John Ritter in Unforgivable (1996)

Redemption and Understanding

Paul Hegstrom (John Ritter - IT) is a man with anger issues which he takes out on his wife. When he loses a sale at the dealership where he works because she called he goes home and beats her. It's not just his wife as whilst he doesn't hit his children he still takes his anger out on them in other ways. And then there is his girlfriend Beth (Susan Gibney) who after another violent out burst almost kills by throwing her through the glass shower wall. With the DA urging Beth to press charges she takes a different stance and forces Paul to go in to therapy for those with anger issues.

"Unforgivable" is the second movie I have watched which sees John Ritter who you associate with playing nice guys taking on the role of a bad guy and Ritter again is effective in being unsettling. It is his performance and the nastiness he portrays during the first half of the movie which makes it work because as Paul he is such a nasty piece of work. It also helps that the supporting cast deliver their parts well especially the daughters who are not only aware that he hits their mum but in the case of the younger daughter Heidi is scared of him. But you also see how their son Jeff doesn't see that his father is a bad guy and shows his own elements of anger when his father leaves.

But what is interesting about "Unforgivable" is that it isn't your typical story of an abused wife or girlfriend finding the courage to make a stand and get rid of their no good husband. Nope this instead is the story of a violent husband who finds himself being forced to confront his anger problems. Now this means the focus is on things such as the men in therapy learning to understand the signs of their anger problems so they can prevent them, sinking so low that they accept they need help as well as discovering the source of their problems. There is a lot to this and it is fascinating especially as it is so different to what you usually get from movies based on domestic abuse.

What this all boils down to is that "Unforgivable" is a fascinating movie which approaches domestic abuse from a different view point from the violent husband going through therapy to try and deal with his anger issues. The effectiveness of the movie rests firmly on John Ritter's shoulders who again delivers a convincing performance as a nasty piece of work.