You Lucky Dog
Originally Named: Family Gathering
Network: - Hallmark Channel
Original Air Date: June 26, 2010
Natasha Henstridge ... Lisa Rayborn
Harry Hamlin ... Jim
Anthony Lemke ... Don
Lawrence Dane ... Clay
When a New York City fashion designer returns home to her family's struggling farm, she finds new purpose training a herding dog, and discovers that her four-legged shepherd has the talent to turn an increasingly inhospitable cattle farm into profitable sheep country. Natasha Henstridge ("Eli Stone") and four-time Golden Globe nominee Harry Hamlin ("Veronica Mars") star in the story about facing failure and overcoming the odds.
After the sudden death of her mother, Lisa Rayborn (Henstridge) travels home to small-town Rockton, where her brother, Jim (Hamlin), and dad, Clay (Lawrence Dane, "Bride of Chucky"), are still mourning. To make matters more difficult for the family, Jim has begun raising Merino sheep on the farm against his father's wishes. Jim hopes the Merino fleece would turn a better profit for the farm, but without a superior working dog, his sheep have instead made him the laughing stock of the town.
Deciding to stay home and help, Lisa goes to the local animal shelter and adopts Lucky, a Border Collie who Jim's prime nemesis in ranching has just dumped. Jim wants nothing to do with Lucky knowing his biggest competitor thought so little of the dog. But Lisa, who sees the underdog in herself reflected in the pup, works vigorously with Lucky, and the dog shows such remarkable progress that the siblings decide to enter her in the town's annual herding dog contest. But when unforeseen disasters put more than prize money in jeopardy, Lisa and Jim must ask more from Lucky than they ever could have imagined.
(Possible Spoilers, Beware:)
Lisa returns home for her Mother's funeral, and decides after years of being away, that she now wants to live again, in her hometown.
I thought this was a sad premise for a story - that her Mother was gone - and now she chooses to return home.
Perhaps, though, this happens to many people. Once they loose one family member, maybe they finally realize how precious life is, and they want to live near the rest of their family.
Part of Lisa's wanting to return home, is due to the fact that she hasn't been as successful as everyone thinks she has been in the fashion industry.
Lisa's brother Jim is divorced and lives at the farm with their father. However, there are still some sparks between him and his ex-wife. It is implied near the end that they might get back together, but nothing is ever shown. I found that to be disappointing because I was waiting and hoping for a reconciliation moment!
Jim is is determined to make the farm work by turning it into a sheep farm - by selling the wool. Jim and Lisa's Father wants the farm to stay the same as it has for generations, a Cattle Farm.
Lisa wants so much to help Jim in making the farm work. She gets a dog, a Border Collie, she names Lucky, and learns it was raised by a nearby farmer, Neil, who thinks she is no good at herding sheep. Deciding not to have Neil laugh at her, for choosing his cast off dog, she is determined to train the dog and even gets Jim to help her in doing so.
Lucky becomes a very good dog at herding and Lisa decides to enter her into a contest. However, there is a forest fire and Lucky gets hurt when she rescues several children out of the fire. From there, things eventually turn around in ways you don't imagine for the family and the farm.
This is a very interesting story. The farm is beautiful and the dog Lucky, is absolutely adorable. I don't feel this movie would entertain most young children and they may be afraid of the fire scene where children are trapped in the forest.
In the end, you'll want to see how it turns out to be a Happy Ending for the family and the farm, and Lisa even finds love with the local vet!
See or Skip:
See, sweet movie... especially if you love dogs!