The Lost Husband Parent Guide
Despite the movie's obvious flaws, it's watchable in a Hallmark channel kind of way.
Parent Movie Review
The Lost Husband doesn’t begin well. Libby (Leslie Bibb) has been widowed, lost her home, and, along with her two kids, has moved in with her mother (Sharon Lawrence), whose hospitality has now run dry. Desperate for a job and a place to live, she accepts her Aunt Jean’s (Nora Dunn) invitation to visit her goat farm. Libby believes the stay is temporary and is startled to learn that Jean expects her to settle in and step up to run the farm. The current farm manager, James O’Connor (Josh Duhamel), is tasked with teaching the newbie everything she needs to know about raising goats but she’s going to learn far more than that….
The first third of the movie is by far the weakest part, relying as it does on clumsy stereotypes. The film bounces between portraying Aunt Jean and O’Connor as “rustic hicks in the sticks” or wise barnyard sages. As for Libby, she’s so “city girl clueless” that it crosses into caricature. I’m not sure if her awkward introduction to farming is supposed to be funny; if so, it fails.
The movie finds its footing when Libby does. As she gains confidence in looking after the goats and making cheese, she and O’Connor both start to deal with their pasts – her sorrow over her husband’s death and his complicated feelings on his divorce. There’s nothing profound here: both character arcs follow the well marked path of emotional recovery in films. Libby learns to let go of her anger and guilt and find peace with her husband’s death and O’Connor learns to move on from his rarely spoken grief.
I have to confess that I went into this movie with low expectations. The trailer led me to believe the movie would be a cheesy, formulaic romantic drama – which is exactly what it is. Yet, somehow, I don’t hate it. I can’t explain why I don’t hate it: the romantic plotline is entirely predictable and the acting is mediocre at best. Josh Duhamel is clearly uninterested in his role and seems to think that playing a taciturn character means he doesn’t have to emote. Leslie Bibb is uneven, rarely showing any depth of emotion, unless awkwardness can be considered an emotion.
Despite the movie’s obvious flaws, it manages to be watchable in a Hallmark channel kind of way. Maybe it’s the sets: Aunt Jean’s small farmhouse is the epitome of farmhouse chic. The shiplap walls, wire baskets, worn floral patterns, and milk glass tableware are enough to make anyone with a fondness for farmhouse-style decorating swoon in their seats. Maybe it’s the story’s emphasis on the strength we can find from loving family members: Jean’s kindness becomes increasingly apparent as the story unfurls. It might be the low levels of negative content: with relatively little swearing or sexual content, you don’t have to cringe if you’re watching the movie with grandma. It could be the film’s emphasis on resilience: Libby is a survivor and watching her get herself back up again after absorbing multiple blows from life is reassuringly hopeful. Or maybe it’s just the comfort of watching a predictable plot unfold towards the ending we all expect. If you like curling up with a clean romance novel, knowing what the story is going to deliver, then this is the movie for you. It offers exactly the same plot points and emotional rewards – sweet, cozy, and not entirely realistic.Directed by Vicky Wright. Starring Leslie Bibb, Josh Duhamel, Nora Dunn. Running time: 109 minutes. Theatrical release August 14, 2020. Updated October 27, 2020
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The Lost Husband
Rating & Content Info
Why is The Lost Husband rated PG-13? The Lost Husband is rated PG-13 by the MPAA for some suggestive references
Violence: Repeated mention of a car accident. A child mentions a scar from a car accident. There is discussion of a child being bullied and hitting back. A child is pushed into a fence and receives a bloody head wound. A man threatens a child who is bullying another child. A man teaches children to fight. A woman dreams of being taken away from her home against her will as a child. A woman remembers being left alone as a young child and hiding in the closet out of fear.
Sexual Content: A man grabs a woman and kisses her passionately. There is mention of an illegitimate baby, abandoned by her mother. Women joke about “making cheese” with a man i.e. having sex with him. A woman mentions that she never married her husband.
Profanity: There are approximately ten swear words, including terms of deity, scatological curses, anatomical terms, and minor profanities. The phrase “effing” is used as a stand-in for a sexual expletive.
Alcohol / Drug Use: A secondary character is shown smoking on a couple of occasions. Adults are seen drinking wine and beer; not to excess. A woman mentions a past “toxic relationship with vodka”.
Page last updated October 27, 2020
The Lost Husband Parents' Guide
What does Libby regret not saying to her husband? Why do we miss saying the most important things to the people we love?
The most recent home video release of The Lost Husband movie is April 10, 2020. Here are some details…
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If you can’t get enough of the rural setting, check out the documentary The Biggest Little Farm. For another romance on the farm, turn to Forever My Girl, in which a country singer returns home to find that his old flame is still there. Josh Duhamel plays a widower in a small town romance, Safe Haven. A young girl overcomes a neglected childhood with the help of her grandfather’s reincarnated dog in A Dog’s Journey.