“Pure Country 2: The
“Pure Country 2: The
Gift” is pure cornpone. At
times it’s so awkward it’s embarrassing; at other times it feels like a
two-hour country music video. But
at its core it’s heartfelt, family-friendly, and religious, which
couldn’t be all bad.
It seems there are 3 angels in heaven who are ready to hand out the
special gift of a beautiful, powerful, voice, which appears in the form of a
bubble of bright light descending to earth to land on…..a newborn baby
The next thing we know, Bobbie is a little girl singing in church.
Except we have to be politically correct to overcome the tacit
criticism that country music is so whitebread.
So they have Bobbie being raised by a black woman, singing Gospel
music in an (otherwise) all-black church.
Her “Aunt” tells the little girl that her mother died, and her
father was a rodeo cowboy who rode off to the next rodeo.
She also tells her the 3 rules the three angels decided upon (though
we’re not told how she knew that): be
fair, don’t lie, keep your promises.
Well, it isn’t long before our Bobbie (now the full-grown Katrina
Elam) is singing from the back of a flatbed with the good ol’ boys from
her little hometown. But
they’re frustratingly unambitious, and she’s restless for the big time,
so takes the bus to
to be a big star.
Naturally, at first, things don’t turn out as planned.
She winds up sleeping in a church (where the kindly black Pastor lets
her reside on the back pew at night), and goes to work at a sushi restaurant
as a waitress, only by promising the owner that she’s not an aspiring
singer (there goes the first strike, the lie). Guess what, the Asian
American waiters at the restaurant are all backup musicians, just waiting
for their lead singer. They
collaborate on a song, and now the restaurant owner willingly becomes their
manager, and takes them to the local studio to record their first big hit.
The high rollers at the studio know they’ve got somebody with a
gift here (Katrina Elam really can belt out a tune), but they tell her she
has to lose her manager (“we’ll do that for you”) and lose her local
band (“they’re not the look you want”).
Willing to do almost anything to be a star, she agrees (there goes
strike two, not being fair).
All her life she’s wanted to meet her Dad, but when he finally does
show up, it turns out he’s an old drunk.
She tries to develop a relationship with him, promises to take care
of him, and brings him along on her tour bus, but he turns out to be
belligerent to those around her and insulting to her (one of those “mean
drunks”). So she tells him
she doesn’t want to see him again (and there goes strike three, not
keeping her promises).
You guessed it: she
loses her “gift.” She
can’t sing any more. In the
meantime, she has met someone, a rodeo cowboy; naturally, who’s riding the
bulls to raise money for autistic children to be around horses (told you
this was cornpone). She goes
back home to her dying Aunt, who tells her she can recover her voice if she
fills her empty heart, and makes up for the wrongs she has done.
(The Aunt knows all about the 3 strikes, because she felt all of
them, and besides, it rained, because the angels were crying.)
Sure enough, before we know it, our reformed and re-charged star is
singing in the fund-raiser for the autistic children, along with the sushi
restaurant band, with her Dad benignly in the audience (having found him and
put him in rehab), and the smiling rodeo cowboy, and that’s country
music’s version of happily ever after.
Well, there’s no question that Katrina Elam is a talent.
And this movie, though as awkward as
trying to act (and that fight scene was really silly), is truly a showcase
for her young stardom. Yeehah,
Dr. Ronald P. Salfen, Pastor, Grace