The first “Once I Was….” released in 2015 told the story of a group of Beehive girls and their adventures at a Latter-day Saint girls camp one summer. It is a delightful, well-written film with a huge heart and fine acting performances that was well received and very deserving of a sequel.
The filmmakers have seized upon the success of “Once I Was A Beehive” and built upon that “Once I Was….” brand by creating a very “engaging” and solid follow up with “Once I Was Engaged”
“Once I Was Engaged” takes place about two years after “Once I was A Beehive”. The young women and their leaders have grown up and Bree’s surprise engagement and the whirlwind of wedding planning brings them all back together – with hilarious and touching results.
“Fans have been screaming for a sequel ever since we released the first film,” exclaimed Writer/Director Maclain Nelson. “And we are beyond excited for everyone to get back to the movie theatre and experience the next chapter in the lives of their favorite campers.”
Nelson delivers a movie that moves right along sticking to the core principles of the first film that touch on many of the clichés of Latter-day Saint living and culture; never afraid to do so but never going completely over the top. The humor and fun created in the first film certainty continues on here in the sequel with a terrific screenplay also by Nelson and truly fine and fun performances from Clare Niederpruem (reprising her role as Bree Carrington), Tanner Gillman (Studio C), Lisa Valentine Clark (returning as Carrie Carrington), Bart Johnson (High School Musical), Paris Warner (Finding Grace, Once I Was A Beehive) and Pam Eichner (One Good Man) along with many of the original ensemble cast members.
“Once I was Engaged” is a lighthearted romp with a solid and strong heartbeat, beautiful people and stunning locations both in Utah and Hawaii. “This movie is the warmest and funniest thing you’ll see this year,” quipped Lisa Valentine Clark, “Not to mention audiences get to see some men in the mix this time.”
Cinematographer Jeremy Prusso captures the essence of this film and its performers through his sharp and perfectly lit images that truly add to the viewing experience. Prusso’s cinematography combined with the Production Design of Melissa Mae create a completely authentic and simple look at these characters and the world they live in.
There are a few laugh out loud moments, but overall, this movie put a smile on my face when it first began and that smile never left until the end credits rolled. “Once I Was Engaged” delivers exactly what it is supposed to; an entertaining and amusing comedy that takes you away from real life for almost 2 hours and allows you the opportunity to just relax and enjoy the story as it unfolds. I will say that there are a few deliberately awkward moments and a few surprises that will keep you thinking how in the world is this thing going to end? The payoff is definitely worth the wait and patience.
“And who knows, maybe there’s a prequel story to “Beehive” that needs to be told.” says Clare Neiderpreum, but in the meantime until that day arrives “Once I was Engaged” is ready for theater watching on the big screen right now and is definitely worth your time whether you have seen the first movie or not. If you haven’t, perhaps you will want to check it out after watching this fine and satisfying sequel.
Tickets are now on sale for ONCE I WAS ENGAGED – the eagerly awaited sequel to the award-winning, smash hit ONCE I WAS A BEEHIVE – the film opens exclusively in Utah theatres on Friday, July 21 before expanding to Arizona, Idaho, and Nevada on August 6 and nationally on August 13.
To see the trailer for ONCE I WAS ENGAGED and to see where the film is playing nearest you, visit: https://www.onceiwasengaged.com/