Directed by Adrian Lynne. USA. 2002.
I’m the one you turn to when you’re trying to decide what to spend your cinema going dollars on. “Jen,” you say, “what’s out there now that’s good?” “Well,” I reply cautiously, “what kind of movie do you like?” “Oh....” you say making my job much easier, “anything. As long as it’s good.” In the hopes of helping everyone with their future film selections, allow me to give away my cardinal rule of choosing a good one:
Never trust anything you see on a movie poster.
These posters are paid
for by the multi-zillion dollar entertainment industry to entice the cinema
going public to their particular product, and the entertainment industry
does not wish to see posters emblazoned with slogans like:
This could possibly be the best example of an open and shut case of false advertising that I have ever seen.
Unfaithful tells the story of Ed and Connie Sumner. They have the perfect life. They’re successful, they’re happy. Obliviously happy it would seem, for a chance encounter with a handsome bookseller, leads Connie to make the biggest mistake of her life. (HINT: The title may give something away on that front.)
Diane Lane (Chaplin, Murder at 1600) stars as the housewife who wants something more. Her’s (in my opinion) is the only performance in this film worth watching. Her portrayal of Connie is a picture perfect portrait of guilt. She lets insecurities show through that give the struggling couple a very nice interplay, showing just how distant those sorts of emotions can make you feel from someone. You see her feeling terrible for passions never acted upon. Her big stumbling block is the script. Her motivations for the affair are never explained thoroughly. Her husband seems a very caring man. Connie’s betrayal of him with another man only makes her character unlikeable.
Richard Gere (Officer and a Gentleman, First Knight) plays the husband scorned. Oddly, his turn plays as the most natural in the entire film. If he weren’t so wholly unsympathetic I would have quite enjoyed his performance as well. Not once in this movie does Gere allow his character to get angry, he plays him as totally meek. To a point that sort of embodiment works, but after a time, it grates on your nerves, becoming less of an “Awwwww, look at him trying to save his marriage,” and more of a “Why isn’t he doing something about the problems between his wife and himself?” While Gere does attempt to epitomize the truism that sometimes it takes a kick in the teeth to see what’s truly valuable in your life, the road he chooses to take to do it makes the audience dread his every appearance on screen. No one likes to get whined at for a solid 90 minutes.
Adrian Lynne (director)
is by far my favourite commander of unintentional comedies. Don’t get me
wrong, he is a master of giving his stories thrust (fans of his work, please
pardon the pun) it’s merely that his casting directors have been, and always
will be dorks. Take Fatal Attraction. I have talked with an extensive
number of guys about this film and the synopsis of their commentary has
always been that the thought of anyone cheating on Anne Archer is utterly
implausible. I’ve been involved in a lot of conversations about Indecent
Proposal, and the basic thought has always been something along the
lines of “On what planet would Robert
Redford need to pay for women to throw themselves at him?” Here those
casting directors have done a bit of a better job, (for me at least. I
can totally find the thought of someone cheating on Richard Gere to be
plausible) but their good efforts, have been knocked senseless by the script.
The story has no impact, none of the characters are engaging, and the ending
is absolutely horrid. A must miss.
Book Reviews | About Us