I love these made for TV movies about a true story especially those which focus on a true crime but most of these movies tend to be made some time after the crime and court case. That is not the case of "The Perfect Husband: The Laci Peterson Story" as this was a movie being made before Scott Peterson even faced trial. Now that makes it two things; firstly not the full story but secondly a movie which appears to have been made to capitalize on the public interest in this case which makes it feel wrong. Having said that it is a solidly put together little movie which whilst never riveting has enough little detail going on to keep you involved.
Now for those who are unaware of the story it focuses upon the story of Laci Peterson who 8 months pregnant goes missing from the family home on Christmas Eve. Over the months the police investigate and search for her with the press taking a huge interest in the story especially as Laci's parents saw her husband Scott as the perfect son-in-law. But that is until it comes out that Scott had been having an affair and as the truth starts to come out as well as the discovery of Laci's body the attention shifts to on whether or not Scott is guilty.
As I said "The Perfect Husband: The Laci Peterson Story" was actually in production before Scott Peterson even went to court and that to me feels wrong. But never the less this case is interesting enough to warrant a movie because of all the little bits which contribute to the case from Scott's affair where he even lied about being married to his alibi about being on a boat as well as his actions afterwards. It is in a typical fashion the slow unravelling of information which makes it interesting although it does feel at times like the movie is already sure of Scott's guilt in the way it portrays the story.
But the thing is that "The Perfect Husband: The Laci Peterson Story" never really comes to life, it plays out pretty much all at one level and you feel like it needs more rises and peaks to make it grab your attention. I suppose that with this being made before the case went to trial the producers had to play it safe which makes me wonder why they didn't hold off till later. It is the same with the performances because the performances are also quite safe, respectful which is a nice thing but in a way missing the drama and roughness which is needed to make them interesting. As such whilst "The Perfect Husband: The Laci Peterson Story" has a good cast which includes Dean Cain, Dee Wallace and G.W. Bailey the characters end up ordinary.
What this all boils down to is that "The Perfect Husband: The Laci Peterson Story" ends up an ordinary, safe dramatization of a true crime. Its problem is that it was made too soon and so had to play it safe.