Amy Barrett’s Lust, Lies, and Polygamy is the most recent Lifetime release, which is based on true events. The film provides a gripping thriller experience, and the cast has truly done a fantastic job of bringing it all together. Can a man genuinely love more than one woman at the same time? Is polygamy acceptable? These questions invariably arise when discussing such situations. However, this film refrains from expressing any specific opinion on the matter; instead, it illustrates the path one should definitely avoid. Spoilers Ahead!

Lust, Lies, and Polygamy (2023) Plot Summary & Movie Synopsis:

The film begins with Ellen running around her home and discovering her daughter held captive by a man with a stun gun in his hand. Now, let’s rewind two weeks to when a man is prowling outside Ellen’s house. Ellen remains unaware of this until she hears police sirens. Upon opening the door, she learns that the police have apprehended the man who was prowling. One of her neighbors had lodged a complaint against the person as they had witnessed him engaging in suspicious activities.

Ellen is particularly struck by the look the man gives her; it seems very familiar. Later that morning, Ellen’s husband, Paul, returns from his meetings. He works in sales and is often away from home due to client meetings and other work commitments. However, he shows great affection toward Ellen and her daughter Kelsey whenever he is at home.

This is Ellen’s second marriage, and because of Paul’s past, when his father left them, he deeply cherishes this family. He is very meticulous about everything and possesses a keen observation power to notice if anything is amiss. Paul visits the police station to inquire about the prowler. The detective previously informed Ellen that the man is named Carl Hoff from Haverford.

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However, Ellen is surprised to learn from Paul that the police released him due to a lack of sufficient evidence. Two suspicious things come to light before Paul leaves for his meetings again. First, even after two years of marriage, Ellen’s daughter Kelsey still does not consider Paul her father; she frequently neglects him. The second thing is that Paul discreetly slips away from Ellen to write a letter to someone.

What does Ellen come to know about Paul, and How?

Ellen’s suspicions about Paul first arise when he seems unconcerned about the prowler incident. Even her friend Cindy tells her that when a husband is away and learns about a potential threat to his wife and daughter, he typically takes stronger action to resolve the situation. So, after Paul leaves town, Ellen goes to Detective Holland and inquires about Carl Hoff, the prowler. Holland informs her that it was Paul who didn’t want Carl to be arrested. Paul had told the police that Ellen was determined to put the incident behind her. He also informs Ellen that they could have charged Carl Hoff with trespassing if Paul had agreed.

This revelation raises questions for Ellen, and she searches Paul’s home office. There, she encounters a locked drawer with no key in the room. Later that evening, when Ellen is having dinner alone, Paul video-calls her and mentions a gospel singer named Mary Obst, who has a beautiful voice. Ellen looks up the name and finds a video where Mary is singing, and Paul is also present. However, surprisingly, the woman beside him in the video grabs his arm, and Paul kisses her on the forehead. This appears to be a very affectionate gesture to Ellen, which shocks her more than anything else.

How does Ellen get all the evidence against Paul?

Ellen first finds Carl Hoff on the internet, gets his number, and calls him. There, she learns that he is the ex-husband of the woman she saw in the video. Paul has ruined Carl’s marriage, and he even threatened him to keep his distance. Carl didn’t choose to be involved in this. He is a better man than Paul, and looking out for Ellen was just a bad decision he made under difficult circumstances. Ellen then meets with Cindy, and together, they plan to gather enough evidence so that Paul has no chance of denying it. Cindy helps her open the drawer, and Ellen finds out about Paul’s Credit Card details there. She learns about new Credit Cards and their transactions in Haverford, the place where Carl Hoff is from.

Lust, Lies, and Polygamy (2023) Movie
A still from Lust, Lies, and Polygamy (2023)

Cindy now advises her to file for divorce, but Ellen needs to ensure that Paul doesn’t have a chance to fight back. She plans to catch Paul and the woman in the act of their affair. So, when Paul returns from his meeting, Ellen expresses her wish to tag along with him on the next trip. Paul hesitates for a while and then tells her that they will discuss this later.

That night, Paul goes into his home office and finds out that there is a scratch outside the drawer, indicating that someone tried to open it. Paul suspects something is amiss and then tells Ellen she can join him on the next trip. The same night, Ellen also discovers the letter Paul had written on the previous occasion to Grace, Carl Hoff’s wife and Paul’s lover.

When Paul leaves the house the following day, Ellen follows him to Haverford. There, she finds out about Grace and sees them together very intimately. She takes some pictures and, with a heavy heart, waits inside the car. Right after Paul leaves, she knocks at the door, and Grace opens it. She enters the house, claiming that she is new in the locality. Now, she finds out that Paul is not just having an affair but has a whole family here with a wife and two sons.

Lust, Lies, and Polygamy (2023) Movie Ending Explained:

How does Ellen save herself and Kelsey from Paul?

Ellen now has enough evidence to file for divorce against Paul. She has changed the locks on her front door and explains everything to her daughter Kelsey. She says that Kelsey does the right thing by always neglecting him. But Kelsey lets her know that she doesn’t do it because she doubts Paul’s nature. It’s just that she isn’t ready yet to see him as her father. Later that night, Paul comes to Ellen’s house. When he couldn’t enter the house from the front, he tries the backdoor.

He tells Ellen that both she and Grace serve a purpose, and no matter how different that is, he loves both of them equally. To Paul, it is okay to have two women as his wives at the same time. To him, it is okay to have more than one family. But he fails to understand that even if it is okay with him, it may not sit well with Ellen and Grace. He hides the whole thing from them and acts like everything is okay just because he loves both his families.

Paul gives Ellen a deadline to sort out everything so they can live happily again. Right after Paul leaves the house, Ellen calls Detective Holland, who suggests she file for a restraining order. On the other hand, Cindy suggests Ellen deliver the restraining order to Haverford so that Grace, too, can know about the situation. Cindy’s husband gives Ellen a stun gun just in case she needs protection against Paul.

The restraining order is served, and that night, Paul takes leave from Haverford only to break into Ellen’s house. He captures Kelsey and points the stun gun at her. Somehow, Ellen fights back, and Paul runs away from the house when Cindy comes to save the day. Paul remains a fugitive as the police start looking for him across the country. Ellen and Kelsey start their life in peace. However, Ellen wants Paul behind bars so that she can know there is no upcoming threat.

At the end of the film, we see Paul changing his name to Roger and flirting with a recently divorced woman in a bar. Paul or Roger, whatever his name is, needs to be found and brought to the court of justice. People like him sometimes believe they can do whatever they want, however, they want, without considering the feelings of others. Can a man genuinely love more than one woman at the same time? Is polygamy acceptable? Well, the simplest of answers will be…it depends on all the parties involved. We are no one to judge. But let’s ensure that no one ends up getting hurt along the way.

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Read More: Lust, Lies, & Polygamy: Cast & Characters Explained, Release Date & Time, Plot, Where to Watch & Other Details


Lust, Lies and Polygamy (2023) Movie Links: IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes, Letterboxd
The Cast of Lust, Lies and Polygamy (2023) Movie: Alicia S Mason, Tremayne Norris, Maya Walker
Lust, Lies and Polygamy (2023) Movie Genre: Mystery & thriller, Runtime: 1h 30m

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