For about five minutes at the beginning of its Third Act, the adultery-fueled sexual potboiler "Unfaithful" seems to mull over the possibility of becoming more than just a glossy, tawdry, yuppie bodice-ripper.
The suburban New York couple, played by Diane Lane and Richard Gere, whose marriage has come unglued because of the wife's fling with a seductive young Lothario, realize as their eyes meet across a crowded gathering at their home that they both know each other's worst secret and they could be dangerous to one other.
At this moment, director Adrian Lyne has a chance to twist "Unfaithful" into a subtle psychological puzzle, a game of trust and mistrust. But such intellectual aspirations have never been Lyne's cup of tea. The director of "9 1/2 Weeks," "Fatal Attraction," "Indecent Proposal" and the 1998 "Lolita" remake, he's always been far more interested in psychosexual sensationalism than emotional-cerebral exploration. Just as he's beginning to delve more deeply into these characters' conscience, Lyne fogs up the lens again and gets lost in the motivational ambiguity.
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