Paul Harrington (John Lithgow) is a wealthy banking consultant who has just married a sexy, younger woman, Lauren (Madchen Amick). Paul thinks that Lauren is perfect but then her brother, Donald (Eric Roberts), shows up. What Paul does not know is that Donald is not actually Lauren’s brother. Instead, Donald is Reno, Lauren’s first husband who she never actually divorced. Reno has just escaped from prison where he was serving time for a crime for which he believes Lauren framed him. While Paul tries to save his father’s failing bank, Reno starts to plan a bank robbery and Lauren tries to balance her old life with Reno with her new life with Paul.
Mild neo noirs like Love, Cheat, & Steal were a dime a dozen in the 1990s. Love, Cheat, & Steal was made for Showtime and, throughout the 1990s, it used to tempt kids like me with its promise of “Brief Nudity” and “Adult Situations.” The only thing that makes it memorable is the presence of Madchen Amick, who was always the most beautiful of all of the Twin Peaks starlets, even if she often was overshadowed by Sherilyn Fenn and Lara Flynn Boyle. Madchen Amick has the right combination of girl next door innocence and enigmatic sultriness to make her perfect for movies like Love, Cheat, & Steal. Other than the presence of Madchen Amick, Love, Cheat, & Steal is best remembered for being your only chance to see Eric Roberts do a Jack Nicholson imitation.
One final note: Irish actor Dan O’Herlihy has a small role. Though he is best known for playing Conal Cochran in Halloween 3, he also co-starred with Amick during the second season of Twin Peaks.