My Husband's Double Life (2001)

Margaret Colin in My Husband's Double Life (2001)

Life After Love

For Elizabeth "Peachy" Welsh (Margaret Colin - Swing Vote) life was good, she had a loving husband in Pat (Jay O. Sanders - Boss of Bosses) and two loving boys. But what Elizabeth didn't know is that Pat has been embezzling money from his job as a fund raiser for a university. With the net closing in on him and the pressure getting too much Pat decides to fake his own death, leaving a suicide note and completely disappearing. Now Elizabeth has to contend with life as a widow and mother of two boys to raise, which means finding work, finding a cheaper place to live and plenty else. Then Ten years down the line Elizabeth is shocked when the Social Security Administration demand she repays the benefits she has been receiving as a widow as they have proof that Pat is still alive and living a new life under alias. With the aid of the internet Elizabeth sets about tracking down her husband to confront him not only over what he did but also over the financial mess he has put her in.

"My Husband's Double Life" is another one of these two movies which declares that it is inspired by a true story but with some fictional elements. I don't know what fact and fiction there is in the movie as the overall story is an entertaining one. But to be frank "My Husband's Double Life" uses scenarios from faking a suicide to tracking down a wayward husband which have been done a few times before.

Jay O. Sanders in My Husband's Double Life (2001)

The thing about "My Husband's Double Life" is that whilst we have a dramatic storyline which could have been a thriller about a wife going after the husband who faked his own death it takes a not so surprising different route when you consider it is a TV movie. Instead the focus is more on Elizabeth Welsh and how she dealt with all the trauma which came her way, sticking by her husband when he faced financial investigation, being brave for their sons when it appears he has killed himself as well as starting again as a single mum in need of work. But more importantly when she realises that her perfect husband faked his death and is still alive she deals with getting justice in a dignified manner with her boy's interests and well being at heart. It makes it a movie which doesn't ring completely true, avoiding gritty reality in favour of delivering an empowering woman's story and whilst some will scoff at this it does it extremely well.

The thing is that because the focus of "My Husband's Double Life" is on the bravery of Elizabeth the movie rests firmly on the shoulders of Margaret Colin who has one of those easy to like personalities. The effect of this is that whilst at times it is hard to take the character of Elizabeth seriously the general pleasantness of Colin's makes it seem insignificant. But there is also another good performance from Jay O' Sanders especially during those opening scenes where he is a man living a lie and struggling to cope with the pressures of his secret money problems leading to moments of almost vacancy as his mind is elsewhere.

What this all boils down to is that "My Husband's Double Life" is an entertaining drama which focuses on a mother and the way she deals with a variety of issues when her husband appears to take his own life. It isn't realistic but for those who enjoy movies about a woman finding an inner strength and dignity to keep on going it will be entertaining distraction.