While I Was Gone Film Review


Jo Beckett is a Vet and she is also married to the minister of their town. She has a decent life with their daughter being in a band touring the country and her husband being a well respected man who loves her dearly. She has a kind of premonition when she and her husband are out on a fishing boat which shows her not being in the boat.

It is the following day when she is at work that Eli Mayhew comes in with his sick dog that starts to change her life. Jo remembers Eli from their college days and is shocked to see him now. They talk about the old days and how different they both were and this start Jo thinks about her life. She arranges to meet Eli in a hotel as he wants to talk to her.

Jo goes to meet him but just how will it affect her life and what will become of her marriage if she sleeps with Eli and gets found out?

I knew nothing about this film before watching it and have to say I was quite surprised by it. The storyline was good but not what I was expecting, I had kind of got the impression that this was going to be a love story but that was not the case and I was shocked when we found out what we did. I was actually more shocked by the appearance of Kirstie Alley as she was very over weight in this film and for some reason she looked quite out of place.

Kirstie Alley took the lead role of Jo and she was good in the role but her appearance seemed quite strange. She was very overweight at it did not look natural, there were times when both me and hubby thought she looked like she was wearing a fat suit. She took to the role well apart from the weight issue and she managed to make me warm to her and understand why she thought like she did. I loved the inclusion of the flash backs to her time at college with Eli and her friends as there were not too many off them for us to loose the storyline. She showed strength in her character towards the end of the film and I loved her being strong and emotional as it showed a more human and genuine side to her.

We had some other good actors in the film, Jo’s husband the Reverend Daniel Beckett was played by Bill Smitrovich and he was very good in his role. There seemed to be a honest and genuine connection and partnership between his character and Jo and they were very natural on screen together. The role of Eli was played by Peter Horton but there was just something about him right from the start of the film which made me uncomfortable when he was on screen, he just seemed a little to sly and slick and only when we discovered what we did about him did this make sense to me. Other good role included performance from Janaya Stephens and Rebecca Benson.

The story as I said before was good but not the love story I was expecting, there was one massive twist which I was not expecting and this did take the story off into a completely different direction but it did work very well and made for some emotional and good viewing. The inclusion of the hard relationship between Jo and her daughter was good as it gave some depth to the overall main storyline.

The film was set in the present day in America so not much effort was needed with the sets, props or costumes. They were all good but for me I hated some of the clothes Kirstie Alley was made to ware, they were frumpy and it looked to hard like they were making her look like a traditional Minsters wife where she clearly was not. The other clothes and costumes were good and suited the film. There were no real special effects in the film and none were needed.

The music was good and fitting for the storyline, it did help with the drama and tensions of the storyline and at times was quite moving. It was not an excellent soundtrack and not one I will be buying the CD of but it fitted the film well.

As this is a film only review there are no bonus features to speak about. The running time of the film is 120 minutes and I found this was quite long enough and the rate is a 15. I think this is a suitable rate as there are one or two disturbing scenes. I think this film deserves a good solid 3 stars. I found it was interesting and had a good storyline with good acting but I just feel that some might find it slightly dull and the appearance of Kirstie Alley may put a loot of people off. A good film for when nothing else is on.