Love, romance, and 117 dairy cows

Movie ads love the word "magical," especially if the film they're touting has an air of fantasy. "The Price of Milk" is such a picture, spinning a tale of whimsical romance in a pastoral New Zealand setting complete with youthful lovers and light-hearted mysteries. Also present are no fewer than 117 dairy cows.

The main characters are a young couple who aren't as crazy about each other as they used to be. Concerned that their impending marriage may aggravate this situation, the bride-to-be takes a friend's advice and starts putting her fiance through a series of tests designed to prove the strength of his affection. The movie would be more fun if it accompanied its imaginative story with imaginative acting and filmmaking. The plot has some diverting twists, but director Harry Sinclair unfolds it with little flair, treating every scene with a tone of self-conscious whimsy that grows regrettably tiring.

If a mildly magical story is what you're after, "The Price of Milk" will be worth the price of admission. Otherwise save your milk money for something more substantial.

Rated PG-13; contains mild suspense and adult material.

(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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