Though writer-director Wesley Strick steers this made-for-TV movie in the direction of black comedy, it plays like MISERY's laugh-deprived country cousin.
Always the hopeless romantic, Eve Robbins (Sheryl Lee) gets married in good faith, but soon has reason to question the fidelity of her new husband, Ted Robbins (Anthony Michael Hall). Flashbacks reveal the downward trajectory of their relationship from a courtship bubbling with promise to a marriage rocked by Ted’s "business trips." After a night of drunken carousing, the philandering Ted crashes his car. Eve chooses to care for him in their dream house, but secrets him away in the concealed basement that used to be a speakeasy back in the 1920s. Once sober, Ted realizes that he's not only Eve’s patient but also her captive: He's chained-up in the secret chamber. Aware that imprisoning a spouse is at least a misdemeanor, Eve concocts a cover story for Ted’s disappearance and quirky Detective Grant (Alex Carter) takes a personal interest in the case. Floored by Eve’s beauty, Grant checks into Ted’s adulterous background but can't believe any man would be so foolish as to cheat on innocent-looking Eve. Ted, meanwhile, tries various maneuvers to turn the tables on his vindictive wife. Distracted by Grant’s attentiveness, Eve wonders if perhaps the policeman is her real knight in shining armor. Ted finally tricks his wife, chains up Eve and flees their home. While Grant grills suspects with a motive for harming Ted, Ted fatally crashes his car before he can tell anyone Eve’s whereabouts. Can the love-struck Grant rescue his hidden damsel and, if he does, will Eve give him cause to regret his chivalry?
Strick manages smattering of irony regarding marital bonds, but can't seem to control the film’s tone as it vacillates between standard-issue suspense and offbeat satire. Nor does he provide ballast for the flailing cast, who find themselves in the unenviable position of playing out a Pedro Almodovar-esque scenario that's been dumbed down for mass consumption.
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- Released: 2001
- Rating: NR
- Review: Though writer-director Wesley Strick steers this made-for-TV movie in the direction of black comedy, it plays like MISERY's laugh-deprived country cousin. Always the hopeless romantic, Eve Robbins (Sheryl Lee) gets married in good faith, but soon has re… (more)