Release Date: October 20th, 2006 by Twentieth Century Fox.
The Cast: Alison Lohman, Tim McGraw, Maria Bello, Ryan Kwanten, Dallas Roberts, Nick Searcy, Danny Pino, Kaylee DeFer, Jeffrey Nordling.
Directed by Michael Mayer.
BASIC PREMISE: On her Wyoming ranch,16-year-old Katy (Lohman) struggles to permanently own her beloved wild mustang, Flicka.
ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: Although formulaic and clichéd, Flicka has enough charms to be mildly entertaining. Alison Lohman plays Katy, a teenager who yearns to own a wild mustang she names Flicka (Swedish for “pretty little girl”) while her father (McGraw) wants her to focus on improving her grades in school. Maria Bello gives a decent performance as Katy’s mother. Katy gradually forms a special attachment to Flicka and hopes to tame her. Katy’s father sells Flicka to a rodeo and, soon enough, Katy locates her there. Until the rodeo scene later in the second act, the plot meanders a bit too much with Katy rebelling against her strict father, hanging around with her older brother (Kwanten) who shares her passion for horses. The by-the-numbers screenplay by co-writers Mark Rosenthal and Lawrence Konner has few surprises, especially if you’ve seen other “girl and her horse” movies and if you’ve read the book it’s based on, My Friend Flicka—which actually has a boy as the protagonist rather than a girl. Director Michael Mayer awkwardly transitions scenes and occasionally includes slow-paced scenes that drag and cause your eyes to roll from corniness. Fortunately, there are no silly subplots or offensive humor which feels quite refreshing. Moreover, the beautiful, enchanting scenery as well as Alison Lohman’s charming performance slightly compensates for the boring, clichéd plot and helps to keep you mildly engaged.
SPIRITUAL VALUE: It’s uplifting to know that Katy has the courage to follow her passion and to remain optimistic. She also yearns for freedom, an intangible state of mind that reflects her coming-of age. In a brief yet moving scene, she manages to bond with father who loosens up a bit after he reads her diary.
INSULT TO YOUR INTELLIGENCE: Formulaic, clichéd and corny.
NUMBER OF TIMES I CHECKED MY WATCH: 2
IN A NUTSHELL: Formulaic, clichéd and corny, yet mildly entertaining and uplifting with a charming performance by Alison Lohman and breath-taking scenery.
RECOMMENDED WAY TO WATCH: Movie Theater (2nd Run)
The "F" Menu