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Starring Richard Gere and Diane Lane
Screenplay by Alvin Sargent and William Broyles Jr.
Directed by Adrian Lyne

IN SHORT: Unbearable. [Rated R for Sexuality, Language and a scene of Violence. minutes]

"Where do you go when you've gone too far?" asks the commercial spot for Adrian Lyne's Unfaithful. Howzabout right back to the box office to demand your money back? They won't give it, 'cuz it's not a theater's responsibility to vouch for the endurability of anything they show. Howzabout tracking down stars Richard Gere and Diane Lane to ask 'em what the hell they were doing? No, actually, that's a better question for director Adrian Lyne.

"You can't leave the theater and not talk about this movie," says a critic on the other coast. Yep, everyone was talking in New York. About how they wanted their money back. Mind you, it was a freebie screening. That's how god awful Unfaithful is.

Start with a real cute all American suburban (ie. prosperous) couple. Ed Sumner (Richard Gere) watches CNBC and wants to dabble in the Market. His wife, Constance (Diane Lane) says no. Their son Charlie (Erik Per Sullivan) is counting down the days until his ninth birthday and the party (and presents) that comes along with it. All nice and perfect until Constance goes into New York City to buy party stuff and, due to a sudden wind storm, has a chance encounter with handsome French bookseller Paul Martel (Olivier Martinez). It's a random thing and nothing happens. But a couple of days later, she finds his card in a book he had given her. Picks up the phone. Uh-oh.

Sorry, folks, infidelity is not a sexy thing. Lyne does his damnedest to make it so and Diane Lane gets about as naked as she can get. In keeping his film as reality based as possible, Lyne just proves the point we get to make at least two or three times a year, usually in reviews of art house films. Reality is boring. Keeping it real is boring and the pacing of Unfaithful is absolutely stultifying. Ed, who runs a security company, senses something isn't right with his marriage, but can't put his hand on it.

And there's so little more to the story than that, excepting two clever twists after a major plot twist that we're dying to spill (if only to keep you away from this stinker) but won't. Unfaithful is all about watching actors react to a situation and not much more than that. Well, there is more, but it's nothing but manipulative and forces this film right down the flusher with the appearance of a pair of unbelievable supporting characters. We can't tell you who they are or why they're so unbelievable (hint: incompetent) because there's so little depth to this story that we wonder how it took two men to put it to the page.

On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Nine Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price to Unfaithful, he would have paid . . .


We're bending over backwards to protect those of you who must see this thing. From us to you, avoid it like the Plague.

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