Set in the 1970s, I’m Your Woman tells the story of a woman forced to leave her home and go into hiding when her gangster husband gets into trouble. The film, written and directed by Julia Hart (Star Girl, Fast Color), provides an interesting shift in perspective from the more common crime drama narrative by concentrating on the wife and child rather than the criminals themselves.
Jean is introduced as a passive housewife, played by Rachel Brosnahan (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel). Eddie (Bill Heck) is patient with his wife’s less-than-desirable cooking and gives her everything she wants—even bringing her a baby boy when they are unable to have one of their own. Jean is accustomed to being entirely dependent on Eddie and does not even drive herself. During the course of the movie, she goes through a gradual metamorphosis, only beginning to choose to act on her own behalf as the story reaches its climax and Eddie disappears.
After Jean goes into hiding with her son, the pace begins to pick up. Supporting characters include Cal (Arinzé Kene), a former associate of Eddie’s, his wife Teri (Marsha Stephanie Blake), his son Paul (Da’mauri Parks) and his father Art (Frankie Faison). Exposure to the courageous Teri, with whom Jean discovers she has things in common, encourages Jean to stand up for herself and act on her own behalf. However, by the time the credits roll, the title of the movie appears to be more appropriate for Teri and Cal than it is for Jean and Eddie.
The 1970s cars, the clothes and the grit paint a fitting picture of the era, complete with elements of racial tension and the changing roles of women. While the soundtrack, which includes several songs by Aretha Franklin, is great, the movie would have been more enjoyable if the trials of being on the run with a small child were illustrated with less crying.