124 Min | Drama – Romance – Thriller | June 2002
IMDB Rating: 6.7
Director: Adrian Lyne
Starring: Richard Gere, Diane Lane, Olivier Martinez
Unfaithful Review: Adrian Lyne’s Unfaithful is sensational sex-and-its-consequences melodrama at it’s very best. It’s a movie in which an ordinary woman from the New York suburbs, played with startling conviction and amazing range by the beautiful Diane Lane, begins to sneak away from her beautiful white dream home in the Hudson Valley, deceiving the family she loves so much in order to indulge in a cathartic sexual fling with a simply gorgeaous French hunk who’s built like an Adonis. Her husband slowly suspects and then learns of the affair, and when he discovers how far it’s gone, his reaction comes as as big a shock to him as it does to us. ”Unfaithful” is a domestic thriller that’s been made with so much sultry juice and power that it is bound to have you thinking and talking about it long after the end credits roll. What the film observes very, very well is the deep, rich comforts of family life aren’t always enough to keep even a contented person from straying.
Connie Sumner (Lane) loves her doting, slightly fuddy-duddy security contractor husband, Edward (Richard Gere), as well as the life they share with their perky 8-year-old son. So why does she let herself be seduced by Paul (Olivier Martinez), the insinuating Gallic book dealer who rescues her from a SoHo, New York windstorm? Is it because he’s the sort of philosophe stud who drops pensées like ”There’s no such thing as a mistake – there’s what you do, and what you don’t do”? “Unfaithful” refuses to offer the usual excuses (e.g., cold-fish husband), and that makes the real reason all the more compelling. Connie slides into a fling because she’s a sensual woman whose contentment is tinged with complacency, and because the opportunity presents itself in a way that’s too sexy to resist.
Diane Lane’s work in the film’s intriguing and gripping second half, however, wouldn’t be possible without Richard Gere’s own understated performance that is one of his very best. As these two circle each other, their marriage held together by the very cycle of forbidden acts that’s also tearing it apart, ”Unfaithful,” like a more languid ”Fatal Attraction,” becomes a thriller myth of the perils of adultery, which few filmmakers can heighten like Adrian Lyne. “Unfaithful” is a first rate, sexy, cool and engrossing Hollywood thriller that is also refreshingly intelligent.