While hanging around with some girls who tend to get her into a little trouble, Emma (Greer Grammer – from television’s The Middle) gets caught late at night on a ranch that rescues horses fooling around. Her punishment is a grounding from her mother (Jennifer Taylor – from television’s Two and a Half Men) and some community service work from her principle (Tracy Nelson – Down and Out in Beverly Hills, Yours, Mine and Ours). That entails working at the very ranch she got caught on, The Red Bucket Rescue Equine Reserve.
Emma has to go there every day after school to help tend to the horses. In the beginning she is just cleaning stalls, but when Kevin (played by Joey Lawrence – from television’s Melissa and Joey) notices that she has a connection with a particularly damaged horse she begins to ride him. While spending more and more time there Emma also begins to suspect that the Red Bucket and its owner Susan Pierce (Missi Pyle – The Artist, Galaxy Quest) are in financial trouble.
Trying to figure a way to save the place she has become very attached to, Emma and another volunteer Lexi (Christina Robinson – from television’s Dexter) come up with a plan that could win them a lot of money and hopefully save the Red Bucket.
While it can be a little predictable, Emma’s Chance certainly is a film you can watch with the whole family. There is no sex, violence or language involved. It is really like many of the after school movies I used to watch when I was younger. Then there is the big plus of the story involving horses. Plenty of beautiful ones.
Like many of these types of film aimed at younger audiences there are plenty of lessons for them jammed in here. Emma has to learn how to say no to the Mean Girls group of friends she hangs around with. Doing so she realizes that her life will not be over and she will not be missing out on what the cool kids do, rather a whole other range of experiences will open up for her. Another is that just because the most popular guy is interested in you does not mean that you have to like him back. Sometimes that is something that younger girls learn only the hard way. Plus there is the overall lesson about redemption – of the animal and human variety.
-Previews of Dear Eleanor, The Angry Birds Movie, War Room, Miracles From Heaven, Risen, Soul Surfer