When Husbands Cheat (1998) starring Patricia Kalember, Tom Irwin, Brenda Vaccaro, Gina Clayton, William Greenblatt, Robin Brl directed by Richard A. Colla Movie Review

When Husbands Cheat (1998)   2/52/52/52/52/5

Patricia Kalember in When Husbands Cheat (1998)

An Affair to Forget

As a fan of TV movies I often find myself coming to the defence of them as they come under undue criticism for being corny. But there are times when even as a fan it is difficult to leap to their defence and when it comes to "When Husbands Cheat" I can't bring myself to defend it. Here is a movie with a reasonable idea of a wife who having learned all the habits of adulterous men and women starts suspecting her nearest and dearest of cheating on her. But the trouble is that not only is it full of generalisations but it is one of those TV movies which at times plays it for laughs and in doing so makes it corny.

During her 20th wedding anniversary Tess McCall (Patricia Kalember - The Unspoken Truth) notices her sister Denise (Gina Clayton) looking upset and when she asks Denise says she thinks her husband is cheating on her. With a little guidance from her cop husband Tess and Denise start surveillance on him and catch him in the act in a hot tub with his young girlfriend. Impressed by her work Tess is offered a job by a lawyer to investigate other cases of possible adulterous activity which despite her husband's scepticism is good at leading to her setting up her own office. But as Tess becomes increasingly alert to the actions of cheating men and women she starts to suspect that maybe her husband Craig (Tom Irwin - Mr. Jones) could be cheating on her or is it just paranoia.

Tom Irwin in When Husbands Cheat (1998)

So as I said "When Husbands Cheat" has a reasonable idea based on the world of infidelity and how that can affect those who investigate cheating men and women. This could have been a half decent drama which looks at the psychological side both of those who are being cheated on but also those like Tess who become overly alert to the techniques and become increasingly suspicious of everyone. That would have been a truly decent movie full of drama and even some suspense.

But "When Husbands Cheat" is one of those movies which tries to find a light hearted side with unsubtle moments of comedy and over acting. For example when Tess walks into a gadget shop with spy gadgets her joy at seeing what there is on offer is so over the top it is corny. And that is the thing throughout the entire movie there are these unsubtle moments of supposedly light hearted humour which end up corny and ruining the movie.

The corniness is not the only issue as whilst there is a brief moment of a cheating wife the movie is dominated with cheating husbands and makes sweeping generalisations about men. Now some might like to believe that all men are liars and cheats but it is too much and again drags "When Husbands Cheat" down to being a bad TV movie.

What this all boils down to is that "When Husbands Cheat" is one of those made for TV movies which deserves the criticism it gets as it is corny and for a movie about adultery makes too many sweeping generalisations.