Candace Cameron Bure plays a doctor traveling from Los Angeles to her wedding in the Hamptons when she's pulled over for speeding in the town of Normal, North Carolina. Because she has a lot of unpaid tickets, she's taken before a country judge who sentences her to serve as the town's doctor for three days to pay off her fine. While there she starts to fall for the small town and one local man (Trevor St. John) in particular.
What a pleasant surprise this was. I think it's impossible to dislike Candace Cameron Bure unless you have some serious personality issues. She's likable, pretty, and endearing. The supporting cast is good, too. A lot of times in these types of TV movies, you have a couple of recognizable leads and then a bunch of bland Canadians (I kid, I kid) filling out the rest of the cast. But here the cast is full of personable actors. Lou Beatty, Jr. is a standout and nearly steals the movie. The sheriff's deputy and the little girl are also very nice. My only real problem with the cast is Trevor St. John playing the small town guy Candace's big city doctor is inevitably supposed to fall for. For starters, his accent is a bit much. Everybody in the town has a Southern accent but this guy is full-on Gomer with it. Also, his character is kind of a jerk from the moment we first meet him. Throughout most of the movie, there's this condescending air about him that I didn't quite like. Nice kiss at the end with Candace, though. Pretty hot for this type of movie, I gotta admit.
As others have pointed out, the story is similar to the Michael J. Fox movie Doc Hollywood. Although Candace does very little doctoring, really. There are some plot gremlins, as well. For one thing, she has to stay in the town to serve out her sentence because they don't accept credit or debit cards (really?) and the town's only ATM is broken. Also, she apparently has no checks because "where I come from we don't use those." Well this is all just contrived silliness. She could probably call her bank and have the money transferred or any other of a half-dozen solutions that would end the movie's plot before it really begins. Also, the outstanding tickets that she has are not local so I'm sure Los Angeles would not be thrilled to know that instead of getting its money, this lady worked a few days as a doctor in Mayberry. But this is all just hole-poking and perhaps a bit unfair so I would advise just shutting your brain off and enjoying it for what it is.
Some of the critiques I've read come from reviewers with obvious axes to grind and personal agendas to pursue. This movie has no pretense about being what it is nor does it try to be sneaky or subversive. I watched it on a channel that primarily shows Christian-themed programming. I knew it was going to be a movie of a certain type. If I (or anybody else) was uncomfortable with that, why watch it? Yet some people apparently did watch it, all the while with their fists clenched over the perceived outrage being perpetrated on them. Takes all kinds I guess. Things do go off the rails a little bit when they bring the ACLU into the plot. It just seems pretty unbelievable that so much is happening in this small town during Candace's brief stay. But, again, suspension of disbelief is our friend here.
So, final result is that it's a very nice TV movie despite its flaws. Charming turns from Candace Cameron Bure and Lou Beatty, Jr. go a long way to making it work. Speaking of Mr. Beatty, I would like to address a comment by another reviewer. The reviewer said that this movie was a "poor remake of Doc Hollywood but with less black people." What an asinine statement. I didn't realize there was a set number of people of any kind that every movie had to have. But since the reviewer saw fit to go there, I would just like to point out that Lou Beatty's character is more important to the plot of this film than any black character in Doc Hollywood was.