Eye For Film >> Movies >> Unfaithful (2002) Film Review
Being in love is hell. It's also heaven. A classic contradiction.
Connie is married to Edward and they have a son (Erik Per Sullivan). Edward runs his own transport business and is not short of a bob or two. Connie lives in the leafy suburbs outside New York. She has everything she wants, except... Except what? Well, nothing really. Until she meets Paul Martel (Olivier Martinez) in the city one windy afternoon.
He is appreciative, available, sexy, French and a dealer in rare books, living in one of those SoHo loft conversions that always look great in movies, although way out of his price range. The stage, as it were, is set. All that can happen now is passion au naturel, buckets of heat and guilt to die for.
Affairs end in tears. The question is, are they worth it? The sex is incredible, the feelings inflammatory, the desire insatiable and the sheets freshly ironed. Sooner or later, someone's going to find out. Sooner or later, the world falls apart.
The film suffers from a certain inevitability, although it is given a boost by Diane Lane's performance, which is exceptional by any standards, incorporating layers of sensitivity, emotional confusion and reckless infatuation. Richard Gere, as Edward, finds himself in the unaccustomed position of playing the cuckold. He's not used to this and it shows. Suddenly, he's the older man and those grey hairs speak years, rather than designer chic. When he takes matters into his own hands, he's not in control and for someone who prides himself on the ability to look good while sacking underlings, it hurts.
Based on Claude Chabrol's classic 1969 film noir, La Femme Infidele, Adrian Lyne's remake lacks subtlety and tension, although gains in gloss and style. The photography is sumptuous, the settings perfect, the foreplay sensual. It doesn't even matter whether it makes sense on a crude, rational level. As long as the light is soft on her skin.
The ending is a cop-out. Lyne has been criticised in the past for prettification, but seldom, if ever, for not knowing how to say goodbye. This time, he puts the movie into neutral and walks away.Reviewed on: 06 Jun 2002
If you like this, try:La Femme Infidele