Unfaithful

"Grim"

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

Trumbo Movie Review

Trumbo Movie Review

An entertaining film about sobering true events, this is the story of notorious screenwriter Dalton...

Goosebumps Movie Review

Goosebumps Movie Review

Mixing the action, comedy and horror from novelist R.L. Stein's books into a family-friendly package,...

Dad's Army Movie Review

Dad's Army Movie Review

The beloved 1970s British sit-com gets the big screen treatment, although there's been very little...

Spotlight Movie Review

Spotlight Movie Review

This film demonstrates that you don't need guns to make an exciting thriller. Based on...

13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi Movie Review

13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi Movie Review

Not the subtlest director working in Hollywood, Michael Bay brings his surging machismo to this...

Dirty Grandpa Movie Review

Dirty Grandpa Movie Review

There's nothing clever about this deliberately rude and vulgar comedy, but certain audiences will find...

The Big Short Movie Review

The Big Short Movie Review

Smart and snappy, this comedy is one of the scariest films of the year, using...

Advertisement
The 5th Wave Movie Review

The 5th Wave Movie Review

Also based on the first in a trilogy of post-apocalyptic teen novels, this thriller feels...

Ride Along 2 Movie Review

Ride Along 2 Movie Review

Ice Cube and Kevin Hart reteam for a sequel no one really asked for, following...

Room Movie Review

Room Movie Review

One of the most extraordinary films of the year, this drama cleverly weaves in events...

Creed Movie Review

Creed Movie Review

While this film is basically Rocky VII, it's also much more than that, and perhaps...

A Perfect Day Movie Review

A Perfect Day Movie Review

An irreverent comedy in the style of the original M.A.S.H., this wartime romp takes an...

Partisan Movie Review

Partisan Movie Review

With his feature debut, young Australian filmmaker Ariel Kleiman tells a creepy story about a...

The Revenant Movie Review

The Revenant Movie Review

A wrenching saga of survival and revenge, Alejandro G. Inarritu's new epic is just as...

The Hateful Eight Movie Review

The Hateful Eight Movie Review

Quentin Tarantino is a filmmaker who simply can't be ignored, especially when he lobs a...

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.