Unfaithful

"OK"

Unfaithful Review


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.

An utterly elementary remake on 1969's "La Femme Infidele," the first half of the film is standard-issue seamy-steamy, bored housewife fantasy schlock. Lane plays a sexy soccer mom in her late 30s who scratches the itch of marital ennui by tiptoeing into a sweaty affair with a bedroom-eyed French book collector (Olivier Martinez) several years her junior. He charms her into the bed of his rustic-hip SoHo loft with dirty dime-novel dialogue and they make love in sultry scenes designed to skirt the MPAA's "R" rating.

Every hackneyed plot development comes right on cue. Lane awkwardly runs into friends when she's supposed to be meeting The Other Man. A conscience-driven attempted break-up with him turns into a battle of wills and an episode of especially kinky sex. A montage of family images is juxtaposed with sex scenes, just in case you can't fathom on your own what she's betraying. A suspicious Gere hires a private detective to follow his wife and snap incriminating black-and-white pictures, which Lane later discovers in her husband's jacket pocket.

This is a film with decent performances (Lane as the libidinous woman and Gere as the wronged, deeply hurt husband relish in playing against type) and a few good surprises as the three points of the love triangle reveal themselves to one another. But "Unfaithful" is far more interested in Lane's naked body than in her mind or her emotional state. The characters are unsympathetic, foolish and terribly transparent liars (especially when the plot calls for the police to enter the picture), and Lyne offers no clues to why Lane feels bored in her life as a happy wife and mom. It's just assumed that SUV-driving suburban housewives are by definition caldrons of untapped lust chained to kitchen sinks.

If the picture's trashier elements appeal to you, pass on "Unfaithful" and rent "Red Shoe Diaries" (the pilot for a 1992 Showtime series with David Duchovny and Brigitte Bako) which connects with its characters on a visceral level and is dead sexy to boot.

If the themes of adultery and its consequences interest you more -- or even if you just want to see Diane Lane nude and/or giving a superb performance -- try 1999's "A Walk On the Moon." That film explores the psyche, the desires and the heart (which never enters into the plot of "Unfaithful") of a cheating wife instead of just exploiting her libido for voyeuristic thrills.



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 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 49%
Fresh: 79 Rotten: 82

IMDB: 6.7 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

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

Also starring:

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Unforgettable Movie Review

Unforgettable Movie Review

With heavy echoes of trashy thrillers like Fatal Attraction, this movie overcomes its painfully simplistic...

The Belko Experiment Movie Review

The Belko Experiment Movie Review

The kill-or-die scenario that this movie hinges on isn't something new; it's been used in...

The Fate of the Furious Movie Review

The Fate of the Furious Movie Review

With the more dumbed-down title Fast & Furious 8 outside of North America, this overcrowded...

A Quiet Passion Movie Review

A Quiet Passion Movie Review

British writer-director Terence Davies (The Deep Blue Sea) is an expert at digging beneath the...

The Sense of an Ending Movie Review

The Sense of an Ending Movie Review

Julian Barnes' Booker Prize-winning novel is adapted into a remarkably intelligent, gently involving film anchored...

The Boss Baby Movie Review

The Boss Baby Movie Review

There isn't a lot of subtlety in this madcap animated comedy, which is more aimed...

City of Tiny Lights Movie Review

City of Tiny Lights Movie Review

After the latest incarnation of Dredd, director Pete Travis shifts gears drastically for this complex...

Advertisement
Going in Style Movie Review

Going in Style Movie Review

This is only technically a remake of the iconic 1979 film starring movie icons George...

Graduation Movie Review

Graduation Movie Review

Romanian filmmaker Cristian Mungiu (4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days) recounts another staggeringly detailed...

Ghost in the Shell Movie Review

Ghost in the Shell Movie Review

This sci-fi thriller is so visually stunning that it deserves to be mentioned in the...

Free Fire Movie Review

Free Fire Movie Review

Basically a 90-minute shoot-out, there isn't a lot to this movie. British filmmaker Ben Wheatley...

Life Movie Review

Life Movie Review

Like a mash-up of Alien and Gravity, this ripping sci-fi horror movie is very effective...

The Lost City of Z Movie Review

The Lost City of Z Movie Review

Based on a true story, it's the historical aspect of these events that holds the...

Chips Movie Review

Chips Movie Review

It's clear from the very start that this movie has little to do with the...

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.