'Secrets of a Marine's Wife' Review: Erin Corwin's murder remains a mystery
Spoilers for 'Secrets of a Marine's Wife'
Sadie Calvano who stars in Lifetime's upcoming 'Secrets of a Marine's Wife' is best known for her comic timing on the popular comedy 'Mom', where she plays the rebellious teenager Violet Plunkett. It's interesting to see that Calvano has the acting chops to also pull off more dramatic roles, as she plays 19-year-old Erin Corwin in 'Secrets of a Marine's Wife'. The Erin Corwin case captured the nation's attention when the pregnant 19-year-old went missing and it subsequently came to light that Corwin was killed by her neighbor Christopher Lee (Tom Stevens), who she was having an affair with.
Calvano may be the best-known face in the Lifetime film, but the other fresh faces in the film are to watch out for too. If you are a fan of true crime films, then you may also enjoy Lifetime's other movies such as 'Gone Mom: The Disappearance of Jennifer Dulos' and 'Girl in the Basement'.
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A particular mention should be made of Evan Roderick, who plays Erin's husband Marine Major Jon Corwin. His portrayal of a betrayed husband is extremely convincing. Tom Stevens plays Lee, a fellow Marine who Erin found herself dangerously involved with. Stevens portrays the many layers of Lee with aplomb. Lee, who is a goofball at first glance, clearly has a darker side to him, which Reeves portrays commendably. We just wish the hairstyle that Stevens sports in the film wasn't so distracting. It almost takes away from his performance.
The film does capture what would have led young Erin to be drawn to Lee. It details how an early marriage and being away from civilization in the middle of the desert could have led to Erin looking for some excitement. However, the film doesn't show well enough why Lee was driven to actually kill Erin. In the film, we see that right off the bat Erin and Lee's affair isn't just a fling. The two don't seem to be able to communicate with their spouses but are able to confide in each other. So why Lee would choose to murder Erin, someone he clearly has deeper feelings for, is a mystery that remains unsolved in the film.
In real life, however, Lee claimed it was a crime of passion because he discovered that Erin was molesting his young daughter who she used to sometimes babysit. The film however doesn't approach this angle at all, perhaps because it was an explanation that was completely rubbished by many close to the case. All in all, the Lifetime film is a realistic portrayal of the challenges of getting married too young and how one mistake can end up not just destroying a marriage, but also a life.
'Secrets of a Marine's Wife' premiered on Lifetime on June 19.