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Charlotte marries John. Things seem ok; John has a good job and he's going up in the world, working for the government. But every so often he loses his temper and Charlotte gets the brunt of his anger. During the 18 year course of their marriage, there are at least 8 incidents of physical abuse and countless of mental. Charlotte's family and friends tell her to leave John but she keeps going back, most likely because he has convinced her that she would be nothing without him. It finally explodes in a big divorce battle balancing on the cases of abuse. Written by
Unrealistic portrayal of a battered upper-class wife.
After l8 years of intermittent physical and mental abuse, a devout Roman Catholic wife finally gets the courage to divorce her sadistic husband. First-rate acting by Michael Nouri as the troubled husband cannot redeem an essentially shallow message picture. The wife is a nurse and the husband an ambitious lawyer. She is from a privileged background. He never stops trying to prove himself good enough for her family. You would think that an intelligent health service professional would seek counseling before she had five children by this jerk, but I guess love and religious devotion are blind. I lost all credibility in this scenario when she forgave him for kicking her in the stomach in late pregnancy. And she a nurse! Despite the physical violence, it is the portrayal of his mental and emotional cruelty to her that really hit home. We have all been in somewhat similar situations with controlling men and women. The characters are stereotypes, but the upper-class ambience is well-portrayed. Worth a viewing, if only to enjoy Nouri's psychopathology.
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