July Rising: about that ending

Johanna Putnam and Alexa Yeames in July Rising

Prime Video kept putting July Rising in my face, telling me I’d like it. So, okay, I watched. It looked like an inspiring story about a plucky teen who overcomes the odds. There are spoilers ahead.

July Rising isn’t about a plucky teen who overcomes the odds. It isn’t inspiring or aspirational. Nope. It’s about the odds defeating the plucky teen. If you want a look at the harsh realities of capitalism, this is that movie.

Andy (Alexa Yeames) lived with her grandpa. He had a lush pear orchard with a perfect harvest almost ready to be picked. The farm was falling apart, the equipment oft fixed, but the crop was good and there was hope.

Then grandpa died. Andy was a senior in high school. She had an aunt, Linda (Johanna Putnam), in San Francisco who became her guardian. Except Andy didn’t want to live with her aunt. She wanted to stay on the farm and tend the orchards.

Alexa Yeames drives a tractor in July Rising

That’s when Andy and Linda began to realize how in debt the farm was. The bank was not willing to advance money to a teenager to get her through the harvest. In fact, they wanted to take the farm and turn it into a housing development.

Andy worked hard, sold all her furniture and some of her equipment. She made enough to hire pickers and bring in the harvest. But the bank wouldn’t wait. I think the moral of this story was meant to be that teenage girls need to grow up and face the facts as laid out for them by men with money.

I did not like that conclusion to the story of Andy’s struggles. Every movie doesn’t have to have a happy ending, but I sure wanted this one to.

A lot of information about Andy and her aunt Linda was overlooked, too. Linda was a chef and not married or interested in dating. Andy’s next door neighbor Ryan (Michael Ridley) kept coming around looking lovelorn, but Andy wasn’t interested. There could have been some story there.

I should say something good, too. The film isn’t entirely negative, only the ending. The cinematography was excellent and the views of the orchard were beautiful.

If you watch this one, I’d love to hear what you thought of it, especially the ending.

5 thoughts on “July Rising: about that ending”

  1. Jacqueline Gabbard

    The ending left me in a hot mess we need more . That much stubborn tenacity and shear grit and determination- not counting the money we need closure- good bad or ugly just realistic closure

  2. That ending was terrible. I was so confused I had to turn to Google to try to find an explanation. I was quite relieved to find that I was not the only one when I found your post. I get the not all endings are happy ones, but this was just plain sad.

    It deserves a second movie. I would like to see if Andy is able to buy a farm with proceeds from the sale of her grandfather’s orchard. Starts growing designer vegetables and sell them to her aunt’s swanky restaurant…

    We need more people like Andy who want to make a living farming. Give them some hope!

    1. Donald L Stottlemyer

      I think the point was more that it was her Grandfathers Farm not that she really cared as much about farming……… .

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