A Strange Affair (1996)
And Art Makes Three
Take one interesting true story, hire some familiar likeable faces and tone down the gritty realism and what do you have? Well in this case you have "A Strange Affair" but in truth you have a typical TV movie from the 90s. As such for anyone intrigued by the set up of a wife looking after her debilitated husband she no longer loves whilst also having a lover and hoping for realism and depth from this complicated situation should look elsewhere. But for those who like Judith Light and William Russ or want some romantic melodrama this will be a pleasant distraction.
After 23 years of marriage to Eric (Jay Thomas) Lisa McKeever (Judith Light - My Boyfriend's Back) has had enough of her husband's gambling and lying and when he steals money from her own personal account to pay his bookie she decides that is it and leaves him. But when Eric suffers a stroke leaving him unable to look after himself she returns home to care for him except at the same time in need of companionship she forms a romantic relationship with mechanic Art (Judith Light - My Boyfriend's Back) which of course complicates matters.
As pointed out "A Strange Affair" is inspired by true events and that strangely doesn't surprise me as I can imagine that if a wife was left looking after a man she doesn't love she would have needs both physically and emotionally. But as also pointed out it is turned into a romantic melodrama with Judith Light and William Russ both bringing their likeable personas to the movie and so allowing us to like their characters even if these are not the most realistic of characters. In fact Russ's Art is such a good guy that if men like that existed there would be no hope for anyone else. Even Jay Thomas as the irresponsible Eric has some likeable qualities so that even though he is a philanderer we feel something for him. All of which is combined with an old fashioned romantic musical score with perky little orchestral movements followed by big sweeps which just raises the whole romantic side of the movie
Of course there is the dramatic side of things from Eric disliking Art especially as Art is so kind to him and there is the fact that Eric can hear what Lisa and Art get up to in the other room. But the focus of the movie is more on the romance and the quirkiness of the situation rather than on the depth of the complications.
What this all boils down to is that "A Strange Affair" is one of those made for TV movies for those who like interesting set ups but don't want heavy, dramatic movies with lots of depth.
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