The Story & Themes of The Princess Cut Trilogy

People have asked us “Why Princess Cut?” Initially, the seed of an idea for a movie about love was planted in our minds during a 48 hour filmmaking contest where we envisioned a mischievous boy trying to help his sister get a date. As romantic suitors come to the door, the father fends them off. Most people can relate to navigating singleness The short film got us thinking: could we make this into a feature film? As we began to explore where the story could go, we realized there was a wealth of thematic material centered around the topic of love.

In the original Princess Cut film, Ashley Bratcher ( Unplanned ) stars as Grace Anderson, a Carolina farm girl who’s high spirited and yearning for marriage. Through a series of dating mishaps, she quickly ends up emotionally devastated. Friends and dating books give her advice on finding the right guy, but her Dad comes alongside her and shows her that patiently becoming the person God wants you to be is a better solution. Over the course of the film Grace must learn that she needs to find her satisfaction in Christ before she’s ready to enter into marriage.

After a few years passed, we produced 2 more sequels: Hearts on Fire and Beauty from Ashes. The storylines diverged as we turned our attention to some other members of the family, but love remains front and center. Brett Varvel ( American Underdog ) plays the role of Grace’s brother Robert. He is married to Lauren, played by Kendra Carelli ( Life Changes Everything ), and they’re expecting their first baby. She manages an athletic footwear boutique, and struggles with fears of being a good mom and wondering how she’ll handle the business, while at the same time her husband is trying to manage the family farm. Whereas the first film surveyed love in singleness, Princess Cut 2: Hearts on Fire takes us into a loving marriage that has all kinds of challenges thrown at it and asks now how will love react?

Finally, in Princess Cut 3: Beauty from Ashes, we branch out to consider that through the power of love, even despite our mistakes, anyone can find hope and healing, particularly because of what Christ has done by loving us and giving Himself for us. Tessa, played again by Kate MacCallum, ( The Gifted ) finds herself stuck in an undesired job trying to make ends meet but when she’s witness to an abusive situation a new opportunity comes into her life, transforming and redeeming the mess that she had made. Planned for a Valentine’s Day release in 2022, it’s a powerful and romantic arc that concludes the current Trilogy on a high note. Might there be a fourth film? You’ll have to wait and see.

Symbolism is rich throughout the series. A Princess Cut diamond ring symbolizes the covenant of marriage. Flowers given by Clint to Grace represent the purity desired in their courtship and to remember that Christ must always be at the center of their lives. Running shoes from Princess Cut 2: Hearts on Fire hint at a woman in motion, on a journey from fear to faith. And in Princess Cut 3: Beauty from Ashes, the architectural elements of design indicate the deeper work God does in remaking broken vessels for His use and fulfilling His sovereign designs for our good and His glory.

In every heart there is a desire to love and be loved. The relationships Sheilah and I had been through in the past greatly informed our hope in telling the story of the Anderson family to help people navigate singleness and find true love. We’ve grown a lot in our understanding of what love looks like and how it behaves. It’s our desire that you too will be enriched in your own understanding of God’s love and that all your relationships, whether single or married, will be filled with an unfailing Love.

- Paul Munger, Watchman Pictures