“Unfaithful” is what I’d call a good video movie. On the one hand the plot is a like a sanitised TV version remake of “Fatal Attraction” and aside from its stars there’s nothing really here that would categorise it as a ‘movie’ as such.
On the other hand for what it is, its actually quite well done with a surprisingly effective moody atmosphere and story turns that take the more difficult path of a sense of realism even if they seem a little cliche at times. Adrian Lyne’s penchant for telling stories may have dropped off a bit, but visuals wise he’s still darn good with some unusually shot scenes and use of music/sound to create a down to earth feel which makes the somewhat Hollywood antics in the second part a little more unexpected than they would normally be.
This film is the chance for Diane Lane to shine and she does, everything about the film relies on her performance and she’s convincing throughout. I like the fact they made her quite human in this, once the first fling happens she’s neither moping or psycho stalking as such, rather high on the sheer energy of the experience which she keeps wanting more of (in her scenes with Martinez she has a giddy young girl sense about her) until she realises what she’s done and its effect on her and her family.
In many ways this is a story of addiction as well as adultery, and Oliver Martinez as the dark and mysterious French lover (with the ‘never vanish’ stubble and non-American buff style look) gives the right amount of smoulder and intensity to his character with a dark edge to him to give the audience an unsure sense about what he’s capable of. Richard Gere delivers his usual style role as the husband even if his scenes toward the end start getting a little ‘Billy Zane’ shall we say.
The raunch factor that everyone’s so curious about is up, but not far up. The first adultery scene is actually quite unrevealing and is more uncomfortable than erotic. However that’s followed by Lane alone in one of the most sensual bathtub washing scenes you’ll ever see, and then comes sex in a corridor which is fast, physical and quite stimulating.
However nudity is still quite limited and the dragging pace (the film is about 20 mins too long) makes it only worth going if your into the drama. Is the drama worth it? If you liked the trailers than yeah. Its more introspective and slow burning than the average efforts of this rather suddsy genre though that’s a good thing. Worth a look if only for Lane’s performance.