Second telepic in a month’s time to depict steps leading to second-degree-murder conviction of Westchester County, N.Y., schoolteacher Carolyn Warmus is saddled with a blah title but excels in all respects ABC’s “A Murderous Affair: the Carolyn Warmus Story.”
Warmus (Jenny Robertson) was sentenced to 25 years-to-life this May for murdering the wife of her paramour, here called Michael Carlin and played by Joe Penny.
Like “A Murderous Affair,” script–which shares essential facts of case–telescopes time (it took two trials to convict Warmus) and fictionalizes several characters in order to beef up drama while keeping the tale under two hours.
Unlike ABC’s rather more lurid version, “The Danger of Love” was written with cooperation of victim’s husband, which results in a somewhat gentler portrayal of his character.
“This is wrong,” he mutters before sleeping with the flirtatious Warmus the first time, though moral reservations evidently didn’t stop him from repeating the action several times before wearying of her obsessive ways.
Ara Watson and Sam Blackwell’s script for “Danger of Love” omits the trial itself, which allows more time for development of principal characters under sure hand of director Joyce Chopra.
Thesping is good overall, with actors tending to underplay. Note should be made of two comics in dramatic roles: Joseph Bologna is quite effective as the chief investigator and Richard Lewis satisfactory–if only slightly less nervous than usual–as a lawyer representing Carlin.
Deborah Benson and Fairuza Balk turn in credible perfs as the victim and her daughter, and Robert Nadir is solid as Bologna’s partner.
As in ABC effort, two of the more interesting supporting characters are a sleazy private eye and his photographer, here played by David Wasman and Gregg Loughridge.