Thursday, March 2, 2017

Unfaithful

Unfaithful
Director: Adrian Lyne
Cast: Diane Lane, Richard Gere, Olivier Martinez, Erik Per Sullivan
Released: May 10, 2002

Oscar nominations:

Best Actress - Diane Lane (lost to Nicole Kidman for The Hours)


If, for some reason, you've never seen this movie in the fifteen years it's been released, I highly recommend that you see it before you read this review because I will be spoiling it! It is a really good movie and you do not want to be spoiled! Okay, you have been warned!

Diane Lane and Richard Gere play Connie and Edward Sumner, a couple who have been married for eleven years. They have a young son, Charlie (Erik Per Sullivan...you may remember him as Dewey from Malcolm in the Middle) and live in quite the house in the suburbs outside of New York City.

As you may have guessed from the title, it doesn't take a genius to figure out one of them is going to commit adultery. Connie is in the city on a very blustery day, trying to catch a taxi. She is carrying two shopping bags and the heavy winds are whipping her hair and skirt (why is she wearing a skirt? Didn't she check the weather forecast for that day?) every which way. She runs into a man carrying a stack of books and falls on top of him. So you could say she literally fell for him. He is Paul (Olivier Martinez) a good-looking young French guy who collects and sells books (hence the stack of books he was carrying). He tries to help Connie hail a taxi as she watches his books, but he doesn't have any luck either. Connie has a nasty cut on her leg and he tells her she can come up and bandage it since they are right in front of his apartment. She sees a taxi pass by right then and she could have easily hailed it, but decides to follow the handsome stranger instead. We see the elevator is out of order which is going to come into play later in to the movie. There is some slight flirting on Paul's side and it makes Connie a little jumpy. Paul offers her a book to take with her and she sneaks it into her bookshelf amongst the other books. While she doesn't tell her husband about the book, she does tell him about what happened that day and how this man offered to help her when she scraped her leg. Edward jokingly asks if that man was good-looking. Little does he know he has to worry about him!

Connie finds Paul's phone number while flipping through the book he gave her. She decides to call him, but it's obvious she knows she shouldn't be doing it because she's calling him at a pay phone in Grand Central Station. She has to get up the nerve to call him a couple times before she actually places the call. She gets his machine and is about to hang up until she hears his voice answer the phone. She calls under the pretense to say thank you for helping her and that her leg is doing better. Of course, we know this is not true! He asks her over for coffee and she looks at the paper cup of coffee she's holding and places it in front of her and goes over to his place. There is more flirting occurring and it still makes Connie a little bit uncomfortable. After she tells Paul she took some French in high school, he says something to her in his native language and she thinks he wants her to take something off, but he meant would she like to take her coat off.

Despite her nervousness, she returns a third time. He has some music playing and they start to dance. She realizes what she's doing is wrong and decides to leave. However, when she comes back in to retrieve her coat she forgot, Paul grabs her and takes her to his bed and they have sex. This seemed a little rape-y to me. She's saying no to him, that this isn't right, but he keeps on going. We see this part as a flashback because as she's on the train back home, we see her having flashbacks of them together. While she did seemed to enjoy her little tryst, you can tell she also feels really guilty. They will meet up several more times to continue their affair and the first time is really the only time where she's uncertain they should be doing that. The other times she seems very happy and excited to be with him even though she still knows what she's doing is wrong.

There really is no rhyme or reason why she's cheating on her husband. We see a scene of them earlier in the movie where they are being intimate and they both seem to be attracted to each other. Edward is a good guy; he's not a jerk and he's very attentive to his wife. In order to sneak out and see Paul, Connie makes up stories why she needs to go to the city. During one visit to the city, she runs into two friends she hasn't seen in awhile. They ask her what she's doing in the city and she lies and says she's shopping for window shades. They invite her to coffee and she has to go because she can't get out of it. I had to pause the movie at this point because the two women looked so familiar, so I had to go on IMDb and see where I knew them from. One of them played Meredith's mom on Grey's Anatomy and the other one played Blair's mom on Gossip Girl and it was like, Oh, duh, of course. Doesn't it drive you crazy when you see a character actor and you can't quite place where you know them from? Thank God for IMDb! Since Connie is stuck having coffee with the two women, she uses the pay phone to call Paul and tell him she's going to be late. (One of her friends is confused she uses the pay phone and says Connie could have borrowed her cell). He actually comes to the coffee shop and they go at it in the bathroom.

The other two women saw Paul when he came in and was sitting at the counter. They talk about how hot he is and one of them says she would be on her back in a second if he looked at her. This scene felt very forced because what are the odds that your friends would be discussing how hot the guy you're hooking up with right in front of you and they don't actually know you're hooking up with him? You know what I mean, right? The Kate Burton character (that's Dr. Grey) says she once had an affair a long time ago and it was the worst thing she ever did.

Edward starts to have suspicions about his wife. The stories she tells him don't match up and he notices that she's been wearing sexier dresses and heels out. She's also been a little distant towards him. He hires a private detective to have her followed and his worst fears come true when he finds out that his wife has been with another man. I should mention that Connie and Paul have been out in public, which is how the PI caught them: when they were coming out of movie (they were the only ones in the theater and were having sex - I would hate to be the person who had to clean that theater! Ugh!) he snapped photos of them holding hands and embracing. The first time they're out in public together is when they're at a restaurant and Connie feels very exposed, as she should. She is seen by someone that knows Edward (but she doesn't notice him) and you think that might be the way Edward finds out, but, obviously it isn't. I felt it was very stupid for Connie to be in public with Paul. Well, I thought it was stupid of her to have this affair in the first place, but don't flaunt it in public! We've already seen that she knows people in the city and is bound to run into someone she knows. Just really sloppy on her part.

Edward confronts Paul at his apartment and we see an aerial shot of Connie running out of his apartment just as Edward is about to cross the street and enter it. He confronts Paul and tells him he's Connie's husband and Paul tells him that Connie finds the city more exciting and implies that she is bored with her life. Edward sees Paul's bed and you know he's imagining what was going on in that bed with the handsome young Frenchman and his wife, but things get even worse for him when he notices a snow globe on his bedside. Earlier in the movie we see a collection of snow globes at the Sumner's home so it was obviously taken from that collection. This particular snow globe seems to mean a lot to Edward and he demands to know where Paul got it and he says that Connie gave it to him as a gift. I have to say that was a pretty stupid thing of her to do. Why would she give him a gift from her house that her husband was bound to know it was missing? Why not buy him something? She was certainly capable to go shopping; she even did it with her husband when she stopped by his office to bring him a sweater she had bought for him, obviously out of guilt. And why would she think Paul would want a snow globe anyway? It just seems like a weird gift to give your lover. But all that really doesn't matter because this snow globe is going to play a huge role in the movie.

Overcome with rage, Richard smashes the snow globe on Paul's head, cracking his skull. While this is defintely the most cringe-worthy scene of the movie, I can't say it's the grossest scene of the movie, even with the blood. No, the grossest scene happens much earlier when Connie tells Charlie to spit out whatever he's chewing (I'm not sure what it was, maybe gum?), then later pops it in her mouth! Ugh, eww! That just churned my stomach! Yes, I understand it hadn't been in someone else's mouth when Diane Lane put it in her mouth, but it was meant to be that way in the movie. To me, that was the most disgusting part of the movie! Anyway, back to death by snow globe. Edward (rightfully!) starts to panic. He has a lot of work to do: wrap up the body in a rug, thoroughly clean the apartment, and wipe down his fingerprints. He must have done a pretty damn good job because he is never caught! While he is doing all of this, the phone rings and there's a message from Connie telling Paul that she needs to end their affair. She realizes this once their affair starts affecting her life as she forgot to pick up Charlie at school. Edward was probably thinking, Great, I just committed murder for nothing! Remember the broken elevator that I said would come back into play? It stops working on the way down and Edward has to heave the carpet/body up onto the floor and climb out. When he finally gets outside, lugging the heavy carpet, someone offers to help him carry it, but he says he's good. By this time he's late to his son's play and when he gets there he's very flushed and out of breath (he went into the bathroom to throw away his blood-stained shirt and change into an extra shirt he had) and Connie asks if he's okay. When they are about to get in his car and leave, someone accidentally bumps into the back of his car and the trunk opens just a little. What are the odds that would have happened?! Edward has to slam it a few times before it latches and you can tell he's in a panic. It's not like the body was showing, but I do understand why he didn't want that open! The guy who hit his car wants to double check the trunk to make sure it's not broken, but Edward snaps "NO!" at him.


In the middle of the night, Edward sneaks out to rid the body in a junkyard. He's a little too good at this if you ask me. In fact, he's much better at murdering someone and hiding the evidence than Connie is at having an affair! Although, he didn't get rid of ALL the evidence because a few days later policemen show up at their house, investigating the disappearance of Paul. Edward didn't see that Paul had Connie's name and number written down. The police question her with Edward present and she lies and tells them she was going to buy a book from him, but never did. They obviously don't believe her, but don't have any real evidence to press further. Connie figures out pretty quickly that her husband has something to do with the disappearance of Paul when she sees the snow globe she gave him back in its place. Okay, maybe Edward isn't that great at getting away with murder...why would you keep the murder weapon? But remember, he never got caught while Connie did. But there's no way he could have thrown it away because it has sentimental value to Edward. We realize why he was so upset when he found out his wife gave her lover it because he gave it to Connie during a trip to Chicago on one of their anniversaries and Connie finds out that he had hidden a note in the base that told her if she found this before their 25th anniversary, she had to wait to open it. Of course she opens it then and Edward, who is playing the piano with Charlie, looks over as she reads the note which says "To my beautiful wife, the best part of every day." It's written on the back of a photo of them with Charlie as a baby. I bet she felt pretty s***y for what she did!

I think Edward should have left Connie. Not only did she cheat on him, but she gave a very personal gift from her husband to her lover! I would have been livid! Obviously, Edward was furious and even admits to Connie that he wanted to kill her. They decide to try to make it work as a couple, although it's left a little ambiguous what happened with them. Did Edward turn himself in (the last scene shows them in their car next to a police station) or did they continue on with their life as though nothing happened? 

1 comment:

  1. I really think such movies should not be made and released for the public to view. It only puts ideas in people's head and may be even suspicions in married couples. I dissaprove of such things.

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