CBS”s new TV movie has a lot to offer for those who enjoy long drawn out storylines based on actual events. This movie takes place in Wenham, which is some sort of small town in northern America my guess is Wisconsin or Michigan because we are told it is relatively close to Chicago. Jenny Moran (Marcia Harden) has just experienced the loss of her father. His tragic death from cancer leaves her feeling very mortal. She begins to think that she has wasted her life and doesn”t love her husband or family. This pushes her into starting an affair with Dr. Steven Carrow (Treat Williams), one of her fellow parishioners.
Steven convinces her that she should divorce her husband and marry him, even though he is not willing to leave his own wife. Jenny leaves her husband, Matt, who is stunned by this shocking event. She says he doesn”t listen to her or care about him or respect her religion. These are all lies. To further destroy him, when she files for divorce, she claims he abused her (another lie), which causes him to lose some of his friends and a lot of business.
Steven, being a pillar of the church, knows he cannot divorce his wife because it will make him look bad. So instead, he shoots his wife and then tries to frame Matt. After the police point out that there are numerous pieces of evidence against Steven, and the fact that Matt didn”t even know the woman he supposedly killed, Steven admits to the whole thing. This is where the story is supposed to get interesting. Steven then uses his connection with the church, the medical community and the justice system to try to discredit Jenny, since her testimony about the affair will put him away for life. Instead of trying to convict the man that wronged her and brutally murdered his own wife, Jenny spends the rest of the movie sniveling and whining about how everyone hates her. It is left to her friends and family to try to convince her that testifying is the right thing to do.
Jenny is completely unlikeable, which is sad since she is the main character and we are presumably supposed to feel bad for her since this story is based on a true story. Right from the start of the movie when she first begins to talk about how bad her life is one thinks, “Hmmm married, three kids, a big house, a steady job seems like you did pretty well.” Dislike for Jenny is pushed even farther during part two of the movie when all she does is walk around talking about how horrible a person she is and how everybody hated her for what she did.
Not once in this story does Jenny ever stop to think about the feelings of others. Her whole world revolves around her and how everything should be perfect for her. The only likable character in this movie is her husband, Matt (Gary Basaraba). He has a sort of Homer Simpson quality to his affection. He loves her but is not very good at expressing it. We see it at the beginning of the movie when he buys her a dozen roses, puts them in a vase on the table, and then forgets to tell her about them because he is watching football. Also, after one of their arguments he buys her some of her favorite chocolates, but forgets that she is on a diet, which Jenny uses to ridicule him. He is a perfect man, though. Even after Jenny has destroyed his life and torn apart their family, he fights to get her back and stands by her all through the trial.
This movie is a 50/50 type movie. The first part is very good and actually pretty entertaining, but be prepared for a whine-fest in the second half.