Starring: Richard Gere, Diane Lane and Oliver Martinez
Directed by: Adrian Lyne who also brought us such movies as Lolita (1998), Indecent Proposal (1993), Jacobs Ladder (1990), Fatal Attraction (1987), 9 ½ Weeks (1986) and Flashdance (1983).
Written by: Alvin Sargent and William Broyles(Planet of the Apes, Cast Away and Entrapment).
The Down and Dirty
Adrian Lyne really had not made a good movie since 1990. He still hasnt. Then again, he used to make movies that were important for one reason or another. Falshdance was a mega-hit that is still influencing pop-culture today (see J-Los last video); 9 ½ weeks was crap in my opinion but was an important milestone in the pornography vs. erotica debate; Fatal Attraction was a fine movie and essentially defined a whole genre of movies (even if most of them are shit) and Jacobs Ladder was, in my opinion, one of the best movies of all time.
Hell, even Indecent Proposal was a fairly decent movie. You remember, Robert Redford offers Woody Harrelson a million bucks if Robert can bang Woodys wife, played by Demi Moore. It had been done before and in 1993 paying a million to bang Demi was a bit of a stretch but still, the movie was basically not a complete waste of time.
Unfaithful is a complete waste of time. Maybe it could have been saved had they used the alternate ending that saw Gere turn himself in to the cops. Maybe it could have been saved if we had been shown enough of Lanes character to give a flying fuck about her and have some real understanding about why she was a self-indulgent woman hell-bent on destroying her own live and the lives of those around her.
Really, the shallow depiction of Lanes character was the primary failure with this movie. As an audience member I was willing to go along with the housewife who has an affair because her life is in a slump. However, the motivation had to be provided by me because the movie didnt actually provide any insight into this scenario. All we got to see was a woman who met a cute guy and wanted to screw him. Lane did an admirable job in portraying a woman torn between banging the handsome stranger for fun and ruining her life but when she decides to go for the big O, I lost any and all sympathy for her character. The only thing she was really struggling with was the belt-buckle on Martinez pants.
Still, Geres character seemed likeable and so there was some assumption that if her liked his wife then she must have some redeemable qualities (other than a really nice set of T & A). Martinez could have been replaced with a radio strapped to a coat rack and had at least improved the vocal expression for his character but Gere and Lane did manage to act. Problem was, they had nothing to act with and the movie was a slow-burning flop with all the moral depth of an episode of Scooby-Doo but none of the intrigue.