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Overall Rating

Awesome: 12.05%
Worth A Look: 21.69%
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Pretty Crappy36.14%
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6 reviews, 47 user ratings

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by EricDSnider

"A film that cheats on itself."
3 stars

At the exact mid-point of the two-hour “Unfaithful,” the husband finds out his wife has been cheating on him. It is easy, then, to divide the movie into halves: the good hour and the not-so-good hour. “Unfaithful” starts smart and then chickens out.

Initially, it is about a well-off suburban housewife named Connie Sumner (Diane Lane) who stumbles into an affair with a 28-year-old French casanova named Paul (Olivier Martinez). She did not seek it out, but when the opportunity presents itself, she finds herself taking advantage of it.

The first sexual encounter is shown to us via her flashbacks, giving the sense that she, too, was merely an observer, and not a participant. ‘This isn’t something I would do,’ she seems to think during the train ride home. ‘I’m perfectly happy in my marriage.’

That is one of the film’s smarter elements: Her husband, Edward (Richard Gere), is good. Their marriage is comfortable — but not complacent — and they have a young son (Erik Per Sullivan) whom they adore. There is no reason for Connie to have an affair. Even she can’t figure it out. If she had unsatisfied yearnings, they were unknown even to her.

At first, this may seem like a flaw in the screenplay. Characters should not, generally speaking, have unmotivated actions. But I contend this is more realistic than the standard movie plot of “my husband’s a jerk, so I cheated on him.” (Not to say that doesn’t happen in real life, too.) Connie’s senseless addiction to Paul makes more sense, in its way, than many cinema adultery plots do.

Lane’s performance is brave and excellent. She endures a lot, and her character is compelling. It takes skill to keep an audience’s interest when the action is more emotional than physical, and Lane (directed by Adrian Lyne) pulls it off admirably.

Her co-star’s half of the movie does not fare as well. That is when Edward learns of the affair and acts upon his knowledge, and the film reverts to standard Hollywood claptrap. Interesting how adultery is made to appear immoral and devastating, but other crimes — I won’t spoil anything for you — are apparently OK in the world of movie people.

There, finally, is the film’s major mistake. Screenwriters Alvin Sargent and William Broyles Jr. have spent considerable time establishing the destructive nature of Connie’s relationship with Paul, only to undermine all that work with a turn of events that is neither believable nor, even by the movie’s own standards, morally correct. Don’t bother being impressed by the film espousing old-fashioned, marriage-is-sacred values, because it doesn’t last beyond the first hour.

You can hear the filmmakers’ sigh of relief: “We just came dangerously close to making an original, thought-provoking film! Thank goodness we swerved to avoid it! Whew!” “Unfaithful” cheats on itself and retreats to comfortable — and complacent — territory. Too bad.

link directly to this review at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=5906&reviewer=247
originally posted: 05/09/02 17:50:20
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User Comments

9/21/17 morris campbell interesting well acted film 4 stars
11/19/14 Sharon Moving performance by Gere. Great by Lane. So sad. Makes you think. 5 stars
1/10/14 Michelle calling a child actor "gruesome" makes you lack credibility 1 stars
10/14/11 Paul I cant forget Diane being fucked in the bathroom 3 stars
1/01/10 Gsat No one can get away with adultery... 4 stars
4/10/08 Dogman Diane Lane is HOT HOT HOT...oohhhhh yeah!!! 4 stars
8/27/07 Albert Bayarcal the movie was good but the thruth was denied. 2 stars
6/12/07 al smith diane lane jesus is she so sexy what a body 3 stars
1/27/07 David Pollastrini sexy 3 stars
11/10/06 cody a strong first hour with sexy diane lane and soap opera second half. overall average 3 stars
10/14/06 burim kabashi no coment, very nice movie 1 stars
7/10/06 cyman1000 wonderful, fantastic. Lane is caught in a sexual frenzy, very intense-i understand that. 5 stars
5/07/06 chienne Diane Lane...far remove from Lorena Wood, Richard still wooden, but I like it. 4 stars
8/26/05 ES Is Gere ever in a movie that is not about adultry? M. Douglas and him have similar tastes 1 stars
4/11/05 Ronin not bad 3 stars
3/21/05 Sid Savillo/Novelist/Scriptwriter Stimulating ( to the brain) saga of an obsessive "love" without boundaries beyond marriage 5 stars
2/14/05 MEsw Not bad, not great and Diana Lane turns a fine performance 3 stars
1/31/05 Jeff Anderson This film kicks FATAL ATTRACTION'S ass. Diane Lane is a SEXY, BRILLIANT MARVEL IN THIS!!!!! 5 stars
9/12/04 Jim Adrian Lyne keeps making the same movie, but he does it fairly well. 4 stars
4/08/04 LIAM JACKSON what i wouldn't give to be olivier martinez in that doggy style scene. Lane is hot! 5 stars
1/25/04 me simple and cliched but well cast 3 stars
10/23/03 Goofy Maxwell Last half is a CSI episode w.o. the investigation, ruining a fine first half. 3 stars
10/01/03 TheOthersFan ridiculous.... could be unintentionably passed off as a black comedy 2 stars
8/18/03 Phil M. Aficionado Sommersby's review is right. Plot contrivances and story gaps undo great performances 3 stars
7/08/03 Gil Carlson Better than reviewed here. See this instead of Far From Heaven. 4 stars
5/23/03 bear dude, the sex scenes in this movie r better than playboy! check it out guys, good stuff 1 stars
2/24/03 SGT. TICKLEBELLY fun to see the french guy's head bashed in....the french are all gay. 2 stars
2/09/03 Janell Miller sucks,sucks,suck,sucks major dick 1 stars
2/03/03 Trixie Diane Lane was awesome 4 stars
1/04/03 malcolm death by sno globe 4 stars
12/27/02 Rayna Kuzio I really liked this movie, but not the ending.... 5 stars
12/24/02 Film Dude ...did I see the same movie as everyone else? 4 stars
12/15/02 Laurian Diaconescu If you can't see further than the sex scenes, it's really sad.A great movie.Very realistic. 5 stars
11/28/02 mike smith awesome 5 stars
11/16/02 Tim Taylor Another notch for Adrian Lynne! 4 stars
11/12/02 carl herman Lynne cheats us out of exploring many great results of infidelity; STD, saving the marriage 3 stars
10/03/02 Heidi Ho Suspense succumbs to comedy of coincidence: stuck elevator & auto collision. 3 stars
9/28/02 Peter Sherlock Very very ordinary 2 stars
8/02/02 Me Not You Freak has one of the funniest reviews I've read. Right on ! 1 stars
6/09/02 Heather Gender reversal of Fatal Attraction, great performance from Diane Lane, weak plot though 4 stars
6/07/02 ownerofdajoint diane lane makes it all worthwhile......say no more..... 5 stars
6/02/02 Poumpus and better than you Well it was just average but the fucking was awesome sometimes 5 stars
5/30/02 Flick Chick a hell of a lot better than "About A Boy" 3 stars
5/24/02 Suzz Predictable; even the sex got boring. 3 stars
5/16/02 Veronica Foxx Eric's right, starts w/interesting premise and does well, but then it just drops the ball. 2 stars
5/14/02 john loved it 4 stars
5/14/02 Film Guy I kinda was like BORED out of my mind 2 stars
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  10-May-2002 (R)



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