Unfaithful

"Weak"

Unfaithful Review


Adrian Lyne is a director in flux. His mainstream film pedigree shows an aptitude for the making of great porn with films containing soft lighting, perfect bodies, and well-choreographed sex. Lyne's resume tells stories of incest (Lolita), adultery (Fatal Attraction), sex for money (Indecent Proposal) and carnal lust (Nine 1/2 Weeks). With Unfaithful, Lyne uses pieces from several prior efforts to tell a more complete adult drama, but he fails to create anything we have not seen before.

In Unfaithful, as with Fatal Attraction, Lyne uses a seemingly normal suburban family as the target for adulterous activities. Edward Sumner (Richard Gere) is the owner of an armored car company who works long hours in the office and at home. Edward's wife, Connie (Diane Lane), appears to be the happy housewife as she gets their son Charlie (Erik Per Sullivan) dressed, fed, and off to school every morning. Connie is working on an auction fundraiser for Charlie's school when a dark, exotic stranger Paul (Olivier Martinez) drifts into her life. (Sounds like porn, doesn't it?) Their initial encounter is innocent, but built on a series of lies and deceptions, a fanatical love affair is struck between the two strangers.

Lyne's primary motivation with Unfaithful is to emphasize the unrelenting sexual antics of Connie and Paul, just as he explored with Kim Basinger and Mickey Rourke in Nine 1/2 Weeks. Lyne hints at the tone early in the film. As Connie walks the sidewalks of New York, a sudden windstorm picks up and elevates her skirt enough to expose her panties. Later, as her affair with Paul heats up, we're given a heaping helping of erotic moments including the caressing of her navel, rough sex in a stairwell, and other heightened moments of passion classic to Nine 1/2 Weeks. None of this material is new or remotely stimulating.

Lyne never shows us the motivations behind Connie's decision to waste an eleven-year marriage on an affair with a man she doesn't even know. After injuring her knee in the aforementioned storm, Connie follows Paul to his nearby apartment for "treatment." She refuses to acknowledge the danger of going to a stranger's home and instantly allows herself to fall for him. As for Paul, we're given few clues to his real identity. We know is a book dealer (shades of Attraction) who uses his gift of words to attract women. I guess we're only meant to know he is a mysterious stranger type.

Unfaithful only glosses over what could have been the most thrilling parts of this film. We're not given the key payoff scenes between Connie and Edward as they struggle to determine the eventual course of their marriage or deal with the consequences of their actions. The ending abandons any sense of reality or closure and was received with a chorus of laughter from my preview audience.

Lane's performance approaches something convincing as she attempts to deal with the mess she has gotten herself into, but she is nothing more than eye candy for Lyne's camera. Gere is relegated to a supporting role as Lyne chooses to deal with his emotions quickly once the affair is discovered, rather than taking time to explore his reactions in a more meaningful way.

Unfaithful is an unsuccessful, piecemeal effort of more successful Lyne films. He has failed to give us the conflicts and thrills that made Fatal Attraction so enticing, and he only scratches the surface of the raw eroticism of Nine 1/2 Weeks. Unfaithful is just another demo reel overstating his qualifications for making porn.

Taking a ride down Naughty Lane.



Unfaithful

Facts and Figures

Run time: 124 mins

In Theaters: Friday 10th May 2002

Box Office USA: $52.7M

Box Office Worldwide: $119.1M

Budget: $50M

Distributed by: 20th Century Fox

Production compaines: Intertainment

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 49%
Fresh: 79 Rotten: 82

IMDB: 6.7 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer: , G. Mac Brown

Starring: as Connie Sumner, as Ed Sumner, as Paul Martel, as Charlie Sumner, as Bill Stone, Myra Lucretia Taylor as Gloria, as Lindsay, as Tracy, as Sally

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

The BFG Movie Review

The BFG Movie Review

For his adaptation of the Roald Dahl classic, Steven Spielberg reunited with screenwriter Melissa Mathison,...

Finding Dory Movie Review

Finding Dory Movie Review

It's been 13 years since the release of the Disney/Pixar hit Finding Nemo, and filmmaker...

Star Trek Beyond Movie Review

Star Trek Beyond Movie Review

This is where the Star Trek franchise officially shifts from thoughtful drama into thunderous action....

Ice Age: Collision Course Movie Review

Ice Age: Collision Course Movie Review

With its fifth feature-length adventure, this franchise continues its preposterous journey at full tilt. As...

Keanu Movie Review

Keanu Movie Review

An entertaining hybrid of satirical comedy and action thriller, this madcap adventure swerves wildly between...

Ghostbusters Movie Review

Ghostbusters Movie Review

It's been more than 30 years since the Ghostbusters first hit the big screen with...

Now You See Me 2 Movie Review

Now You See Me 2 Movie Review

While the original 2013 magical caper was a big hit, it's style-over-substance approach didn't exactly...

Advertisement
The Legend of Tarzan Movie Review

The Legend of Tarzan Movie Review

It's been nearly 30 years since the last live-action Tarzan movie, and yet it still...

Maggie's Plan Movie Review

Maggie's Plan Movie Review

A New York comedy with vivid characters and a contrived plot, this feels rather a...

Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie Movie Review

Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie Movie Review

Nearly 25 years after the sitcom debuted, Edina and Patsy arrive on the big screen...

Central Intelligence Movie Review

Central Intelligence Movie Review

After teaming up with Will Ferrell for Get Hard and Ice Cube for two Ride...

The Colony [Colonia] Movie Review

The Colony [Colonia] Movie Review

Based on a true story, this Chilean drama has a chilling edge to it that's...

Independence Day: Resurgence Movie Review

Independence Day: Resurgence Movie Review

Two decades is a long time to wait for a sequel, especially one starring much...

Elvis & Nixon Movie Review

Elvis & Nixon Movie Review

This movie is based on a real meeting between Elvis Presley and Richard Nixon in...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.