This movie was ALL OVER my Netflix recommendations, I had just finished a binge-watch of Cobra Kai season 2, and I didn't have anything else to watch, OK? That's why I watched The Lost Husband. Am I glad I did? Well...not entirely. But was a complete dud? No. This movie can be enjoyable...if you know what to expect going into it. So, that's what I'm here to do: Tell you what to expect before you watch it. You're welcome. Here it goes:
It's based on a book
Don't get me wrong. Having this information does not make the movie more enjoyable. But if you check out the reviews on Amazon, you'll get a better understanding of what the movie is all about, and if you're like me, that'll tell you whether or not you should even watch this. The book, also titled The Lost Husband, is by Katherine Center and is available in ebook, audio, and paperback . Fair warning: it's kinda pricey. Make sure you check that out before you 1-click.
High level plot synopsis: Mom of two Libby has recently lost her husband--and under financial distress, moves in with her Aunt, who runs a goat farm. Libby learns how to run the farm with a little help from O'Connor, a gruff, grumbly farm manager with a troubled romantic past. Essentially though, the romance is VERY secondary to the overall plot of Libby learning how to be on her own again after the loss of her husband. It's all a very cliche, women's fiction, "journey of self-discovery".
It's NOT a romance
The trailer for this movie led me to believe it was a pretty standard small town, fish-out-of-water romance. It's not. There is, of course, the obligatory small town romance dance in a bar where Libby and O'Connor stare deeply into each other's eyes, but other than that, there's not a ton of romance going on between these two. If you saw the scene where he grabs her overalls and hauls her in for a big kiss, then you saw the most romantic scene in the whole movie. The characters seem happy enough at the end, but there's not much a true, romance novel-style happily ever after ending here. There's no big love declarations on either character's part. This movie is essential just about Libby finding herself and learning to be happy without her husband. O'Connor is just eye candy.
Josh Duhamel is aging like a fine wine
The main reason to watch the movie (in my humble opinion) is Josh Duhamel. He looks better now than he did a decade ago, and he plays his gruff, grumbly, grouchy farmer role to perfection.
Much like I pointed out when I reviewed 365 Days, if you're expecting a high-brow cinematic experience, you'll need to look elsewhere. The acting is just OK, the plot is cliched, there is a weird seance/paranormal element added in for no apparent reason, and the "twist" at the end was visible from space. BUT, if you go in with the expectation that all you want to do is kill an hour and a half with a light, fluffy movie that doesn't make you think too much and has some eye candy, then you can enjoy this one, even though it's objectively not good.
If you enjoy sweet, syrupy-y Hallmark movies, you'll like The Lost Husband. Absolutely no judgement on my part if you like that kind of stuff. Just because I don't care for Hallmark movies, I'm certainly not one to yuck anyone's yum. And I definitely see the appeal of feel-good movies that don't require you to think too much, especially with the current depressing state of the world. All I'm saying is that if you like Hallmark movies, give this one a go. I don't think you'll be disappointed.
So, long-story-short, if you enjoy watching Josh Duhamel, you'll like this movie. If you enjoy feel-good, lightweight movies, you'll enjoy this movie. As long as you know what to expect going in, there's plenty of good stuff here. Just don't expect Academy Award winning performances and writing and everything should be fine.
But that's just my opinion. What did you think? Let's discuss!