Every site in the world – literally EVERY FUCKING WEBSITE ON EARTH – has jumped on the "recapping shitty TV" craze. This is the promise of the web realized: lengthy stream-of-consciousness summaries of things that were on TV last night written by underpaid permalancers for a dwindling audience of the still-employed. Ever write 4,000 words on a teen soap opera for 20 bucks? YOU WILL. So why not jump on the bandwagon?
Here's why not: I have absolutely no desire to ever even accidentally watch two minutes of Gossip Girl, and the one time I tried to watch one of those music-television heightened reality theater of the absurd waking nightmare shows about dead-eyed rich girls I came close to calling Time Warner and asking them to please shut off not just my cable but offering to foot the bill for them to shut off the cable for everyone in south Brooklyn. That's where all the TV Recappers have their insidious headquarters. So I give up on trying to watch Their evil shit. Instead I will recap what I actually watch, when I watch TV. And what I watch is television for women. Specifically, the Lifetime Movie Network, the official channel of being hungover on a Saturday.
First: Her Married Lover. This 1999 thriller (everything is a thriller) stars some lady as a sad lonely film editor (an ironic occupation considering...nevermind, I'm too bored to make the joke) who falls in love with HER MARRIED LOVER, a fiction teacher at what might be a college of some kind. See, the lady, Katie, takes his class, even though she is 35, and they fall in love. OR DO THEY? (They don't.)
But I am ahead of myself! The film begins with Katie going to the cops to alert them that HER MARRIED LOVER killed his wife, and we flash back to the wife driving off a cliff while Katie tries to warn wifey that HER (Katie's) MARRIED LOVER cut the wife's brakes.
So husband, Richard, is at the hospital, dealing with a cop who looks like Ernie Hudson, but we mostly follow Katie in her interview with this bald cop, as she tells the story of the passionate affair, and we flash back further. The whole thing is really indebted to Citizen Kane (it, too, features lots of shots of ceilings). Richard jerks her around and says he will divorce his wife but he doesn't and then he writes a novel about killing the wife and Katie reads it but he takes it away and then she tries to warn the wife but it is too late. Richard pretends she is just a crazy student who became obsessed with him! Which one is lying? (It's Lifetime, Television for Women, so the Woman is lying.)
Murder One star Daniel Benzali is perfect as the inscrutable Detective Lansing, mostly because he looks like every TV cop ever. He is a big doughy Tor Johnson-looking motherfucker with a cueball head. Post-shaved head but pre-HGH Micheal Chiklis. He has like three lines but HE IS THE KEY WHO UNRAVELS THE MYSTERY.
The film is effective in "keeping them guessing" though its deft manipulation of Lifetime movie cliches. Whereas in a regular or "good" movie you would guess the twist ten minutes in, Her Married Lover forces you to figure out whether this is a rote "crazy psycho bitch obsessed with a good man" film or a rote "pathetic beat-down idiot obsessed with a bad man" film.
An IMDB commenter actually posted that they didn't get the twist ending, in which it is revealed that Katie's "proof" of her relationship with Professor Ruggedly Handsome is a photo booth strip of her cuddling a framed photo of him. So another commenter helpfully replied with her phone number ("Hey dorianne, if you haven't got the ending yet, you can call me. writing it just wouldn't do it justice") in case you want to call a terribly lonely stranger and ask them to explain a Lifetime movie, for you. But watch out: That basically sounds like the inciting incident of a Lifetime thriller.
(FUN FACT: Her Married Lover--better known in Australia, where it seems to be most popular, as A Clean Kill--was produced by Pierre David, who also produced Videodrome and Scanners. And The Dentist 2!)