Synopsis by Mark Deming
This psychological drama was based on the novel by Ella Leffland. After the death of her husband, Rose Munck (Diane Ladd), needs a job and takes a position looking after local business tycoon Patrick Leary (Bruce Dern), who has grown old and infirm and can no longer care for himself. However, revenge is higher on Rose's list of priorities than tending to Leary or earning a living; years ago, when she was a teenager, Rose (played in flashbacks by Kelly Preston) was seduced by the married Leary, and when she became pregnant, he threatened to have the child taken away from her unless she had an abortion. Rose chose to have the child against Leary's wishes, but the baby was killed during an altercation between Rose and Leary, and she has never forgiven him for it. Now, with Leary abandoned by his family, Rose takes her opportunity to slowly torture the old man who ruined her life. Mrs. Munck was the directorial debut for Diane Ladd; she was once married to co-star Bruce Dern, and their daughter, Laura Dern, directed a documentary about the making of this film.
boarding-house, death, father-in-law, injustice, patience, pregnancy, psychological-abuse, revenge, toddlers, widow/widower