The Lost Husband
WHERE TO WATCH:
WHAT IT'S ABOUT:
After losing her loving husband, Libby, a mother of two, moves to her estranged aunt's farm and attempts to start a brand new life.
WHAT WE THOUGHT:
The Lost Husband, a film adaptation of the novel of the same name by Katherine Center, was enjoyable but won't stay long in the memory bank.
Trying to put her life back together after the sudden death of her husband, Libby (Leslie Bibb) and her children move to her estranged Aunt's goat farm in central Texas. There she encounters a host of new people, including farm manager James O'Connor (Josh Duhamel) and Sunshine (Herizen F. Guardiola), a feed-store clerk who claims she can contact Libby's husband on "the other side". Furthermore, she reunites with Aunt Jean (Nora Dunn), the eccentric family member she never really knew but who turns out to be exactly who she needs.
Everything from the title to the poster of this film screams Hallmark cheese-fest, and I couldn't help it; my finger to the watch button was like a magnet to a fridge door – I had to press play. Needless to say, the title ends up misrepresenting the film, and there was too much of that cheesy guilty pleasure missing to put it in the same WhatsApp group as a Nicholas Sparks adapted romantic drama.
The Lost Husband is not a film designed to break any new ground, and sure enough, it follows the "city girl falls for country boy" recipe to a T, but there were many other storylines in this film that put the romance on the back burner. I will confess it's refreshing for a romantic drama to refuse to be a "boyfriend saviour" film, and I applaud director/screenwriter Vicky Wight for taking a risk. But at the end of the day, a cheesy romantic drama is what I signed up for.
Nevertheless, Libby is given the space for her own arc and grief outside of the growing relationship with the devilishly good looking Duhamel. And instead of the drama-filled dreams we are sold in, say The Notebook, Safe Haven or any other Nicholas Sparks adaptation, we get a look at how life doesn't stop for tragedy. It doesn't stop for grief. Your kid still needs to go to school. The goats still need to be milked.
I'll admit Bibb is just not my cup of tea; I find her voice unpleasant, but aside from that, her portrayal as Libby was delivered very well. She made Libby's journey believable, but her chemistry with Duhamel was way off. As for Duhamel, say what you want, but I have a soft spot for the guy, so obviously, I was hoping for a deeper dig into James' life than just friendly exchanges. Still, he remains undeniably charming and underplayed his presence in a way that anchored his supporting role. The rest of the cast filled in the gaps as they were assuredly directed to do and did so well.
Sadly, The Lost Husband rushes through an emotional journey with an uneven pace and clumsy dialogue. While it aims for familiar sentiments around loyalty, family and sacrifice, it bypasses the most crucial ingredient – soul.
WATCH THE TRAILER HERE: