A divorced mom falls in love with an escaped murderer.

The premise is just ridiculous. Held hostage by a escaped con (a killer, no less!!!) Kate Winslet’s depressed divorced mom Adele falls in love with her captor (an as always stone-face Josh Brolin) over Labor Day weekend, deciding before the end of the 3 days to run off with him to start a new life with her quickie-made family. The story is told from the perspective of her 12 year old son, played empathetically by Gatlin Griffith.

Now before you immediately discard killer and escaped con Frank as hubby material: after tying Adele to a chair (so she can honestly tell police she was held hostage), he tenderly feeds her his homemade chili. Then he goes on to fix her car, repair all sorts of things in her home and then, in a scene right out of “Ghost”, sensuously teaches her how to make the best peach pie ever. The juices are flowing. I mean the pie, of course.

I have to say I laughed out loud. Look at this guy: he loves to clean, fix things and my God, he’s a brilliant cook. Plus he teaches the kid to play ball and sensitively bonds with a handicapped neighbor’s son. Not to mention his muscles. He’s got it all. Oh, except he’s a killer. Well, no one’s perfect, right???

This is a love story straight out of the best seller by Joyce Maynard. It’s her mom’s peach pie recipe. And as ludicrous as the story seems, get ready for the clincher. It’s based on Maynard’s life. When she was a lonely divorced mom, she had a correspondence going with a prison inmate who she bonded with but never met. It ended she found out the reason he was an orphan like her was because he killed his parents. Not just killed them. DECAPITATED them. Now, THAT’s a story.

Kate Winslet has made a career of playing suffering women and she doesn’t disappoint though I gotta warn the men she doesn’t get naked this time. Her emotions are naked. Just not her body. She does have great chemistry with the macho but domesticated Brolin.

This is a film that aims to show it’s never too late to find true love. If you can just get past the story.

1 star