The Price of a Broken Heart (1999)

TV Movie  |   |  16 August 1999 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.5/10 from 128 users  
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Fact-based story about a landmark legal battle. A woman (Park Overall) learns that her husband has been having a very open affair with his secretary (Laura Innes) and has promised marriage.... See full summary »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Dot Hutlemeyer
Joe Hutlemeyer
Terry Beaver
Jordan Allen Williams ...
Keith Hutlemeyer
Jenny Andrews ...
Deborah Hobart ...
Mr. Alderman
Eric Hutlemeyer
Jordan Williams ...
Keith Hutlemeyer
Dan Biggers ...
Gloria (as Angela Mills)


Fact-based story about a landmark legal battle. A woman (Park Overall) learns that her husband has been having a very open affair with his secretary (Laura Innes) and has promised marriage. The wife sues for divorce and also sues the secretary based on an obscure law on alienation of affection, which was created to protect married couples from homewreckers. This sets a new court room consideration, as the culpability of the other woman must be defended and removes from consideration the fault of the married partners. Written by John Sacksteder <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


She found the perfect man and the perfect life... but they belonged to another woman. See more »





Release Date:

16 August 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Alienation of Affection  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Lynn: That bitch of an ex-wife of yours is suing me!
See more »


References Dateline NBC (1992) See more »


O Come, All Ye Faithful
Sung by Park Overall, Timothy Carhart and the family
See more »

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User Reviews

nothing special, but not a bad movie; restaurant scenes were the best
5 October 2003 | by See all my reviews

In this fact-based story set in North Carolina, Dot Hutlemeyer finds out her husband Joe, an insurance executive, has been cheating on her for three years with his secretary Lynn. She sues under the alienation of affection law, a 200-year-old statute which, ironically, was written to protect men at a time when women were treated as property.

The movie opens with a discussion of the court case in a restaurant, and the story is told in flashbacks. First we see how Dot and Joe met at a dance club, then we see home movies, and then Lynn is introduced as a wallflower who has an unhappy marriage and wishes her life was like Joe's. The movie goes back and forth between the lively restaurant discussions and scenes from the past, and eventually we see court testimony, which leads to still more flashbacks (and don't think we won't go back to the restaurant).

Joe and Lynn began their relationship after Joe was promoted to head of his company's Burlington office and Lynn started trying to look sexy. Circumstances may or may not have required them to travel together. Eventually, Lynn became a vice president, though her duties didn't seem to change. Dot was clueless, but the office workers started gossiping.

This movie was nothing special. Park Overall gave a good performance as the jilted wife, and Laura Innes did pretty well as the mistress. Both lawyers did a fine job in closing arguments. But if not for the restaurant scenes, the movie would have been nothing more than mediocre. Still, going back and forth from restaurant to courtroom to flashbacks was confusing.

There was some comedy, in the restaurant as well as the office. At least one scene recalled those Diet Coke commercials where the construction worker took his shirt off. And in church, a pastor preached on the evils of gossip while church members whispered to each other. One of the guilty parties thought the sermon was the best she ever heard.

This movie is worth seeing, just because it is yet another case of a woman standing up and fighting for a cause she believes in.

10 of 13 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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