Lassie Come Home
Florian’s best friend is his Collie Lassie. When his family is forced to give the dog away, he is heartbroken. But Lassie isn’t easily separated from Flo and embarks on an adventurous back to her beloved friend.
Placed in a contemporary setting, Lassie Come Home is an updated remake of the original classic that emphatically demonstrates that a boy or girl’s love for a dog is never out of date. Originally made in 1943, and featuring a young Roddy McDowell, the film was based on Eric Knight’s novel.
Young Joe is loyal to Lassie but is about to face separation from his beloved collie. His dad, having worked at a glass factory for a long while, loses his job when the factory closes its doors. Forced to move to an apartment, the land lady, Mrs. Miller, becomes upset with Lassie when the dog races past her on the steps, causing her to drop some of her groceries. She insists on Lassie moving on or states the family will have to leave. Joe, frustrated along with Andrew, his dad, says the land lady is a “cow, a stupid cow,” although the dad later admits they shouldn’t talk about her that way.
This leads to a lot of drama as Lassie is given to someone to watch, but a handyman dog-naps her, intent on selling her off to someone for lots of cash. The film features a lot of angst for young Joe and his friend, Bella, who loyally helps him to try to locate the missing canine. The movie is not without some funny moments to occasionally lighten it up. In an early scene, Joe’s teacher is teaching the importance of the proper place of commas. She gives the example on the board that you could write, “Come, let’s eat Grandma!” or, more accurately, “Come, let’s eat, Grandma.”
A part of the film’s story features Bella, Joe’s friend, and how she is staying with her grandfather, the man who had to close down the glass factory. In an early scene in the film, we see Andrew blowing glass while working at the factory, a fascinating scene to watch. Bella’s mother died and her dad and grandfather aren’t on speaking terms. Bella’s father has the financial means to help her grandfather save the glass factory, but he stubbornly refuses to ask for help.
Lassie’s loyalty is seen early in the picture when a bully picks on Joe, calling him a baby because of his commitment to Lassie. “I’m not a baby!” insists Joe, and then, Lassie grabs the bully’s book bag with her teeth and takes off! The bully eventually gets it back but it is clear that Lassie is faithful to Joe.
Other dramatic elements in the film features Joe’s mother, Sandra, about to have a baby girl, and all this is going on with the uncertainty of Andrew’s job situation. When Andrew is about to take a job an hour away, Sandra is not happy with him. In addition to this, Bella’s grandfather loses his watch that a thief nabs, and it was a watch given to him by his late wife. He is heartbroken and the viewer will be watching with keen interest to see if he gets it back.
There are some content situations which we wish to make the viewer aware of. Bella’s grandfather curses several times about his lost watch. And one scene features a kid going after a bully in class, tackling him from his desk in school. Joe is disrespectful toward his father on a few occasions, and he steals a bus ticket from the landlady.
We are awarding our Dove seal to the movie for Ages 12+, while noting that parents should consult our content listing to make their own informed decisions about their kids watching the movie. The adults will no doubt get a chuckle from some of the scenes, including one in which Bella’s grandfather boasts that he’s as fit as a fiddle, and then his butler enters and says that it’s time for “Your blood pressure pills, sir.” Some of the neat scenes involve Lassie jumping through a fiery hoop at a magic show, and Bella’s grandfather making a polar bear out of glass.
The idea of forgiveness is nicely portrayed near the film’s ending. And Lassie, fearful of water, jumps into the water in one exciting scene to save someone.
The Dove Take:
This modern take on the Lassie story features a lot of action sequences and a happy ending.