Life After Marriage
It's because of marriage problems that Gerri (Lori Loughlin) and Doug Jensen (Brian Kerwin) were seeing a marriage counsellor, what Gerri didn't expect to discover is that Doug had been seeing their marriage counsellor on a more personal level as well. Unsurprisingly it leads to a divorce and Gerri getting the home and custody of their two boys plus also child support payments. But Doug's payments go from being late to never coming before he suddenly moves away with out telling Gerri. With no payments life gets tough very quickly for Gerri and after getting behind with home payments is forced to sell up and move back to her parents where she tries to make a go of things but still finds it a struggle. And those struggles include Mr. Quinn (Gordon Clapp) the social worker who is meant to be processing her case over Doug's refusal to pay child support but who is not doing his job.
"Abandoned and Deceived" is based on a true story about a woman who following her divorce finds life incredibly difficult thanks to an ex who won't pay the court ordered child support and a social worker whose personal issues with divorce effect his work. What this story to me should be about is the courage and determination of Gerri to not only survive but to tackle the system which is unfair to her and other women. And in part "Abandoned and Deceived" does portray this as it highlights various issues but it is also a movie which comes across as if it is saying all divorced men are jerks. I say that because the two main male characters, Doug and Mr. Quinn are divorced men with issues about women and so despite there being some nice single men in the movie the overall feeling is a movie which has an agenda against divorced men.
It is a shame that "Abandoned and Deceived" comes across like this as the story of Gerri is a good one as we see her goes through the difficulties of being a single mum trying to support her family. We watch how she is unable to pay her bills, the power is cut off, she can't get welfare as she has a job and then when she does the welfare stamps don't cover luxuries such as toilet paper. We also see how stressful things become when she and other women decide to make a stand against the system as she gets harassing phone calls and faces a system trying to protect itself and intimidate those who dare to speak up.
Having said all that there is also a lightness of tone to "Abandoned and Deceived" with Lori Loughlin as attractive and smiling even in the hardest of times. Plus there is of course the obligatory romantic sub plot as she meets a nice guy. It makes this a movie which is probably inspiring for women in the same situation but slightly fake for those who are not.
What this all boils down to is that "Abandoned and Deceived" is a typical TV movie retelling of a true story which despite having a good central storyline does things which spoils it, from cutesy moments to a seeming anger against all divorced men.