Jane (Joanna Kerns) is first seen dazed and confused in a supermarket, suffering from amnesia. Her pockets are filled with hundred-dollar bills and her dress is bloody. She goes to a hospital and is given a diagnosis of severe trauma.
Her husband, Michael (John Shea), a pediatric surgeon, arrives and takes her home. Michael oversees her recovery, hiring a young woman, Paula (Katy Boyer), to mind her and make sure she takes her medicine.
It’s a classic set-up. Michael’s so perfect he must be guilty of something, but viewers can’t be sure. Is he lying to her? Is he plying her with narcotics? She’s haunted by flashbacks and nightmares. Did she kill someone? Did she have an affair with her neighbor?
When Jane starts to recover, Michael tries to push her over the edge. After a knock on the head restores her memory, she does some detective work and pieces things together.
The vidpic then becomes a dime-a-dozen custody battle. What keeps viewers hooked through the first two-thirds is the sense that something really different might have befallen Jane. The filmmakers have built up expectations and then let down viewers: Incest and sexual molestation are at the bottom of things, and the issues are glossed over too quickly.
The performances are unassailable. Kerns plays the frazzled amnesiac well, making it credible that the character has a temper and is capable of criminal acts. Dashing and sincere, Shea turns in an understated performance as the sinister hubby.
Ellen Weston’s script is lean, which is the strength of the first hour. As for the last half-hour, the tidy resolution comes in an obligatory and nonsensical court scene; why does Jane’s divorce lawyer try Michael on criminal charges — doesn’t the D.A. do that? And the use of a voiceover isn’t a crime, but overusing it is.
For a while, director John Patterson spins a compelling yarn. Overall, though , the pacing could have been better, since taking time with the best material over the first two-thirds of the telepic made the last third feel rushed.
Also, there’s no rhyme or reason to the filming of the flashback scenes and dream sequences. Sometimes they’re in black-and-white with smoke, sometimes they’re not. The opening scene in the market is done in slow-motion with some interesting hand-held camera work.