I can guarantee that I am not the target audience for “Apple of My Eye,” most likely it being a tween girl and her mom watching kind of movie, and in no way can I ever relate to either as I don’t have kids, nor am I a mother, but I will say that “Apple of My Eye” is a cute movie with many flaws that I doubt any tween girl would care about.
Here are the basics of the story…
Bailey (Avery Arendes) is an equestrian, training for national competition, and she falls off her horse. She appears okay, but her sight starts to get worse. She tries to hide it, but eventually, thanks to not seeing some sprinkles on some ice cream, the truth starts to come out.
Mom, Caroline (Amy Smart), and dad, Jason (Liam McIntyre), are having their own issues as mom is the current breadwinner, working long hours, while dad is out of a job and feeling kind of loserish. This is mostly hinted at, but not really expanded upon in the movie, at least not until the deleted scenes.
As things go, Bailey’s fall caused her losing her eyesight, and it looks to be permanent. She seems fairly content with her loss, but even so mom starts immediately investigating a guide dog for Bailey while dad is in full-blown, blind-proofing of the house. Anyway, it’s off to the Guide Dog Center where we find Bailey likes dogs for the most part, but can’t connect to any of the guide dogs there. Enter Charlie (Burt Reynolds). He’s the elder Guide Dog Trainer who has the idea that since Bailey loves horses, and he used to be a horse trainer, why not give Bailey a little horse as a guide animal? Now the family has a horse!
A movie with a teenage girl, however, cannot be complete without the love interest so here comes Sebastian (Jack Griffo), a blind dude who helps at the Guide Dog Center, complete with his own set of challenges in connecting with people.
There is a short, little pitty-party moment towards the end of the movie, the “Oh, woe is me! I’m going blind!” thing, but quickly Bailey learns it could be worse, thanks to Sebastian.
Getting past all things cuteness, and I’m sure the film folks were just trying to keep the movie upbeat, but really, the girl is losing her sight and most of the time it’s all: “La, la, la.” “She’s going blind.” “I’m going blind.” “Let’s get a guide dog.” “Okay, it’s a horse.” Short of the one scene of being upset, you would almost think that a teen girl losing her sight is an everyday occurrence. The other thing I almost found odd is that the movie somewhat preaches that trying to help the disabled by “adjusting” things in the real world is mostly a waste of money, especially with the commentary of why are we wasting money on the signs in bathrooms, or anywhere in public, with braille on them because the majority of blind people don’t know braille.
In terms of extras on the DVD, the Blooper Reel was mostly a waste, but the Deleted Scenes featurette did includes scenes I thought should have been left in the movie, like the scene where Bailey’s friends are texting her and asking if she is okay. In the actual movie there isn’t any interaction with her friends, but there, at the end, is a scene where some girl, Sarabeth shows up, and it’s almost like I didn’t realize Bailey had any friends.
The Deleted Scenes also held great scene between mom and dad, arguing, that I thought portrayed them a little more as normal family, but I guess, in the end, the movie folks were going for the “everything is rosy” in this family. Oh well.
As I mentioned, I’m not the target audience although I did find the movie cute enough, especially after the guide horse showed up. Let your son go play on the X-Box and share a cute movie with your little girl before she gets too old. It’s 3 stars out of 5 for “Apple of My Eye.”
That’s it for this one! L8R!!