Unfaithful (2002)

Genres - Drama, Thriller  |   Sub-Genres - Erotic Drama, Marriage Drama, Crime Drama  |   Release Date - May 10, 2002 (USA)  |   Run Time - 124 min.  |   Countries - Germany , France , United States   |   MPAA Rating - R
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Review by Lucia Bozzola

A well-appointed movie about a woman punished for sexual desire? Then it must be Adrian Lyne's latest opus about the perils of pleasure. Rather than a man-eating careerist or a money-strapped wife-turned-single night prostitute, Unfaithful's degraded female is a pampered housewife with too much time on her hands and not nearly enough to occupy her minuscule mind. Adopting a determinedly serious tone meant to mitigate such preposterous plot conceits as the fateful windstorm and the undesirability of Richard Gere, Lyne lingers over the "erotic" encounters between Diane Lane and très français lover Olivier Martinez with his usual affinity for classy soft core, pausing long enough to allow the supporting characters to deliver clumsy lines clarifying the allegedly deep morality play at hand. Lane and Martinez do their best to flesh out their repellent non-characters, and Gere effectively channels most of his smolder into finely contained rage and pain, but the lead trio is finally done in by William Broyles and Alvin Sargent's hopelessly mediocre script as well as Lyne's ham-fisted imagery. Though men might enjoy the spectacle of the American Gigolo reduced to cuckold, Unfaithful is hardly the alternative summer movie for intelligent adults that Lyne and his cohorts wish.