Movie Review: Horse Sense

Horse Sense Trailer

Horse Sense Summary

Michael Woods is a lazy, preppy 20-year-old living off his parents’ wealth in Los Angeles, while struggling through college classes and dating a spoiled heiress named Gina, whom his family dislikes. Michael learns that his 11-year-old cousin Tommy Biggs, whom he has not seen since a family reunion several years earlier, will soon be arriving from Montana to visit. Michael casts Tommy aside during his visit, prioritizing his social life and the demands of his girlfriend over his guest.

On Tommy’s last day in California, the family housekeeper Arlene makes Michael aware of his mistreatment toward Tommy and threatens to tell his parents about it. Michael decides to take Tommy to Disneyland to make up for it. However, en route to the theme park, Michael receives a phone call from Gina pleading for him to meet her at a racetrack so she can introduce him to her father. Michael capitulates and leaves Tommy at a children’s daycare center, then drives to the track for a brief visit. Michael charms Gina’s father over the course of a couple hours. When Michael realizes how late it is, he hurries back to pick up Tommy, and accidentally collides his Porsche Boxster with another vehicle, belonging to a woman named Diedre White. Afterwards, Michael learns Arlene had picked up Tommy several hours earlier. 

Tommy returns to Montana, and Michael’s parents, Glenn and Jacy, are upset when they learn about his neglect; they later learn about his automobile accident, and determine that the appropriate disciplinary action is to have him work on his aunt Jules’ ranch in Montana for a month. If Michael’s parents get a negative telephone call from the Biggs regarding him, they intend to cancel his upcoming trip with Gina to the French Riviera. Michael arrives at the ranch, where he meets Jules’ ranch hands, Twister and Mule, as well as Tommy.

Michael is put to work early the next morning, although every task he is assigned by Tommy is deliberately sabotaged to make his labor harder, as revenge for his earlier neglect. Michael eventually confronts Tommy regarding his behavior, and reveals that he only got along with him at their family reunion years ago because they were the only children at the event. Michael, no longer caring if his parents cancel his trip, demands Tommy to leave him alone. The next morning, Twister reprimands Michael for his lazy behavior and his treatment toward Tommy. During their discussion, Michael is surprised to learn that the Biggs are suffering financial problems.

Michael realizes how selfish he has been and begins adapting to life on the ranch. He mends his relationship with Tommy, who reveals his father was terminally ill, and his medical bills combined with the loss of labor from his death snowballed into financial woes. Later, Michael is upset when Jules tells him that the ranch will be foreclosed soon because of late mortgage payments, the result of low profits. The bank plans to auction the family’s ranch and personal property at the end of the month. This makes him feel a lot worse upon realizing why Jules sent Tommy to Los Angeles and further regretting not putting his social life on hold for family.

Michael returns to Los Angeles after a month on the ranch, but realizes that he no longer enjoys his old lifestyle. He is able to tame a nervous horse from a lesson he learned from Mule in Montana. Michael ends his relationship with Gina after realizing that she is a rich snob. When Michael chastises his father for not helping the Biggs, he learns that Glenn had offered them financial aid, but Jules was too prideful to accept it. Michael sells his Porsche and returns to Montana to present the money from the sale to keep the ranch operational until a permanent solution can be devised. Jules graciously rejects Michael’s offer and suggests that it is time for she and Tommy to move on.

On the day of the auction, Michael recalls a real estate class he took that taught about the concept of a land trust, which, if arranged in conjunction with the bank, would allow the Biggs to remain on the property indefinitely regardless of the debt. Michael successfully negotiates the terms with the bank. Jules agrees to let Michael continue working on the ranch and spend more time with the family. Later, Tommy and Michael finish a tree house that Tommy and his father had never completed.

Horse Sense Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This was a fun Disney channel movie featuring the Lawrence brothers. This was the first with Jumping Ship being the second. Great for the whole family.

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