So I was dragged to Unfaithful
tonight (luckily didn't have to pay for it), and it's what I figured it would be -- you're fired. I'm not that annoyed that the trailer tells you everything: not only the affair, but that Richard Gere has his wife followed and eventually kills the guy, later to be chased by homicide detectives. It's all in the trailer. So seeing it the first time was basically like seeing it a second time, knowing the plot. What it turns out to be is a not awful but not good (at all) movie coming straight from the "two wrongs make a right" school of filmmaking. You cheated on me, I killed him, let's call it even, OK? (This movie tries as hard as Frailty
to justify homicide, and to me it fails. There's no equating infidelity with murder, no matter how out-of-focus the victim is).
There were some laughably bad shots, my favorite of which was Gere posing in silhouette in a bizarrely darkened spot of his bedroom. Conversely, the best thing about it is the -very- subtle message about how what you do sets an example for your kids, and bringing that into the affair added an extra level of complexity I didn't expect from Adrian Lyne (but I did expect it from Cast Away
author Broyles). In a very early scene, the 9 year-old son hears his mother say "you're driving me bonkers," and five minutes later the kid repeats the line word for word. From that point on, the entire film is filtered through Diane Lane's knowledge that her son copies everything his parents do -- from arm farting to figures of speech. Good writing. But that's all the good I have to say about this flick; Lane tries hard, but she's very actressy and performs her sex scenes on a 25-cent vibrating bed. The snow globe symbolism is heavy-handed and contrived. The character of Martinez is barely more than a cardboard gimmick. It's just not a good film. Nice try, but Lyne's operatic, everything-has-tragic-consequences style grows wearisome, right from the opening windstorm of sexual passion.