The Lost Husband tells the story of Libby (Leslie Bibb).
Libby had a good life. She lived in a big house in the suburbs of Dallas. She had a handsome and loving husband named Danny (Kevin Alejandro). She was the proud mother of two wonderful children, Abby (Callie Hope Haverda) and Tank (Roxton Garcia). But then, one day, there was a car wreck. Abby was injured and now walks with a limp. Danny was killed. And Libby was left a widow and a single mother.
When she loses her home, Libby and the kids try to live with Libby’s chain-smoking mother, Marsha (Sharon Lawrence). Largely due to the fact that Marsha is a terrible human being who resents her daughter, that doesn’t work out. Instead, Libby ends up moving out to a farm that’s owned by Aunt Jean (Nora Dunn).
Jean is plain-spoken but far kinder than Marsha. She lives in a house without a television or a dishwasher. Amazingly, she does have indoor plumbing. Still, despite not having many modern luxuries, Jean proves herself to be a far stronger and far more caring person than Marsha ever was. She not only gives Libby and her children a home but she also encourages Libby to work on the farm….
What? Well, okay, maybe that doesn’t sound like Jean is doing Libby a favor by making her do physical farm labor but actually she is. When Libby goes to work, she meets the handsome and single James O’Connor (Josh Duhamel). James is the farm manager and, of course, he’s got some tragedies of his own that he’s still struggling to deal with. Though James is at first skeptical as to whether or not Libby is ever going to be able to handle working on a farm, he’s impressed with her determination. He also bonds with Tank and Abby and even goes as far as to teach Abby how to beat up the local bully….
And right now, you’re probably thinking that this is another silly Nicholas Sparks adaptation, the type of movie that’s perhaps destined to show up on Lifetime in another year or so. Well, the film may very well play on Lifetime at some point in the near future but there’s still much more to The Lost Husband than just a romance between two troubled souls who work on a Texas farm. The film is more concerned with Libby’s struggle to come to terms with the loss of her husband than it is with the possibility of her finding a new one. Yes, James is a great guy and he looks like Josh Duhamel but this is a film that understands that Libby has to take care of herself first.
The Lost Husband is not really a movie that will take you by surprise but it’s still a gentle and sweet-natured film, one that has a good heart and is often sincerely likable. Leslie Bibb and Josh Duhamel are both believable as two people who are still struggling to recover from their own pain but who still haven’t given up on the idea of finding some sort of happiness. One thing I liked about the film is that it treated both Libby and James with respect. Though Libby is not a natural-born farmer, she’s not portrayed as being some sort of spoiled city girl, either. (In other words, she may not be excited about milking a cow but she still does it without accidentally getting a face full of milk.) Meanwhile, James may be skeptical about Libby working on the farm but, at the same time, he’s not particularly rude or resentful about it. Libby and James are both allowed to be adults, which is something of a rare occurrence in films about city girls returning to the farm where they grew up.
The Lost Husband is a nicely done romantic drama. It’s not a film that’s going to change your life but it will definitely hold your attention if you happen to watch it on a rainy afternoon.