Really sexy thrillers have been absent from movie theaters for quite some while, and I was so thrilled to hear that something like Unfaithful had been made. Unfortunately, Unfaithful has turned out to be less a thriller and more a romance drama than anything else, with a murder thrown in for some flavor.
Adrian Lyne, the director of Fatal Attraction and Lolita, has a flare for sexy movies like this one, but unfortunately, he misread what the audience wanted and decided to go with a slow character piece, instead of a tense drama. Obviously, not everyone will agree with me, but whatever they were expecting, they couldn't have expected as slow of a movie as is presented in Unfaithful. The movie drags on and on without much in the way of plot development.
The movie is about a suburban wife who falls into the arms of a younger man. They embark on a wild and sexy affair that threatens to shatter her relationship with her son and husband; of course, the husband begins to suspect something and has her followed. That leads to bad things.
The story isn't that bad, except that Lyne decides to use up an hour and a half of the movie (out of two hours) with the build-up to the murder. Obviously, Lyne felt it was more important to focus on the characters' relationships than on the deadly deed that follows, but he failed to make much of the movie in the meantime. Sure, as a young man I didn't mind the sex - and Diane Lane is extremely sexy here - and I did like the way the plot developed, but I was more interested in Gere's character and how he reacted to the realization of what is going on. Lane does a terrific job and shows the conflict inside her character, but you can only watch that for so long. Gere begins to suspect something, sends a friend to follow her, and then has to decide what to do, but this subplot is barely given a glance.
Even after the crime took place I was disappointed. I expected something more exciting or twisty in the end, but instead Lyne decides to keep it romantic and dramatic. It's just plain dull.
Unfaithful in its own right is a good movie; it has a beautiful look, wonderful acting, and a powerful script. Unfortunately, what is shown on screen should have only taken up an hours worth of time; the rest of the movie should have been devoted to covering up the crime and further chiseling out the strange relationship between Gere and Lane.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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