'Gone Mom: The Disappearance Of Jennifer Dulos' Review: Lifetime has an interesting take on marriage without love
'Gone Mom: The Disappearance Of Jennifer Dulos' shows what drew opposites Jennifer and Fotis Dulos together
Spoilers for 'Gone Mom: The Disappearance of Jennifer Dulos'
If you are one of the many who wondered just how the love story between Jennifer and Fotis Dulos went so wrong, leading to the sensational Jennifer Dulos disappearance case, then Lifetime's 'Gone Mom' is a tragic but fascinating watch. The film, unlike the media representation, doesn't just detail Jennifer, played by Annabeth Gish, as a one-note suburban mother-of-five, but goes into detail what would have drawn her to a man like Fotis, played by Warren Christie, in the first place. Fotis, is a man who right off the bat, friends suspected was not right for the genteel Jennifer who was a deep thinker and writer. She was completely opposite to the gregarious, athletic Fotis who some of Jennifer's friends believed was only pursuing her for money. Jennifer came from an extremely wealthy New York family, with her father being an extremely successful figure in the world of finance. The film shows that Jennifer was not off the hook for ulterior motives either, with her best friend often checking in with her if she has married Fotis just to have children. The film certainly serves as a great cautionary tale for marrying for reasons other than love.
It helps greatly that both Jennifer and Fotis are portrayed by actors who resemble them greatly and Warren Christie, a Lifetime regular, does a stellar job as a man who can switch between charm and rage equally easily. Annabeth Gish, however, leaves a lot to be desired in the role, and at times even seems oddly relaxed, in what are obviously extremely trying circumstances in the Dulos' marriage. However, as the film shows it wasn't always an emotional tight rope between Fotis and Jennifer. It seems that in the initial years of their marriage, the two in spite of their differences were incredibly happy. However, it was Fotis' excessive spending and his increasingly frequent business and competitive skiing trips that led to a distance between the couple.
It was the distance that proved too difficult to bridge once Fotis began having an affair with the athletic Michelle Troconis who he met on one of his frequent trips. We see in the film that Fotis didn't seem to even attempt to hide the affair from Jennifer. It is the last straw for Jennifer who then moves out, leading to a bitter custody battle over their five kids, where Fotis threatens to take the children to his native, Greece, where Jennifer will never see them again and also threatens to kill her.
In the film, Jennifer strangely doesn't seem to be over-concerned about these threats. We are not quite sure if this is simply the poker face of actor Annabeth Gish or if in fact, Jennifer thought nothing would come of what she perceived as empty threats. Sadly, however, that did not turn out to be the case.
'Gone Mom: The Disappearance of Jennifer Dulos' is an interesting watch for all true crime fans and as the filmmakers had hoped an important tool to raise awareness on domestic abuse that exists even among the privileged and the powerful. There may not be too many details about the couple that is not out in the public domain, including the infidelity, money troubles and custody battles that plagued their relationship, but 'Gone Mom' helps those who have followed the case, to go beyond the caricatures of victim and villain.
'Gone Mom: The Disappearance of Jennifer Dulos' premieres on Saturday, June 5, at 8/7c. Directed by Gail Harvey, the film was written by Gregory Small and Richard Blaney and the executive producers are Dan Abrams, Ilene Kahn Power and Rachel Stockman.