The Green Oak Guardian” is a film about movie star Grayson Kane who lands the role of a lifetime playing the comic-book superhero The Green Oak Guardian in its on-screen adaption. He must first however get the approval of the creator so he takes a trip to the small town to get meet the McSween family. But now he is in for a big surprise.
Grayson (played by Huston Rhines) is a charismatic charming hunk who seems to have a permutation for treating women poorly. Just like many, he believes Earl McSween (played by Duffy Hudson) is an amazing artist and writer and it would be an honour for him to get to play his most prized creation on the big screen. He intends to simply butter up Earl and get his blessing and artistic perspectives on how best he can nail the role right.
But it turns out that, Joanne, (played by Abi Van Andel) Earl’s daughter is the creator, writer and artist behind the successful comic book series. She believes that comic books wouldn’t sell that much if people knew it was created and drawn by a woman. Unlike everyone else, she is not excited about Grayson getting to play the character that she created. And it would take more than Grayson’s charming looks and charisma to get her blessing for the role.
The story now becomes more about Joanne and Grayson getting to know each other more and finding out that they each aren’t what the other initially thought they were. You can say that it is almost a cliche story of two people from different worlds with different perspectives who don’t stand a chance of being together and finding love in each other.
Over the next couple of days, they each get to know more about each other. Grayson particularly shows more of the softer side he is hidden under the macho womanizer that he is known to be. The chemistry between the two leads is palpable, and watching their relationship develop is both charming and entertaining.
Abi and Huston together are the lifeline of the film’s worth on screen talent-wise. They are exceptional in their roles and sell to us the characters. Although it does feel at times that they might be overacting and trying to do so much to get the audience to connect emotionally with them. But that overacting pays off to some degree. You find yourself enjoying the two falling in love and discovering that they deserve some happiness in their lives.
We later learn that Joanne is more connected to the character that she created than it seems that’s why she is so protective of it. To her, The Green Oak Guardian is a homage to her late husband who she holds dear to her heart.
Amongst the several other valuable life lessons that this film packs, You can’t help but acknowledge the subtle themes and narratives about women empowerment and gender equality by pushed by the film.
Lana Read who is no novice to directing can push these messages using the character Joanne and her relationship with her daughter.
In the first few instances and encounters everything points to Joanne being the real author of the comics and not her father. It is so glaring that it is hard to understand and accept that it takes Grayson that long to figure it out. But you could also argue that it could be because he was distracted by his intent to put on his best self to get the approval he needed before the shooting of the film starts.
Nonetheless, it felt like the screenplay gave away the film’s biggest twist quite easily. Either that or it was just too predictable. Or perhaps it wasn’t even intended to be a twist that could have been held on that long to progress the story whilst keeping the viewer interested.
The film looks, sounds and feels very much like the typical tv movie. You know, the classic romantic comedies that you would watch on cable tv on a Sunday. But this ends up being more than a typical indie project.
“The Green Oak Guardian” is a very decent romantic drama with mild humour that makes you believe that everyone deserves to be loved and can find love.
Even with some scenes that seemed a bit too dragged, this film keeps a decent pacing that sucks you and keeps you interested with the emotional connection forming between the two leads even with all that is at stake for each of them.
Overall, “The Green Oak Guardian” is a heartwarming and entertaining movie that will leave you feeling inspired and hopeful. It’s a perfect film for the entire family and a must-watch for anyone looking for a feel-good romantic comedy with a unique twist.
I would score this 6/10.
The Green Oak Guardian is expected to be released by 5/15/2023 so be on the lookout for it if you are interested in a classic story of an unlikely romance that brings the worlds of two people together.