'How to Train Your Husband' Review: There is no training in the Hallmark movie — the only change is you
Spoilers for 'How to Train Your Husband'
Julie Gonzalo's Jillian James is a very successful marriage therapist and a best-selling author. Her book on how to pick your second husband following a divorce is a bestseller. But the idea behind it, according to her, is rather simple: draw a list and simply strike out your requirements.
While she is an expert in the field, Jillian is facing issues in her own marriage. Jillian and her husband Justin (Jonathan Chase) have been having some marital problems.
The high school sweethearts got married early on but now find that they have little to work with. These issues are not completely irreparable but something is keeping both of them from actually discussing their problems.
If you consider it, so much of the issues are caused by Jillian alone. She expects Justin to always live by her rules and expectations. The very first argument we see the two of them have is because he didn't wear a suit to her book launch despite her laying it out on the bed for him.
She would prefer him to do things a particular way and if that doesn't happen, it upsets her immensely. Safe to say that Jillian is a very exhausting partner.
So exhausting that Justin goes on a trip to Europe to clear out his mind. Left to her own devices, at first Jillian completely puts the blame of the failure of their marriage on him. However, she soon realizes that the problems began when she started expecting things from him — expectations that had no basis except her stubbornness.
Helping her to arrive at this conclusion is her friend Nicole (Karla Mosley), who does so using a puppy. Jillian wants to write a book based on Nicole's happy marriage with her husband Aaron. She tells her that Aaron (Andre Hall) is kept on a leash just like a puppy is — given treats for good behavior and chastised for bad.
Tempted by the idea, Jillian brings home a puppy to train him, gauge the process and then try it on Justin, if and when he returns. There are so many times through the movie that Jillian is reminded of her expertise in the field of relationships and marriages that it isn't even funny.
Jillian is somehow completely clueless and averse to her own expertise when it comes to her marriage with Justin. Perhaps when it comes to your own self all logic flies out of the window. For the most part of it, the movie is a journey of self-exploration that Jillian embarks on. A journey we think is a bit too late for the woman.
The change in Jillian's approach to her marriage is marked by the improvement in the relationship of one of her clients. The couple finds themselves at loggerheads over the smallest of issues.
Their inability to take the required efforts to save their marriage mirrors those of Jillian and Justin — only Jillian's actually. The mastermind of it all, her closest friend and ally, seems at ease regardless of just how much trouble she has caused. But how does it matter since Jillian has learned her lesson.
Like most Hallmark movies, the end is wound up within the last 10 minutes of the movie's runtime. This is especially disheartening because everything before this feels like a stretch.
Jillian doesn't solve her issues with her husband, but with her dog. So even as the movie began with her wanting to train her husband, it was really she who learned a lesson. If you watch Hallmark's 'How to Train Your Husband' hoping for some tips, you're going to be disappointed because it really is a self lesson.