Lifetiming: Sex, Lies, & Obsession

DISCLAIMER: Even the internet said, “nope,” to this movie, so there are no screenshots. Just imagine a pair of lips with a body and a boring white-bread male making noises at each other and you’ve got it.

Sex, Lies, and Obsession is the “true” story of a woman who finds out her husband is a sex addict. It stars (and was produced by) Harry Hamlin and Lisa Ritta, who are an actual husband and wife. I really wish I didn’t know this about them, it makes watching the movie awkward as hell.

The movie opens on a scene of foot love, well, there’s a lot of other touching and moaning too, but what kind of fucking movie opens with foot fetishing? We establish that it’s Cameron (Hamlin) sleeping with some random blonde. Then it jump cuts about five times; Cameron at work (doctor), Cameron at son’s soccer game, Cameron visiting his wife Joanna (Ritta) at her job (high school drama teacher).

It doesn’t take long for him to be sent on a “business trip.” They establish he has to go on trips a lot. Sex trips. Joanna’s mother says she should count her blessings because he’s such a good husband, and a bunch of bullshit. They make a huge deal about which hotel he will be staying at, but when he arrives he checks into a different hotel. Uhhh ohhhh!

Later, he gets in a cab and asks for the shady part of town. He gets dropped off at a massage parlor. And following his massage he asks the woman for sex AND SHE TURNS HIM DOWN. It’s a little depressing really; dude can’t even get laid at what is obviously a “happy-endings” kind of establishment.

Then we watch Cameron trying to get laid FOREVER, it’s like Superbad with a sad middle-aged man.

Once he gets home, Joanna discovers a brochure from the mysterious hotel in his luggage. She goes to his work to drop off his briefcase or some shit. She sees him leaving and follows him honking, but he doesn’t notice her flailing wildly. Joanna follows him to the apartment he bought for his lover, the woman from the uncomfortable foot scene at the beginning.

Joanna confronts him, and I must be honest, she reacts really realistically, especially for a Lifetime movie. The fallout afterwards is so realistic it actually bummed me out.

She has a conversation with her friend who actually gives her good advice that being alone is better than being with the wrong person. Against reason, they decide to patch things up. He moves back in and immediately starts ordering hookers like a house on fire and talking on sex lines for way too long. Listening to the actor dirty talk into what I know is a disconnected phone was so embarrassing. Their oldest son walks in on him and Cameron tells him to keep it from his mom and the kid agrees, but not for long.

So later, he picks up a hooker, follows her to her crack apartment, watches her shoot up and then pays $20 for a BJer. When her boyfriend comes home and starts to beat her up, he tries to help and gets the shit beat out of him. Then he goes home and tells his wife his bruises are from _______ (insert your own excuse!) and she believes him. Genius this woman, HE JUST CHEATED. She’s not even a little suspicious.

So he goes to pick up another hooker and surprise! It’s a sting. He’s arrested, even before he agrees to buy the hooker, but anyway daddy ends up in jail. Like a dumbass, he calls Joanna, but like a classy lady she leaves him in jail.

Cameron’s punishment is court ordered therapy to which Joanna is a party to, and we find out about his Freudian excuse. His father had several affairs as well! He is also required to take a lie detector test, where we find out he’s slept with over 50 (!) women. He also enters a 12 step program (SAA). It doesn’t take long before the movie forgets the point it just made about not staying together just so you aren’t single and Joanna stays with Cameron so she isn’t single. The oldest son is rightfully pissed off and wants nothing to do with his father and they scold him. The last 20 minutes of this movie must have been written as a study in how much Tammy Wynette bullshit one person can take.

Somehow I doubt Mr. Wynette was suffering from a sex addiction.

Somehow I doubt Mr. Wynette was suffering from a sex addiction.

They break up again after his weekly lie detector test shows that although he hadn’t slept with anyone, he did “cruise,” (try to pick up hookers) but changed his mind and didn’t. Joanna is still pissed and they break up again a few days before he has his big chip presentation at SAA. As he gives his presentation speech about how much he wishes his wife was there, the door opens andddd…

She shows up. They stay married. What is the message this movie is trying to send? Her husband cheats on her with over 50 women, puts her at risk for cancer, STDs and his punishment was… nothing! Yes, I realize it’s a terrible addiction that he can’t control, but if I was addicted to smelling my farts I wouldn’t expect someone to live with the aftermath. That was a terrible analogy, but I can’t even begin to handle how much this ending pissed me off.

Really, I liked this movie at first. Joanna was an amazing heroine. She goes and gets an STD test after being cheated on and reacts realistically to this bullshit. Her best friend, unlike other Lifetime movies, gives good, solid advice and is a really even keel about everything. The ending broke my heart and my brain. There’s an epilogue in which we are told they are still, “happily married.” I don’t buy it and I hate this obligation shit more than anything.

Fuck this noise, I’m reviewing a movie I like.

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