Love Finds You In Sugarcreek is the first installment in the “Love Finds You In” trilogy which I stumbled across quite fortuitously. Based on the book of the same name by Serena B. Miller, Love Finds You In Sugarcreek is a sweet romance filled with inspirational life lessons about love, faith and the importance of family.
What Are You Hiding From Joe?
Rachel Troyler (the beautiful Sarah Lancaster) is a cynical, naturally suspicious policewoman working in the quaint community of Sugarcreek, Ohio. Joe Matthews (Tom Everett Scott) is a mysterious stranger who arrives in town with his young son. Down on his luck, he is offered aid by Rachel’s three Amish aunts. Working as their handyman, Rachel is uneasy about her aunts’ easy acceptance of Joe and is instantly mistrustful of the evasive drifter.
While Rachel poses multiple questions to Joe about his background and his life, he never quite answers any. His noncommittal responses prompt her to start an investigation into his background when her gut tells her there’s more to Joe than he’s letting on. “He’s got this long hair, scruffy beard, dresses like he just crawled out of a dumpster, but he’s wearing $300 sneakers,” Rachel muses as she tries to make sense of his background. Never fear Rachel, you had me at long hair and scruffy beard.
The more you run from your troubles, the more lost you become.
As Rachel digs into his past, she cannot help but appreciate the impact he’s having on her family’s lives. Joe is an asset to her aunts as he works hard to earn his keep. In addition, it’s clear he is a good father who loves his son and these revelations continue to confound and confuse her instincts. As answers about his past begin to surface, Rachel must manage the truth as well as the undeniable attraction she feels for Joe. Soon sparks are flying despite her determination to uncover what secrets he may or may not be hiding.
However, Joe cannot outrun his past forever. Eventually, it finds him in Sugarcreek and threatens the lives of the community he has come to love.
Do Not Judge Her Too Harshly
Love Finds You In Sugarcreek has a great cast. Kelly McGillis stars as Rachel’s Amish aunt who was quite an inspired casting choice. Bertha is the films moral centre, its spiritual leader, as well as a low-key matchmaker. Bertha has skills. Or perhaps it’s just her unwavering faith.
I really enjoyed Tom Everett Scott in the lead, especially since the actor and the creators of Love Finds You In Sugarcreek seemed to go to pains to make the character look particularly broken, disheveled and alone. Joe’s emotional state is complemented and heightened by his physical appearance, which benefits from not being glamorously shabby-chic. He’s just shabby to be honest. There is a “transformation” scene though, akin to Cinderella arriving at the ball. Joe must face his past and so too must bless us with an appearance in a well fitting suit and a crisp white shirt – aka the lethal combination. If you didn’t already know it, the director lets us know that Tom Everett Scott is indeed a very handsome man. In fact, the situation is perfectly encapsulated as follows, “So there’s our Mystery Man. A little shaggy, but definitely easy on the eyes.” Bless the writers.
Be not forgetful to entertain strangers for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.
Sarah Lancaster is one of my favourites. Quiet and underrated, she seems to go about her work with a determined dignity. I loved her work on Chuck and in Love Finds You In Sugarcreek, she is a tough, smart, competent woman who cares for her family. I appreciated that she was able to be all of the aforementioned without dissolving into the sometimes overly stubborn and shrilly trope. Rachel is strong, yet maintains her reason and compassion. Sarah and Tom also share a nice chemistry which is complemented by the young actor, Thomas Kapanowski, who plays Joe’s son.
It Is Not Possible To Run Away From Grief
Love Finds You In Sugarcreek is clearly divided into three parts. Rachel’s suspicions. Rachel falling in love. And the resolution of the mystery. It’s a sweet romance with a sprinkling of intrigue. I appreciated that the story did not contain the usual love triangle, and instead focused on the relationships between Rachel and her family, Joe and the Amish community and of course, the budding romance between the leads.
Surprisingly, Love Finds You In Sugarcreek has some beautiful cinematography. Filmed I believe on location in Sugarcreek, Ohio, the vistas and rolling green hills are spectacular.
If you usually enjoy Hallmark type romances, then Love Finds You In Sugarcreek will definitely satisfy.
Where to Watch: Love Finds You In Sugarcreek can be purchased on Amazon.
Content Note: This film is unrated but is safe for family viewing.
Have you watched Love Finds You In Sugarcreek? What did you think? Comment below and let me know!
Photo Credit: Mission Pictures International