User Reviews (11)

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  • I found this movie to be charming. I thought the characters were developed since as I watched, I found myself caring about these people. This is a period piece that I believe took place during the depression. A single mother, who is known as the town recluse (she has reason to be), puts an ad in the paper for "a Husband". Christopher Reeve plays a ex-con who happens into town looking for work. He sees the ad and he goes out to see her. She hires him. I really had some chuckles as their relationship progresses because I found it easy to put myself in their shoes. Everything went on so matter of fact. He needs the work so he doesn't want to upset her. And she needing his help, but doesn't want him to get the upper hand. They dance around the fact that they begin to really need each other. Things start warming up until ......the big blowup. I won't spoil it by telling you what happens. But the point of resolution is perfectly wonderful. I found the story to be very believable for the time it's taking place. I think this is one of the better "relationship" stories out there. Maybe the younger generation won't "get it" but if you are over 40 I think you'll like it. And if you liked Christopher Reeve in "Somewhere in Time" you'll like him in this one also.
  • Notice that all those that did not like and enjoy this film commented that it was not as good as the book or that it differed from the book.

    I don't understand this type of criticism. Books and films are different media. While books have hours and hours to develop characters and story lines, films have about 120 minutes. Yet the film has the advantage of stimulating several senses: visual, audio, as well as the imagination. I don't care if a film is as good as or, in fact, has any resemblance to the book on which it is based. Who cares? I judge it for what it is.

    This TV movie was charming. An old and oft-seen story, prone to cliché, it could easily have been embarrassing. However, Riffen and Reeves pull it off. One reviewer found Riffen far too old. I would never have guessed she was 40 when she made this film. It is to her credit as an actress that she played a 23-24 year old amazingly well. I also think it is about the best thing Reeves ever did. The story could have been stronger, and I agree the screen play could have used "tightening." Nonetheless, it is well worth watching; clearly not a powerful love story, but rather, a charming romance which will leave you satisfied that love is a strong emotion and good overcomes evil. And it is nice to see a "love story" without the obligatory f#$% word, the naked buttocks, or hours of spit-swapping kissing.

    Lastly, the musical score is excellent.
  • Will Parker is new in the small town of Whitney. He spent five years in prison In Huntsville for killing someone in La Grange, Texas--though he says he didn't do it. The first place he goes is to the diner where Lula works as a waitress. There, he asks for a paper so he can look for a job. It seems Emily Dinsmore is advertising for a husband.

    Will goes to Emily's farm and introduces himself. Emily has two boys and is pregnant by her recently deceased husband. Will finally agrees to live in the barn and help out, but neither he nor Emily feels quite comfortable with getting married.

    Will works hard to improve Emily's situation, and even goes to the library to learn more about bees, which the farm has (apparently Emily's husband didn't know how to stay safe around them). The boys also seem to like him as a substitute father.

    Miss Beasly, the librarian, is very nice and eventually offers Will a job taking care of the library.

    Lula has a reputation, and she wants Will, along with nearly every other man in town.

    Most people in town don't want to give Will a chance to go straight. Emily is a recluse, regarded as crazy, as a result of abuse she suffered as a child, in the house with the morning glories.

    At first, this just seemed like a chick flick. Later, the film got more interesting with a major development that could have changed everything.

    Christopher Reeve's character was very polite and dignified though shy, rarely losing his temper, and very justified when he did. His demeanor would have been very difficult to maintain considering where he spent the previous several years. Deborah Raffin also did a capable job as Emily. To me, the standout actors in this movie were Nina Fochs as Miss Beasly and Lloyd Bochner as a lawyer who helps Will and Emily.

    There were occasional funny moments. Violence was minimal, though the sexual talk (mainly later) made this less than appropriate for kids.

    It was pretty good, though nothing outstanding.
  • This is a very sweet little movie, and a good adaptation of the book. (Not a GREAT adaptation, but a good one.) Christopher Reeve's portrayal of this character was excellent.

    The movie could have been improved with a few flashbacks, to give the characters a bit more back story. Both the widow and the ex-convict were people who had been damaged by the cruelty of others. Both of them wanted something better for the children in their lives. Both of them wanted to believe in dignity, kindness, and respect--and therefore gave those gifts, hoping to get the same things in return.

    I would recommend this movie to anyone who wants to think positively about hope and healing.
  • nammage16 November 2003
    A simple movie in the beginning, a simple movie in the end. It does have that un-ending and pretending cliche, but, most tv movies have that any ways.

    Christopher Reeve does a good job as being an ex-con/drifter. The marriage between her and the woman he works for, I feel is a bit queer, but, I believe for the time period it is set in, that it is believable none-the-less.

    Now, I saw the edited 'tv' version, even tho the movie was made and showed on 'tv', I find that a bit queer as well. But, I feel if I saw the entirety of the piece, I would give it more-in-likely the same rating.

    J.T. Walsh does a nice job, not his best role, but, still....a nice job.

    7/10
  • After reading the book, I loved the story. Watching the movie I was disappointed that so many changes were made. It is understandable that books and movies differ but it was two different stories, only the names and some of the book's story remained. Read the book and you'll have a better understanding of the movie. The book gives you a better development of the characters. These characters are extremely interesting and make you care about them. The locations were indeed in line with the book's descriptions. Some characters not included. Television has microwaved so many great books and stories, this is a perfect example of that. Input from the author doesn't always insure a good movie but it can help sometimes.
  • kenday120 August 2003
    Enjoyable movie although I think it had the potential to be even better if it had more depth to it. It is a mystery halfway through the film as to knowing why Elly is such a recluse. Then, when we are finally given an explanation going back to her childhood there still isn't much detail. Perhaps had they shown flashbacks or something.

    Anyway, it is still a good movie that I'd watch again. 7/10
  • cathed5 October 2020
    Having read the Spencer novel, I was very disappointed in the film. The main characters are excellent. Christopher Reeve, Deborah Raffin, Nina Foch, Lloyd Bochner, and Helen Shaver are a pleasure to watch, even in this rather slow film.

    The problem is the screenplay by Charles Jarrott and Deborah Raffin, which was unquestionably poor. Much of the character development was lost, and WWII, which figured prominently in the novel and provided context for those stupid jars of honey, was barely noted.

    The book's villain was barely a footnote and the conflict was shifted in a move that did not work at all. With a runtime of 1 hour 36 minutes, they could have kept the main villain and the original ending intact without going over two hours. They rushed important elements and left others out, making the movie weaker for their efforts.

    The LaVyrle Spencer novel from which the movie was made, however, was excellent.
  • I read the book and really enjoyed it from beginning to end. However, when I saw the movie I was very disappointed. First of all, no disrespect to Deborah Raffin but she was too mature to play a woman of 24/25. The late Christopher Reeve was also miscast-same reason. Will, according to the book,was around 30. I would have love to see a little more exploration of his military life, his friend Red, Elly's trip to see him as that was an important part of the characters' storyline development. Also Miss Beasley was miscast as the book mentioned her being a Plus Size lady. I know the movie didn't have the budget of the "Bridges Of Madison County" which I believe was released around the same time.

    But to me this was a very poorly made, low budget, miscast movie. As someone mentioned, I wish that Miss Spenser would come out of retirement and write screenplays for her books as they ought to be. She knows her characters better than anyone, I hope that she would consider doing the casting too. The movie let me down!
  • The story has a lot of interesting elements in it and I always enjoy a period piece, but I felt that if the director or writers had been more exacting, the film could have been so much better. One of the things that struck me immediately is how annoying the film score was! It almost put me off watching the film. It was droning and syrupy and grating and came close to ruining some good moments in the film. I also wish the two leads had loosened up a little bit. Someone who watched it with me said that a drifter and a woman who's such a loner would be stiff and unsure in their interactions, but I thought that both actors could have livened up the latter half of the film considerably if they'd let some of their natural warmth and charm and humor shine through. I enjoyed watching the film and would watch it again, BUT I still wished they'd tightened up the score and loosened up the actors! I especially liked the opportunity to see one of my favorite character actors, Lloyd Bochner, in action. (Also, was I the only one who was a bit shocked when someone mentioned paying a worker $25 a week? I thought that seemed like big wages for the Depression-era South, but since I didn't live through that time, maybe it wasn't.)
  • starladustangel9 February 2005
    This movie would have been OK if it hadn't been so horribly cast. I enjoyed the book but this movie falls short of believability. Deborah Raffin was 40 years old and should not have been cast in the role of a woman that was 24 years old in the book. Elly was supposed to be a young woman and aged from 24 to 26 or so in the book. Christopher Reeve was also too old. Will Parker was at least 10 years younger than Reeve's age at the time of the book. Deborah was more believable in her other Lavyrle Spencer role in Homesong where she was playing a woman her own age. 40 just isn't 24 no matter how you cut it. Deborah is a close personal friend of the author but even so it was ridiculous.