Another Woman's Husband (2000)
A Tale of Two Women
Psychologist Laurel McArthur (Lisa Rinna) believes she has finally found Mr. Right, the charming Jake Miller (Dale Midkiff - Face Value) who asks her to go to the Bahamas on holiday with him. But ever since witnessing her brother drown Laurel has had a fear of water and so decides to try and get help to conquer her fears by getting swimming lessons from Susan (Gail O'Grady - Two Voices) who usually helps the elderly with water based exercise classes. Becoming friends Laurel and Susan start to confide in each other with Laurel telling Susan all about the man who seems to be perfect whilst Susan tells Laurel about her marriage and its issues. What neither of them realise is that Jake is in fact Johnny and is in fact Susan's husband all but one who wants a divorce. That is until an event brings them all together at the same place and same time and the truth comes out.
What I didn't mention in that synopsis is that both Susan and Laurel have deep issues and in many ways "Another Woman's Husband" is about that and the friendship and support they get from each other. As such we have Susan who is the complete opposite of her easy living, fun loving mother who had her when she was just a kid. We are lead to believe that having grown up watching her mum go from man to man Susan went the other way and when she fell in love with Johnny as a young woman basically gave up her life and dreams to be with him. This of course has lead to Johnny feeling trapped in a marriage which isn't working for him and so not only wanting a divorce but also flirting with Laurel. It is a reasonable set up as are the issues which Laurel has which allows us to accept that despite it being contrived that Laurel and Susan would unwittingly meet their friendship would be real.
But what that means is that whilst on first glance "Another Woman's Husband" seems to be about a cheating husband it is in truth about the women in the cheats life and requires you to read between the lines and analyse their characters. The question is that whilst on one hand it helps make "Another Woman's Husband" more interesting than your run of the mill TV movie is that what you want. What I mean is that TV movies tend to be simple and straight forwards and so do you want to be watching one which requires you to read in between the lines to fill in the gaps.
That is not my only issue as whilst Dale Midkiff is well cast as the handsome Johnny and Lisa Rinna is believable as Laurel things go a bit wrong when it comes to Gail O'Grady as Susan. The whole aspect of Susan not having a life having sacrificed it to be with Johnny out of a need for the security missing from her own childhood is over played. In truth everyone overplays their characters even Sally Kirkland as Susan's fun loving mum but O'Grady's performance is too over the top to feel completely real.
What this all boils down to is that "Another Woman's Husband" is one of those movies which whilst easy on the eye and seemingly obvious requires a bit more of a participation from the audience to read between the lines to try and understand the characters. It makes it an interesting movie although one which suffers from some forced characters.
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