ninth symphony films - movie reviews


DIRECTOR  -  adrian lyne

RATED  -  r

GENRE  -  romantic suspense

LENGTH  -  124 minutes

RELEASED  -  10 may 2002

DISTRIBUTOR  -  20th century fox

OFFICIAL SITE  -  unfaithful

ESTIMATED BUDGET  -  $50,000,000
unfaithful - a shot from the film


buy the dvd from unfaithful at

buy the dvd from unfaithful at

a married woman has an extra-marital affair.

unfaithful is a remake of the 1969 french film, la femme infidele.


picture from unfaithful

picture from unfaithful

picture from unfaithful


two out of four possible stars

Unfaithful has the look of a big screen thriller, but it strikes one more like the crisp pages of a steamy romance novel. Which, if the majority of audiences are interested in the latest potboiler, this film offers all it should. Sexy man, sexy woman, sexy sex. This film is very stylish, and there are parts of it, which contain bits and pieces of real originality. But the phrase "been there, done that," would more aptly describe Adrian Lyne's latest film. Lyne has helmed more than one sexy thriller, and has done so more successfully than in this effort.

The story line in Unfaithful resembles any one of a dozen recent romantic thrillers, and it's the responsibility of the actors to move the story along. Though the cinematography has its moments, the flow of the story is much more predictable than it has to be. The very nature of a thriller demands that the audience gets caught up with the fates of the characters on the screen, but Unfaithful doesn't pack a lot of punch. Though the sexual chemistry between Olivier Martinez and Diane Lane is undeniable, their romance and the entertaining camera tricks can't fill a void of two-hours of screen time.

And a weak performance from Richard Gere, playing Lane's husband, "Edward," doesn't help matters. Though some have praised his understated method of acting, his character wasn't particularly sympathetic (he's the spouse who's being cheated on). Bluntly stated, his performance was stiff as a board. And the relationship and feelings that Lane's character, "Connie," has for Gere are bizarre. Throughout the movie, Connie must show her love toward both Edward and Olivier Martinez's "Paul Martel" and it's hard to see why she would continue to have affection for Edward for the run of the film. Save for an eight-year-old boy the two have together, Lane does not make her love for Gere convincing. Ironically, even though his performance leaves something to be desired, Gere gives a more satisfactory performance as Lane's husband, even though he's kind of flat.

On its best day, Unfaithful is a mild piece of escapist entertainment which would be best seen on the comfort of one's couch, with a receipt from blockbuster video sitting on the counter. The acting is tepid, but the romance between Olivier and Diane is at least entertaining. But there are some awkward elements of the film, such as its predictability and the casting of an especially annoying eight-year-old actor as Lane and Gere's son. This film is more a showcase for some high profile actors starring in a provacotive thriller. And though it is intriguing, it is by no means a thriller. It's just too predictable for that. But viewers of the film might wonder, by the conclusion of the movie, why the film required a two hour running time. The resolution of the film is a strange one. Wary of spoiling the "surprise," it should suffice to say that when the credits start rolling, there's something missing.

It's called a resolution. And it's a normal occurence in films for the story to end on a satisfying note. An ending is needed that allows the audience to let go of the characters emotionally, letting viewers know the path those characters will take when the movie is over. But Unfaithful leaves too much to the imagination. What will these characters decide to do in the next scene? It's certain that this film won't be harboring a sequel in the next few years, so how these characters resolve their problem will never be witnessed. The ending to this film most resembles the much admired best picture nominee, In the Bedroom. Like that film, Unfaithful doesn't allow its characters to resolve their problem.

These filmmakers make more than one common mistake in this film (plot, resolution, casting), and in doing so create a film which has but a few positive aspects for one to enjoy. It seems that the filmmakers, including the director and the writer, could have put a little bit more effort into each part of this film. This movie, in so many respects, resembles so much of the standard feature film fare being delivered to the movie-going public today. It's a film made without a lot intelligence. Something that can be pushed off as good entertainment.

Review by Kelsey Wyatt.

content 2000 - - ninth symphony films - photographs 20th century fox 2002
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