Another Woman’s Husband (2000)

Film review: Another Woman’s Husband (2000), directed by Noel Nosseck

Self-effacing wife finds husband wants a divorce. Meanwhile, she teaches a woman afraid of water how to swim. Both have man troubles. What neither of them realise is that they’re both talking about the same man. Well, that was easy to summarise! Here’s the longer version:

Susan Miller (Gail O’Grady) has been with husband Johnny (Dale Midkiff) since high school. They’ve tried to conceive, but no baby has happened. Johnny, getting fed up by being stuck in a rut with a woman who won’t ever do anything for herself (in fact, she gave up college to be a doting wife while her husband finished college, even though he wanted her to have a career), pretends to be from Atlanta and starts wooing a psychologist called Laurel (Lisa Rinna). He invites her to accompany him on a business trip to Barbados, but what she doesn’t tell him is that she’s terrified of water, owing to having witnessed a tragic drowning accident as a child.

Meanwhile, at the local leisure centre where Susan teaches swimming classes, a psychologist called Laurel comes to learn to overcome her fear of water. The normal swimming class for adults doesn’t work for her, so Susan gives her one-on-one coaching and the two women soon become friends. Best friends.

Susan tells her about the issues she’s having with husband Johnny and Laurel talks about the guy she’s seeing – Jake, who funnily enough is also called “Miller”, just like Susan! – and how she’s enjoying his attentions and everything … and then that there are some issues. That the two women are talking about the same man, neither of them know, and in fact, Johnny/Jake also hasn’t got a clue that his wife and would-be girlfriend are best friends. And boy do they find out!

There are good things about Susan hanging out with Laurel, because she starts do things for herself and finally stand up to her slutty mum (Sally Kirkland). Good for her! On the other hand, I didn’t like her very much as a character. To begin with, the whole self-effacing thing had me cringing and I was fully on the husband’s side. He did ask her for a divorce while he was still just at a flirting stage with Laurel, and Susan responded with something that had little to do with reality, I felt.

Sure, as it progressed, we can start taking into consideration that Johnny/Jake wasn’t entirely truthful to Laurel with details about his private life – although he did come clean and confess he was still married. Overall though, I’m not sure on whose side I’m supposed to be on. I can empathise with all three, but I probably like Laurel best as a person, and she was mainly trapped in the middle.

Oh the joys of True Movies. What a fab TV channel that is, sometimes. Or maybe I like it just because they are the most likely to show obscure TV movies that happen to star actors I have taken a shine to. Namely: Dale Midkiff, Ken Olin, and even Sam Neill on occasion! So, to finish off this review, I’ll do some characteristic gushing over Dale Midkiff.

Some of you might know him as the dad in Pet Sematary or as Buck in The Magnificent Seven TV series, but he also starred in Time Trax back in 1993-1994, which was shown on Swedish TV around 1996. Time Trax is a show Traxy loves (the name is not a coincidence) and desperately wants to come out on DVD, and half of the appeal of that show was (admittedly) the squeeworthiness of the tall, dark and handsome Dale Midkiff. Oh that voice. I’ll freely admit that I looked up some more recent pics of him online and my jaw nearly hit the floor. Wowza! And the man does on-screen kisses (well, I can’t say anything for the off-screen ones – how the hell would I know?) in Another Woman’s Husband that almost make me melt into a puddle.

And for that reason, and because I found it generally not at all unpleasant to watch, it’s 3 out of 5 “rare Brazilian orchids” that in fact are just plain ol’ Phalaenopsis orchids because the prop department are a bunch of frickin’ muppets who can’t tell their Miltonias from their Cambrias. (Hey, orchids are awesome. If you’re nice, I’ll show you my collection some time.)

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