REVIEW: ‘Once I Was Engaged’ Continues the Adventures of the Girls From Beloved Movie ‘Once I Was A Beehive’
Jul 21, 2021, 6:00 AM | Updated: Jul 30, 2021, 1:35 pm
SALT LAKE CITY — Audiences who loved 2015’s independent film “Once I Was A Beehive” now have a chance to see what happens next with some of those beloved characters in “Once I Was Engaged.”
“Engaged” takes place a couple of years after the first movie and follows Bree Carrington (played again by Claire Niederpruem) the older, popular and sometimes judgmental girl from church camp.
Bree is now a marine biology student at BYU-Hawaii and planning to serve a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. But Bree’s rich boyfriend Thys (Studio C’s Tanner Gillman) surprises her with an unexpected marriage proposal, upending her plans.
I was curious going in if the character of Bree Carrington could carry a full movie, since she was a side character in “Once I Was A Beehive.”
But Niederpruem ably carries the spotlight and creates a more nuanced character in this movie that you can actually root for. She certainly is one of the brightest spots.
Bart Johnson (“High School Musical” movie series) as Bree’s father Curt also brings a new face to the series and a fun and relaxed counter-balance to Lisa Valentine Clark‘s loving, but Type-A mom Carrie Carrington.
The movie had very funny moments but changing the main character from “Beehive’s” Lane Speer, who was not a member of the church, to lifelong-member Bree for “Engaged” means there are a few more LDS stereotypes and inside jokes in this film.
I also wished there was more screen time for beloved characters from the first movie, especially Lane (Paris Warner), her cousin Phoebe (Mila Smith) and Barta Heiner’s character Sister Rockwell. It would have been great to see even more of their heartfelt interactions.
“Once I Was Engaged” is an earnest and sincere effort at a sequel to a much-loved movie. It’s good, clean family fun with positive messages that anyone can relate to.
It is rated PG. It opened in Utah theaters on July 21st but will expand to Arizona, Idaho and Nevada on Aug. 6 and nationally on Aug. 13.
Hopefully you & your family found this review helpful! Andy Farnsworth is the movie and pop culture guy for the KSL 5 Today morning news show and also hosts the Fan Effect podcast for KSL NewsRadio. Check out some of his other in-depth reviews of movies and streaming TV series on KSLTV.com.