Unfaithful review by Matt Fuerst
The Sumner's are a couple living in what most yuppies would call suburban heaven. At a dinner party, their friends mention their neighbors got "750 for their place, what is yours worth?" Without really realizing it, Connie Sumner (Diane Lane) is unhappy. In spite of having every material need taken care of, and a husband in Edward Sumner (Richard Gere) that desperately loves her and is trying to reach out to her, Connie has gotten the itch. She doesn't even realize it in the beginning, but she has it. Monotony has set in, and Connie isn't about to walk the hard road with Edward to fix it.
On a windy day in "the city" (it happens to be New York City but it doesn't really matter) Connie literally bumps into Paul Martel (Olivier Martinez). Paul offers to let Connie clean herself up in his bathroom. The flirtation amongst the two is initially relatively innocent at first for Connie, whereas the more carnal Paul pretty much makes it known from the get go what his intention is with Connie. Connie is drawn to the dark and handsome Frenchman, and continues with the flirtations. She manufactures reasons to go into the city and stops by Paul's (of course massive in the vein of Friends) apartment. A few innocent stops later and Paul tires of the toying and makes his move. A torrent love affair follows in which Connie pretty much sacrifices all other external connections to the world. She is hours late picking her son up from school. She ignores her friends and husband. She gives Paul personal gifts that her husband gave to her.
Edward isn't a complete dope and notices the new trends at home. The movie hints in a few scenes that maybe Edward isn't the most attentive husband, but I don't buy it. To me he came off as a very hardworking man that was desperately trying to reach out to his wife. Edward decides to take some steps to find out what is going on and he does so. Of course he is devastated and tries to figure out what to do.
A few other loose ends occur along the way here but that's a reasonable encapsulation of the events of the movie. I guess the first theme to touch on is Adrian Lyne's fascination with marriage. Apparently he isn't a big fan of the institution of marriage since this theme of betrayal one he keeps coming back to. Even in movies that aren't directly in the relationship genre (Jacob's Ladder) the relationships contained within are bizarre and irrational.
Unfaithful is unusual in it's structure since the narrative is a fairly traditional three act story, but the big climax occurs in the second act. The third act of the film is actually just tying up of loose ends and additional story tacked on. I suppose this structure can work when the third act is still compelling and has a cliffhanger ending or something, but in this instance it doesn't work all that well. The audience feels the Connie character pretty much deserves whatever bad may be coming to her and while we feel sorry for the Edward character he isn't very compelling.
This movie achieved most of it's attention for the sex scenes contained within, and it really isn't worth all the hoopla. Diane Lane shows us some skin and it's not worth the price of admission. I wouldn't really recommend to anyone expect a studio movie as a source for excitement from sex scenes, and Unfaithful is no different.
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