Unfaithful

Loosely based o­n Claude Chabrol's memorable 1968 thriller, La Femme Infidèle (in which a husband's crime of passion rejuvenates his temperate marriage) Adrian Lyne's Unfaithful is surely the flip side of his Fatal Attraction. Here Lyne generates the artful eroticism of sensual pleasures we've come to expect from him (as in 9 * Weeks and implied in Lolita) to deliver a contemporary everyman morality tale about the disastrous consequences of adultery. Diane Lane and Richard Gere play Connie and Edward Sumner, a happy, well-heeled couple living in the commuter burbs of Westchester County, New York, complete with pleasantly precocious kid (Erik Per Sullivan of Malcolm in the Middle), cute canine, and handsomely furnished home overlooking a lake. All the right stuff for the realized American Dream, yet Connie is vaguely discontent, and when she is literally swept off her feet by a windstorm while shopping in Manhattan's SoHo district, she is rescued by Paul Martel (Oliver Martinez) the sexiest-looking antiquarian book dealer since Johnny Depp in The Ninth Gate. Unable to resist his seductive charms, Left Bank accent, (and chic-funk loft), Connie eventually throws all caution to the winds and plunges into a full-blown, lustful affair with the enticing Paul. The affair cannot end well (as all morality tales foretell), and the rest of the plot, which should not be divulged, hinges o­n that. Gere plays the betrayed husband suitably, but it is Diane Lane as the ambivalent wife who is entirely convincing as a woman at o­nce thrilled, amazed, and flummoxed by her wanton behaviour– registering all the contrary emotions of someone caught up in the tentacles of sexual addiction–and recklessly ignoring the consequences of her actions.

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