Richard Gere has always
been the dashing, single, dangerous, "other" man in movies like, American
Gigolo, An Officer and a
Gentleman, Pretty Woman,
First Knight, and Runaway
Bride. That began to change in Dr.
T and the Women where he toned down his hairdo and played a happily
married man. At least in Dr.
T, he was still eye candy for all the women. But in Unfaithful,
Richard Gere plays the boring husband who is cuckolded by his beautiful
wife with a mid-life crisis (Diane Lane). You may remember Indecent
Proposal, where Demi Moore had the ludicrous choice between Robert
Redford and Woody Harrelson, even if there had been no $1 million.
In Unfaithful, there is no such problem. The other man is your typical
rakishly handsome French artsy type (Olivier Martinez). Lane and
Gere have been married for 11 years and have it all, including a young
son (Erik Per Sullivan) and a million-dollar house. Gere is a workaholic
and Lane dabbles in fundraising which gives her lots of time to run into
(literally) and become obsessed with Martinez.
From the beginning, watching this film is like watching a train wreck. You can see what's going to happen but you can't stop it. It's a bit like Damage but without the intensity and sparks created by Jeremy Irons and Juliette Binoche. Still, the cast is very good with one glaring exception. Lane and Gere's son can't act for beans and he looks so weird that he's very distracting when he's on the screen. He's the type of kid you'd expect to see on Malcom in the Middle. Ok, he is one of the kids on Malcom in the Middle. Like he did in Dr. T and the Women, Gere seems to enjoy playing the anti-Gere. Diane Lane, who had hovered on the edge of stardom since she was 14, finally broke out with A Perfect Storm. She's good and good-looking, and this is a good role for her. Martinez really is French so he doesn't have to act too hard. He just has to take his shirt off. Hmm, that's what Richard Gere used to do.
The first half of Unfaithful is quite good but once it gets to where you know it was going to get and the movie is only halfway through, Unfaithful doesn't quite know how to get itself out. The director is Adrian Lyne. He has also directed Flashdance, 9 1/2 Weeks, Fatal Attraction, Indecent Proposal, and Lolita. All I can say is that I hope he's in therapy. It's hard to discuss much about the plot of Unfaithful without giving anything away although, like I said, you can guess what's coming. One problem is that even though this is a remake of a French film, La Femme Infidele, it is a typical American story. You feel while watching it that you've seen it all before a zillion times. I really liked the last scene though, with the car stopped across from the Police Station as the stoplight goes from green to yellow to red and back again, and the sky begins to brighten in the east. And that doesn't give anything away!