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14 out of 18 people found the following review useful:

Excellent acting by all

Author: drbill-1 from Gainesville GA
28 August 2004

At the end of this movie, I commented that the acting was excellent. I felt that I had watched a real family in action.

Margaret Colin was new to me, but I see she has numerous credits. That is understandable. She is exceptionally lovely, and her expressions come across as quite genuine.

The plot develops with all the intrigue of a mystery story, yet the melodrama is not overplayed.

This is one of those movies I just happened upon one evening on TV, and I am glad I did.

Certainly I will remain on the lookout for other Margaret Colin movies.

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9 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

Nice TV movie

Author: sammie_now from Vlissingen, Netherlands
24 January 2005

My TV guide said that was a thriller, now at the end i just knew it could not be a thriller. It isn't; it's drama. TV guide was wrong. ;-). Now at the end they said that this was based on a real story, with some dramatic and added fiction. My first thought was: What was a real and what was not? The way the man faked his death? The way he felt sorry for his family? The way she, the wife was afraid of bonding? I don't know. I liked the movie, it's a nice TV-movie. But it starts slow, you see how close the family is to a certain point and then he is gone. The children suddenly grow up and then dad turns out to be alive. OK, nice! Why did the judge or social security not found out that he was already married or so? That's the only thing that kinda bite me.

For overall this movie is a 6 out of 10. Not perfect, not bad but just nice.

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10 out of 17 people found the following review useful:

Interesting story.

Author: Janet Oliver from Gilbert, AZ
12 July 2003

I thought this was an interesting true story. Margaret Colin did an excellent job of "evolving" with the character. The husband sure was an S.O.B!! How someone could put their family through such torture is hard to understand. I hope he got his in the end in the real story.

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A Good Movie

Author: franklintroiso from United States
30 April 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

You may remember Ms. Colin from the movie Independence Day. Her movie husband was also on an episode of Law and Order. I happened to see this movie as I was going through the channels to see what was on and I am glad I did. I thought the acting was very convincing. I was a bit confused as the why the state of Maine let him get away with some of the things he did and it was not clear how he would have to replay the social security department I had no idea this was a true story until the end and from another person here I found out it was based on a true story and like the other person I would like to know just how much was real and how much was adapted for TV.

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Dad goes bad...very bad.

Author: Michael O'Keefe from Muskogee OK
16 February 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Elizabeth "Peachy" Welsh(Margaret Colin)is living happily with her soul mate Pat(Jay O. Sanders)and their two sons. Mr. Welsh seems the perfect husband and father and well respected in the community, until he is convicted of embezzling funds from his cushy job at the university, where he worked as a fund raiser. Not being able to face the pressures of starting over, Pat leaves a suicide note and disappears. "Peachy" must battle the grief and raise her two sons alone. Ten years later, the Social Security Administration demands a repayment in survivor benefits paid to her sons, because there is proof Pat Welsh is not dead. By way of the internet "Peachy" tracks down he now ex-husband, who is living under the name of Tim Kingsbury, a respected humanitarian living a life of luxury. Elizabeth, with poise and dignity in tack, will get even with the low-life cad she once loved. Alan Metzger directs this story based on true events. Colin is outstanding. Others in the cast: Aaron Ashmore, Will Estes, Erik Knudsen, Derek Boyles, Maria Ricossa and David Gardner.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

I love it.Nothing was wrong with this movie.Familiar Stranger is such a Good Movie.True Stories are the BEST ....

Author: ShaKaarii Melendez from United States
15 June 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

10 stars easy. Imagine your assuming mom or dad is dead,then VOILA! Very well,living pretty great,and yet forget all about you.sad story. The older cute.He now play in a hit show for years on CBS,very talented imo. The younger ted,coincidentally look like the older ted,so great casting there. . So sad this movie is. Peachy is such a trooper to carry on as she did for her children. Sad movie though. But told by the LMN as always very authentic/so real,and i do research on all of the movies i LOVE on Lifetime,this was a true story.Even seen LOSER patrick welch on I.D.Discovery,true crime special.What a big jerk.I think he did at"one time"love his boys,or at least i felt this.But overall? Wrong is just WRONG. Your own darling mother is dying,and he conceded to the fact he did not even know this?Just nefarious(this part)because that is your mother! SO wrong he was. . The Familiar Stranger is so good. Great acting involving the very lovely tall,talented brunette Margaret Colin,the sons,older and younger were REALLY good actors in it.and i love the movie.Can watch it each time on LIFETIME MOVIE NETWORK-LMN,or the other lifetime.10 stars easy. Glad most online review sites,feel as i do,because it is very complaints by this fan of the acting in this movie.Sad parts,naturally but overall good true-to-life story,drama=ten stars IMO. adiós

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0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

I Enjoyed this Movie

Author: Jana Rullman Mercado
22 January 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I enjoyed this movie, mostly because of the relationship depicted between the character of the mother (Elizabeth Welsh)and her two sons (Christopher and Ted). Her relationship with her sons is inspiring to me, myself a mother of two young sons. The mother faces her husband's suicide, later learning it was faked by him to escape his financial woes, and the solo raising of her two sons with grace and strength. She confidently seeks employment, even after initial rejection, telling her employer why she should be hired. (Later, she becomes the director of the agency.) When she learns via the Social Security Administration (not the insurance company, as described in the plot summary) that her dead husband is still living, she faces this too, with grace and strength. She does not fall apart with whimpering and whining, or in an emotional heap of pleading to him, but faces her former husband with confidence, pointedness and firmness. I also enjoyed her younger son's speech at his father's trial when he states his mother is the best mother - and father - a son could ever have. Even better is the older son's speech to his father during a jail house visit, telling him what a poor father he was by leaving them the way he did.

This is a satisfying TV movie; perfect for a Sunday afternoon snuggled on the couch with a cup of tea. Thank you, Mrs. Welsh, for your example of motherly strength and determination. You give me courage and strength as a mother, even if you are a dramatized version of your real self. And, Margaret Colin plays the mother beautifully, as do the actors who play her sons. The actor who plays the husband and father also does a good job of portraying a selfish, narcissistic man who cowardly abandons his family to save his own self. He is very easy to dislike.

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