a strong overt Christian, biblical worldview without being heavy-handed. Steph’s character is winsome and inviting. She’s fully positive in her approach to bringing others along in the faith journey through Bible reading and journaling, prayer and worship. Her simple yet deeply sincere Christian faith is contagious. There are a few instances where Steph drinks a glass of wine with various other main characters, but no excess is depicted, and no other vices are shown. Though most of the people’s behavior falls into a biblical perspective, the two young girls do conspire to sabotage Steph’s reputation. [LIGHT SPOILERS FOLLOW] They also do the same thing to her replacements and are said also to have sabotaged their previous teachers, with the longest one lasting only two months. The movie resolves this bad behavior positively by the end, with the girls showing repentance through prayer and by making amends. Ultimately, LERANING TO LOVE shows that there’s more to school than just “reading, ‘riting and ‘rithmatic.” There’s also repentance and redemption!
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